From the President and Dean - 2020 Magazine

Alicia Ouellette

This is not the magazine that we had planned.

Then again, this is not the year that we—any of us—had planned.

We hoped in this issue to bring you more standalone stories of independence, innovation, and impact

—the pillars of We Rise Together: The Campaign for Albany Law School. Then came the novel coronavirus. The COVID-19 pandemic upended our lives. It brought disruption, loss, and heartbreak.

But as the year progressed, we began to see incredible things: people adapting in extraordinary ways; people, some in roles outside their comfort zones, helping one another; people leading—making perhaps the most significant decisions of their careers under extreme pressure.

Zooming in, many of these people are members of our community. They are Albany Law School graduates, students, faculty, and staff, stepping up and making us proud. Suddenly, this issue of Albany Law Magazine came into focus: we are telling one story through these experiences. It’s the story of how this great community and its people confronted an extraordinary challenge and—in ways unique, personal, and inventive—used their tools to make an impact.

Included in these pages: Gov. Andrew Cuomo ’82, who offers his thoughts on crisis leadership; Mayors Patrick Madden ’83 and Kathy Sheehan ’94, who walk us through their cities’ responses to COVID-19; Vincent Lai ’86, whose generosity can be measured in miles (he mailed the law school hundreds of masks from Hong Kong); students, alumni, and friends at the Legal Aid Society, working tirelessly for those affected by the pandemic; Judges Richard Rivera ’91, Sherri Brooks-Morton ’03, and their colleagues at Albany Family Court, which despite public health regulations hasn’t stopped carrying out the important work of justice; the unsung heroes of Albany Law School’s transitions to remote learning and back again; and others who aren’t named on this page, only for a lack of space.

Also, this year, our nation and its many institutions—including those of us in the law and higher education—reckoned with the realities of racism and racial justice. In this issue we explore some of the ways in which Albany Law School and its community members are working to raise awareness of these issues and bend the historical arc toward equity.

We all have a story to tell. And from the start, we’ve been in this together.

We adapt together. We help together. We lead together.

We heal together.

We Rise Together.

And in the end, we will get through this—together.

All my best,


Alicia Ouellette Signature




President and Dean

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