United through Literary Connections

A group of Albany Law School students used the impact of the written word to bring the law school community together this summer.

The Albany Law Literary Circle—created by Shabena Amzad, Julia Bertolino, Andrea Gagliardi, and Mina Mirzaie, all Class of 2022—united more than 70 book lovers, including about 30 alumni, from all walks of life: incoming 1Ls to judges and senior attorneys; students and administration to faculty and staff.

Participants were grouped according to genre. Those groups then selected, read, and discussed a book; they met via Zoom to discuss their selections and apply themes to current events. Several reading circles shifted focus to Black authors, encouraging conversation on literature surrounding civil rights and racial inequality.

Discussions had a “diverse mix of generational and experiential perspective,” according to group leaders, who felt compelled to start the program to stay connected with the law school community as they finished their first year online.

Book selections included YOU CAN’T TOUCH MY HAIR by Phoebe Robinson, THE BLUEST EYE by Toni Morrison, TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE by Mitch Albom, LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE by Celeste Ng, and THIRTEEN by Steve Cavanagh.

The Literary Circle recently launched a new program, with a focus on shorter, lighter reading for the busy fall semester.

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