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Student Ambassadors

Medea Asatiani

Graduation Year
2023
Hometown
Kutaisi, Georgia
Undergraduate School
Hunter College
Undergraduate Major
Religious Studies and English Literature
E-mail

Career Goal upon Graduation:
I would like to serve my community. I am not sure in what capacity I will be doing this, but I am exploring my options.

What has been your most meaningful experience thus far?
I love being part of my section. My section is very diverse, and every single person has had an amazing journey to law school. They inspire me to be a better student and person.

What insight can you give prospective students about Albany Law?
Ask for help when you need it. Reach out to faculty, your TAs, and classmates. Albany Law is a community first and foremost. I would advise you to immerse yourself in this community.

Why did you choose Albany Law?
Albany Law is a small school with a big heart. The community at Albany Law is unique. I felt this when I first visited law school. I only applied to Albany Law because I wanted to be part of this wonderful community.

Cassandra Carudo

Graduation Year
2023
Hometown
Suffern, NY
Undergraduate School
SUNY Oswego
Undergraduate Major
Economics and Marketing
E-mail

Career Goal upon Graduation:
While my goal is to pursue a career in public interest in New York State, and find a career that is fulfilling, I plan to keep an open mind to the opportunities that come my way while in law school.

What has been your most meaningful experience thus far?
I have only been here for one semester, but what is most meaningful to me so far is how willing the professors and teaching assistants are to go out of their way to help students. I always feel comfortable asking for help.

What insight can you give prospective students about Albany Law?
Work hard but take time for yourself. It’s important to have a good work-life balance, especially when you start acclimating to law school. Albany Law has a great community of students, faculty, and staff who are there to help you, so take advantage of them as resources.

Why did you choose Albany Law?
I felt that going to law school in the New York State Capital would put me in a position to be as intertwined with the law as possible. Additionally, I heard of the amazing reputation the law school has, which lives up to the expectations. Lastly, being close to home and family was an additional deciding factor.

Alexandra Cover

Graduation Year
2024
Hometown
Salida, Colorado
Undergraduate School
University of Colorado, Denver
Undergraduate Major
Spanish
E-mail

Career Goal upon Graduation:
There are a lot of optional paths to take upon graduation! I would love to do a judicial clerkship for a year or two immediately after graduation as I hear the experience gained in incomparable. In the distant future I would love to do a judgeship or teach at a law school. I am open to whatever possible avenues I may find along the way here at Albany Law.

What has been your most meaningful experience thus far?
I am only a few weeks into my educational career here at Albany Law. Before I came here, I knew it was going to be a good school, but the orientation that was provided before classes began truly exceeded my expectations! In just two days at orientation I feel like I have a clearer understanding as to what it is I need to do to be successful in my law school journey. Albany Law really sets you up from building a resume to finding a job with a ton of help through the career center. This was a big deal for me because my past experience and resume have nothing to do with the legal community beyond being a law school student. I now have a path along the way to build my resume to show general legal experience while I am in school and know that I will have all the support I need to find that initial job placement out of law school.

What insight can you give prospective students about Albany Law?
Applying for law school can be daunting and overwhelming. If, like me, you are feeling worried about relevant legal experience while applying for law school, just put your best foot forward and your potential will be seen! If you have any questions as to what Albany Law can offer you, don't hesitate to reach out to me!

Why did you choose Albany Law?
In searching for schools I was very concentrated on the statistics of bar passage rate and employment after graduation. Albany Law School has great statistics and that really attracted me to the idea of going here! In house clinical opportunities were also an important factor in my decision and Albany Law has many clinical opportunities to gain real world practice.

Gienabou Diallo

Graduation Year
2023
Hometown
Bronx, NY
Undergraduate School
University at Albany (SUNY), U.S Army Quartermaster School, Fort Lee, Virginia
Undergraduate Major
B.A in Africana Studies and Sociology; M.A. in African Studies with a concentration in Law and Policy
E-mail

Career Goal upon Graduation:
I joined the United States Army Reserves as a 92A logistical specialist two years ago, and upon graduation, I would like to pursue a future as a Judge Advocate General (JAG) in the military to ensure that all soldiers have their basic legal rights. I am also very passionate about helping others, so I'd like to pursue a career that would enable me to advocate for people who are marginalized and oppressed around the world.

What has been your most meaningful experience thus far?
This summer, I had the opportunity to serve as an Anderson Fellow with the Government Law Center. I worked alongside Professor Ava Ayers in conducting Election research, aided her with legislative drafting, and engaged in statutory research directly with the Common Council and Corporate Counsel at City Hall in preparation for litigation. It has been a wonderful experience, particularly because I was able to see how my classroom experience manifests itself in the real-world.

What insight can you give prospective students about Albany Law?
I would encourage prospective students to learn patience. It is okay to not know what you would like to pursue in the beginning of your law school career, however, with the right support systems around you, the journey will get easier. It is also very important to do your best and to remember that your best is always enough.

Why did you choose Albany Law?
I wanted to attend an institution that would allow me to be my authentic self and build on my experiences. After visiting Albany Law School, meeting with the staff, and talking with students, I felt like it provided me with a space where I could grow with a community, challenge myself, receive support and be around inspirational people. Albany Law School is also one of the top-ranking schools in public service law, so I felt that attending this institution would it provide me with many opportunities in our State capital. I am grateful to be part of this institution and I have no doubt that I will excel here.

Jenna DiBenedetto

Graduation Year
2022
Hometown
Hannacroix, New York
Undergraduate School
Fordham University
Undergraduate Major
Environmental Studies and Anthropology, Pre-Law Track
E-mail

Career Goal upon Graduation:
Upon my graduation, I hope to continue to expand on the opportunities I have received while a student at Albany Law School by pursuing a career in either trial practice or appellate work. These passions have been inspired by the opportunities I received as a student at Albany Law School.

What has been your most meaningful experience thus far?
Some of my most meaningful experiences while at Albany Law School have been through my involvement in the Anthony V. Cardona '70 Moot Court Program. As a 1L, I had the opportunity to volunteer with Moot Court. As a 2L, I had the opportunity to compete in both Interschool and Intraschool competitions. And now as a 3L, I have the privilege of chairing the Domenick L. Gabrielli Appellate Advocacy Competition. This involvement has allowed me to network, advocate, negotiate, and grow as an individual.

What insight can you give prospective students about Albany Law?
It can be easy to be excited and anxious and certainly overwhelmed during the law school process because it is all of those things. However, there are two important things to remember: (1) you are fully capable of succeeding in your desire to be a law school graduate; and (2) you should pick an institution that inspires you and supports your passions. Feeling like you are part of a community that inspires you and uplifts you are a part of the law school decision process that far too many people overlook. It's time we change that.

Why did you choose Albany Law?
I chose to attend Albany Law because of the incredible staff and faculty at the law school. Pursuing your law degree can be a stressful and demanding process, but having support from individuals who actively want to see you succeed is a major comfort and motivator. Additionally, the access to New York's highest court, the Court of Appeals, and the legislature is such a unique privilege and opportunity.

Deana DiBenedetto

Graduation Year
2023
Hometown
Hannacroix, New York
Undergraduate School
Saint Michael’s College in Burlington, Vermont. Study programs at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David in Carmarthen, Wales, United Kingdom and American University in Washington, D.C.
Undergraduate Major
Political Science with a minor in Crime and Justice
E-mail

Career Goal upon Graduation:
Upon graduation, I hope to use my writing skills, public speaking abilities, and knowledge of the law to provide a voice for my future clients and solve the problems they may be facing.

What has been your most meaningful experience thus far?
I think the most meaningful experience I have had at Albany Law School has been connecting with my professors. Not only are the professors at Albany Law School academically gifted, but they are also distinguished leaders in their perspective fields. The conversations I have had with my professors about the subjects being taught in my courses have been incredibly interesting, have allowed me to apply what I have learned to the real world, and have also given me the opportunity to reflect upon my own career interests.

What insight can you give prospective students about Albany Law?
“A great flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.” – Zen Shin. The biggest advice I would give to incoming law students is to try their best not to give into the pressures of what I would like to call the “stereotypical law school student:” a cut-throat individual who is in competition with his/her/their peers and who is constantly downing espresso and studying from before dawn to past dusk. In order to better organize myself and thereby prevent myself from cracking under the pressures of law school, I bought myself an agenda book, which I have used to organize my schedule, document my accomplishments, set larger goals for each month, and create a list of tasks to achieve each day. I then would try to focus on tackling each task, one at a time. Worrying about everything that needed to be done at once overwhelmed me. Likewise, stressing about what my peers had done to prepare for class or how late my classmates had stayed up at night to complete their readings only prevented me from completing my assignments. I simply focused on my schedule and task list and worked to do the best I could each day. The biggest insight I think that I can give to incoming law students is to keep focused on each task at hand and work the hardest they can, and they will ultimately bloom where they plant themselves.

