Recent Curricular Development Initiatives

Recent Curricular Development Initiatives


Since the Fall of 2007, the Albany Law faculty have approved the following curricular changes in response to the recommendations of Best Practices for Legal Education and the Carnegie Report:

1L Curriculum Revisions

The first-year course load was recently reduced in order to: 1) allow students to focus on basic analytical skills; 2) allow professors to engage in more interim assessments of students and in more creative teaching methodologies, in and outside of the classroom; and 3) this modification was intended to reduce the stress of first semester in accordance with good teaching practices.

Albany Law has joined other progressive law schools, by reducing Property and Constitutional Law to four credit single semester courses, down from the outdated six credit, two semester model.  Similarly, Contracts will be reduced from six to five credits to be completed over the first year.

Upper Level Curriculum Revisions  

Globalization, the development of the regulatory state, and the need to place law practice in a meaningful social context all argue for a revision of law school curriculum to give students a better understanding of the world in which they are expected to conduct themselves as professionals.  Best Practices and Educating Lawyers both support the need to expose law students to different perspectives on the law and to place doctrinal courses in social context to better explore and promote professionalism and what it means to be a lawyer.

Accordingly, Albany Law faculty have voted to require that all students take at least one International Law in the 3rd semester of instruction.  Students are also required to take one Administrative Law course before graduation. Exposing law students in some way and to some degree to administrative law, international law, and/or other comparative law courses demonstrates Albany Law's commitment to delivering a program of instruction that reflects the reality of modern law practice.

Intersession Courses 

Albany Law School faculty added one-week "Intersession Classes" for second- and third-year students. These courses provide students the opportunity to prepare for the profession by working intensively with an expert practitioner, to apply core knowledge learned in school to real life lawyering activities, and to begin to grapple with professional identity and the values of the legal profession. 

Taught by practicing adjuncts and full-time faculty, intersession courses are offered in many of the most common practice areas such as: Will Drafting, Taxation, Real Estate, Matrimonial Law, and Law Practice Management.