In his second year of law school, Robert Shore '10 had seven clients and appeared in front of an administrative law judge five times. Toward the second half of his experience at Albany Law's Litigation Clinic, Shore realized he was handed increasingly more complex cases, and new Clinic students were asking for his informal advice on their clients. This month Shore received the prestigious "Outstanding Clinical Student Award" from the national Clinical Legal Education Association, prompted by a unanimous nomination from the faculty of Albany Law's Clinic & Justice Center.
"A lot of what I learned from the work is skills needed to manage the client," Shore said. "Early on I interviewed one client for over two hours, but had to call him back another day because I lacked the facts I needed to proceed," Shore explained. "Now I understand between the balance of gathering the critical information and appreciating the need of the client to tell a story."
Shore won unemployment benefits for his clients that were initially denied to them, under the supervision of Professor Benjie Louis, where he also served as a research assistant after demonstrating early his skill and commitment to public interest work.
Last year he wrote a comprehensive outline on representing a claimant in an unemployment administrative hearing which was adapted for a manual produced by the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York, titled Unemployment Law: Representing the Claimant, for private attorneys representing claimants.
"One of the hardest things about this work is that sometimes you can't help the client," Shore said. "You read the information, you hear their story, and you know that they have no case, there's no reason to advance their cause, and you have to tell them that. "
A New York City native, Shore is looking at jobs in the Washington, D.C., area, preferably in the labor and employment law area. "This past year I interned at the NLRB resident office in Albany, and I'd like to work for them in the future," he said.
For now he studies for the bar every day, and plans to pass it at the end of July.
Pictured above, from left: Professor Benjie Louis, Robert Shore '10, and Clinical director Joseph Connors.