Professor Ray Brescia to Lead Government Law Center at Albany Law School

5/29/2013 | Facebook | Twitter | Email

Albany Law School today announced the appointment of Assistant Professor Ray Brescia as the director of the law school’s Government Law Center (GLC) effective Aug. 13, 2013.

“The Government Law Center is a critical component of Albany Law School, not only in its legal and policy work on behalf of all levels of government, but also in the opportunities it gives our students for experiential learning in the state’s powerful capital and in Washington, D.C.,” said Penelope (Penny) Andrews, Albany Law School’s president and dean.

“Professor Brescia has the vision, energy, experience and intellect to lead the Government Law Center into its next phase,” said Dean Andrews.

The GLC focuses on legal aspects of important public policy issues and assists governments in meeting new challenges. The Center's studies often report on recommendations for legal and policy reform using a national and international comparative research methodology. Through cooperative efforts with other academic institutions, the nonprofit sector, the private sector, and governmental entities, the Center has created both an environment for the open exchange of ideas and a laboratory for innovation.

The GLC has a wide focus, and takes an interdisciplinary approach to a diverse range of substantive areas, including land use and sustainable development, technology entrepreneurship, economic development, government reform and ethics, and racing and gaming law. The GLC also disseminates scholarship and research publications by faculty, staff and students, and organizes a range of conferences and colloquia, including the annual Warren M. Anderson Legislative Breakfast Series for lawmakers and policymakers, now in its 21st year.

Professor Brescia specializes in housing policy, the legal ramifications of financial crises, community economic development and access to justice issues. He is an active and engaged scholar and is a resource to the media from across the country on these and other legal topics. Before joining the Albany Law faculty in the fall of 2007, he was associate director of the Urban Justice Center in New York City, where he coordinated legal representation for community-based institutions in areas such as housing, economic justice, workers' rights, civil rights and environmental justice. He was also a law clerk to the late Constance Baker Motley, Senior United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York.

Patricia Salkin '88 led the GLC for 20 years, expanding its scope to the nationally known Center that it is today. Salkin left last year to become dean of the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center in Central Islip, N.Y.  Assistant Professor Robert Heverly '92 continues to serve as interim director of the GLC until Professor Brescia assumes the position in August.

“The Government Law Center has such an impressive legacy, with programs ranging from sustainable development to government ethics, with a strong network of key allies, from local governments to the United Nations,” said Professor Brescia. “I look forward to working with the GLC’s strong staff, its diverse and engaged advisory board, its wide array of partners, and my colleagues on the faculty, to build on this foundation, explore new initiatives for the Center, and expand learning and career opportunities for the law school’s students.”

Professor Brescia, a Yale Law School graduate, spent the 2011-2012 academic year as a visiting professor at his alma mater, where, among his courses, he taught in an interdisciplinary community development clinic. As part of this work, he led a team of law and business students that measured how well banks in the City of New Haven responded to consumer and community needs. With City of New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr., Professor Brescia authored a piece on the topic for The Huffington Post titled "Scoring the Banks: TheCommunity Impact Record Card as a New Tool for Measuring Bank Performance inMeeting Community Needs."

Professor Brescia is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, and he maintains a blog, The Future of Change, which looks at the intersection of social innovation, social movements and social change.