Albany Law School recently appointed Professor Deborah Kearns and Professor Sarah Rogerson as co-directors of the institution’s Law Clinic & Justice Center effective July 1, 2014.
Professors Kearns and Rogerson will join the ranks of current and former clinic faculty who have served in the position. Albany Law School's award-winning Law Clinic & Justice Center, established in 1981, provides students the opportunity to combine theory and practice through its in-house public interest law firm by providing faculty supervised legal representation to eligible individuals in the Capital Region as well as surrounding counties.
The clinical program is comprised of in-house and hybrid clinic opportunities, as well as a robust field placement program boasting more than 120 possible placements. In any given year, approximately a third of the law school’s student body is enrolled in a clinical experience.
Professor Kearns is director of the Tax and Transactions Clinic, where she oversees students representing taxpayers who have disputes with the IRS in both administrative and judicial proceedings and in tax related transactional matters. Before joining Albany Law in 2008, she worked in private practice in New York City and the Capital Region, representing individuals, for-profit and not-for-profit entities in tax planning, tax controversy and complex tax preparation matters. She graduated from Albany Law School in 2000 and received an LL.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law in 2005.
“The Clinic experience offers a rich opportunity for students to learn how to practice law,” said Professor Kearns. “The students are actively representing clients under faculty supervision, and the experience that they take away from that process is invaluable for their careers, no matter which field they pursue.”
“The Clinic is also a wonderful service provider and policy advocate for our communities across the Capital Region, including Albany, Schenectady and Rensselaer counties and beyond,” said Professor Rogerson. “Many of our clients face problems that affect many other people in the area. Our close proximity to the New York state capitol uniquely positions our students to have easy access to opportunities to address the broken systems that give rise to our clients’ issues.”
Professor Rogerson is director of the Family Violence Litigation Clinic and Immigration Project. She joined the Albany Law faculty after a Clinical Teaching Fellowship at University of Baltimore School of Law. Previously, she represented immigrant adults and children in cases involving torture, domestic violence, human trafficking and guardianship petitions at the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas, Inc., in both state and federal courts. She earned her law degree from Seton Hall University School of Law and an LL.M. with a concentration in International Law from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in 2007.
Albany Law students who participate in the Law Clinic & Justice Center help hundreds of clients each year in such areas health care, domestic violence, civil rights, and taxes. The students, under the supervision of professors and practicing attorneys, assist clients who might not otherwise have access to legal representation.
The National Jurist magazine recently ranked Albany Law School among the top 10 public interest law schools in the nation, based in large part on the volume of experiential opportunities available to the school’s students through the Law Clinic & Justice Center and other programs.