Semester in Government – Albany

Semester in Government – Albany

A joint initiative of Albany Law Clinic & Justice Center Field Placement Clinic and the Government Law Center

What is the Semester in Government Program?

The Semester in Government – Albany program is a unique opportunity for Albany Law School students to spend one full semester working under the supervision of a government lawyer-mentor in the state capital.

Students wishing to experience government lawyering in a "real-life" learning laboratory will work side-by-side with lawmakers, policymakers, and decision makers on a wide range of government law and public policy issues. Whether assignments include preparation for legislative or administrative hearings, research in the State Library, administrative hearings before a federal agency, drafting of legislation and/or rule making, or preparation for litigation in defense of the government, students will benefit from an appreciation of the varied skills required to be an effective public lawyer. 

Students will also explore overarching topics and issues in government practice, law, and public policy in the classroom through presentations from government attorneys, out-of-class observations, in-class assignments and exercises, and reflective journaling.

Who is Eligible?

All second-year and third-year law students who meet the minimum cumulative GPA requirement (2.5) for participation in the program as outlined in the Student Handbook are eligible to apply for this unique experience. Students must understand, however, that participation in this program requires a daily physical presence in New York's Capital Region.

What are the Requirements?

Students are required to spend 30 hours per week working in the office of their host government agency; participate in a bi-weekly, two-hour classroom component; and enroll in the Government Ethics course. Students are also required to complete all program-related paper work and attend mid-semester and end-of-semester meetings.

How Many Credits are Awarded?

The Semester in Government—Albany program carries a total of 12 academic credits. Nine of these credits are earned through the completion of all field placement and classroom component requirements. The remaining three credits are earned through enrollment and participation in the Government Ethics course. This course is offered at Albany Law School.

Potential Placements

A number of State agencies and legislative offices have participated in this program. Possible placements include, but are not limited to:

Agencies

Legislative Offices

In order to secure a placement that is customized to a student's particular interests in a subject-matter or in a type of experience, notice of intent to participate in this program should be given by the student to Professor Robert Heverly, Interim Director of the Government Law Center, early in the fall semester.

Application Procedures:

Informational Meeting
Students interested in this program are urged to contact Professor Heverly to set up an appointment to obtain more information about the program and placement opportunities. Contact should be made as early as possible in the fall since many of the potential placements require application in the fall semester for positions available in the spring.

Placement Office Preferences
Students are encouraged to visit any one of the links above or to visit the New York State website at: www.state.ny.us for a listing of agencies and legislative offices.

Application
Students planning to participate in the program must fill out a placement application, indicating their first and second choices for placement offices and attaching a current resume and transcript (in hard copy and electronic form). The placement process will be commenced upon receipt of the application materials and confirmation that the student has met the minimum GPA requirement for enrollment in the program.     

Program Registration:

Clinic Placement Card
If a student is accepted at a placement office, a copy of the student's application materials will be forwarded by the Government Law Center to Barbara Chandler, the Administrative Assistant/Paralegal for the Clinic's Field Placement Project, confirming that the student will be participating in the program. Students will then be instructed to contact Ms. Chandler so that they may sign a placement confirmation card.  Ms. Chandler will process the card and forward it to the Registrar's Office. 

Registration
Upon receipt of the confirmation card, the Registrar's Office will add the course to the student's spring semester schedule. While registration for the program will be handled, in large part, by the Clinic and Registrar Offices, students are responsible for registering for the Government Ethics course.

Contact Information

Clinic

Professor Nancy Maurer
Director, Field Placement Clinic
Albany Law Clinic & Justice Center
Telephone: 518-445-2328
Email: nmaur@albanylaw.edu

Barbara Chandler

Administrative Assistant/Paralegal
Clinic & Justice Center
Telephone: 518-445-2328
E-mail: bchan@albanylaw.edu

Registrar

Joann Fitzsimmons
Assistant Dean and Registrar
Telephone: 518-445-2330
E-mail: jfitz@albanylaw.edu