Legislature strikes blow against legal education, public interest

April 02, 2010

The Maryland Law School Board of Visitors, which I chair, is strongly opposed to withholding state funds for law school clinical programs because of objection by those accused of pollution of the Chesapeake Bay. The Maryland law school is lucky to have one of the leading public interest law clinics in the country undertaking to safeguard Chesapeake Bay. The General Assembly's attempt to withhold funding strikes a blow against both legal education and the public interest.

If anyone is violating the law by permitting runoff of contaminated wastewater to empty into the bay, the public has a right to raise that issue in an appropriate forum and seek appropriate relief. The state should not allow important issues to be bottled up to save money for commercial farms. In reality this will cost the state's taxpayers much more money in the long run.

We treasure the Chesapeake and our state law schools. Our law schools must be permitted to educate our next generation of lawyers and assist in safeguarding our irreplaceable resources.

Paul D. Bekman, Baltimore

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