Prof. Neha Lall Named a Bellow Scholar in Clinical Legal Education

Prof. Neha Lall, director of externships at the University of Baltimore School of Law, has been selected as a 2023-24 Bellow Scholar for her research project, Paid Externships as a Tool to Advance Student Equity and Autonomy. The new class of five Bellow Scholars made their first presentations at the AALS Clinical Conference in San Francisco in April.

The American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Section on Clinical Legal Education’s Committee on Lawyering in the Public Interest (aka the Bellow Scholars Program) selects a new cohort of law professors every two years to recognize and support innovative empirical research proposals designed to promote economic and social justice.  

The Bellow Scholars Program recognizes and supports the research projects that reflect the ideals of Prof. Gary Bellow, a pioneering founder of modern clinical legal education. Lall’s project was unanimously selected by the committee, according to AALS, because it is an excellent example of this type of scholarship. 

Lall’s research studies UBalt Law’s new paid externship program, which launched in the fall of 2022. Even though the ABA lifted the prohibition on paid externships in 2016, many in the legal academy remain concerned about whether the educational value of field placement courses can be maintained when students are being paid. UBalt Law lifted the ban on paid externships after considerable debate, deciding that the policy was limiting opportunities and disparately affecting students who needed paid employment. 

“Instead of speculating about what will happen if we allow paid externships, it’s time to gather data to see what happens when we allow pay on a wide scale,” says Lall. “UBalt Law has a diverse student body and large externship program, with over 60 percent of its students receiving compensation. We are an ideal institution to carry out this study.” 

Lall analyzes, from a student perspective, how students are factoring pay into their externship placement decision-making process, which students are benefiting from pay, and how those benefits have affected the quality of their overall educational experience. 

This data will advance national conversations about paid externships in legal education, Lall notes. “Traditional pathways into the legal profession do not work for many of today’s students, who carry a significant debt load and simply cannot afford to work for free,” she says. “If we want to have a diverse profession, we need to make it financially feasible for law students to get the experience they need.”  

Share this story with your network:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email

Dean Weich Named an Influential Marylander by The Daily Record

The Daily Record newspaper has named  Dean Ronald Weich to its 2023 listing of Influential Marylanders. 

Fifty-two Influential Marylanders were selected by the editors of newspaper for their significant contributions to their respective fields and for their leadership in Maryland in the following areas: civic leadership, communications, education, finance, freestyle, general business, health care, law, philanthropy, real estate and technology.  

Weich has been dean of the law school since 2012, following a lengthy career in government in which he served as an assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice during the Obama administration, and as chief counsel to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.

Share this story with your network:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email

Law Forum Symposium Honors State’s First Black Lawyers

In 1844 Macon B. Allen was the first Black lawyer was admitted to the state bar of Maine, and that same year he was unable to practice simply due to the color of his skin. Undaunted, Allen moved to Massachusetts to begin practicing, and eventually became the first Black American appointed to a judicial position. It would take four decades for Maryland to follow suit and admit a Black man, Everett J. Waring, to the state bar. 

UBalt Law’s February Law Forum symposium, “Blazing the Trail: Maryland’s First Black Lawyers and the Legacy They Built,” explored this history. The event brought together a panel of distinguished legal professionals to discuss Maryland’s early Black lawyers and the challenges they faced in gaining admission to the bar, as well as obstacles still in existence for Black lawyers seeking bar admission and judgeships. 

UBalt Law Prof. Jose Anderson and the Hon. Sidney Butcher, associate judge on the District Court of Anne Arundel County, moderated the discussions, to both honor the legacy and imagine the future for Black lawyers in Maryland. 

Panelists include author and Texas attorney John Browning; Maryland lawyer Domonique Flowers; the Hon. Lynn Stewart Mays, associate judge on the Circuit Court of Baltimore City; and UBalt Law alumna the Hon. Pamila Brown, J.D. ’79, administrative judge of the Howard County District Court.

