University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

The information on this page was provided by the law school.

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs

The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law began teaching its first students in 1824, making it one of the oldest law schools in the nation. Today, its outstanding faculty, innovative programs, and superb student body make it one of the most vibrant places to study law.

Taking advantage of its location in the Baltimore-Washington corridor, Maryland Carey Law has a wealth of opportunities for working and learning as part of state and national legal, political, and business communities. Because of its commitment to integrating theory and practice, Maryland Carey Law offers extensive clinical and experiential learning opportunities, an academically rigorous core curriculum, and specialty programs that are consistently recognized as among the very best in the country.

Maryland Carey Law’s student body is talented, diverse, and collegial. The school’s size and low student-to-faculty ratio create a welcoming community dedicated to fully developing each student’s talents. Our nationally distinctive Cardin Requirement provides that each full-time student will have a faculty-supervised experience providing free legal services to people and organizations that lack access to justice. This requirement helps instill a spirit of public service in all students—regardless of their chosen career path—and ensures that students have practice experience when they graduate.

Maryland Carey Law students are recruited by many of the nation’s most respected legal employers. Graduates assume positions of leadership as lawyers and judges, business executives and community advocates, legislators and policymakers, and other agents of social, political, and economic progress.

Maryland Carey Law is fully accredited by the ABA, is a member of the AALS, and has a chapter of the Order of the Coif.

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The JD Program

At Maryland Carey Law, entering students quickly become part of a supportive community. We are diverse in age, gender, race, academic background, ideology, and prior employment, and this diversity is reflected in our students and in our faculty and deans. Approximately one-third of our students identify as persons of color with students ranging in age from their twenties to their 60s. Well over 150 undergraduate institutions are represented in our student body, which also includes many students holding prior graduate degrees and even more who have had impressive careers.

Our faculty are national leaders in a wide range of subject areas, and they are readily available to support and advise students. Smaller classes and an approximately 6 to 1 JD student-to-faculty ratio enable close working relationships to develop in a professional and intellectually vibrant setting. Many resources are available to students to ease their transition into law school. Students also directly benefit from a wide network of engaged alumni who occupy positions of leadership throughout the state, region, and nation. By acting as mentors, volunteer judges, and adjunct faculty, alumni help connect each student’s law school experience with the professional life of the surrounding legal community.

Learn more about the JD program at Maryland Carey Law

Curriculum and Specialty Programs

The rigorous core curriculum at Maryland Carey Law forms the basis for more specialized study through over 150 elective courses, seminars, independent studies, simulations, clinics, and externships. The first-year curriculum includes both traditional substantive courses like those at many schools, together with a small section course focusing on analytical reasoning and writing. A wide array of upper-level courses allows students to sample a range of subject areas or focus on a particular area of law. Research, writing, and advocacy receive significant emphasis throughout the program. A student’s analytical writing culminates in the production of a scholarly paper to satisfy the advanced writing requirement. Many students have gone on to publish and win writing competitions with these papers.

Maryland Carey Law is home to several nationally recognized specialty programs. Four of our specialty programs—Law and Health Care, Environmental Law, Clinical Law, and Advocacy—have long-established national reputations for excellence. Our other specialty areas—alternative dispute resolution, business law, intellectual property law, international and comparative law, homeland security and crisis management, cybersecurity, and women, leadership, and equality—continue to grow and are on the cutting edge of key issues.

Clinical Law Program

Through the Cardin Requirement, named after our alumnus US Senator Benjamin Cardin, each full-time day student gains hands-on legal experience by representing clients who would otherwise lack access to justice. Students in the Clinical Law Program are admitted to practice law in Maryland’s state and federal courts. Under faculty supervision, clinical students (“student attorneys”) represent clients and engage in all aspects of lawyering. Our student attorneys have been working with individuals, families, communities, and businesses in Maryland (and beyond) to address their legal problems for nearly fifty years. Each year, 20 faculty lead 150 students in providing almost 75,000 hours of free legal services to the community, making the Clinical Law Program one of the region's largest public interest law firms.

For more than a decade, Maryland's Clinical Law Program has been ranked among the nation's top ten by U.S. News & World Report. A national leader, it was the first law school program in the country to receive the John Minor Wisdom Award, the American Bar Association's leading public service honor.


A significant number of Maryland Carey Law students also participate in externships.  There are many different types of externships and places a student can extern.  The externship program offers students the opportunity to learn through experience, often working for governmental entities, nonprofits, non-governmental organizations, and other public interest organizations. View sample externships at the link below.

Dual Degrees

Today’s lawyers must practice in an environment of increasing sophistication. Maryland Carey Law offers dual-degree programs in partnership with other leading academic institutions in the region. These programs combine the JD degree with graduate degrees in Business, Community Planning, Criminal Justice, Public Policy, Social Work, Public Health, and Pharmacy. Students interested in a dual-degree program typically apply to both schools at the same time. If admitted to both schools, students enroll in one school and defer the offer of admission to the other school until the following year. However, students who are already enrolled in one school may still develop a dual-degree program.

