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Alumnus Reflects on UB and His Endowed Scholarship to the School of Law

Judge Johnson

The Irene and Norman Johnson Law School Scholarship Fund was endowed by Judge Norman E. Johnson Jr. ’77 to honor his parents and help students with financial need attend and graduate from law school.

“My parents were working-class people. They were honest and hardworking. They planted a good work ethic in me. I think this scholarship is a good way to honor my parents,” Johnson says.

A donor to the University of Baltimore since he graduated from law school in 1977, Judge Johnson, a Turner Society member, remembers sitting on the steps of Langsdale Library waiting for the doors to open and orientation to begin.

He was an evening law student and worked as an investigator in the Office of the Federal Public Defender during the day. Judge Johnson found UB very welcoming and his classes, which were held in the old law school, extremely challenging.

“When I left UB, I knew the law. I was well-prepared to serve as an assistant federal public defender,” Johnson says.

Judge Johnson is most proud of his appointment to the accreditation committee by President Emeritus H. Mebane Turner. He felt honored to meet with the committee to share his thoughts on the university.

“Meb Turner was a great guy,” Johnson says. “He made you feel like you were part of the team.”

A veteran, Judge Johnson served as a 1st lieutenant in the U.S. Army prior to law school. His mother, Irene Johnson urged him to take the LSAT while he was an infantry officer on orders for Vietnam.

“Honestly, I was more worried about losing my life in Vietnam the next year than taking the LSAT,” Johnson says. “My mother insisted that everything would work out fine, and it did.”

Judge Norman E. Johnson Jr. was appointed to the bench by Governor William Donald Schaefer in 1993, and retired in 2007 as an associate judge for the District Court of Maryland, Baltimore City.

On his career in public service, Johnson shares, “I enjoyed public service and thought I could make a difference. My goal was to be fair to everyone.” A native Baltimorean, he enjoys golf, tai chi, swimming, and playing the trumpet.

Support Your UB Passion

If you would like more information about joining the Turner Society and creating a lasting tribute for someone you love or admire, please contact Francena Phillips Jackson MA ’94 at or 410.837.4385.

Last Published 7/09/15

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