Share this story with your network:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email

2022 Commencement held at SECU Arena

The Class of 2022 received their degrees in a May 17 commencement ceremony at Towson University’s SECU Arena. 

Recipients of the Juris Doctor degree, Master of Laws in Taxation, and Master of Laws in the Law of the United States had their degrees conferred upon them by University of Baltimore Provost Catherine Andersen. 

Valedictorians from both graduating classes presented remarks, as did commencement speaker Vanita Gupta, associate attorney general of the United States. Guests were welcomed by School of Law Dean Ronald Weich, University System of Maryland RegentRobert K. Hur, and alumna Jasmine Pope, J.D. ’18, president of the University of Baltimore Law Alumni Association.  

Share this story with your network:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email

Professor Emeritus Byron L. Warnken, Lovingly Known as ‘Mr. UB,’ Dies at 76

Prof. Byron L. Warnken indulges in a favorite activity, engaging with students.

Professor Emeritus Byron L. Warnken, who for decades colorfully personified the University of Baltimore School of Law, passed away on Sept. 5, 2022, after a valiant struggle with a neurological disorder. He was 76 years old. 

A native Baltimorean, Warnken was a scholarship student at McDonogh School, where he won a school-wide oratory competition in high school and played the lead in the school production of “Billy Budd.” He graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1968. 

After being discharged from the Army, he attended the University of Baltimore School of Law as an evening student, graduating cum laude in 1977. While in law school, Warnken worked full-time as a law clerk, first with a law firm and then with the Hon. Basil A. Thomas, on the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. He was president of the Student Bar Association. 

Soon after graduation he began to teach at the law school, first as an adjunct professor and eventually as a tenured professor. He was a member of the law faculty for more than 40 years before retiring in 2018, at which time we named the moot courtroom in his honor. A tribute video was made at the time, and Baltimore Law magazine published this article about him. 

A memorial service was held at the law school on Sept. 17.

“Byron Warnken was a legendary teacher of criminal law and procedure, and author of the three-volume treatise Maryland Criminal Procedure,” says Baltimore Law Dean Ronald Weich. “He developed and led the school’s nationally known moot court program and established the EXPLOR program, which guarantees students the opportunity to work in judicial chambers and law offices after their first year of law school. Above all, Warnken was a devoted mentor to generations of UB Law students. Because he embodied the spirit of our law school, Byron Warnken was widely known as ‘Mr. UB.’”   

Warnken won numerous awards throughout his career from organizations such as the Bar Association of Baltimore City, the Women’s Bar Association, the Maryland State Bar Association, the University of Baltimore and the University System of Maryland. 

In addition to the countless law students he launched into the legal profession, Warnken’s legacy includes his wife Bonnie, a UB Law alumna; his son Byron B. Warnken, a UB Law alumnus; and his daughter Heather, who is the executive director of the school’s Center for Criminal Justice Reform.

Share this story with your network:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email

CFCC holds symposium on family integrity

Keynote speakers Andrea James, at left, and Dorothy Roberts, at right, share the symposium stage with CFCC Faculty Director Shanta Trivedi.

This fall, the Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Families, Children and the Courts convened its first in-person event since 2019, the CFCC Symposium on Protecting Family Integrity. In her opening remarks, CFCC’s faculty director, Prof. Shanta Trivedi, shared her vision for the center. “CFCC will continue to use the expertise that we bring, in collaboration with the expertise in our community, to reduce harm and improve the lives of children and families through a wide range of activities,” Trivedi said. “On issues affecting children and families, we strive to be a place to exchange ideas, debate notions of justice and equity, and educate and learn from one another.” 

To that end, CFCC welcomed nearly 250 guests from the community at the Sept. 29 event, including advocates, attorneys, social workers, representatives from nonprofits, law students, faculty, and people negatively impacted by legal systems. The symposium emphasized a critical issue that has risen to the forefront during discussions of race and criminal legal system reform since 2020—the separation of children from their parents by the child welfare and criminal legal systems.  

