The public interest fellowship program offers an opportunity for professional growth through clinical teaching and service to the low income community. It allows practicing attorneys an opportunity to explore the possibility of embarking upon a full-time career in law school clinical education and to make the transition from the practice of law to legal education. The educational goals of the program are to provide an opportunity to strengthen legal practice skills, to reflect on legal practice, to learn clinical teaching methodology under the supervision of experienced faculty and to develop scholarship interests. Past fellows have gone on to positions as faculty members in law schools around the country.
Generally, a fellow's duties include:
- direct supervision of the case work of clinic students in coordination with clinic faculty and participation in clinic classroom activities;
- case coverage during semester breaks and summers;
- participation in the development of the clinical program.
Fellows supervise clinic students certified to practice under Rule 16 of the Maryland Rules Governing Admission to the Bar. Clinic students, most of whom are in their third year of law school, devote an average of 20 hours per week to the clinical course for six academic credits. The Civil Advocacy, Community Development, Family Law, Mediation Clinic for Families and Immigrant Rights clinics are all one-semester experiences, although students in these clinics may enroll for a second semester in the clinic for additional credits.
Fellows will develop professional goals with the assistance of the faculty member who directs the clinic. These goals will be designed to meet the fellow's substantive law, jurisprudential and scholarly interests and strengthen aspects of his/her performance as a lawyer and teacher.