Alumni duo builds community with Maryland Carey Law

David Hodnett '06 (L) and Brett Rogers '02 hosted Maryland Carey Law's Baltimore alumni reception at Brown Advisory in the fall.

David Hodnett ’06 and Brett Rogers ’02 didn’t meet in law school. After all, they were four years apart, and Hodnett was an evening student, while Rogers went to class during the day. But when both returned to Maryland Carey Law for a 2012 panel introducing law students to alternative career paths, they felt a kinship through their shared alma mater, not to mention their mutual histories as Eagle Scouts.

Before long, they were colleagues at Brown Advisory, the independent investment management firm where Rogers already served as general counsel and chief compliance officer.

Hodnett enjoyed his work in wealth management at a large bank, but was looking to explore growth opportunities. Based on their positive interaction at the career panel, Rogers introduced Hodnett to colleagues at Brown Advisory so he could learn more about the operation. Six years later, they agree the encounter was a win-win. Hodnett now thrives as a client advisor at Brown Advisory, helping families and business owners with estate and succession planning.

“I would not be here,” says Hodnett from the spectacular Brown Advisory offices overlooking the Inner Harbor, “if I hadn’t had Brett and the law school make that connection. That was the moment that set me on this trajectory and has created so many other awesome opportunities for me.”

Rogers says Brown Advisory is the fortunate one. “David is and was extremely talented and sought after. I was in the right place at the right time.”

That same dedication to community engagement the two showed at the career panel is evident in many of their other activities as well. Rogers, who appreciates that Maryland Carey Law enabled him to pursue a JD and MBA simultaneously, is a board member of the Baltimore Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School, among other non-profits. He was named to Baltimore Business Journal’s 2014 40 under 40 list. And with fond memories of the support he received in law school as an evening student, Hodnett is a trustee at Baltimore Center Stage and serves on the board of directors for the Boy Scouts of America Baltimore Area Council.

Inspired by their own connection, Rogers and Hodnett joined forces to strengthen the relationship between Maryland Carey Law and Brown Advisory—to help others in the legal community link up as they had, and fortify the fabric of their beloved Baltimore. “We see talent come through the law school, and we are working to keep those great, talented attorneys here,” says Hodnett, “so that they are able to continue to contribute to all the wonderful things happening in this great city.” 

One way is by participating in Maryland Carey Law’s Business Fellowship Program, offering opportunities for new alumni to work in-house at Brown Advisory for one year as post-graduate fellows.

It’s a chance for both parties to try each other on for size, says Rogers. “A post-grad lawyer gets to develop their career in-house, and we get a chance to see if someone might be a good fit.”

While the fellowship is a stand-alone year, Brown Advisory, which accepted its first fellow in 2016, has gone on to hire three Maryland Carey Law business fellows long-term. Now, not only are those associates enjoying in-house counsel positions, but they are also volunteering to share their experiences with Maryland Carey Law students at events like the fall career exploration fair. “Five to seven years ago, Brett and I would have been the ones staffing the table,” says Hodnett.

As the next generation takes on those opportunities, Rogers and Hodnett can concentrate on facilitating relationship-building. This fall, Brown Advisory, which has offices in seven states and London, Singapore, and Washington, D.C., hosted Maryland Carey Law alumni receptions at their Baltimore and New York sites.

The local reception attracted more than 60 alumni, including Diann Churchill ’93, whose husband, David Churchill, is Brown Advisory’s CFO/COO.

“The law school is an important anchor to the community,” says Rogers, explaining that Brown Advisory, with its substantial presence in Baltimore, is committed to community involvement. “It’s a natural fit for us when we see institutions that are also key to the community and have that outward-facing set of values. We think the law school is one of those institutions.”

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