The majority of the families separated by government intervention are racial minorities and the economically underprivileged. The symposium’s goal was to bring together advocates challenging these systems from different vantage points to discuss approaches to preventing separation, when possible, and minimizing harm to children when separation occurs.  

In the keynote conversation, distinguished law professor Dorothy Roberts, and abolitionist, author and activist Andrea James led a keynote conversation, moderated by Trivedi. The speakers discussed their own experiences with carceral systems, described their decades of advocacy in this area, and described what James calls “what different looks like” — that is, how they envision a future without system involvement.  

The keynote conversation was followed by a panel focused on the causes and impacts of family separations due to parental incarceration or juvenile detention. The afternoon panel explored separations due to interventions by what some refer to as the family regulation system. Panelists included impacted individuals, advocates for reform, and law professors. They discussed the devastating impacts of these separations on families and communities and challenged participants to look at the history of the criminal and child welfare systems in this country as context for how these systems cause harm today.

Participants on both panels shared an alternate vision in which families struggling with poverty and other challenges receive supportive interventions rather than punitive responses. 

Share this story with your network:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email

UBalt Law Welcomes six New Faculty

Prof. Ashlyn Anderson-Keelin

Ashlyn Anderson-Keelin is a clinical teaching fellow in The Bob Parsons Veterans Advocacy Clinic. She comes to UBalt Law from the University of Georgia’s Veterans Legal Clinic. There, she helped veterans and their families obtain valuable benefits and services from the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as discharge upgrades from the various military service branches.  

While at UGA, she also played a leading role in organizing a yearlong project of statewide virtual outreach to veterans in Georgia during the pandemic, a project that served over 100 veterans in 96 Georgia counties. 

Originally from Kentucky, Anderson-Keelin earned her J.D. from Notre Dame Law School and her B.A. in English literature and political science from Georgetown College in Kentucky. 

Prof. Valeria Gomez

Valeria Gomez joined the law faculty as assistant professor in 2022. She directs the Immigrant Rights Clinic and the Immigrant Justice Clinic. In the clinics, student-attorneys, under attorney supervision, represent low-income community members in immigration-related matters, including representation in removal proceedings and in applications for immigration relief for people seeking protection from persecution abroad; survivors of human trafficking, intimate partner violence, or other crimes; and noncitizen children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected. Gomez regularly speaks on issues related to asylum and immigration law. 

Before joining UBalt Law, Gomez taught in the Asylum and Human Rights Clinic at the University of Connecticut School of Law and at the Immigration Clinic at the University of Tennessee College of Law. She earned her B.B.A., magna cum laude, from Belmont University and her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Tennessee. 

Prof. Jay Knight

Jay Knight joined the School of Law as a clinical teaching fellow in the Mediation Clinic for Families in 2022. Prior to joining UBalt Law, he was the director of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Division at the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. Knight and his team managed the operations of the division while also conducting over 300 appellate mediations, including contract, tort, estate, guardianship, foreclosure, real property, and domestic disputes and conflicts. 

Prior to being promoted to director, Knight was a staff attorney-mediator at the ADR division. He came to the court from private practice, where he specialized in family law mediations for English- and Spanish-speaking clients and counseled clients on securities regulatory matters. 

Since 1998 while a practicing attorney, Knight has been a mediator in over 400 cases for various circuit courts, specializing in child access and domestic/financial property cases. Knight received his B.A. in English from the State University of New York College at Fredonia in 1992. He earned a J.D. from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in 1996. 

Prof. Katie Kronick

Katie Kronick teaches constitutional criminal procedure and is director of the Criminal Defense and Advocacy Clinic. Students in the clinic, which will launch in spring 2023, will represent indigent individuals on misdemeanor cases in Baltimore City District Court. Kronick’s scholarship derives from her experiences as a former public defender and clinician, writing in the areas of forensic science, post-conviction litigation, sentencing, and intellectual disability. 

