Alumni Weekend 2024 features bicentennial celebration

All News

Alumni Weekend 2024, April 11-14, was extra special for the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. As alumni have come to expect, the weekend was chock-full of favorite events, including the Alumni Honors Banquet, Golden Graduates Luncheon, Family Picnic, and Reunion Class Dinners. This year, graduates also had the singular opportunity to unite in celebration of Maryland Carey Law’s 200th anniversary.  

The highlight of the weekend was Friday night’s bicentennial bash at the beautifully restored M&T Bank Exchange a block from the law school. The gracious space welcomed a glittering who’s who of the Maryland legal community, with speakers including U.S. Senator Ben Cardin ’67, Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson ’10, University System of Maryland Chancellor Jay Perman, University of Maryland, Baltimore, President Bruce Jarrell, and Maryland Carey Law Board of Visitors Chair Tamika Tremaglio ’95. Attendees also enjoyed a specially recorded greeting from Gov. Wes Moore. 

“It is the people who make Maryland Carey Law such a special place,” said Dean Renée McDonald Hutchins in her remarks, “so coming together with you to mark this moment is beyond wonderful.” 

Following Hutchins was keynote speaker Senator Ben Cardin ’67, who is part of four generations of family members who have attended Maryland Carey Law. Cardin looked back on the development of what came to be known as the Cardin Requirement at Maryland Carey Law, which guarantees and requires a clinical experience for all full-time day students. He recalled how, in 1987, Professor Mike Millemann approached the Maryland legislature and proposed the requirement. Cardin, a U.S. congressman at the time, successfully led the charge in the legislature to provide the resources enabling the requirement. “I know the Clinical Law Program at Maryland Carey Law is ranked 5th,” he said, “but it’s the best program in the country.” 

Also in the lineup was a prerecorded video from Gov. Wes Moore who was unable to attend in person. He congratulated Maryland Carey Law on the law school’s impact on the state of Maryland saying, “This is not just a law school celebration or even just a Baltimore celebration. It’s a Maryland celebration.” 

The program culminated as the dean led dignitaries in blowing out candles on the law school’s “birthday cake.” 

Other Maryland notables present were Comptroller Brooke Lierman, Maryland Public Defender Natasha Dartigue, Secretary of Appointments Tisha Edwards ’00, City Council President Nick Mosby, and Orioles legend Cal Ripken. 

The weekend kicked off on Thursday afternoon with a reception commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Rose Zetzer Fellowship, an opportunity offered by the Women, Leadership & Equality (WLE) Program. Named in honor of the first woman to gain admission to the Maryland State Bar Association, the fellowship includes a seminar and applied workshop in which students research and address the structural barriers to women's advancement in law.  

Meanwhile, alumni of Maryland Carey Law’s Criminal Defense Clinic along with its director, Associate Professor Maneka Sinha, and current students, celebrated the 5th anniversary of the clinic’s re-establishment at the law school with a panel discussion.  

The main event on Thursday was the Alumni Honors Banquet. Westminster Hall was packed with alumni and friends cheering on the 2024 award recipients: 

  • Distinguished Graduate Award: The Hon. Angela D. Alsobrooks ’96    
  • Mary Ellen Barbera '84 Judicial Excellence Award: The Hon. Richard D. Bennett ’73 
  • Benjamin L. Cardin '67 Public Service Award: The Hon. Marc A. DeSimone, Jr., ’04   
  • Rising Star Award: Alexandria K. Montanio ’16. 

Alsobrooks captured the collective sentiment in her remarks. “Every day I use the skills I learned here,” she said. “I am proud to call myself a graduate of Maryland Carey Law.” 

During the day on Friday, members of the classes that graduated 50 or more years ago gathered for the annual Golden Graduates lunch to induct the Class of 1974 into their distinguished ranks. Natalie McSherry ’74 offered fond recollections from her law school years, and Bonnie Poirier ’24 gave a current student’s perspective. 

McSherry talked about the law school in 1974, when the Clinical Law Program was just getting off the ground, women were still outnumbered but making great strides, and she and classmates kept a continuous game of bridge going in the locker area (someone else would play your hand when you went to class!). Poirier, in law school at a time when women outnumber men and a clinic experience is required of all full-time day students, discussed the mentorship and opportunities that have helped her decide on a career in post-conviction defense. 

“My law school experience has been nothing short of wonderful,” said Poirier. “And I hope to pay it forward for years to come.” 

Alumni also enjoyed informal faculty discussions and a tour before heading over to the big birthday party. 

On Saturday, families were welcomed to the building for a picnic, with barbeque-inspired food, cornhole, face painting, and lawn games. Saturday evening featured a cocktail and networking reception, where Hutchins addressed attendees. “I want to thank everyone here for taking time out of your busy schedules to come back to the law school to reconnect with your classmates and our broader alumni community, especially as we celebrate our 200th,” said the dean. “We are deeply grateful for your engagement and hope you will continue to connect with us throughout the year.” 

The evening culminated with milestone reunion dinners celebrating the classes of 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009, 2014, and 2019.  

The final event of the weekend took place at Camden Yards, where alumni enjoyed classic ballpark fare and mingled while the O’s took on the Milwaukee Brewers (and won!). 

“We were delighted to welcome more than 500 alumni and friends back to the law school during Alumni Weekend 2024,” said Director of Alumni Engagement Jason Keller. “It was a wonderful four days celebrating community and our 200th anniversary at Maryland Carey Law.” 

Maryland Carey Law is deeply grateful to the sponsoring firms listed below: 


  • Gallagher Evelius & Jones 
  • Venable, LLP 


  • DLA Piper 
  • Nelson Mullins 
  • Saul Ewing 


  • Brown, Goldstein & Levy 
  • Davis, Agnor, Rapaport & Skalny, LLC 
  • Gordon Feinblatt LLC 
  • Kramon & Graham, P.A. 
  • McGuireWoods 
  • Miles & Stockbridge 
  • Offit Kurman 


  • Levin Gann PA 
  • Rosenberg Martin Greenberg LLP