The Diversity Leaders Program


The Diversity Leaders Program develops and launches initiatives designed to support a diverse and supportive community at Albany Law School and in the broader legal profession.  Collectively, the student leaders comprise a Diversity Leadership Council and work closely with the Office of Diversity Affairs. In addition, they provide insight and assistance to Admissions and Student Affairs, as well as other offices.

For more information about this program, contact Pershia M. Wilkins, Director, Diversity Affairs Office, at


The Diversity Fellows assist our Diversity Affairs Office, Office of Student Affairs and the Faculty Diversity Committee with programming and recruitment efforts. In addition, they will work with faculty and staff on the following initiatives:

Diversity Speaker Series Programs: The Diversity Speaker Series features informal presentations by Albany Law faculty, alumni and members of legal community on topics relating to diversity in the legal profession.    

Diversity Trainings: The Diversity Training Program assists with the development and implementation of cultural competency trainings for Albany Law School students and staff.

Diversity Mentoring Programs: The Diversity Attorney Mentors Program matches law students with local attorneys who will provide career advice and guidance by practice areas.

Diversity Pipeline Projects: The Diversity Service Project partners with the Pro Bono Program to provide educational programs and mentoring for high school and undergraduate students.

Annual Diversity Day & Events: Each year the Diversity Leaders Program coordinates a Diversity Day and other events to celebrate and reflect on diversity at Albany Law and in the broader legal profession. A diverse group of distinguished alumni and local attorneys will share their work experiences and insights with students during these events.


Elizabeth Emery '12 earned her B.A. in English with a Psychology minor from University at Albany. Prior to attending Albany Law School, Elizabeth worked for a law firm with a marital law focus. Last year, she worked for the New York State Department of Economic Development and spent her summer as a law clerk at the New York State Assembly Minority Counsel's Office. She served as a teaching assistant for Kathe Klare, Professor of Academic Success, during the spring of 2011 and plans to serve again during the spring of 2012. She is currently a research assistant for Professor Keith Hirokawa and focuses on environmental law. During fall 2011, Elizabeth will participate in the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic in the Albany Law Clinic & Justice Center.  She serves on the Decanal Interview Committee, and is a member of the “Stop Abuse against Women” U.S. DOJ Grant Task Force. She is also a member of the Pro Bono Society, specifically in pro se divorce and the Tax Law Society. Elizabeth is concentrating her law studies in both tax law and estate law.  

Clotelle Drakeford '11 is a non-traditional law student who will graduate in December 2011 with her Juris Doctor degree. Clotelle is a 1997 graduate of North Carolina Central University, where she earned a B.S. in Criminal Justice and B.A. in Sociology with a Minor in Spanish. After graduating, Clotelle initially worked for Verizon in a sales support role for a Latin American Telecommunication Sales Team, utilizing her Spanish skills. Later, she decided to pursue a career more in line with her long-term goal to become an attorney, and began working as a ;egal assistant for a plaintiff-oriented personal injury firm that primarily specialized in medical malpractice. Clotelle later obtained her paralegal certificate, and after working for a defense-oriented medical malpractice firm, she decided it was time to pursue her dream to be a lawyer. While enrolled at Albany Law School, she has successfully participated in the Karen C. McGovern Senior Prize Trial Moot Court Competition, advancing to the semi-finals. As a non-traditional student, Clotelle decided to work her way through law school a realtor with Coldwell Banker Prime Properties. This experience has solidified her decision to become a solo practitioner after law school, and she intends to initially specialize in real estate law and criminal defense work involving minor crimes.

Hanok George '12 has served as a member of the Albany Law School Ethics Committee of the Student Bar Association, and the student representative on the Faculty Diversity Committee. He currently serves as the student trustee to the Albany Law School Board of Trustees and the chair of the Student Affairs Advisory Board. He is also a senior editor of the Albany Government Law Review. Hanok has worked as a Judicial Intern at the chambers of the Hon. Patrick J. McGrath, Rensselaer County Court, and as a research assistant for James T. Gathii, Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship. He has also interned at the Office of the Schenectady County District Attorney. Currently, he serves as a legal intern at the U.S. Employee Services of General Electric Co. Hanok earned his B.A. in Political Science with an English minor from Siena College.

Evamaria Kartzian '13, is the vice president of the Latin American Law Student Association (LALSA) and a editor of the Albany Law Review. Evamaria is a graduate of the University at Albany with a B.A. in Political Science and Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Prior to attending law school, Evamaria worked as an organizer with SEIU Local 32BJ's Youth Brigade and as a community organizer with The New York Civic Participation Project (NYCPP). This fall she is working with the Albany Law Clinic & Justice Center's Tenant Foreclosure Protection Clinic. Evamaria is also a member of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) and the Labor and Employment Law Students Association. She is committed to social justice and plans on practicing labor and employment law upon graduation.  

Stefen R. Short '13, is the president of the Albany Law Chapter of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA). He is a 2010 graduate of SUNY Oswego with a B.A. in Political Science, and minors in African-American Studies and Philosophy. Stefen serves on Albany Law's Long-Range Planning Committee and is working with the Civil Rights & Disabilities Law Clinic during the fall of 2011. He is a research assistant to Professor Christian B. Sundquist, and a legal intern at Disability Advocates, Inc. Stefen was motivated to attend law school after his tenure in student government at SUNY Oswego and internships with SUNY System Administration’s Diversity Office and the New York State Assembly. With a Civil & Constitutional Rights concentration, he plans to practice public interest law or become a community organizer upon graduation.

“In order to cultivate a set of leaders with legitimacy in the eyes of the citizenry, it is necessary that the path to leadership be visibly open to talented and qualified individuals of every race and ethnicity.”

—Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor, writing for the U.S Supreme Court
for its opinion in Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (U.S. 2003)