Why did you choose Albany Law?
I am from a small town about thirty-five minutes South of Albany, so I was familiar with the Capitol Region. When I pictured my future, I always thought that I would end up back in the area to attend Albany Law School. I am very close with my family, whom I live with and who serve as a strong support system for me throughout the stresses of law school. There is also so much opportunity for law students in the region because Albany Law School is the only law school strategically located in New York’s State Capitol.

Robert Hojnacki

Graduation Year
2023
Hometown
Rome, NY
Undergraduate School
University at Albany
Undergraduate Major
Political Science/ Business
E-mail

Career Goal upon Graduation:
While I have come to Albany Law with an open mind in terms of my future, I have always had a love for business so practicing corporate law is my goal.

What has been your most meaningful experience thus far?
My most meaningful experience has been joining the rugby team. Starting school in the middle of a pandemic made it difficult to meet people and try to adjust to law school. Once I joined the team, I instantly had a great support system and mentors who wanted to help me even in the virtual setting that we were in. The insight and guidance that the team provided helped me immensely and no questions I had went unanswered.

What insight can you give prospective students about Albany Law?
Law school may seem overwhelming at first, but you are never alone at Albany Law. The professors and staff will go above and beyond to help you in anyway possible. They understand what it’s like to be in law school, never hesitate to reach out for help!

Why did you choose Albany Law?
The opportunities and possibilities that come from living in the capital district of New York are endless and that made me instantly fall in love with Albany. Once I visited Albany Law and felt the welcoming atmosphere from the faculty and students I knew that this was the school that would help me succeed.

Charissa Kim

Graduation Year
2024
Hometown
Boston, MA
Undergraduate School
Boston College
Undergraduate Major
Applied Psychology & Human Development, Theology
E-mail

Career Goal upon Graduation:
I hope to practice education law and other types of public interest law such as civil rights/liberties and employment upon graduation. That said, I remain open-minded to new opportunities I may find at Albany Law.

What has been your most meaningful experience thus far?
My most meaningful experience has been receiving support from the faculty and the TA's. They make it clear that they want the best for their students and would do their best in any way to help students feel supported and succeed in law school. The faculty and the TA's have been easily accessible, and I don't hesitate to reach out to them.

What insight can you give prospective students about Albany Law?
Law school can be both overwhelming and demanding, but it's important to take time for yourself and recuperate in order to maximize your success as a law student. Prioritize yourself!
 

Chloe Montano

Graduation Year
2024
Hometown
Ventura, CA
Undergraduate School
California State University Channel Islands
Undergraduate Major
English
E-mail

Career Goal upon Graduation:
While I have an open mind about my career plans upon graduation, I am passionate about family law and intend to practice as a matrimonial and family law attorney.

What has been your most meaningful experience thus far?
My most meaningful experience at Albany Law has been joining the rugby team and getting involved with some of the different clubs the campus has to offer. I moved from across the country and felt lost those first couple of weeks, but these clubs introduced me to really great people who have become my closest friends and who have turned Albany into my home.

What insight can you give prospective students about Albany Law?
Law school is daunting and no matter how many times you've experienced the "first day" of school, it will still be intimidating. My advice is to push yourself outside your comfort zone and join clubs or sports that you've never tried or maybe never pictured yourself in. Be open to friendships with anyone and everyone as you never know who you might click with. You truly get what you give in any realm of life and Albany Law is a place full of people that have a lot to give if you put yourself out there.

Why did you choose Albany Law?
I chose Albany Law because I was looking to expand my horizons and really jump outside my comfort zone. Albany Law has so many great post-graduation opportunities and such a strong and supportive alumni. I felt confident that a J.D. from Albany Law would give me the skills to build a legal career I could be proud of. During the admissions cycle, Albany Law really made me feel like I was not only accepted but wanted. I knew moving away from everything I was accustomed with would be hard, but Albany Law made me feel like I would have a place to call home when I got here and that is exactly what it did.

Katarina Parise

Graduation Year
2022
Hometown
Tampa, FL
Undergraduate School
University of Tampa
Undergraduate Major
Criminal Justice & Criminology
E-mail

Career Goal upon Graduation:
To practice law in a field that I am passionate about. I want to find a field that I am interested in and that the work I am doing benefits my community. I aspire to be an Assistant District Attorney.

What has been your most meaningful experience thus far?
I really enjoyed being a teaching assistant for Criminal Law my 2L year. It was a great experience, I was able to not only relearn concepts but also help first-year students with the class. I really enjoyed the advisory role and being able to help students in that way.

