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UB Law partners with pro bono platform

Ronald Weich, dean of the University of Baltimore School of Law, attributed the school’s improved U.S. News & World Report ranking in part to its decision to maintain its admission standards despite decreased numbers of law school applicants nationwide in recent years. ‘We’re obviously pleased to have jumped from 122 to 111 this year, but the two-year trend is even more significant, because it shows substantial improvement over time,’ he says.

The University of Baltimore School of Law (File photo)

Students at the University of Baltimore School of Law will soon be able to connect with pro bono opportunities in the community through a first-of-its-kind partnership with a new online platform.

Paladin, a New York-based company founded last year, matches lawyers and law students with local residents in need of legal counsel, according to a news release from the law school. The University of Baltimore is Paladin’s first law school partner.

“The University of Baltimore is an ideal partner for Paladin because of its emphasis on public interest and responsibility to the community,” Paladin co-founder and COO Kristen Sonday said in a prepared statement. “The law school’s commitment to pro bono representation could not come at a better time, as the national need for pro bono attorneys is surging, which gives law students an excellent opportunity to develop their skills while helping others.”

A survey of students at the law school will help Paladin determine their background, interests and availability to work with legal aid organizations and the platform will also allow students and supervisors to track case progress and student impact.

“UB law students are deeply committed to their community and are active in pro bono work throughout Maryland,” Emily Rogers, associate director of the Law Career Development Office, said in a prepared statement. “We are excited to partner with Paladin to make pro bono opportunities more accessible to our students; Paladin also allows us to keep an accurate record of the number of hours our students are volunteering.”

In its first year, Paladin connected attorneys with LGBT refugees, domestic violence survivors and low-income entrepreneurs, among others.

The company has a presence in several cities, including Baltimore, and plans to expand this year.

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