Prior to joining the UBalt Law faculty, Kronick was a practitioner-in-residence in the Criminal Justice Clinic-Defense at American University Washington College of Law. In that role, Kronick supervised law students on misdemeanor cases in Montgomery County, Maryland and compassionate release cases in D.C. Superior Court. Before entering academia, she was an assistant deputy public defender with the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender, where she represented individuals charged with felony offenses, from drug distribution to homicide.  

She earned her B.A. at Claremont McKenna College and her J.D. and LL.M. at Georgetown University Law Center. 

Prof. Peter Norman

Peter Norman is a clinical teaching fellow at the Community Development Clinic. He joins UBalt Law from a varied private-sector career that included work in community development, project finance and renewable energy. 

Before beginning his legal career, Norman worked with residents of low- and moderate-income communities to build the capacity of community organizations and secure public and private funding for childcare, job training and continuing education programs. As a lawyer, he was based for several years in East and Southeast Asia, focusing on renewable energy project development and finance. He received his B.A. in Philosophy from Yale University and his J.D., cum laude, from New York University School of Law.

Prof. Janice Shih

Janice Shih joined the faculty in 2022 as a visiting professor and director of the Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic. Prior to this, she was the director of the Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic at Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service, the largest pro bono provider of civil legal services in the state of Maryland. While there, she elevated the visibility of the program, expanded the volunteer program to include Certified Public Accountants and Enrolled Agents, and engaged with community and government stakeholders to improve services for low income Marylanders.  

A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, Shih also holds an M.D. from the George Washington University, where she completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology. After several years in private practice, Shih left medicine, obtaining a Certificate in Pastry from L’Academie de Cuisine. She then opened a pastry shop, Tenzo Artisan, which employed individuals returning from incarceration. Through this experience, Shih saw firsthand the inequities of the system, and was inspired to return to law school at the University of Baltimore. 

Share this story with your network:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email

Faculty Notes

John Bessler

The Death Penalty’s Denial of Fundamental Human Rights: International Law, State Practice, and the Emerging Abolitionist Norm (2023)

“The Philosophy of Punishment and the Arc of Penal Reform: From Ancient Lawgivers to the Renaissance and the Enlightenment and through the Nineteenth Century,” chapter, in The Palgrave Handbook on the Philosophy of Punishment, Matthew Altman ed. (2023)

The Gross Injustices of Capital Punishment: A Torturous Practice and Justice Thurgood Marshall’s Astute Appraisal of the Death Penalty’s Cruelty, Discriminatory Use, and Unconstitutionality, 29 Wash & Lee J. of Civ. Rts. & Soc. Just. 65 (2023)

“Scholars and Artists Discuss the Death Penalty,” presentation at Harvard Law School, Mar. 2023

Fred Brown

Should the Federal Government Help States and Local Governments Pay for Police Misconduct Through Tax-Exempt Bonds? Va. Tax Rev. (forthcoming)

Gilda Daniels

The Cambridge Companions Series, The History of Voting Rights in the United States, editor, Cambridge University Press, (forthcoming 2025) 

“Language Assistance and Provisions,” chapter, Oxford Handbook of American Election Law, (forthcoming 2024)

“The Rule of Law in U.S. Elections,” panelist, Center for Civil Rights and Social Justice, Emory University School of Law, Sept. 2023

Michele Gilman

“How the Supreme Court Decision Limiting Abortion Access Will Harm the Economy and Women’s Financial Well-Being,” chapter, in Aftermath: Life in Post-Roe America (Elizabeth G. Hines, ed., 2022)

“Beyond Window Dressing: Public Participation for Marginalized Communities in the Datafied Society” presentation, AI on the Ground Reading Group, Data & Society, Jan. 2023

“Scholarly Writing in a DEI Frame,” presentation at Mid-Atlantic Regional Clinical Conference, George Washington Law School, Feb. 2023

“Surveilling Gender and Sexuality in the Age of AI,” presentation, Changing Women in a Changing Society at 50, University of Chicago Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality May 2023

