From the 2009 News Archive
Prof. Weimer Receives MLSC Distinguished Service Award
Law School Professor Deborah Weimer
will receive the 2009 Benjamin L. Cardin Distinguished Service Award from Maryland Legal Services Corporation (MLSC) for demonstrating an extraordinary commitment to providing civil legal services to the poor. MLSC recognized Professor Weimer and other award recipients during a reception on December 7.
The award is the highest honor that the MLSC presents to public interest lawyers that are making outstanding contributions to the provision of legal assistance to Maryland’s poor. The award, created in 1986, was renamed in 1988 to recognize Senator Benjamin L. Cardin’s exemplary legal services, leadership, and public service.
“I really appreciate the recognition, the most rewarding part is working as part of an interdisciplinary team to provide support to at-risk families and advocate for changes in the system,” said Professor Weimer. “Our students have been wonderful in terms of their enthusiasm and commitment. I feel lucky to do the work I do and to work with students to help them understand what it means to be an attorney in context to understanding complex ethical issues, relating to people who are often different from them, and making a difference in the lives of others.”
Professor Weimer joined the School of Law faculty in a full-time capacity in 1988, after practicing public interest law. Since, she has played a vital role in the success of the School of Law’s HIV/AIDS Clinic, one of the first clinical law programs in the United States to address the legal issues faced by people living with HIV/AIDS. Professor Weimer’s students have represented individuals with HIV/AIDS on various matters including employment discrimination or Family Medical Leave Act claims, CINA (child welfare) cases, cases relating to custody or guardianship of children, and more. They have also worked on policy advocacy, and with medical providers and social workers to find solutions to client concerns.
In 2004, she also helped create the Interdisciplinary Practice with Grandparent Families Clinic to address the needs of “grandparent families” in which grandparents have assumed custody for their grandchildren because the parents are unable to care for them due to a variety of circumstances. The clinic, along with the School of Nursing Open Gates Community Nursing Center in West Baltimore and the Family Connections Program of the School of Social Work, received a five-year grant in 2004 from the Children’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide services to at-risk grandparent families and help avoid the unnecessary placement of children in foster care.
Widely published in the areas of HIV and law and supporting at-risk families, Professor Weimer co-chairs the School of Law’s Committee on Professionalism & Diversity with Professor Sherrilyn Iffil.
She has taught at Brooklyn Law School, where she created the bankruptcy component of the Federal Litigation Clinic, and at Temple University School of Law. Previously, she practiced employment and labor law with a small civil rights firm in Takoma Park, Maryland.