Message from the Dean about Commencement

By Alicia Ouellette
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Dear Albany Law School Community,

As we continue to monitor the current public health situation, I am pleased to share some important information regarding Commencement celebrations for the Classes of 2020 and 2021.

Commencement ceremonies for both classes will be held on May 21, 2021.

Albany Law School Trustee Jim Sandman will address the Class of 2020. Sandman is a Distinguished Lecturer and Senior Consultant to the Future of the Profession at The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. He served as president of the Legal Services Corporation— the nation's largest funder of civil legal aid for low-income individuals—from 2011 to 2020. He practiced law with Arnold & Porter LLP for 30 years and served as the firm's managing partner. He has also served as general counsel for the District of Columbia Public Schools and is currently Chair of the American Bar Association’s Task Force on Legal Issues Arising Out of the 2020 Pandemic. He is the son of the late Edgar Sandman '46 and a supporter of the family's Edgar & Margaret Sandman Fellow.

The Class of 2021 will be addressed by fellow Albany Law School Trustee Rob Capers ’96. He is the current Chief United States Probation Officer for the Eastern District of New York. Prior to joining the U.S. Probation Office, Rob was a partner at Arent Fox LLP, where he was an integral part of the firm’s Business Compliance & Integrity Monitorships team. Rob served as a prosecutor for over two decades, beginning his career at the New York County District Attorney’s Office under the legendary Robert M. Morgenthau and then in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, where as a line and supervisory prosecutor he led a number of complex investigations and prosecutions. In 2015, he was nominated and appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as the US Attorney for Eastern District of New York.

Our sincere hope is to be able to hold commencement at least partially in-person. We have begun to work with an outdoor venue with the expectation that New York State guidelines will allow us to come together and celebrate your accomplishments. We understand how important it is for graduates to be with the people who have given them support and encouragement throughout their lives to recognize this momentous achievement. We promise to do all we can to make the ceremony meaningful for everyone.

We will continue to update you as plans progress. We ask that everyone remain patient as updates are communicated between now and May.

Fortunately, New York State continues on a downward trend in the overall COVID positivity rate. Restrictions are being adjusted—in many cases, relaxed—as we pass important milestones on the path to a full reopening of all businesses and activities. We continue to see a low positivity rate among those tested within our community. This is a testament to the strong public health and safety measures we have put in place and the commitment from our students, faculty, and staff to ensure we protect one another.

The Law School continues to discourage all but the most essential travel. For those who do plan to travel in the coming weeks, I want to remind you to be careful during your travels and to adhere to New York State’s guidelines for traveling out of state.

All the best,

Alicia Ouellette Signature




Alicia Ouellette
President and Dean