Valeria Gomez

Geography as Due Process in Immigration Court, 2023 Wis. L. Rev. 1 (2023)

“It Takes a Village: Instilling a Sense of Student Ownership over Clinic Cases & Projects,” presentation, AALS Clinic Conference, San Francisco, CA, Apr. 2023

Sarah Gottlieb

Progressive Façade: How Bail Reforms Expose the Limitations of the Progressive Prosecutor Movement, Wash. & Lee L. Rev. (forthcoming 2024)

“Progressive Façade,” presentation, Mid-Atlantic Clinicians’ Writing Workshop, May 2023

Nienke Grossman

The ‘Invisible Court’: Gender and Nationality in Registries and Secretariats, chapter, Oxford Handbook on Women and International Law, Nienke Grossman, J. Jarpa Dawuni, Jaya Ramji-Notales & Hélène Ruiz-Fabri, eds., forthcoming)

Daniel Hatcher

Injustice Inc.: How America’s Justice System Commodifies Children and the Poor (2023)

“Debt and Extracted Wealth,” panelist, Poverty Law Conference, UC Berkeley School of Law, Mar. 2023

“How America’s Justice System Commodifies Children and the Poor,” book talk, Harvard Book Store, Mar. 2023

Margaret Johnson

Lawyers, Clients & Narrative: A Framework for Law Students and Practitioners, with Carolyn Grose (2023)

Title IX and “Menstruation or Related Conditions,” Mich. J. Gender & L., Marcy L. Karin, Naomi Cahn, Elizabeth B. Cooper, Bridget J. Crawford, & Emily Gold Waldman (forthcoming)

“Teaching Lawyering Skills and Values: Pedagogy and Methodology of U.S. Clinical Legal and Experiential Education,” presentation at Law Learning and Teaching Seminar, The University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia, Mar. 2023

“Confronting Menstruation,” at Feminist Legal Research Group, The University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia, Apr. 2023

Elizabeth Keyes

J. on Migration and Hum. Sec., reviewing scholar

Oxford Hum. Rts. Hub J., reviewing scholar

Duke University’s Conference on Climate Change and Migration, Washington, D.C., invited speaker, Apr. 2023

Dionne Koller

Identifying Youth Sport, Yale J. of L. & Human. (2023)

More Than Play: How Law, Policy, and Politics Shape American Youth Sport (forthcoming 2025)

“Amateurism, NIL, and the Jordan McNair Safe and Fair Play Act: What Athletes Should Know,” at Maryland State Bar Association Program on The Law on the Game (Apr. 2023)

The Commission on the State of U.S. Olympics and Paralympics: Our Mandate and Mission, session leader, Aspen Institute Project Play Summit, May 2023

“What the Commission on the State of U.S. Olympics and Paralympics Means for U.S. Youth Sport,” presentation, Aspen Institute Project Play Summit, May 2023\

Neha Lall

“Bellow Scholars Program Report on Projects,” presentation, 2023 Conference on Clinical Legal Education, Apr. 2023

“Show Me the $: Reasons, Data & Strategies to Enact Paid Externships,” 2023 Conference on Clinical Legal Education, Apr. 2023

Robert Lande

“The Prevalence and Injuriousness of Cartels Worldwide,” chapter co-author, in Elgar Research Handbook on Cartels (Peter Whelan ed., 2023)

Textualism As An Ally of Antitrust Enforcement: Examples From Merger and Monopolization Law, Utah L. Rev. (forthcoming)

Matthew Lindsay

An Unreasonable Presumption: The National Security/Foreign Affairs Nexus in Immigration Law, co-author, Brook. L. Rev. (2023)

The Right to Migrate, Lewis & Clark L. Rev. (forthcoming 2023)

Zina Makar

Per Curiam Signals in the Supreme Court’s Shadow Docket, 98 Wash. L. Rev. 427 (2023)

“Charting the Feedback Loop of the Shadow Docket,” presentation, Loyola Law Review’s Symposium on Judicial Developments, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, Mar. 2023

