Staff donations totaled more than $7,000 last year, which went toward scholarships for two students, Alejandro Taylor ‘09, from Nebraska, and Sita Legac '10, a Glens Falls, N.Y., native.
Sita Legac '10 learned she had cancer just before graduating from Boston University. Today, after successful treatment, the Staff Scholarship recipient is well into her second year of law school. With cancer and a spinal fusion behind her, this Glens Falls resident still insists she's "just another law student."
The 28-year-old, who keeps busy with her classes, working on
Government Law Review, and a 20-hour-a-week internship with General Electric, is fast-approaching her goal-being a lawyer by age 30.
"After college I knew I needed a job, any job, with health benefits to pay for the cancer treatments," Legac recalled. "I took the first job I got, a receptionist at a law firm." After six months at Casey and Casey, Clifton Park, N.Y., she was elevated to paralegal. "I went through a lot of treatment while there, and the people at the firm were wonderfully supportive," Legac said, noting the support of father/daughter partners Ann J. Casey '85 and Arthur F. Casey '69.
"By this time I knew I wanted to be a lawyer. When I gained my health back, I knew I needed to start the process to reach my goal," Legac said.
Legac still needed to address another medical situation that had caused her years of pain and was keeping her from enrolling: she needed a spinal fusion. At first, she put off the invasive surgery. "Then someone mentioned that if I did not go to law school soon, I would not be a lawyer before I was 30. So within the span of six months I took my LSATs, had my fusion and enrolled at Albany Law School."
Legac likes to point out the things she's thankful for, noting her house in Glens Falls, her beloved pets, her health, and her experience at Albany Law School. "I don't tell my story for sympathy.
"I share my road bumps because I want people to realize without low points in life you cannot appreciate the high points. I appreciate every day here and know this is where I am supposed to be. All the nonsense I have been through has brought me here and also gave me the insight to appreciate everything. "
Nebraskan likes the east Alejandro Taylor moved east to study anthropology at Cornell University. Today, after moving through a variety of experiences since then, including an influential time in the Albany Law Clinic & Justice Center, the Staff Scholarship recipient is looking to stay in the Capital Region to serve the personal and business tax needs of clients in the areas of tax administration, transaction advising and estate planning.
Before law school, Taylor joined a New York City marketing firm performing qualitative research on branding for Fortune 500 companies. He moved upstate in 2003 to pursue graduate studies at University of Albany in information science, but the job he landed at a small law firm in Hudson, N.Y., helped change his mind. He moved to Albany in 2005 and worked for the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York while applying to Albany Law.
Once at Albany Law, he was drawn to the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, strengthening his decision to pursue a career in tax law and administration.
A member of the executive boards of the Latin American Law Student Association and OUTlaw, Taylor plans to perform pro bono tax work for underserved populations in the area after he passes the bar.