Murray Fellows

As part of our Lawyering Program, we have inaugurated the Donald Gaines Murray Fellowship for accomplished law school graduates who are interested in entering legal academia. Attorneys selected for the fellowship jointly hold the titles of Donald Gaines Murray Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor for an initial one-year appointment, with the expectation of reappointment for a second year based on satisfactory performance and the possibility of reappointment for a third year.

Murray Fellows are given opportunity during the fellowship to develop their law teaching portfolio and to conduct academic research and produce legal scholarship. Each Murray Fellow teaches approximately 30 students in the law school's first-year Lawyering Program, in which students learn to prepare oral and written legal analysis and to develop skills critical to practicing in today’s legal profession, all in the context of simulated litigation keyed to the core law school curriculum. They also receive support for scholarship, including invitations to junior faculty and legal theory workshops, authorization for a law student research assistant, a conference travel budget, and participation in the law school’s broader academic community.

Become a Murray Fellow

Murray fellows earn a competitive salary, plus benefits, and must spend the fellowship resident at the law school on a full-time basis. A JD degree and three years of legal practice experience are required, and prior law school teaching experience is preferred. For more information on the Donald Gaines Murray Teaching Fellowship, please contact Maryland Carey Law is committed to providing opportunities to individuals underrepresented in the legal academy. Minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, LGBTQ individuals, and veterans are encouraged to apply.

Meet the 2022-2023 Murray Fellows

  • Chelsea Banister

    Chelsea Banister

    JD, University of North Carolina; B.A., University of North Carolina

  • Chris Bryant

    Chris Bryant

    JD, Duke University School of Law; BA, Duke University

  • Brian Miller

    Brian Miller

    JD, University of Virginia School of Law; BA, North Carolina State University

  • Laura J. Oberbroeckling

    Laura J. Oberbroeckling

    J.D., Harvard Law School; B.A., The University of Iowa

History of Donald Gaines Murray

The Murray Fellows program is named for Donald Gaines Murray, who won his case to end segregation at the law school in 1935 and became its first Black graduate since 1889—the only prior year that any Black law students graduated from the law school, before it adopted a policy of racial segregation. Murray was represented by Charles Hamilton Houston, first general counsel of the NAACP, and Thurgood Marshall, in one of the first cases the then-future Justice argued after graduating from law school two years earlier. Advancing an argument based on the Equal Protection argument of the U.S. Constitution, Gaines successfully argued that the state could not meet its obligation to Black law school students by merely providing scholarships or tuition to attend an out-of-state law school, an argument adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1938 in a similar case brought in Missouri.

After law school, Murray had an illustrious law career that included private law practice as a partner at a Baltimore-based law firm, where he worked on several cases with the NAACP. He also served in the Army during the Second World War, held positions in state government, and, in his later years, provided legal aid services.