“The School to Prison Doctrinal Pipeline,” presentation, UB/UM Jr. Faculty Workshop, Apr. 2023

Robert Rubinson

 Ethical Problems in the Practice of Law, co-author, sixth edition (2022)

Amy Sloan

“Researching the Law: Finding What You Need When You Need It,” (Aspen Publishers 4th ed. 2023)

Plain English for Appellate Practitioners, presentation, Nassau County Bar Association Appellate Practice Committee, Jan. 2023

Tim Sellers

Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy, (M. Sellers and S. Kirste, eds., 2023)

Handbook of the History of the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy, (M. Sellers, S. Kirste, and G. Zanetti, eds., 2023)

Janice Shih

“Tax Filing Tips with Taxpayer Advocate Service,” presentation, University of Baltimore, Jan. 2023

“Tax Tips for Immigrants,” presentation, Baltimore County Public Libraries, Feb. 2023

Matthew Sipe

Covering Prying Eyes with an Invisible Hand: Privacy, Antitrust, and the New Brandeis Movement, 36 Harv. J.L. & Tech. 359 (2023)

“Patent Law 101: I Know It When I See It,” presentation, Emerging Voices in Intellectual Property, AALS Annual Meeting, Jan. 2023

“The Implications of the FTC’s Proposed Ban on Noncompete Agreements,” presentation, Regulatory Transparency Project, Mar. 2023

Colin Starger

“Logic, Reasoning, and Legal Rhetoric,” presentation,t Illinois Judicial College CLE Series, Nov. 2022

“Techniques and Technologies for Collaboration and Teamwork in Clinical Legal Education Settings,” presentation, Global Alliance for Justice Education (GAJE) 11th World Wide Conference, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, Dec. 2022

Shanta Trivedi

“How will I get back?”: The Enduring Pain of Permanent Family Separation, co-author, Fam. Just. J. (2023)

Mandating Support for Survivors, Va. J. Soc. Pol’y & L. (2023)

Presentation: Shanta Trivedi, Mandating Support for Survivors at the Family Violence Roundtable, University of Virginia Law School, Charlottesville, VA (Jan. 20, 2023).

Presentation: Shanta Trivedi, Moderator, Is the Indian Child Welfare Act Unconstitutional? at UB Law in Focus, Baltimore, MD (Feb. 7, 2023).

“The Adoption and Safe Families Act Is Not Worth Saving: The Case for Repeal,” presentation, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, Mar. 2023

“Are Parental Rights Always In the Best Interest of Children?” presentation, Race, Gender, Sexuality and the Conflict Over Parental Rights, University of Connecticut, Hartford, CT, Mar. 2023

Angela Vallario

Don’t Let Death Be Your Deadline: Get A Will Before It’s Too Late: Expand Holographic-Wills Law to Incentivize Will-Making, The Elder L. J. (forthcoming)

Kimberly Wehle

How the Pardon Power Works and Why (forthcoming 2024)

The Stealth Posture of the Ninth Amendment: Could Federalism Swallow Unenumerated Rights? U. Md. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2023)

Sonya Ziaja

Mapping Ecosystem Benefits Flows to Normalize Equity, 54.3 Ariz. State L. Rev. (2023) (with Keith Hirokawa, Cinnamon Carlane and Karrigan Bork)

Secret Lives of Environmental Rights, Pace Env’t L. Rev. (2023)

How Algorithm Assisted Decision Making Is Influencing Climate Adaptation and Environmental Law, Env’t L. & Pol’y Ann. Rev. (2023)

Share this story with your network:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email

National Trial Team Places Second in Buffalo Niagara regional contest

Buffalo trial team competitors, from left: Audreina Blanding, Brice Litus, Amanda Sirleaf and Leah Dotter.

