Donald Tobin probably imagined returning home to Maryland someday. Despite teaching at Ohio State’s Moritz College of Law for the past 13 years, he has remained a member of the Maryland Bar. Now, he’ll work just 20 miles from where he grew up.
Today (April 14), the University of Maryland Carey School of Law named Tobin as dean. He replaces Phoebe Haddon, who will return to the faculty after taking a year-long sabbatical.
At Ohio State, Tobin was the John C. Elam/Vorys Sater Professor of Law, where he taught courses in tax law and legislation. An expert in campaign finance law, he has authored several textbooks and articles on taxation and nonprofits, along with testifying before Congress on campaign finance. Tobin has also served as associate dean for faculty and associate dean for academic affairs at Moritz.
Tobin represents a ‘local boy makes good’ story. A graduate of Oakland Mills High School in Columbia, Tobin earned his JD at the Georgetown Law Center (leaving the area briefly to complete his BA in Economics at Duke). After graduation, he served as a clerk for Francis D. Murnaghan Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and a legislative aide to former U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes of Maryland. Before joining Moritz’s faculty, he spent four years in the tax division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where he won the Outstanding Attorney Award in 1999.
At Carey, Tobin will be replacing a legend in Haddon. After being named dean in 2009, Haddon landed a $30 million gift from the W.P. Carey Foundation, one of the largest ever to a law school. During her tenure, Haddon also beefed up the faculty and student scholarships, along with boosting Carey’s minority enrollment to 37 percent. As a result, National Jurist named her “one of the most influential people in legal education” in 2014.
The university expects Tobin to maintain this momentum. “Donald Tobin has the perfect is the blend of experience and skills to lead Carey Law,” according to Jay A. Perman, MD, President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore. “He has a record of leading through collaboration, a strong belief in social responsibility and public service, and a commitment to providing students practice ready skills and helping them [to] achieve professional success.”
Tobin himself intends to capitalize on the strengths of the school and the business community. “Maryland is a state with great growth and great innovation. The health law program, environmental law program, and the dispute resolution, and public health and homeland security centers build on tremendous strengths here at UM Carey Law…And the business law and intellectual property law programs build on the incredible opportunities that Maryland’s technology and business sectors provide.”
To do this, Tobin will leverage the talent of the entire Carey community. “A great law school needs one thing: Great people. One of the things that drew me to Maryland Carey Law is that you have that here – great students, great faculty, great staff, and great alumni.”
Carey Law is the third-oldest law school in the United State. It ranked #46 in the 2015 U.S. News and World Report rankings, down five spots from the previous year.