There are many opportunities at Maryland Carey Law and in Baltimore and its surroundings for students to engage with the community. These opportunities include credit-bearing ones, for example, through our Clinical Law program and through our Women, Leadership & Equality program, as well as volunteer opportunities. Many of these volunteer opportunities are created through student organizations, others by faculty or alumni. Some of the activities are ongoing, while others arise in response to a particular problem or issue and may conclude after an initial period of time.
For example, during the Fall 2017 semester, professors at the law school organized The Amicus Project, which engaged 23 student volunteers to prepare amicus briefs on behalf of individuals serving life sentences for crimes committed as juveniles. Students interviewed all potential amici, prepared narratives about each of their cases, and assisted in drafting a consolidated amicus brief submitted at the end of December 2017 in an appellate case which would decide the constitutionality of imposing life sentences for crimes committed by juveniles.
At other times, students have volunteered to participate in a citywide Criminal Record Expungement/Shielding event. Working with the Jobs Opportunities Task Force, the Office of the Public Defender, Maryland Legal Aid, Homeless Persons Representation Project, and Maryland Volunteers Lawyers Service, students helped to advise individuals with criminal convictions for certain non-violent misdemeanors about expungement or shielding these misdemeanors from public access.
The Maryland Public Interest Law Project (MPILP) is a student-run organization that works to increase awareness of and participation in public interest legal work. MPILP raises money, matched by the law school, to provide summer grants to students working for non-profit legal agencies serving the underserved and underrepresented. Each summer, approximately 25 students receive grants, enabling them to work at such organizations as Maryland Legal Aid, the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, Office of State’s Attorney for Baltimore City, Homeless Persons Representation Project, Kids in Need of Defense, the Esperanza Center, the Environmental Action Center, the US Department of Justice, and NARAL Pro Choice Maryland.