University of Maryland School of Law appoints Hutchins as new dean

The University of Maryland School of Law has named a new dean, Renee M. Hutchins, who will take office on August 1.

Hutchins is currently Dean of Law at the University of the District of Columbia. She succeeds Donald Tobin at Maryland, ranked No. 47 among law schools by US News & World Report.

The number of female law school deans has increased, particularly over the past decade, from 10% in 2000 to 41% in May 2021, according to the American Bar Association, which accredits law schools.

The job is something of a homecoming for Hutchins, a Yale Law School graduate who had been on the Maryland faculty for 14 years. She left school for a three-year deanship at the David L. Clarke School of Law in nearby Washington.

After arriving at the Francis King Carey School of Law in Maryland in 2004, Hutchins founded his post-conviction appeal and advocacy clinic. She then served as co-director of its clinical law program.

His program co-director, Michael Pinard, welcomed his new appointment. “Dean Hutchins is an extraordinarily gifted teacher, scholar and lawyer,” he said in a statement.

Hutchins created a group of elected officials, civic leaders and law professors to explore the background of Freddie Gray, who died in 2015 in the custody of the Baltimore Police Department. His death sparked two weeks of protests in Baltimore.

Hutchins, a criminal law expert, graduated from Spelman College. She clerked for a Federal Court of Appeal judge earlier in her legal career.

Jon J. Epps