The National Trial Team placed second Oct. 16 in the Buffalo Niagara Trial Competition, earning them an invitation to the National Trial Competition, which takes place in Spring 2023. The law school’s team of four — Audreina Blanding, Leah Dotter, Brice Litus and Amanda Sirleaf dominated the competition field, which started with 28 teams (including highly ranked Fordham, Pace and Hofstra), and out-performed competitors by earning perfect, and near-perfect, scores on their opening and closing statements, as well as their direct and cross-examinations. 

Special recognition went to Sirleaf, who was named Best Overall Advocate. The team was coached by alumni Ashley Bond, J.D. ’16, and Annemarie Duerr, J.D. ’22, and supported by the Board of Advocates executive board.  

Moot Court and Trial Team competitions provide students with the opportunity to get hands-on experience with oral arguments, appellate brief writing, cross-examination, witness examination, opening and closing arguments, and more. With the support of practicing attorneys, professors and former participants, Moot Court and Trial Team members commit approximately 200 hours to preparing and presenting their cases at regional and national competitions. 

Although these competitions are academic in nature, their intensity and commitment mirror that of athletic competitions. Alexandria Hodge, UBalt Law Board of Advocates president, points out that due to the time, energy and effort that go into these competitions, “Many of our advocates feel like they’ve won a major championship game by the end of their competition!”  

All UBalt Law students are encouraged to compete in competitions during their law school career, starting with annual Byron Warnken Moot Court Competition. That is the internal moot court competition that takes place over the summer. Exceptional competitors are invited to join one of the prestigious competition teams, and a devoted few will continue their commitment by becoming a member of the student-led Board of Advocates. 

Alumni and faculty are always welcome to support competition teams as coaches and mentors. For more information on ways to support Moot Court and Trial Teams, or to follow their progress, follow the Board of Advocates page on Facebook. 

Share this story with your network:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email

Faculty Celebrate Their New Books

Three law professors celebrated new books in 2022. 

On Feb. 24, friends and colleagues gathered to hear about Prof. Jose Anderson’s book Genius for Justice: Charles Hamilton Houston and the Reform of American Law. Members of the Houston family attended the event. 

The first general counsel of the NAACP, Houston exposed the hollowness of the “separate but equal” doctrine and paved the way for the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, outlawing school segregation. The legal brilliance used to champion other civil rights cases earned Houston the nickname, “The Man Who Killed Jim Crow.” 

After serving in the segregated U.S. Army in World War I, Houston returned to the United States in 1919 and enrolled at Harvard Law School, where he was the first Black student elected to the editorial board of the Harvard Law Review. Later, as dean of the Howard University Law School, Houston expanded the part-time program into a full-time curriculum. He also mentored a generation of young Black lawyers, includingThurgood Marshall, who would go on to become a U.S. Supreme Court justice. 

In  March, the law school hosted a virtual celebration for the third book written by Prof. Kim Wehle, How to Think Like a Lawyer — and Why: A Common-Sense Guide to Everyday Dilemmas. In this book, Wehle teaches laypersons how to think like a lawyer to gain advantage in their lives — whether buying a house, choosing healthcare, or negotiating a salary. She walks readers through the process of breaking down complex issues into manageable pieces for better decision-making. 

Prof. John Bessler published two new books this past year, both of which were discussed at events featuring colleagues in the legal academy. The first, Private Prosecution in America: Its Origins, History, and Unconstitutionality in the Twenty-First Century, is the first comprehensive examination of a practice that dates back to the colonial era. Tracking its origins to medieval times and English common law, the book shows how “private prosecutors” were once a mainstay of early American criminal procedure. Private prosecutors—acting on their own behalf, as next of kin, or though retained counsel—initiated prosecutions, presented evidence in court, and sought the punishment of offenders. 

Bessler’s most recent book, The Death Penalty’s Denial of Fundamental Human Rights, continues his scholarly exploration of capital punishment as an act of torture and a violation of basic human rights. A previous book on the subject, The Death Penalty as Torture: From the Dark Ages to Abolition (Carolina Academic Press, 2017), was a Bronze Medalist in that year’s Independent Publisher Book Awards. 

Share this story with your network:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email