New University of Baltimore Law Center Design Supports Vital, Positive Changes in Legal Education

Mar 28, 2013, 08:00 ET from University of Baltimore

BALTIMORE, March 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The April opening of the new John and Frances Angelos Law Center, home to the University of Baltimore School of Law, is a milestone, as the building is expected to be one of the most environmentally sustainable public buildings in Maryland and a landmark progressive structure among U.S. law schools. The building's glass-and-steel exterior and stunning, light-filled interior promises bold and exciting approaches to the teaching of law, at a time when the legal profession and the global economy are compelling the next generation of lawyers to think harder about their career paths and their place in the profession.

Designed by architect Stefan Behnisch of Behnisch Architekten of Stuttgart, Germany, in partnership with Baltimore's Ayers Saint Gross Inc., the building is anchored near Baltimore's bustling Penn Station in the heart of a growing midtown and overlooks the Jones Falls Expressway and the North Charles Street corridor.

UB School of Law Dean Ronald Weich said the building offers a new vision of the law profession as a "pathway" toward improving lives.

"I saw it the first time I toured the building," Weich said. "This is more than an innovative, dramatic design - it's also a symbol of legal education in the 21st century. In fact, it's a reflection of the law itself, creating order out of complexity."

The new center provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to revitalize the teaching of law at a vital point in the history of the profession - a turbulent era in which the economy is struggling and the value of a law degree is the subject of intense scrutiny. From its many spaces designed to encourage informal meetings between students and professors, to its broad interspersing of offices, classrooms and study areas, the building supports the law school's intent to deliver a 21st-century curriculum that is rooted in and strengthened by community service and excellent preparation for the next generation of lawyers.

"We face a stark choice," Weich said. "We can make sure that our law graduates are prepared to contribute to the tectonic shifts we're seeing in the global economy and in our national institutions. Or we can marginalize ourselves by sticking to old beliefs and old ways of doing things. I believe our law center makes an important statement: Let's move ahead, let's progress together. And let's do it in a way that is open and light-filled and practical and conscious of the world around us."

The design is expected to yield important new opportunities for human interaction - a critical part of teaching and learning in what amounts to a highly people-oriented profession.

"The practice of law is often a private, closed-door matter, but the ultimate goal of the law is a public one and the new building's openness conveys that," Weich said. "Former U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Brandeis once called sunlight 'the best of disinfectants.' Like Brandeis, I like transparency. I want people to know what's going on in the law and in our school."

Learn more about the new Angelos Law Center.

About the Law Center's Grand Opening Events

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Elena Kagan will join Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Robert M. Bell and a host of state, local and federal officials and legal luminaries for several grand opening events for the new John and Frances Angelos Law Center taking place throughout April.

"We are extremely honored that Vice President Biden, Justice Kagan, Gov. O'Malley and other special guests will join the UB community in celebrating the opening of the new Angelos Law Center," University of Baltimore President Robert L. Bogomolny said. "With the support of the Governor and the Maryland General Assembly, the new law school building and these special events signify not only the importance of the law center to the Baltimore community but also the impact it will have on the legal community nationwide."

Learn more about the grand opening events.

The University of Baltimore is a member of the University System of Maryland and comprises the College of Public Affairs, the Merrick School of Business, the UB School of Law and the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences.

Contact: Chris Hart

SOURCE University of Baltimore