Maryland Carey Law mourns the loss of Prof. Emeritus Alan Hornstein

The entire University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law community mourns the loss of Prof. Emeritus Alan Hornstein, who passed away on Dec. 17.  

“We are deeply saddened by the death of Professor Hornstein,” said Dean Donald Tobin, recalling the vital role Hornstein played in overseeing the design of the law school building erected in 2001. “He was ahead of his time in so many ways, but his thoughtfulness and strategic thinking will be with us and generations of law students for many years to come.” 

After graduating from Rutgers Law in 1970 and spending two years as law clerk to Judge Frederick P. Bryan, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, Hornstein joined the faculty in 1972. He served as associate dean from 1987 to 1991, acting dean in 1991-92 and associate dean again in 2001-02. Hornstein retired in 2004 but stayed highly connected with the law school as professor emeritus and a member of the Board of Visitors from 2007 to 2018. 

At Maryland Carey Law, Hornstein taught 18 different courses, and left a lasting impression on countless students in his 32 years of teaching. 

“Professor Hornstein was an excellent and exacting professor,” said Joanne Pollak 76former senior VP and general counsel at Johns Hopkins Medicine and former chair of the law school’s Board of Visitors. As a master of the Socratic Method, he could encourage the shyest student to muster his or her thoughts, almost always leading to enlightened discovery for the student. 

As a colleague, he was known for camaraderie and innovation.  

“Alan was a very good friend, loyal, helpful, and very funny,” recalled Prof. Emeritus William Reynolds. “He was more interested in the theory of teaching than anyone I have ever known, and that led him to a strong interest in curriculum reform. In that and many other ways, Alan left a deep and lasting impact on the law school.” 

Hornstein played a key role in the integration of theory and practice into the curriculum, pioneering the use of practice simulation in first-year courses, among other initiatives. Hiearly use of PowerPoint slides to teach Evidence is legendary among many graduates. 

“Alan was one of the most creative teachers I have ever known and a critically important educational reformer at this school,” said Prof. Michael Millemann, who worked closely with Hornstein in the 1980s to establish the law school’s legal theory and practice curriculum, which added actual client legal work to theoretical instruction in first- and second-year courses. “He was endlessly creative, always willing to experiment and help out, and a wonderful colleague and person.” 

An expert in contracts, evidence, and jurisprudence, Hornstein made many lasting contributions to the legal profession, serving as a member of the American Law Institute; presenting annual seminars for judges under the auspices of the Federal Judicial Center and the Maryland Judicial Institute; participating in the drafting of Maryland's Rules of Evidence; and authoring, among numerous other publications, annual editions of the Maryland Evidence Courtroom Manual.   

While Hornstein will long be remembered for his scholarship and impact on teaching and learning at the law school, maybe his greatest legacy lives on in the spacious halls and wired learning spaces of the Maryland Carey Law building.  

“Alan will long be remembered for his work on the law school's new facility,” said Dean Emeritus Karen Rothenberg. “He was involved from the design stage all the way through to the myriad details of construction. It is due, in part, to Alan's leadership talents that the law school facility was built with absolutely no compromise when it came to incorporating state-of-the-art technology.”  

From the soaring atrium to the extra wide wheelchair ramps, the well-equipped moot courtroom to the courtyard fountain, Hornstein’s presence is felt. 

“Alan loved our law school with all his heart and soul and was always willing to work hard to make it betterwhether it was administration, the new building or the curriculum,” added Rothenberg. He was out in front figuring out how all the parts could function together.” 

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