With “great opportunities for hands-on lawyering,” and low in-state tuition for residents, the University of Maryland School of Law is “very well-connected to the Baltimore/Maryland legal community,” with a “strong commitment to public service and social justice,” and recognized legal specialties in health, environmental law, clinical law, and trial advocacy. The school “has tremendous relationships with organizations in Washington, D.C., the Maryland legislature, and many congressional offices,” which makes it “extremely easy” to gain the kind of practical experience legal employers will be looking for come hiring season. The clinical offerings here are both required and “hard to beat”: “Not only was I able to argue before a state appellate court during my second year, but I have also received credit for doing to externships during my third year,” says a 3L. Seven professional schools all share the same campus in Baltimore, which can over-burden some of the administrative offices; students cite the financial aid office’s lag time, and a career development office that “generally lacks important contacts in the work field.” Still, the school boasts an active recruiting program and a high job placement rate, while the main head honchos at the school are very accessible, and “many of the deans also teach classes and are available to all students, even if you don’t have them as a professor.” The school’s great strength is “teaching you how to be a smart and effective lawyer,” through a few students say there is relatively little class time devoted to “cutting-edge legal scholarship and critical theory,” and complain that “the popular courses are filled so quickly.”Maryland professors are “top-notch,” being both “incredibly smart legal thinkers and, more importantly, fantastic teachers in the classroom.” Nearly all of the professors “have practiced law for a decade or more before coming to the law school,” which not only contributes to their legal experience, but to their sympathy for the demands of the profession. Professors and staff are all “very accommodating” to students trying to get through law school while working—night classes are made available to students in their second and third years—and faculty are “very helpful in advising students on how to mitigate stress and handle the competing interests of law school.” “I have had a number of brilliant and committed adjunct professors who understand the burdens associated with working and going to school full-time,” says a student. “Even if you are not in their class, they help you with course-related questions, study skills, and exam strategies,” says another.
- The Princeton Review