Starting in Fall 2016, Maryland Carey Law students will have the opportunity to learn first-hand about consumer bankruptcy cases (primarily Chapter 7 cases) through a new Consumer Bankruptcy Legal Theory and Practice (LTP) clinical experience. The LTP will feature both a traditional classroom component as well as experiential learning.
In the courtroom, students will work with practitioners to represent low-income individual debtors in their federal bankruptcy cases before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland, as well as counsel low-income debtor clients and assist in their filings.
The classroom component will teach students applicable theory and doctrine relating to consumer bankruptcy and debtors’ and creditors’ rights.
“We developed this clinical experience because it serves several objectives that are important to the law school as an institution,” said Michelle Harner, professor and director of the Business Law Program.
“It provides much-needed counseling to low-income individuals who are struggling to make ends meet and to satisfy their obligations to creditors; it gives our students an opportunity to learn directly from those representing these individuals on a day-to-day basis and to appear before our federal bankruptcy judges—critical training for future lawyers; and it allows the law school to partner with others in the profession and the community to make a difference.”
Harner, a recognized expert in bankruptcy, was a key participant in the American Bankruptcy Institute’s (ABI) Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 in 2014 and was elected to ABI’s board in 2015. She also serves as the Assistant Reporter to the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure.