Programs for Fellows
The GLC Fellowship helps students prepare for public service in several ways. First, the Fellowship helps students build knowledge in key areas of the law, and the practical skills required to be a successful practitioner. Second, it helps students build a sense of community on campus, so that they can share their experience with colleagues facing the same challenges. And, third, the Fellowship helps students build connections to the community of practitioners off-campus.
Every program that forms a part of the Fellowship also helps students build their professional identity, that is, the goals, values, and sense of commitment and meaning that will help them succeed and thrive in public-service practice.
The GLC Fellowship includes different programs at each stage of law school. It begins with informal programs, then moves to academic requirements, and finishes with an experiential capstone. Each is described below.
First-Year and Ongoing Informal Programs
The first-year Fellowship is designed as a series of optional activities for first-year students who wish to explore whether public service is right for them. Programs are designed to be both exploratory and preparatory; students who aren't yet sure of their plans can use them to explore the possibility of public service, while students who are firm in their plan to enter public service will benefit from the substantive exposure.
The extracurricular programming described here is the substance of the first-year Fellowship. However, each of the activities described in this section is also open to upper-class Fellows unless specifically indicated otherwise.
These extracurricular programs will fall into one of three basic categories, which correspond to the three goals of the Fellowship program: learning about public service; community-building; and making connections to attorneys in public service. Building knowledge and skills
Program that build knowledge and skillss may include:
- Lectures and other class-like sessions that substantively explain a specific field of practice or legal topic;
- Career mentoring, including participation in the Alumni Initiative in Mentoring program, workshops on career topics, and mentoring by the Center's staff; and
- Field observations, in which groups of Fellows have the opportunity to see government lawyering in practice. Examples could include observing a Court of Appeals argument on government-law-related issues and discussing the argument with the judges; or observing a legislative or administrative hearing.
Through social events and other activities, GLC Fellows develop a sense of community. The Fellows also serve as a core group on the Albany Law School campus around which students who are not in the Fellowship program can coalesce to learn more about public service and continue to build their professional identities.
Programs that create a sense of community among students interested in public service may include:
- Social activities, such as receptions at the beginning or end of an academic year organized by members of the GLC Advisory Board's Student Engagement Committee;
- Skill-share sessions, where Fellows exchange ideas about challenges facing them in law school;
- Community-service projects; and
- Open houses, study breaks at the GLC during exam periods.
Other programs discussed above, like field observations, will also help build community.
Programs in the third category help Fellows (and other students) develop connections to attorneys in public service. Programs of this kind may include:
- Collaborating with the Alumni office to help GLC Fellows and other students participate in the law school's mentoring program, so that mentors can help them build their understanding of public service;
- Sessions in which attorneys in public service meet with the Fellows to describe their practice and career paths;
- A in which each first-year student Fellow is assigned to meet with two of the lawyers who have signed up to be mentors, to learn about the setting in which those lawyers practice and what it's like to practice there, and to report back to the other Fellows in a roundtable session that the Center will organize; and
- Where appropriate, involving GLC Fellows (and other students) in meetings and events organized or attended by the Center's staff-members.
All upper-class GLC Fellows will be required to declare a concentration in Government Law and Policy. The requirements for this concentration are listed on the website, here.
Among the requirements for this concentration are two required courses: Administrative Law and Law of Government. While students can satisfy the concentration requirements by taking these at any time, GLC Fellows must take them before they begin the experiential capstone discussed below. Taking these classes before satisfying the experiential-programming requirement ensures that Fellows have a solid working knowledge of the structure and law of government before beginning their third-year experiential work.
Only in extraordinary circumstances, and with the permission of the Director of the Center, will a Fellow be permitted to delay completing the two required classes until after they have begun their experiential capstone. If Fellows believe that delaying completion of the two required classes would benefit them educationally, or have another reason to seek a delay, they should speak to the GLC Director as early as possible.