What insight can you give prospective students about Albany Law?
You get what you put into this school, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved and to become connected with the school. Attend as many events as you can because you will meet wonderful people and hear from exceptional speakers. Albany Law will give you the opportunities, you just have to take them.

Why did you choose Albany Law?
I knew I wanted to practice in the state of New York, but what drew me to Albany Law was the numerous opportunities they offer to students interested in field placements and clinics. Additionally, when I visited the campus everyone was very warm and inviting. I was between Albany Law and another school but after visiting both, I could feel the community and support that Albany Law offered.

Joshua Paultre

Graduation Year
2023
Hometown
Rensselaer, NY
Undergraduate School
University at Albany 3+3 Program
Undergraduate Major
English
E-mail

Career Goal upon Graduation:
I have come to Albany Law with an open mind regarding my plans upon graduation. I am passionate about many fields of law from property and business to personal injury but will continue to remain open-minded and explore various areas through the diverse opportunities this school has to offer.

What has been your most meaningful experience thus far?
My most meaningful experience thus far has been the connections I have made with professors. They are available and always happy to see and help students out. Even when struggling to understand a difficult topic they take the time and show compassion when walking you through it.

What insight can you give prospective students about Albany Law?
Take advantage of the clubs and networking events Albany Law has to offer. There is so much support that comes not only from your colleagues and professors but even your career counselor and associations as well. Don't be afraid of not having an exact goal in mind. Albany Law helps guide your decision one step at a time.

Why did you choose Albany Law?
I chose Albany law because I was a student who likes to hit the ground running. Albany law gave me that opportunity through its partnership with University at Albany where I was able to save a year of education and follow my passion for law sooner rather than later. In addition because of Albany Law's location in New York State, reputation and connections with lawyers across the state, and the financial aid package to Suny Students, I knew Albany Law was for me.

Kyle Pittman

Graduation Year
2023
Hometown
Rochester, New York
Undergraduate School
The College at Brockport, SUNY
Undergraduate Major
Major: Political Science; Minor: International Studies
E-mail

Career Goal upon Graduation:
I have come to Albany Law with an open mind regarding my plans upon graduation. That being said, I am looking forward to taking a wide range of courses to decide what field I will approach in the future.

What has been your most meaningful experience thus far?
Thus far, my most meaningful memory is experiencing how approachable the Albany Law community is. Right from the first week of classes, I made meaningful relationships that will last beyond my time here at Albany Law.

What insight can you give prospective students about Albany Law?
Take advantage of the many opportunities Albany Law has to offer. There are plenty of groups and other societies that in-coming students can join. It makes the Law School experience more exciting when you get involved and make new relationships.

Why did you choose Albany Law?
Albany Law has an outstanding reputation for its student body, professors, and alumni. Everyone I have come across thus far is more than willing to help students grow not only in their studies but professionally as well. The School is also uniquely located to opportunities in New York City and Boston for those who wish to gravitate towards those popular areas.

Claire Stratton

Graduation Year
2023
Hometown
Tyler, TX
Undergraduate School
University of Texas at Austin
Undergraduate Major
Sociology and English
E-mail

Career Goal upon Graduation:
I would like to become a litigator in New York City. I am most interested in civil rights, corporate, and commercial law.

What has been your most meaningful experience thus far?
The most meaningful experience I have had at Albany Law has been being a part of the community. Not just with students, but with the faculty and staff as well. It is nice to walk into school knowing that you are wanted there and that the people want to see you succeed. Everyone at Albany Law is on your team.

What insight can you give prospective students about Albany Law?
Law school is what you make of it. There are many opportunities to develop yourself as a well-rounded attorney and individual. Don't let those chances pass you by-- be diligent about your time at law school. It is better to make mistakes and learn about yourself with people who care about you before you enter into the workforce as an attorney.

Why did you choose Albany Law?
I knew that I wanted to be in New York for law school. Texas, as you can imagine, is far from New York, so I knew the place I chose would need to be one where I could make a "home away from home." During my "Accepted Students Day" seminar, I already felt like I belonged in the community, and could see myself developing relationships that would last a lifetime. To date, attending Albany Law has been one of the best decisions in my life.

Tina Thermadam

Graduation Year
2023
Hometown
Rockland County, NY
Undergraduate School
Fordham University- Lincoln Center
Undergraduate Major
Political Science, Orthodox Christian Studies
E-mail

Career Goal upon Graduation:
I have various different areas of interest including business law, government and health law. Exposing myself to a variety of classes helped shape and develop my understanding of each field. I want to continue to remain open-minded and explore various areas through the diverse opportunities this school has to offer.

