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Katrin Hussmann Schroll, JD
University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
Katrin Hussmann Schroll, JD ’09, oversees every aspect of the admissions process at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, a process that includes traveling to recruitment fairs around the country and internationally to ensure the law school attracts bright, diverse students to its degree programs.
Since becoming director of admissions at Maryland Carey Law, ranked 6th in commitment to diversity among the top 50 law schools by U.S. News and World Report, Hussmann Schroll has visited more than 150 undergraduate institutions and sifted through thousands of applications. “Because I’m a Maryland Carey Law graduate, I bring a different perspective,” says Hussmann Schroll. “I was once in their position, I can empathize in terms of what they are looking for.”
Hussmann Schroll was drawn to the admissions job after working as a fellow in the office during her second year of law school. Her mentor José Bahamonde-González, JD, associate dean for professional education at the law school, then hired her full time in her third year. "To see someone blossom like that is just so rewarding," he says.
Hussmann Schroll knows firsthand how challenging it can be for students to come to a new environment. At age 13, Hussmann Schroll and her family moved to Florida from Venezuela to escape violence amid political upheaval. "It was definitely a struggle," she says of moving from a developing nation to the U.S. "But like any immigrant child, you just have to keep pushing, if not for you, for your family — and I have a really supportive family. I feel that when your parents are struggling to try to make it, you can't really complain about not speaking English. You have to buckle down and do your best."
Hussmann Schroll put herself through college, earning an economics degree from Florida International University, while working full time in the last three years of college as a paralegal at a Fort Lauderdale law firm. That job piqued her interest in the law, and she was immediately impressed with Maryland Carey Law when she came for a scholarship interview, which she aced.
"I was given a Leadership Scholarship to attend law school,” says Hussmann Schroll. “I feel I owe the University because they gave me so much. I feel like I have to give back to the students what someone once gave me.”
Giving back also means helping immigrants through the school's Immigration Clinic, taking on pro bono cases alongside Maureen Sweeney, JD, associate professor and the clinic's director.
"Katrin has represented clients directly in Immigration Court and in applications to [U.S. Citizenship and] Immigration Services, and she always does a great job for her clients,” says Sweeney. “She works from a deep respect for them as people, is fearless about learning new things, and fights fiercely for her clients. I also love to have her work with students. She holds them to the highest standards."
Hussmann Schroll says that watching students she has recruited receive their law degrees during graduation fills her with pride. “At the end of the day,” she says, “we want happy students, but more importantly, we want very successful graduates."