Renée McDonald Hutchins, JD

Renée McDonald Hutchins, JDRenée McDonald Hutchins, JD
Dean of the Francis King Carey School of Law

Renée McDonald Hutchins became dean of the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in August 2022, rejoining the school after serving for three years as dean and professor of law at the University of the District of Columbia’s David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC Law).

Hutchins joined UDC Law as dean in April 2019 after 14 years on the Maryland Carey Law faculty, including serving as the Jacob A. France Professor of Public Interest Law, co-director of the Clinical Law Program, and founding director of the Appellate and Post-Conviction Advocacy Clinic.

Hutchins is a leading expert on the Fourth Amendment and criminal appellate practice. Her legal scholarship, which sits at the intersection of criminal procedure and social science, has been published in leading law journals and been cited by numerous U.S. Courts of Appeals and state appellate courts.

She authored the casebook “Developing Professional Skills: Criminal Procedure” and was co-author of the casebook “Learning Criminal Procedure.” She also has written about racial profiling and the practice of stop-and-frisk, has a long record of supporting faculty scholarship, and has provided legal analysis and insight for media outlets such as MSNBC, Voice of America, and C-SPAN.

In 2015, in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death while in Baltimore Police Department custody, Hutchins was instrumental in creating “Freddie Gray’s Baltimore: Past, Present, and Moving Forward,” an innovative eight-week practicum that brought law school professors, elected officials, and civic leaders together with law and social work students to explore the broader historic context that created the West Baltimore community where Gray lived and died. 

In 2017, Hutchins was elected to the prestigious American Law Institute, a national association of distinguished lawyers, judges, and academics that works to clarify and improve the law through the publication of restatements of the law and model codes. She is highly engaged in practice due to her extensive experience spanning federal and state courts across the nation, including the high courts of Maryland and New York, and is serving her third four-year term on Maryland’s Appellate Courts Judicial Nominating Commission.

Hutchins earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Spelman College, America’s oldest historically black liberal arts college for women. She went on to receive her JD from Yale Law School, where she was chair of the Moot Court Board of Directors, and then clerked for Nathaniel R. Jones of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.