FAQ - The University at Albany Affiliation

What does this affiliation mean?

The University at Albany/Albany Law School affiliation strengthens both institutions with new pathways for students and faculty—creating economic and social benefits for the Capital Region and beyond.

What are the benefits of this collaboration?

This partnership leverages complementary capacity between UAlbany and Albany Law School.

Together we will:

  • Deepen our existing relationship,
  • Develop new academic programs,
  • Create a more collaborative research environment, opening up new sources of grant funding and shaping new areas of scholarship, and
  • Cultivate cross-disciplinary pedagogy and scholarship.

Additionally, the affiliation will:

  • Strengthen both UAlbany’s and Albany Law’s roles in growing the upstate high-tech economy and impacting the communities in which we serve, and
  • Facilitate closer recruitment of international students, a priority of both institutions.

What will students gain?

The new agreement provides UAlbany students with better access to a legal context relevant to their field of study, and creates new pathways for Albany Law students across UAlbany’s vast academic portfolio—particularly in high-growth specializations like cybersecurity, atmospheric science, and information technology.

The affiliation will expand on existing pathways and build new ones for students. Examples include:

  • Those preparing for the practice of law can join with students preparing for the practice of social work to understand and address more fully the problem of domestic violence.
  • Tomorrow’s scientist can learn about the legal context of environmental contamination.
  • The future attorney can develop expertise in cloud computing and cybersecurity.
  • Students of public administration and law can work together to develop expertise in state regulation and nonprofit management.
  • Law students, whose practice will take them into other languages and cultures, can develop the specialized knowledge and skill to work effectively.

Where can students find out more about the affiliation collaborative degrees?

Students should visit the University at Albany or Albany Law Affiliation web pages or speak with their advisors. The Advisement Services Center at the University at Albany hosts a visiting Law school advisor on a regular basis.

How might this interest prospective students?

This affiliation presents a great opportunity for prospective students. Not only will undergraduate students have expedited pathways into the legal profession, but there will also be expanded opportunities for law students to develop special areas of expertise for their future practice as lawyers. With both institutions having a significant presence in the capital of New York State, both undergraduate and graduate students will have enhanced opportunities for experiential learning across the state legislature and agencies.

Will this impact tuition?

Each institution’s tuition cost remains as it was before the affiliation, but both institutions remain concerned about the cost of higher education. The affiliation provides an opportunity to examine synergies that may offer cost savings to students.

Who will grant degrees?

Each institution will continue to grant its own degrees, and retain its own accreditations. For example, Albany Law School students will receive a law degree from Albany Law School, which will retain its accreditation by the American Bar Association.

How will faculty benefit?

Faculty will connect across disciplines, opening up new sources of grant funding and shaping new areas of scholarship. The creation of an asset map of research interests and expertise at both institutions will help faculty from both institutions explore research synergies that respond to needs and trends in legal education and across a wide range of disciplines.

Faculty will also be able to apply for funding through a dedicated Collaborative Venture Fund specifically for UAlbany/Albany Law collaborations.

Who are the leaders of each institution?

Havidán Rodríguez is the president of the University at Albany and Alicia Ouellette is president and dean of Albany Law School.

Are the two institutions merging?

No. UAlbany and Albany Law School plan to work and function independently under the affiliation terms and continue to explore synergies to deepen and extend existing academic partnerships.

Will there be a name change? Physical move?

There are no plans to change the name of either institution, nor will either institution change its physical location. However, when appropriate and beneficial for both institutions, they may share space. For example, UAlbany’s Center for International Development moved its staff into the law school’s 2000 Building in June 2016, prompted by available space on the law school campus and the potential for exploring additional synergies with the School’s Government Law Center.

Will Albany Law School become one of UAlbany’s schools and colleges?

Albany Law will remain its own entity and leverage the interdisciplinary strengths of UAlbany’s diverse schools and colleges.

Are there fiscal implications?

The two institutions will remain financially independent. Each institution will retain its own endowment.

Albany Law and the University at Albany will share costs and share revenues, as appropriate.

What will happen with Albany Law School’s affiliation with Union University?

Albany Law School is part of Union University. In 1873, Albany Medical College,Union College, and later on Albany College of Pharmacy (now Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences) formed Union University.

Today, Union University exists in name only – each member institution has its own governing board and operates its own institutions independently. Discussions are ongoing about the continued viability of the Union University relationship.

What are the public engagement implications from an affiliation?

As publicly engaged institutions, Albany Law School and the University at Albany will provide opportunities to create reciprocal partnerships to tackle what matters most to the community. Through combined research, teaching, and service, we can partner with our communities, from local to global, to address complex societal challenges.

It is invaluable to the Capital Region to have a comprehensive public research university team up with a strong law school to help address the many issues where the law and societal needs intersect.  This public engagement includes, for example, best practices in non-profit management, tech transfer, commercialization, and entrepreneurship that support economic development programs such as Innovation Hot Spots and START-UP NY.

The connections between UAlbany and Albany Law abound, from broad areas such as public policy and government, to specific areas like business, the environment, education, public health, disability law, community policing, domestic violence, and more.

How will the University at Albany and Albany Law School measure success from the affiliation?

The University at Albany and Albany Law School believe that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The two institutions have agreed to explore a deeper affiliation because they believe there are areas that can be leveraged more effectively together. Success will be measured by traditional means: strong interest in enrollment, constituent satisfaction, and the success of graduates, among others.

Institutional Backgrounds:

About Albany Law School
Albany Law School is a small, private school located in the heart of New York state’s capital that has educated leaders since 1851. As the oldest law school in New York, the institution offers students an innovative, rigorous curriculum taught by a committed faculty. It has an affiliation agreement with University at Albany that includes shared programs, and access for students and faculty to learn from one another. It was named #1 in the nation for preparing students for government law and #6 for prosecution and public defense by “preLaw” magazine (winter 2016). Students have access to New York's highest court, federal courts, the executive branch and the state legislature. With approximately 10,400 alumni practicing across the country and several continents, Albany Law’s graduates serve as a vital community and resource for the school and its students. Visit www.albanylaw.edu.

About the University at Albany
Educationally and culturally, the  University at Albany-SUNY puts "The World Within Reach" for its more than 17,300 students. An internationally recognized research university, we offer  120 undergraduate majors and minors and more than 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs.  UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business,  criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, social welfare, and  sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.

Boiler Plate for Joint Releases
After years of collaboration, Albany Law School and the University at Albany announced a formal affiliation in September 2015. The partnership strengthens both institutions by creating innovative academic opportunities for students and opportunities for new research and grant prospects for faculty. The affiliation is designed to create economic and social benefits for the Capital Region and beyond. To learn more, visit here.