Prof. Renée Hutchins Hired as Dean of UDC Law

All News

Prof. Renée Hutchins, the Jacob A. France Professor of Public Interest Law and Co-Director of the Clinical Law Program at Maryland Carey Law, was recently announced as the next Dean of the David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC Law). Renée will be greatly missed in the Clinical Law Program, but we look forward with excitement to the energy, enthusiasm and passion that she will bring to her new role at UDC Law.

“Renée truly is the best,” says Michael Pinard, Co-Director of Maryland Carey Law’s Clinical Law Program. “She is an amazing lawyer and teacher. She has taught a generation of alumni who are justice-agents. She is a path-breaking scholar who has brought new insights into various dimensions of the fourth amendment, including technology and racial profiling. She is also a visionary leader in clinical legal education. Her legacy at Maryland Carey Law is cemented. She will now create a new legacy, both for her and UDC Law. We are looking forward to her great work that lies ahead.”

Renée joined Maryland Carey Law’s Clinical Law Program in 2004. Her students in the Appellate and Post-Conviction Advocacy Clinic represented clients in the Maryland appellate courts. Through her expert lawyering, teaching, and supervision, Renée imparted the wide range of skills necessary for her students to excel. She left lasting impressions on their lives and careers. “Renée fostered and inspired excellence in her students,” remembers Assistant Federal Public Defender Sedira Banan ’11. “In her class and litigation she was endlessly brilliant, passionate, and elegant. Her teachings and examples continue to guide me in my practice nearly ten years after clinic. No doubt, she was the most important influence on countless students during their law school years.”

A commitment to excellence made a world of difference for anyone lucky enough to be Renée’s client. In addition to maintaining an incredible record of success with her clients’ criminal appeals, she and her students obtained conditional commutations of two clients’ life sentences from Maryland governors.

Renée brought her experiences as a teacher and lawyer to her remarkable scholarship. She published and presented extensively on issues at the intersection of constitutional law and social science, as well as the integrity and long-lasting impact of policing, adjudicative processes, and privacy. Her textbook, Learning Criminal Procedure (co-authored with Ric Simmons) draws on her practice experiences and utilizes a problem-based approach to learning and reinforcing criminal procedure doctrine.

As both a colleague and Co-Director of Maryland Carey Law’s Clinical Law Program, Renée has been invaluable. “One of the things that excited me the most about coming to Maryland six years ago was the chance to work with Renée,” says Leigh Goodmark, Founding Director of the Gender Violence Clinic. “She’s an unbelievably talented lawyer, a supportive colleague, an inspirational teacher, and a good friend. As excited as I am for her and for UDC Law, I will be so, so sad to not have the benefit of her advice and humor on a daily basis.”

Renée’s impact on her clients and colleagues is surpassed only by the impact she has had on her students, whether or not they were in her clinic or the other courses she taught at Maryland. On any given day, multiple students dropped by her office for guidance, mentorship, or just to chat. “Whenever I heard Prof. Hutchins speak, it reminded of why I went to law school,” says Aarti Sidhu ’18. “On the first day of clinic orientation, she implored us to ‘begin every workday ready to stamp out injustice and save the rule of law.’ Now, as a practicing attorney, her words still resonate with me. She went beyond being a professor; her door was always open to me as a mentor and friend.”

All of us here at Maryland Carey Law’s Clinical Law Program wish Renée incredible continued success as she assumes the deanship at UDC Law, and cannot wait to see what the future holds for her.