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Albany Law School announced today that it received a commitment of $500,000 to strengthen and grow the Joseph N. Barnett '29 Memorial Endowed Scholarship.
The $500,000 gift by Barnett's son Arnold R. Barnett provides additional funding to a student with financial need from Montgomery, Schenectady, or Albany County. The money will be added to Albany Law School's endowment, creating lasting legacies that will benefit generations of students. The Joseph N. Barnett '29 Memorial Scholarship was originally established by the Barnett family in 1987 and funded annually thereafter to support a second- or third-year student in good academic standing.
Joseph Barnett practiced law in Amsterdam, N.Y., for 47 years and served as president of the Montgomery County Bar Association. He was also a member of the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers.
"The Joseph N. Barnett '29 Memorial Scholarship will have even more impact thanks to this gift, and the legacy of Mr. Barnett will carry on in a more profound way by providing a full scholarship each year to the selected student," said President and Dean Alicia Ouellette. "Contributions to student scholarships are so important as they help remove a significant barrier to the profession. We are grateful to Arnold for recognizing the significance of such an investment."
"My Dad was known for his dedication to family, his competitive spirit, and his success in the courtroom. He was the best at everything he did," Arnold Barnett said. "He was also incredibly generous. I'm proud to give back, in his name, to the students of his alma mater."
"Regardless of the situation, Dad's family always came first," he added. "While at school in Boston I contracted staphylococcus pneumonia. I went to the hospital. They were about to send me home. Having incorrectly diagnosed the type of pneumonia, I refused to go home and also refused to go into a ward. When they finally reached my father, he was emphatic: 'Put him in a private room. His mother and I are on the way.' Dad's court calendar was full at the time, but he cleared his schedule and put his son first. ... When it came to charities and helping those less fortunate, you could always count on Joe Barnett."
As the cost of a legal education continues to climb, Albany Law School remains committed to enrolling and educating a diverse pool of talented students. Endowed scholarships ensure that the most promising students can attend Albany Law School, regardless of their economic status.
The law school has secured more than $27 million in gifts and commitments toward
We Rise Together: The Campaign for Albany Law School. The campaign, announced in 2019, is an ambitious fundraising effort to support student scholarships, innovation, and programs that make an impact on the community.