Renée McDonald Hutchins named new dean of Maryland Carey Law

University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) President Bruce Jarrell has announced that Renée McDonald Hutchins will be the next dean of the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, effective August 1. Hutchins is currently dean at the David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC) in Washington D.C.

“Renée Hutchins is the ideal choice to lead Maryland Carey Law,” said Jarrell. “She is a proven leader, and I am confident that she will continue to move the School of Law forward in its trajectory of producing some of the best legal minds in Maryland and the country.”

Hutchins returns to Maryland Carey Law after a three-year deanship at UDC Law where she significantly raised the school’s national profile. Previously, she spent 14 years on the Maryland Carey Law faculty and was the Jacob A. France Professor of Public Interest Law and co-director of the Clinical Law Program.

Hutchins originally came to Maryland Carey Law in 2004, founding and teaching the Appellate and Post-Conviction Advocacy Clinic, as well as traditional doctrinal courses and advanced seminars. In 2014, she rose to the position of co-director of the Clinical Law Program, working with then co-director Professor Michael Pinard.

“Dean Hutchins is an extraordinarily gifted teacher, scholar and lawyer,” said Pinard. “As co-director, she elevated our Clinical Law Program by enhancing our national presence; amplifying our scholarship and service; ensuring that our students maximized their learning, understanding, and impact; analyzing our strengths and deficits; and working tirelessly to improve our program. She will do the same for our law school as dean.”

In the wake of Freddie Gray’s death while in the custody of the Baltimore Police Department in April 2015, she was instrumental in creating, “Freddie Gray’s Baltimore: Past, Present, and Moving Forward,” an innovative eight-week practicum that brought law school professors, elected officials, and civic leaders together with law and social work students to explore the broader historic context that created the West Baltimore community where Gray lived and died.

Hutchins is a leading expert on the Fourth Amendment and criminal appellate practice. Her legal scholarship, which sits at the intersection of criminal procedure and social science, has been published in leading law journals and cited by numerous U.S. Courts of Appeals and state appellate courts. She authored the casebook “Developing Professional Skills: Criminal Procedure” and was co-author of the casebook “Learning Criminal Procedure.” She also has written about racial profiling and the practice of stop-and-frisk, has a long record of supporting faculty scholarship, and has provided legal analysis and insight for media outlets such as MSNBC, Voice of America, and C-SPAN.

In 2017, Hutchins was elected to the prestigious American Law Institute, a national association of distinguished lawyers, judges, and academics that works to clarify and improve the law through the publication of restatements of the law and model codes. Her extensive legal experience spans federal and state courts across the nation, including the high courts of New York and Maryland where she is currently serving her third four-year term on the Appellate Courts Judicial Nominating Commission.

Hutchins earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Spelman College, America’s oldest historically Black liberal arts college for women. She went on to receive her JD from Yale Law School, where she was chair of the Moot Court Board of Directors, and then clerked for Nathaniel R. Jones of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

During their five-year overlap at Maryland Carey Law, current Dean Donald Tobin worked closely with Hutchins and is thrilled to pass the baton to his former colleague. “I am incredibly excited about the future for Maryland Carey Law and know that Dean Hutchins is the perfect person to move the law school to even greater heights,” said Tobin.

Photo: Cheriss May

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