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Maryland's Highest Judge Speaks to Incoming Carey Law Students

First-year students at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law came face to face with an outstanding example of the possibilities to be afforded them upon graduation. Mary Ellen Barbera, JD '84, chief judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals - the state's highest court - shared with students her journey, starting with her days at the law school in Baltimore.

Barbera worked as a teacher at Baltimore's Patapsco Elementary School for nine years, much of the time studying law by night, all while raising two children. After passing the Maryland Bar in 1984, she worked as a law clerk for Judge Robert Karwacki on the Court of Special Appeals. Barbera was hired by former Attorney General Stephen Sachs to serve as assistant attorney general, and was later deputy chief of the criminal appeals division under former Attorney General Joseph Curran, Jr.



Later in her career, Barbera served as legal counsel for former governor Parris Glendening. In 2002, Glendening appointed her to the Court of Special Appeals, the state's second-highest court. Governor Martin O'Malley appointed Barbera to the Court of Appeals in 2008, and to the post of chief judge of that court in July, 2013.

The 61-year old Baltimore (Hampden) native is the first woman to hold the post of chief judge of the Court of Appeals. She replaced longtime chief judge Robert Bell. Barbera says her goal is "to achieve equal, fair and timely access to justice here in Maryland."
Posting Date: 08/19/2013
Contact Name: Alex Likowski
Contact Phone: 410-706-3801
Contact Email: alikowski@umaryland.edu