As with all educational institutions, the pandemic has created unprecedented obstacles for the students, faculty, and staff at Maryland Carey Law. COVID-19 has challenged us to be resilient, determined, and adaptable. This extraordinary time has been difficult. It has also been an opportunity for us to appreciate the fortifying support and strength we draw from each other. Our actions, from the earliest days of the crisis, have reflected our guiding principles of protecting the health and safety of our community while continuing to provide an outstanding legal education. All departments at the law school have worked diligently to meet these principles. Here are some of the ways:
Helped keep our intellectual community vibrant through web-based discussions for faculty and students on current topics.
Created a Student Emergency Fund and raised over $20,000 from 167 alumni and friends, with an additional $40,000 in support received from the University of Maryland, Baltimore Foundation, and AccessLex. The fund supports students facing unexpected financial hardship.
Recruited alumni to reach out to admitted students and offer their perspective, guidance, and mentorship.
Held virtual town hall meetings for faculty, staff, and students to answer questions.
Established an online COVID-19 FAQ and question submission form to keep students and other community members informed.
Hosted virtual Admitted Student’s Day, featuring live mock classes, live alumni panel, live current student panel, virtual tour, and specialty webinars.
Arranged for virtual class visits in the spring and summer, and hosted regular online student meet-and-greets.
Created a 2020 Summer Job Program to connect students who lost jobs due to the pandemic with “replacement” internships and funding.
Offered remote career counseling, alumni panels, and career fairs; and created online guides to interviewing and remote work.
Established a virtual “Summer Career Launch Series” to connect students with alumni and other attorneys who helped educate them about the daily practice of law.
Partnered with state and national bar associations and legal employers to offer practice-specific skills training to students and recent graduates.
Finished the spring semester teaching all classes, including 14 clinics, online.
Switched to pass/fail grading for the spring semester.
Widely published vital scholarship on the intersection of the pandemic and different areas of the law.
Launched a faculty webinar series tohighlight the scholarship, clinical work, and research projects at the law school, many with a focus on the pandemic and its wider implications.
Shepherded the transition from face-to-face to online teaching, including distribution of equipment, live training sessions, and an extensive instructional continuity guide with information about tools for teaching.
Offered comprehensive remote access to electronic resources.
Provided remote reference and research support, including chat and email reference, online research guides, and video conferencing.
Helped students retrieve critical materials from the school following the building closure.
Prepared the spaces and established processes to keep any members of the school community using the building safe.
Created a special edition digital yearbook to honor the graduates in the Class of 2020.
Coordinated a “Community Connections Series” of group discussions with representatives from UMB Counseling to help students cope with the anxiety, stress, and isolation brought on by the pandemic.