Training Lawyers to be Leaders at Maryland Carey Law

January 28, 2019

 Dean Donald Tobin

Every year when new 1L students congregate in Westminster Hall for law school orientation, I tell them that they are joining one of the noblest professions. These are not just idealistic words from a law school dean: lawyers change the world.

We promote fair and free elections, work for legal reform, hold elected office, and help businesses innovate. We also preserve the rule of law, problem solve complicated issues for our clients, represent those without voices, protect the constitutional rights of the accused, and work tirelessly for justice. And more often than not, we are asked not just to advise, but to lead.

At Maryland Carey Law, we seek to educate the next generation of great lawyers, critical thinkers, and leaders.  I am proud that we have been on the forefront of leadership education in law school.  Maryland was one of the first law schools in the country to bring leadership education into the law school curriculum. Our Women, Leadership, and Equality (WLE) program (the first of its kind in the nation) provides students the opportunity to confront pressing issues of gender and leadership. Through seminars, workshops, and externships, the WLE program prepares young lawyers for the leadership roles that await them.

We are also fortunate that through the generosity of Elizabeth Moser and her family, we started the Moser Ethics in Action Initiative. Named after M. Peter Moser, a prominent attorney who made professionalism and legal ethics the cornerstone of his career, the Moser Ethics in Action Initiative is part of our new Leadership, Ethics, and Professionalism program.  It provides opportunities for students to experience leadership and professionalism in simulations, client interactions, and workshops. 

The WLE program and the Moser Ethics in Action Initiative provide excellent opportunities for students to learn about leadership, and we continue to expand and grow in this area.  This year, I am collaborating with Dr. Roger J. Ward, Senior Vice President, Vice Dean of the Graduate School at UMB, and a lawyer, to teach a course entitled “Law and Leadership.”  The course provides students with a background in leadership theory, allows them to explore their own leadership styles, and provides opportunities for them to gain and practice leadership skills.

Now, more than ever, leadership education is an important part of a law school curriculum.  Our graduates are leading firms in rapidly changing markets and industries; they are heading up businesses dealing with complex challenges; they are making high level decisions in government agencies during contentious times; and they are doing critical work for those in need at nonprofit organizations. I am proud that Maryland Carey Law is on the forefront of leadership education for the next generation of great lawyers and leaders for our state and the Nation.

Donald Tobin
Dean, Maryland Carey Law