Rule 16 of the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Maryland allows law students enrolled in an ABA approved law school clinic program to practice on a limited basis in Maryland under a supervising attorney.
A “clinical program” means a law school program for credit where a student obtains experience in the operation of the legal system by engaging in the practice of law. The law student practice must be under the direct supervision of a faculty member, and the Section Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the Maryland State Bar Association, Inc. must approve the clinical program.
A “supervising attorney” means an attorney who is a member in good standing of the Maryland Bar and whose services as a supervising attorney for the clinical program is approved by the law school Dean or by the Dean’s designee.
Law students must:
- Be enrolled in a law school.
- Have read and be familiar with the Maryland Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct and the relevant Maryland Rules of Procedure.
- Have successfully completed legal studies in the law school amounting to the equivalent of at least one-third of the total credit hours required to complete the law school program.
Law students may appear in any trial court or the Court of Special Appeal or otherwise engage in the practice of law in Maryland.
Law students cannot ask for nor receive personal compensation of any kind for service rendered under the student practice rules.
Please also see the Maryland Miscellaneous page. Law students in a clinical program may represent a tenant in a summary ejectment proceeding in the District Court of Maryland.
The supervising attorney must:
- Be satisfied that the student is competent to perform the duties assigned.
- Assume responsibility for the quality of the student’s work.
- Direct and assist the student to the extent necessary, in the supervising attorney’s professional judgment, to ensure that the student’s participation is effective on behalf of the client.
- Accompany the student when the student appears in court or before an administrative agency.
The law school Dean is required to file the certification of the student with the Clerk of the Court of Appeals. The certificate will state that the student is in good academic standing and has successfully completed legal studies in the law school amounting to the equivalent of at least one-third of the total credit hours required to complete the law school program. The certificate must state its effective date and expiration date. The expiration date cannot be later than one year after the effective date.
The law school Dean may withdraw the certificate at any time. The certificate is automatically suspended upon the issuance of an unfavorable report from the Character Committee that is made in connection with the student’s application for registration as a candidate for admission to the Bar. Upon reversal of the Character Committee, the certification will be reinstated.