The School's first two female professors are retiring this year: Professor Sandra Stevenson, who graduated from Albany Law in 1971 and joined the faculty in 1974; and Professor Katheryn Katz, who was hired in 1975, and the first professor to hold the Kate Stoneman Chair in Law and Democracy.
Four years after joining the faculty as the lone woman, Stevenson served as the first director of Albany Law's new Government Law Center, the first of its kind in the nation. She is also largely credited for spearheading a science, technology and law focus at the School.
She is the author of the multi-volume treatise, Antieau on Local Government Law, second edition, and a new book published by Matthew Bender called, Understanding Local Government. Her teaching has ranged from copyright law, to state and national government law, to constitutional law and torts.
A year after Professor Stevenson joined the school, Professor Katz was hired. A member of the Class of 1970, she graduated and immediately opened up, with a law partner, the first women-owned law firm in upstate New York.
Published widely, her scholarship has focused primarily on family law—examining issues around marriage, custody, embryos, the elderly, foster care, parental rights and much more.
Their work here helped Albany Law come a long way. Last month the School was among the top 12 doctoral universities with the largest share of female tenured professors, according to the March 2009 issue of the magazine Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. The list is based on a report by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) that considered more than 1,400 U.S. colleges and universities, including 221 doctoral-granting institutions.