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Some international visitors made Albany Law School a stop on their United States tour earlier this week.
On Tuesday, February 11, the law school hosted a group of 18 delegates from the Indian National Bar Association (INBA). The INBA planned its trip abroad to allow the group, a mix of students and young professionals, to learn about the United States' legal practices and government, as well as to take in some sightseeing.
Kaviraj Singh, secretary general of the INBA, has been facilitating trips like this for nearly 20 years and regularly hosts American delegates when they visit India. Tuesday was his first visit to Albany Law School.
"They have an image of what [America] looks like from movies, but they are learning so many things seeing it in real life," Singh said during a reception with students and faculty in the East Foyer. "There's something special about New York—something new."
Suresh Chandra, a law secretary with the Indian government, added that the group has been impressed by the United States' educational institutions—their focus on specialties in particular. Before coming to the Capital Region, the group traveled to New York City and Washington, D.C., where they took a negotiation course and visited the U.S. Capitol and the Supreme Court.
The visit was organized by Singh and Jerry Shaye, who operates an international trade and travel company. They were colleagues at Empire State Development, and a few months ago, Singh approached Shaye mentioning he had a group of several law students and wanted to take them on a United States visit.
"Why would you go anywhere else?" Shaye said.
Their Capital Region stop has included a trip to the Court of Appeals—New York State's highest court—a roundtable lunch with the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), meetings at private law firms, and a stop to see the state Senate in session. On deck: a tour of the New York State Capitol building and the Empire State Plaza, and a stop at the University at Albany's School of Business.
"We hope to expose them to people in their profession in this community," Shaye said. "They're doing the most you could get in a few days."
For Albany Law School students, the INBA's visit was also a chance to compare educational opportunities and systematic structures.
"It's cool to see people from other countries here—people that look like me—and to see the impact of other countries," said Ruchi Patel, a 1L at Albany Law School.