The Experiential Capstone
GLC Fellows will be required to do experiential work after they have completed the Law of Government and Administrative Law courses. They can fulfill this requirement either by interning at the Center or with an external placement in government or government-related practice. Fellows will then make a presentation about their experiential-capstone work at a roundtable attended by other Fellows. Details on each of these aspects of the experiential capstone follow.
Option One: Interning at the Center
Students can satisfy the experiential requirement by interning at the Government Law Center during the third year. Interns work at the Center, helping with our core projects and other research. Typically, our interns are assigned to specific projects, such as our immigration research, our project on aging law, or our project on police oversight.
Internships at the Center can be done as for academic credit (as a field placement, semester in practice, or independent study) or for pay (as a research assistantship). The application schedule and commitment involved in the internship varies depending on whether it is a research assistantship, a field placement, or an independent study. But the GLC is limited in the number of interns it can accept each semester, so students should let us know as early as possible if they are considering applying for an internship.
The appropriate way to apply for an internship will depend on what form the internship takes. Students who wish to do their internship as a field placements, semester in practice, or independent study should apply through those programs, which each have their own application requirements. Students who wish to do their internship as a research assistantship should talk to the GLC Director about how to apply.
Option Two: An external placement
Students can also satisfy the experiential-capstone requirement by doing an internship, externship, field placement, or semester in practice under the supervision of an external attorney. The external placement should be either in government or in a government-related position.
If a student wishes to satisfy this requirement with a government-related position, they should discuss the placement with the Director of the Center before beginning work to make sure it qualifies. Examples of qualifying external placements could include working at a lobbying firm in a role that involves focus on government activities; working for an advocacy organization to affect governmental policies; and related activities. However, the mere fact that a position involves working on law does not make it a qualifying position, even though laws are made by government.
As part of the capstone experiential requirement, Fellows will be required to make a presentation about their work and what they have learned from it at a roundtable organized by the Center and attended by other Fellows. These roundtables will be organized for late in the relevant semester. Details will be announced promptly.
The Fellowship's experiential capstone is different from the concentration's experiential requirement
The experiential requirement for the Government Law Center Fellowship is separate from the experiential requirement for the Government Law and Policy concentration. The concentration has its own experiential requirement, which can be satisfied by participation in a clinic, field placement, or summer/semester in practice related to the concentration—or participation in the GLC Fellowship.
Students can use the same experience to satisfy both the Fellowship's experiential requirement and the concentration's experiential requirement. For example, a student who does a field placement at the GLC in their third year would satisfy both the GLC Fellowship's experiential requirement and the Government Law and Policy concentration's experiential requirement. However, students should make sure that they satisfy each program's requirement according to the program's independent criteria.
The Executive Board
The Fellows are represented by an Executive Board that helps organize events and advises the GLC staff in deciding which events will be most useful to students. Meetings of the Executive Board are convened by the GLC Administrative Director. Members of the GLC Advisory Board's Student Engagement Committee participate in such meetings as appropriate.
Members of the Executive Board are chosen by election in early October of each year, and serve one-year terms. There are two representatives from each class of Fellows, each of whom has the title "Co-Chair." Elections are conducted by email, with each candidate providing a brief statement about their interest in serving as a Co-Chair, which is be circulated to all of the Fellows.
Also, the GLC Director chooses one GLC Fellow to be appointed as a member of the Center's Advisory Board. That student is expected to attend meetings of the Advisory Board, to serve as a member of the Advisory Board's Student Engagement Committee, and to participate in other Advisory Board activities as appropriate. The student Advisory Board member is chosen in the late spring to serve a term that begins on the last day of classes and runs until the last day of classes the following year.
Alumni of the Fellowship Program
We keep in touch with our alums, and encourage them to stay in contact with the Center and continue to take advantage of the network after completing the Fellowship and throughout their careers. Within the larger network of Albany Law School alumni, they form a special hub of people who are passionate and knowledgeable about public service. Alums mentor our current Fellows and other students at the law school who wish to know more about public service, participate in Fellowship programs, and play a leading role in our community.