August: Time to Get Oriented to Law School

For SI -- law center dusk

Starting Aug. 1, both new and returning students in the University of Baltimore School of Law will be gearing up for the fall semester, which begins on Monday, Aug. 20.

The following is a list of key dates for all UB law students:

  • Aug. 1: Class schedules posted on MyUB and syllabi and first class assignments posted on “semester” page; students may now purchase their books
  • Aug. 14, 5-9 p.m.: On Campus Orientation (required): Welcome to the Legal Profession (business attire required, dinner served at 5 p.m.)
  • Aug. 15, 5-9 p.m.: On Campus Orientation (required): Building your toolkit (business casual attire, dinner served at 5 p.m.)
  • Aug. 16, 5-9 p.m.: On Campus Orientation (required): Health and Wellness (business casual attire, dinner served at 5 p.m.)
  • Aug. 17, daytime: On Campus Orientation (optional): Daytime Service Opportunities; R.S.V.P. required
  • Aug. 20: Start of UB School of Law Classes
  • Wednesdays, noon: Continuing Orientation – 1L Day students (required)
  • Thursdays, 7:35 p.m.: Continuing Orientation – 1L Evening students (required)
  • Aug. 29, 4-6:30 p.m.: Student Organization Fair: Explore the School of Law’s many student groups

Need more information? Visit the Semester Information page on the School of Law website.

Best of luck!

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Prof. Ram Warns of Hazards of DNA Testing of Separated Families

NatalieRam

Following a major public backlash against the White House “zero tolerance” policy on illegal immigration—a position which resulted in thousands of immigrant children and their parents being separated, detained and transported—a court-ordered plan to reunited these families may depend on DNA testing to ensure that children are matched to their birth parents. Natalie Ram, assistant professor in the University of Baltimore School of Law and a widely recognized expert in genetic privacy, writes in Slate that this idea may result in even more problems.

The Department of Health and Human Services “is using DNA testing as a faster, more reliable route to reunification,” Ram writes. “It’s a controversial move. But now that the administration has chosen to use this technique, it needs to ensure that it imposes certain safeguards to minimize the invasion of privacy that genetic sampling involves.”

While the process for reunification is in flux and the timetable is a point of serious contention, “As of this writing, it remains unclear how long DNA sampling has been going on, exactly how it is taking place (both cheek swabs and blood tests have been reported), or what kind of consent officials are attempting to obtain from either children or their relatives,” Prof. Ram notes. “Nor it is clear precisely who is conducting the sampling and analysis, or whether any of the DNA samples or data are being shared with outside parties or stored in any databases.”

Read the Slate article.

Learn more about Prof. Ram.

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Prof. Koller: U. of Maryland Takes ‘Good with Bad’ in Drive to Become a Force in College Sports

Professor Dionne Koller

Dionne Koller, professor and director of the Center for Sport and the Law at the University of Baltimore School of Law and associate dean of academic affairs for the school, tells the Baltimore Sun that the University of Maryland, College Park’s athletic program may have to “take the good with the bad” as an FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball widens. According to the Sun, the university has responded to two grand jury subpoenas from the U.S. Attorney for Southern District of New York.

College Park is “playing on the big stage in college athletics,” Prof. Koller says. “They went to the Big Ten and they’re trying to become that powerhouse athletic program.”

With that perspective in mind, the school should recognize that “you take the good with the bad,” she says.

“Whether there’s going to be a lot of legal fallout for the University of Maryland, I don’t know.”

Read the Sun article.

Learn more about Prof. Koller and the Center for Sport and the Law.

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Prof. Wehle: Kavanaugh Will Make ‘Real Imprint’ on Supreme Court

Professor Kimberly Brown

Kimberly Wehle, professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, tells MSNBC that her former colleague at the U.S. Department of Justice, Brett Kavanaugh, is “going to stand out as someone who makes a real imprint” if he is appointed as a Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh was nominated by President Trump on July 9.

Prof. Wehle describes Kavanaugh as “affable,” “a first-class intellect,” and “a hard worker.”

She notes that Kavanaugh, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, is a “separation-of-powers hawk.”

Watch the MSNBC interview.

Learn more about Prof. Wehle.

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Longing for a More Liberal Supreme Court? That Was An ‘Aberration,’ Says Prof. Higginbotham – But Social Progress Happens Anyway

Dean Joseph Curtis Professor of Law Michael Higginbotham.

F. Michael Higginbotham, the Dean Joseph Curtis Professor of Law in the University of Baltimore School of Law, tells Marc Steiner of the Real News Network that the U.S. Supreme Court of the post-Great Depression—the Court that advanced civil rights in cases like Brown v. Board of Education—was an aberration. Still, social progress is made, usually when Justices who might generally be labeled conservative land on a decision that takes the country in a different direction.

“Most of the time, the Court has been a conservative Court. The Court has stood for preventing progress, particularly on areas of civil rights,” Prof. Higginbotham says.

But there are exceptions, such as the Brown v. Board of Education case or the more recent Obergefell v. Hodges.

The phenomenon of “swing Justices” helps the nation achieve a balance of power that might not occur if the judicial branch consistently went along with the legislative and executive branches of the federal government, Higginbotham says.

“Oftentimes it happens that Justices don’t necessarily follow verbatim the values of the president that’s appointing them,” he says.

Watch the interview on The Marc Steiner Show.

Learn more about Prof. Higginbotham.

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Prof. Wehle: Conservatives Ought to Appreciate Roe v. Wade for What It Says About Limited Government

Professor Kimberly Brown

Writing in The Hill, University of Baltimore School of Law Professor Kimberly Wehle says that for conservatives, Roe v. Wade should represent something vital about American law: That the government is limited by the Constitution in what it can and cannot do to citizens.

“I find that many students come to law school thinking that a constitutional right is some kind of goodie,” Wehle writes. “But a constitutional right is really about keeping government off your back.

“In 1973, when the Supreme Court held that a woman has a right to an abortion, what it was saying is that the government’s power over the individual is limited. The Roe court identified that limitation in the Constitution’s due process clause.

The idea is that government cannot take away life, liberty or property without affording a hearing. No more throwing people in jail arbitrarily.”

Both Prof. Wehle UB School of Law Dean Ronald Weich have weighed in on the Supreme Court in national media outlets in recent days, as the process to select a new Justice gets underway.

Read Prof. Wehle’s opinion piece in The Hill.

Learn more about Prof. Wehle.

 

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Prof. Hayes: Unions Have Been Preparing for a Case Like Janus, But Impact Still Unclear

hayes

Interviewed on Maryland Public Television’s State Circle, University of Baltimore School of Law Associate Prof. Michael Hayes says that while the recent Janus v. AFSCME decision in the U.S. Supreme Court broke 40 years of labor-law precedent, the result is not shocking to those inside public-sector unions.

“Unions have been preparing for this for a few years,” Hayes said, noting that some have been readying their members for a result like the one in Janus—in which public-sector unions can no longer compel their members to pay dues in order to receive representation.

Prof. Hayes said it’s not clear what the impact of the case will be on union membership across the country, but some experts are predicting a significant drop in participation rates.

Watch the MPT interview (starts at 19:33).

Learn more about Prof. Hayes.

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