Student Life

Student Activities

The law school is home to more than 35 student-run organizations. Students enforce the law school’s honor code, participate in inter- and intraschool advocacy competitions, and volunteer in the local community and around the globe. Students can further their writing and editing expertise by participating on one of the five student-edited scholarly journals or serving as Legal Writing Center Fellows. The Office of Student Affairs provides academic advising to students at all stages of their legal education, leadership programming, and financial literacy workshops for all interested students. A state-of-the-art student center on campus provides a full range of athletic and wellness programs. University housing very close to Maryland Carey Law is open to students in all of the UMB schools, providing the opportunity for law students to get to know medical, dental, social work, pharmacy, nursing, and graduate students.


Maryland Carey Law is conveniently located in downtown Baltimore, providing students with access to a variety of housing and transportation options. The University of Maryland Baltimore offers graduate student housing in two apartment buildings near campus, Fayette Square and Pascault Row. Pascault Row features studio, one, and two-bedroom apartments while Fayette Square offers studio apartments through seven bedroom townhouses and is directly across the street from the law school.  These options are only available to students who are graduate students at the University of Maryland Baltimore. In addition to the options offered by the university, there are many other independently-operated apartment buildings located very close to campus. 

Location (The Baltimore-DC Corridor)

Maryland Carey Law’s location in the Baltimore-Washington corridor—the country’s second largest market for legal employers—is one of our greatest assets. The law school and library sit just a few blocks from Baltimore’s beautiful Inner Harbor and Camden Yards and, along with the rest of the burgeoning University of Maryland campus, play a vital role in the city’s downtown renaissance.

The law school is also a simple commute via public transportation to Capitol Hill and an easy drive to Maryland’s capital in Annapolis, providing our students unique access to all levels of the federal and state government and judiciary. Students take full advantage of our proximity to Washington, DC, pursuing externships and jobs with law firms, public interest groups, government agencies, and other organizations. Naturally, students also take advantage of the many opportunities in the state of Maryland.

Our proximity to the other professional schools on the University of Maryland, Baltimore, campus allows us to offer an array of interdisciplinary courses and dual-degree programs. These offerings produce sophisticated graduates who are prepared to practice in an environment of increasing complexity.

Law School and Law Library

The School of Law and the Thurgood Marshall Law Library occupy a modern complex opened in 2002. Classrooms range in size from 28 seats to 128 seats, and small group study rooms are available throughout the building, including in the library. In addition to a large courtroom, the building includes two smaller courtrooms. These are used for competitions, for practice, and at times for proceedings by state and federal courts. In addition, the law clinic floor of the building includes multiple student practice rooms where student attorneys have space for case preparation and contacting clients and witnesses.

The Thurgood Marshall Law Library houses a collection of over 500,000 volumes and equivalents accessible through the online catalog. Areas of particular strength are those that constitute a major component of the law school curriculum or where there is substantial faculty research, including environmental law, civil rights, health law, intellectual property, international law, homeland security, and terrorism. In addition to LexisNexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg, the library offers an extensive array of legal and interdisciplinary web-based, electronic databases. Law students also have access to the resources of other university and college libraries in Maryland through a statewide consortium. A staff of approximately 20, including 10 librarians, provides customized reference and consulting services to faculty and students. Seating in the library includes carrels, tables in attractive reading rooms, and comfortable lounge areas, all located in spaces full of natural light.

Career Placement and Bar Passage

Students at Maryland Carey Law benefit from the institution’s national reputation and connections to alumni in the private and public sectors in Maryland, Washington, DC, and beyond. The Career Development Office offers a broad range of resources to students and alumni to help them launch a legal job search and obtain employment. Students receive one-on-one counseling beginning in the Fall of their first year. Maryland Carey Law consistently ranks in the top 10 nationally for the percentage of graduates obtaining judicial clerkships and 96% of 2020 graduates were employed or pursuing another graduate degree within 10 months of graduation.

Maryland students are able to take the Uniform Bar Exam. In 2021, 85% of our students passed the MD bar as first time takers (81% all-takers), both exceeding the state and national average.

Learn more about career placement at Maryland Carey Law

Tuition and Aid

Maryland Carey Law offers merit-based scholarships. While a few scholarships require an additional application, all applicants are considered for most merit-based scholarships based on the information available in the applicant’s admission file and evidence of potential contributions to the academic community and cocurricular and student-life programs. Any student who is a US citizen or an eligible non-citizen may be eligible to receive federal financial aid. All forms of federal aid (loans, University grants, and work-study) are administered by the University Office of Student Financial Assistance & Education

Admission Decisions: Beyond the Numbers

The Admissions Committee at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law makes admission decisions on a rolling basis (unless applying through the Binding Early Decision program). The Committee evaluates the academic potential of applicants through a thorough assessment of each applicant's academic record, professional and educational experiences, and accomplishments. In addition, the Committee identifies candidates who will enhance the professional development of their peers and will contribute positively to the law school community as a whole. 

If there is a pending/future LSAT date on file when submitting your application then your application will be placed on hold until the new score is received. Should you wish to have your file reviewed without the pending LSAT score, please email us.

Learn more about admission at Maryland Carey Law