21 August 2013

UM Carey Law: Initial observations

Some initial observations about my first two days (orientation) at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law:
  • In one day, the school was able to somehow make me feel like part of a larger community. I never saw, felt, or experienced this at UDC.
  • It's pretty nice to have the state's highest judge as an alum.
  • The Dean asked how many students heard of, or read, Above the Law. She indicated that the leadership follows it, and generally recommended it as reading for law students about the state of legal education.
  • Including day and evening students, this year's reported enrollment was 210 (roughly 175 day and 35 evening), compared with 264 (219 day, 45 evening) in 2012. That's a 20% drop off in one year.
  • In the last four years, the evening program has enrolled ~75, ~50, 45, and now ~35 students; a 50% drop-off in three years.
  • There are about 22 transfer students. Four from UDC, a bunch from the University of Baltimore, and the rest from other various places.
  • For the first two full days of orientation, the amount of material applicable to transfer students could have been squeezed into a half day, at best. The rest of orientation should have been optional.
  • Among the 22 or so transfer students, I appear to be the only one who is also an evening student. Perhaps this colors my view of the extended and unnecessary portions of orientation, as they took place during the day and required me to take two days off from work.
  • Campus police indicated that the campus is the safest neighborhood in Baltimore City. This may be true. And if you live on or very near campus, this is a good thing. On the other hand, I am more interested in the safety (or lack thereof) of the neighborhoods that I have to traverse to get to school.
  • Thursday morning I have a first class which ordinarily meets on Monday and Wednesday afternoons. It's just one day, but it's more time I'll have to take off from work. That being said, this is a class with brand new 1Ls (Torts) so it'll be interesting to be one of the "experienced" student in the class.
Despite a few hiccups, my experience has been largely positive. The staff has been extremely helpful in meeting my needs--which is especially useful when you're a transfer student with unique requirements. So far, I am very happy with the switch.
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