School of Law Students Travel to Annapolis for Annual Advocacy Day
With the state of Maryland's budget squeezed in an economic vise, the dozens of students and faculty members from the University of Maryland School of Law knew they couldn't ask members of the General Assembly for much more than a few minutes of their time on Jan. 26.
Approximately 20 students, along with faculty and staff that included Dean Phoebe A. Haddon, JD, LLM and University President Jay A. Perman, MD, braved a snowy morning to spend a few hours meeting with close to 50 delegates and senators. The meetings weren't so much to ask for anything from the legislators - though funding for financial aid and the Loan Assistance Repayment Program were mentioned - as to thank them for supporting the law school and higher education over the years and to remind them of the important ways the School's students, professors, and alumni serve the state.
Some lawmakers tried to be optimistic. Delegate Samuel "Sandy" Rosenberg, JD, an adjunct professor and vice chair of the Ways and Means Committee, asked a group of students for their support in pushing a bill that would fund loan repayment assistance.
Several other lawyer/legislators discussed how the students could put their legal education and commitment to public service to use in the political arena. Some noted how their legal training helped them understand and write better bills, and others said it made them more aware of all sides of an issue that is under consideration.
One Maryland alumnus who is particularly attuned to all sides of an issue is Daniel Friedman, JD '94, counsel to the General Assembly. As the students finished lunch after their morning with legislators, Friedman shared insights into how he balances politics - but not partisanship - as he represents Republican and Democrats, delegates and senators in their official duties. It is a balance, he said, that he strives to maintain every day.