Law School Associate ProfessorPhone: (410) 706-3922
BA, 1984, Wesleyan University
JD, 1989, Yale Law School
Professor Maureen Sweeney has directed the Immigration Clinic at the School of Law since 2004.
Professor Sweeney tries to put into action the ideal of engaged scholarship. In recent years, she has done so principally by studying and working on issue of the immigration consequences of criminal convictions, trying to ensure that defendants understand those consequences before they agree to accept a plea that could affect their immigration status, and that those consequences bear some minimal relation to justice. She is the principal author of a chart for criminal defense practitioners of the Immigration Consequences of Criminal Convictions Under Maryland State Law, and has spoken and trained widely in the state on this topic. She recently published Fact or Fiction: The Legal Construction of Immigration Removal for Crimes, 27 Yale Journal on Regulation 47 (2010), an article that explains much of the theoretical, statutory and enforcement background behind the Supreme Courtís recent Padilla v. Kentucky decision, in which the Court required criminal defense counsel to advise about possible immigration consequences of a proposed plea. She is currently collaborating with the Maryland Office of the Public Defender and the Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys Association to develop a statewide response to support and train defense attorneys to carry out their new responsibilities under Padilla.
Professor Sweeney is a founding and current board member of the Maryland Immigrant Rights Coalition, a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting Maryland immigrants through the coordination and enhancement of pro bono representation of low-income immigrants; community education, and advocacy on behalf of immigrants. She also serves as an emeritus member of the board of directors of the Baltimore-based non-profit Advocates for Survivors of Torture and Trauma, which provides comprehensive services and referrals to Maryland residents who are survivors of torture.
She has published other articles in the American Journal of Public Health, the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, and the University of Maryland Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender and Class.
Prior to coming to the law school, Professor Sweeney served as a staff attorney at Associated Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services in Baltimore. Prior to that, she worked for the Migrant Legal Action Program in Washington, DC; Farmworker Legal Services of North Carolina in Raleigh, NC; and the Texas Center for Immigrant Legal Assistance in Houston, Texas.
Professor Sweeney lives in Baltimore with her husband, their three children, and their dog.
Shadow Immigration Enforcement and its Constitutional Dangers, 104 Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology 227 (2014).
Where do We Go from Padilla v. Kentucky? Thoughts on Implementation and Future Directions, 45 New England Law Review 353 (2011). [Full Text]
Penalty and Proportionality in Deportation for Crimes, 31 Saint Louis University Public Law Review 11 (2012) (with Hillary Scholten). [Full Text]
Fact or Fiction: the Legal Construction of Immigration Removal for Crimes, 27 Yale Journal on Regulation 47 (2010). [Full Text]
A Check on the Real Realities of Immigraton: A Reflection, 5 University of Maryland Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender & Class 261 (2005). [Full Text]
Maureen Sweeney of the UM Carey School of Law was quoted in the Washington Post article "Former Salvadoran gang member says he's living right and deserves U.S. protection."
Maureen Sweeney of the UM Carey School of Law was quoted and the school's immigration clinic was mentioned in the Baltimore Sun article, "Maryland man focus of national debate over asylum claims."