Maryland Law students Leila Ashkeboussi í11 (left) and Chelsea Treadwell í13 (right) share their educational and professional experiences with Delegate Samuel I. Rosenberg (center) after thanking him for the General Assemblyís continued support of higher education.
On January 27, two weeks into the 2010 session of the Maryland General Assembly, Maryland Law Dean Phoebe A. Haddon, UMB President David Ramsay, and approximately 32 Maryland Law students, alumni, faculty, and staff spent a day building relationships with legislators in Annapolis. Students met with more than 50 delegates to discuss the School of Law’s capacity to serve the public, its role in stimulating economic growth and job development in Maryland, and the importance of loan assistance repayment programs for law students.
“We highly value the vital leadership that our representatives provide the State of Maryland and the relationship that we share with the General Assembly,” said Dean Haddon. “It is a great privilege for the School of Law to be able to visit with the legislature in Annapolis.”
Throughout the day, students personally thanked legislators for their support of higher education before sharing stories about how experiential opportunities at the Law School, including clinical work and participation in student organizations, have readied them to enter the legal profession.
“Students not only provide free legal services through the Clinical Law Program, but they are also able to work for non-profit legal agencies serving underrepresented communities through student organizations like the Maryland Public Interest Law Project,” explained Chris Montague-Breakwell ’10, Co-President of the Maryland Public Interest Law Project (MPILP), to Delegate Melony Griffith (Dist. 25). “Last summer MPILP raised nearly $130,000 to provide summer grants to students for the opportunity for them to do this type of work.”
Many delegates discussed the legislative process with students. Some, including Joseline A. Peña-Melnyk (Dist. 21) and School of Law Adjunct Professor Samuel I. Rosenberg (Dist. 41), also extended the opportunity for School of Law students to assist with research and testimony for newly introduced bills and bills to be authored in the future.
“The bills that Delegate Peña-Melnyk discussed were really interesting,” said Natalie Amato ’11. “I plan to meet with Professor Singer soon about it to see if I can assist with research.”
Other topics that students discussed with the State leaders included Maryland’s economic situation.
“The knowledge that Delegate Haynes imparted to us, including tips on how to succeed in an economic crunch and strategies on finding a job, was extremely helpful,” said Bryan Hull ’11. “He made the connection between public service and how it separates an individual from other job seekers. He also talked about how it has helped him attain success as a lawyer and delegate, which I found to be especially encouraging.”
Students, faculty, and staff were also invited to attend the House and Senate chambers. House Speaker Michael Busch introduced Dean Haddon to speak before asking all graduates, students, and faculty of the School of Law to stand for a round of applause.
"We are grateful for the UMB Office of Government and Community Affairs for all they did to help us prepare for our visit with the Maryland General Assembly," said Dean Haddon. "Our meetings in Annapolis were extremely worthwhile and it was a memorable experience for us all."