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Faculty, staff levels remain steady at Md.’s two law schools

Faculty, staff levels remain steady at Md.’s two law schools

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Faculty and staff levels have remained steady at Maryland’s two law schools, though recent retirements mean both will be looking to hire in the next year, the schools’ deans said.

The University of Baltimore School of Law reported 61 full-time faculty members during the 2017-18 academic year and the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law had 58 full-time faculty. The deans said the numbers have not substantially changed in recent years.

UB Law Dean Ronald Weich said the school was “ready to replenish the ranks” and will start the search for at least two full-time faculty members in the fall, with a goal of filling the positions for the next academic year. Recent notable departures included longtime faculty member Byron Warnken, who retired, and assistant professor Natalie Ram, who moved to the UM Carey law school.

Warnken, a UB Law graduate himself, taught criminal law and criminal procedure during his 40-plus years at the law school. Ram’s expertise is in biotechnology and the law and bioethics.

UM Carey Dean Donald Tobin said the school has seen “a series” of retirements and plans to hire, though he said there were no specific vacancies to fill.

Tobin said UM Carey will next spring restart its criminal defense clinic, which will be headed by new faculty member Maneka Sinha, a career public defender who was previously with the Public Defender Service in Washington.

Both law schools continue to rely heavily on adjunct professors, with UB reporting 93 non-full-time faculty in 2018 and UM Carey reporting 113.

Shrinking class sizes has meant shrinking demand for attorneys and judges to serve as adjuncts, according to Weich, who added that he considers adjunct professors a strength of the UB law school and an important resource.

Tobin said the “strong bench” of lawyers and judges in the region allows students to learn from practitioners.

“Were very lucky in an environment like Baltimore, where we have access to a great pool of lawyers,” he said. “We have just a terrific group (of adjuncts) and we’re continuing to maintain basically where we’ve been.”

UB recently hired a new dean of students, Paul Manrique, who previously was with the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, as well as a new dean of externships, Neha Lall, who came from the University of Chicago Law School.

Weich said externships, where students get legal experience with a law firm or a judge in exchange for course credit, are gaining popularity.

“That’s a very important role because increasingly students want to gain their experience in real-world settings,” he said.

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