Albany Law School Named Among ‘20 Most Innovative Law Schools’ by preLaw Magazine

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PreLaw magazine named Albany Law School one of the 20 most innovative law schools in the country, citing the work of Albany Law students with “real life technology entrepreneurs.”

The magazine examined law school programs across the country and identified their top 20 with the most “innovative curricula, programs and approaches to preparing students for the future.” Noting that lawyers should understand business, technology, process improvement, and workflow optimization to increase their own value, the schools the magazine chose offer innovative courses, clinics, and programming to prepare students for the changing legal marketplace.

The magazine specifically called out Albany Law’s Entrepreneurship Law in Emerging Technologies program, where it states that students are charged with identifying the legal challenges that their entrepreneurial clients encounter and find solutions.

At Albany Law School, “Students not only receive instructions on business development and intellectual property but also learn the science behind new technologies so they can practice in a rapidly emerging field,” stated the article. 

The two schools also noted in the entrepreneurship category were Vanderbilt University Law School and University of California Hastings College of Law. Other law schools on the larger list of 20 include the law schools of Stanford University, Cornell, Duke, Georgetown and more. 

The magazine specifically called out Albany Law’s Entrepreneurship Law in Emerging Technologies program.

“This kind of recognition is a tribute to the hard work of our faculty as they continue to implement the school’s long-term strategic plan,” said Alicia Ouellette, President & Dean. “This work included envisioning and planning for an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Pathway, making hiring decisions and curriculum changes, and executing the plan in innovative ways. We’re just getting started.”

In January 2017, Albany Law School launched the nation’s first online Master of Science in Legal Studies with a specialization in Cybersecurity and Data Privacy. This 100% online learning program affords students around the globe—working professionals as well as traditional students—the opportunity to learn more about the legal and policy implications of cybersecurity and data privacy

The preLaw article focused on the program Entrepreneurship Law in Emerging Technologies, where students work in teams with an “Idea Champion”—an entrepreneurial tech-related client. This past fall, one of the teams assisted an Idea Champion with a new weather forecasting technology, looking at large energy companies for clients. Another team worked on the legal issues of an innovation that involved assisting patients, including the elderly who have difficulty moving their bodies.

In the school’s new Community Development Clinic, students are connected with small start-ups who cannot afford an attorney to provide legal assistance. Working with University at Albany’s Innovate 518, which refers clients to the Clinic, students provided legal help to more than 40 businesses. Services included helping them form the appropriate entity, negotiating a real property acquisition agreement, and drafting a construction contract.

“All these opportunities are an outgrowth of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Pathway,” said Dean Ouellette. “The Pathway provides programs, hands-on opportunities, mentors, advisors, and internships within the innovation space. This was all built by a collaboration of the Albany Law community, and we can expect a lot more to come.”