What has been your most meaningful experience thus far?
I started law school in the midst of a global pandemic. Nonetheless, my professors made themselves accessible to me just as much as they would in person. Upperclassmen continued to have events via zoom and build relationships. Fellow classmates relied upon and assisted one another in getting through one of the most difficult years of our lives both academically and mentally. One of my favorite experiences is when my roommate and I developed, composed, and recorded two songs about what we had learned from Civil Procedure and Contracts during our first year. We sent these to our professors who played it for the class, appreciated our efforts, and cherished our excitement about the material. I felt welcome and emotionally attached to a University that I couldn't step foot into prior to becoming a law student. That is not a coincidence, that is magic.

What insight can you give prospective students about Albany Law?
One of my favorite quotes is one by Barack Obama when he wrote "The study of law can be disappointing at times, a matter of applying narrow rules and arcane procedure to an uncooperative reality; a sort of glorified accounting that serves to regulate the affairs of those who have power. . . But that's not all the law is. The law is also memory; the law also records a long-running conversation, a nation arguing with its conscience". To be a part of that long-running conversation requires patience. The patience to gather the tools we need to have that conversation with leaders, policymakers, colleagues, and members of the community. It also requires hard work and dedication. Albany Law ensures that we grow in our understanding of legal theory, legal application, professionalism, and legal brilliance. That growth will take shedding old parts of ourselves that hinder our growth and replace that with effective change whether that is study habits or self-care routines. Lastly being a part of that long-standing conversation with history and the future requires passion and creativity. Never stop dreaming.

Why did you choose Albany Law?
I chose Albany Law for its location. Aside from that, Albany Law was one of the only schools where I was able to communicate directly with individuals throughout the entire Admissions process. I didn't feel like another name on a piece of paper. I didn't feel like another application the school had to sort through. I felt like an applicant regarded as a member of the community with care and guidance. Not a lot of other schools offered that personalized approach to law school. Once I arrived here, it was evident that each student chooses Albany Law every day through the effort they put into programming, academics, events, career development, and the community as a whole.

Matthew Walsh

Graduation Year
2022
Hometown
St. Albans, Vermont
Undergraduate School
Southeastern University, Florida
Undergraduate Major
Major in Legal Studies, Minor in History
E-mail

What has been your most meaningful experience thus far?
The overall atmosphere of the school. Most people think of law school as cutthroat and competitive but here it is very easy to get involved and branch out and make friends.

What insight can you give prospective students about Albany Law?
Do not panic and take things one step at a time coming in to the school. It may seem a bit overwhelming at first but all of the professors and other students want to help you out. It is a community here!

Why did you choose Albany Law?
My first time visiting the school on accepted students day I had no idea what to expect and knew almost nothing about the area. Everyone at Albany Law was very friendly and welcoming! Several of the admissions staff even knew my name coming in. This made a big impact on me in choosing a school and that coupled with the many opportunities in the area, I knew Albany Law was the place to be.

Tai White

Graduation Year
2024
Hometown
Middle Grove, NY
Undergraduate School
SUNY Cortland
Undergraduate Major
Sociology
E-mail

Career Goal upon Graduation:
Upon graduation I hope to create more learning opportunities for students who wish to further their studies. I believe that law professors have the ability to positively impact the lives of their students. I want to be able to assist, inspire, and educate others.

What has been your most meaningful experience thus far?
I finished my first semester of my first year this past spring and I knew what was expected from me as a law student however the first month and a half was challenging. My most meaningful experience was pushing myself to understand completely new material and taking advantage of office hours hosted by my professors and my teacher assistants. Their positivity and constructive criticism allowed me to have more confidence in myself to overcome the difficulties I dealt with while managing an entirely new course load.

What insight can you give prospective students about Albany Law?
The first year is challenging and you may often find yourself buried in school work but always reserve time for yourself. Remember that if you do not take a break or rest, your body will do it for you. Managing your time while prioritizing your mental health is very important. Although law school is very demanding, you are capable and you are going to meet amazing professors, teacher assistants, and other students who will give you whatever push or advice you may need.

Why did you choose Albany Law?
Albany Law was my first choice, I felt as if the programs provided to students prepared them for the legal field that they wished to enter. I am aware that studying law and practicing law are very different, however I believe Albany Law gives students the proper insight and experience they need to succeed.