The University of Baltimore Law Library Weblog
News and links of interest to the law school community
Thursday, October 28, 2004
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Thursday, October 28 - 5th Annual University of Baltimore/ University of Maryland/Baltimore City Circuit Court Family Division Symposium on Family Law
The theme of this year's symposium is the integration of delinquency matters in the family court's subject matter jurisdiction. CFCC Director, Barbara Babb, and Senior Fellow, Gloria Danziger, will speak about empirical research recently published by CFCC in “A Strong Presence in the Life of a Child: A Report on Unified Family Courts and Juvenile Delinquency Matters.” 4:30 - 6:30 p.m., Courthouse East, Calvert & Lexington Streets, Baltimore
Monday, October 25, 2004
Ernie The Attorney: Apple says "Think Different" - What's Windows' ideal tagline? Verrry applicable to our wireless network. :)
Friday, October 22, 2004
sacbee.com -- Politics -- Marjie Lundstrom: Professor pans 'partisan' publication by university press. That professor is wrong, of course.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Monday, October 18, 2004
Friday, October 15, 2004
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Monday, October 11, 2004
October 8, 2004
Of Service - The secret of UB Law’s (clinical) success
By JOE SURKIEWICZ
Special to the Daily Record
Here’s a little-known fact to add to your quiver of local legal lore.
One of the best training programs in the United States for new lawyers is located in mid-town Baltimore: the University of Baltimore School of Law’s clinical program, which has been consistently rated in or near the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report. (It’s tied at No. 23 for clinical training this year with, among others, the University of California-Berkeley.)
The secret of the success of the cash-strapped public law school?
“A lot of it has to do with the prominence of our faculty in law reform activities,” said Robert J. Rubinson, an associate professor of law and director of UB Law’s clinical programs. “We’re just known because we’re out there. And that enables us to teach better.”
Another distinguishing mark is the faculty’s scholarly output in prestigious law journals such as the California Law Review in Berkeley, the Cornell Law Review, the Kentucky Law Review and Clinical Law Review. Recent topics by UB faculty include welfare reform, domestic violence, family law and mediation.
“It’s not, ‘Wow, they’re publishing,’ but they’re publishing about subjects that help students and low-income clients,” said Rubinson, who took over the program’s reins last summer. “For such a small faculty, there’s not another law school that can equal us.”
Clinical programs open to upper-level students include civil advocacy, family law, community development, tax, criminal practice, appellate advocacy and externships. Up to 200 students a year enroll in the program, getting real-world experience as they provide much-needed assistance to low-income clients, neighborhood associations and other nonprofits.
In fact, some UB clients end up with more than one lawyer. That’s because the faculty meets weekly for brown-bag lunches to talk about ongoing work.
“If a family law client has a consumer issue, both civil advocacy and the family law clinic can represent the client,” Rubinson explained. “It’s good for students, who get a variety of cases that enriches the clinical experience.”
Nor are student lawyers merely cogs in the legal representation machine, Rubinson added.
“Part of our philosophy is to enable students to take entire cases and represent clients soup-to-nuts,” he said. “We want to get across the complexities and challenges of representing a human being. Our priority is individual representation — and the students take that with them when they graduate.”
Every UB Law student who wants a clinical experience can get it, Rubinson said.
“We ensure that interested students get an extraordinarily rich clinical experience, even with our budget constraints,” he said. “Unlike many other schools, our clinical faculty are full-time and teach other courses. For example, I teach professional responsibility. Clinical teachers here are highly valued.”
That’s echoed by UB Law Dean Gilbert A. Holmes.
“We’re one of the few law schools in the country where all faculty are treated the same, with the same requirements for hiring and tenure,” Holmes said. “The advantage is that the skills the clinical faculty bring become available to the entire school when, say, a clinical teacher is teaching evidence. They’re all faculty.”
In the clinic, Holmes added, it all comes together for UB Law students.
“We have a tradition of an emphasis on practical skills,” he noted. “The clinic allows students to take from the classroom and apply it to real-life situations.”
That’s done by integrating the legal analysis taught in traditional class work — precedent, policy, appellate decisions — and blending it with the real world of practicing law, Rubinson explained.
“The practice of law requires the integration of a range of challenging activities, including fact investigation, counseling, interviewing, negotiation and writing,” he said. “For example, we have a ‘writing doctor’ because there’s a wide range of writing that requires fine tuning to various audiences. I think it’s unique to us.”
Evening students also get into the act at clinics that emphasize transactional law. The community development clinic, for example, represents nonprofit neighborhood groups that meet at night, while the tax clinic works with low-income taxpayers with problems filing for the Earned Income Tax Credit.
How do students react to the clinical experience?
“Almost invariably we get positive feedback,” Rubinson said. “But usually afterwards, because they’re so busy. Most say clinic should be required.”
Take, for example, John Morton, a student enrolled in the civil advocacy clinic.
“I’m busy and learning a lot of practical skills,” said Morton, who has already written a memorandum of law in an appeal of an unemployment insurance benefit claim.
“It’s a great experience,” the third-year student said. “I met with the client to decide whether to take the case, and then reviewed it with my supervisor. I filed pleadings, submitted the memorandum and will go to a hearing after we get the answer.”
Even the clinic’s class work is geared toward “real-world stuff,” Morton noted.
“In the first two years of law school I never did any real legal drafting,” he said. “In clinic you develop the theory, work with a client and figure out how to do everything. It’s a great experience.”
Robert Ambrogi's LawSites profiles Cornell's School of Industrial and Labor Relations: "For practitioners, the most useful part of [the Cornell] Web site comes from its Catherwood Library. Its fully searchable electronic archive includes a range of materials relating to employer-employee relationships, including key government documents and public policy papers, all available free of charge."
Friday, October 08, 2004
The lost art of diagramming sentences is recounted here, in a charming essay by Kitty Burns Florey.
Thursday, October 07, 2004
Thursday, October 14:
The 2004 Center for International & Comparative Law Lecture Anne-Marie Slaughter, (Dean, Woodrow Wilson School of Public & Intl. Affairs, Princeton Univ.) 5 p.m. Poe's (reception to follow in Law Center lobby) Sponsored by the Center for International & Comparative Law
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
For those of you unfortunate enough to be running XP: Download details: Step-by-Step Guide to Securing Windows XP Professional in Small and Medium Businesses
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Monday, October 04, 2004
• Strategic Plan for the Law School
The draft of the new Strategic Plan for the Law School is now available for your review. The Committee's website also contains development information and background materials used in developing the draft Plan. The Committee welcomes comments & discussion - comments can be submitted online.