1. How do I apply for a field placement?
Students who have
completed one full time year of law school are eligible for a field placement. Students apply for a field placement through
AlbanyLaw Link. There you can find a current list of placements that are available. You may only apply for one placement at a time, by submitting an application, conflict inventory form, resume and any other material requested by a particular office (will be listed on CSM).
2. What do I do if I am not accepted at my placement of choice?
Albany Law offers more placement opportunities than we can fill. Although we cannot guarantee your first choice, we can find an appropriate educational placement for any qualified student who wants one and is flexible. You will have an opportunity to submit additional applications later in the process.
3. What should I do if I don't hear back from the placement to which I have applied?
Although we ask placements to contact us about student selection by certain dates, some placements may not always be able to meet our deadlines due to pressing business or personnel changes. Please be patient, but let the Clinic know if you are still waiting to hear. We will follow up with offices periodically to check on the status of our applications.
4. How many hours do I have to work in a field placement, and is there a set schedule?
All five credit field placements (4 field credit hours + 1 Class credit hour) require students to work at their assigned offices for a minimum of 170 hours for the semester (approx. 12 hours/week). You should arrange your schedule directly with the placement. We recommend that you schedule large blocks of time and that you consult with your supervising attorney as to days/times that are most advantageous to work. (e.g., when trials, hearing, meetings, conferences, etc. are likely to take place.)
5. I've been accepted, now what?
Once you've been offered and have accepted a field placement you must notify the field placement office of your acceptance. You must also then add the field placement to your schedule (LAW*FDPL*NMAUR) as well as add the appropriate field placement class:
- LAW*DAPL - For students interning at District Attorney's Offices
- LAW*JDPL - For students interning at Judicial placements
- LAW*FDCL - For students at all other placements
6. Can I change my mind after I've accepted a position?
Before you accept you need to be aware that:
Acceptance and Registration is a Commitment to the Field Placement and the Law School. Faculty Approval is needed to drop.
The Law Clinic and Justice Center are aware that students have many demands on their time and that it is difficult to coordinate course work, extra-curricular activities, outside employment and personal responsibilities. It is imperative tht you analyze your other responsibilities before committing to a Field Placement experience. This is a professional commitment, and withdrawal from a position after making such a commitment can have a negative impact on a student's reputation. If a student "drops" this course, other students who could have been placed may lose the opportunity, and placement supervising attorneys who prepared projects and assignments may be less willing to accept Albany Law students in future semesters. For these reasons, student who have accepted a Field Placement must obtain faculty permission to drop.
7. Do I have the option of modifying my credits for a field placement?
Yes. With permission of a placement supervisor and the faculty director, students may request a modification of credits by the second week of classes. You will receive a form at orientation to confirm or modify your credits. Alternate credit requirements are as follows:
- 3 credits - 127.5 total work hours at placement
- 5 credits - 212.5 total work hours at placement
8. May I begin to count hours I work at my field placement before the semester starts?
No. However, if your Supervising Attorney requests your presence in the office for training or orientation purposes, and you receive approval from the Director of Field Placements, you may count up to 12 pre-semester hours.
9. What if my office is closed on a day I am scheduled to work? Do I have to make up the time?
Yes. You are still required to complete a minimum of 170 field hours by the end of the semester. We suggest that you take school vacation days and national holidays into consideration when setting up your schedule with your supervising attorney.
10. May I front load my field placement hours to end my placement early?
With the approval of your Supervising Attorney and the Field Placement Director, you may complete the field work portion of your placement up to two weeks early, but absent special circumstances, no earlier than that. Alternatively, with the permission of your Supervising Attorney, you may bank extra hours in order to work a reduced schedule for the final one to two weeks of the semester.
We prefer students to work for the full semester for several educational reasons:
- In order to get the most out of your clinical experience, it is important that you have sufficient time and opportunity to engage in lawyering tasks, receive feedback, reflect, re-do assignments, apply feedback and self-reflection to new assignments/ experiences, etc. The more opportunities for performance, feedback, reflection and application, the better.
- You have greater opportunity to learn about your office and the legal system in general as well as see cases and projects develop over time.
Please note that you must continue to attend your weekly or bi-weekly field placement class and complete all of the other requirements of your field placement clinic course.
11. May I do more than one field placement at a time?
No, this is not permitted. It is simply not realistic to do so. You will be spending at least 12 hours per week at your placement. Many students do more in order to be able to participate in bigger projects. It helps to be flexible in your placement so that you can take advantage of educational opportunities that may arise. This would be impossible with an additional placement and other school work.
12. Can I be paid by my placement and also receive credit?
No, under current law school policy, you cannot receive credit and pay for the same work. You are permitted, however, to be reimbursed by your placement for out-of-pocket expenses in connection with attending your placement. Please be aware that most field placement offices located in downtown Albany are not able to pay for parking or other expenses.
13. Am I permitted to continue my placement for more than one semester?
It depends. You may continue or return for a second semester as long as you are able to take on new and additional assignments and challenges. Since the focus of the field placement clinic is your education, we want to be sure you continue to learn new things. We will ask for a statement from your supervising attorney indicating how your experience will differ the second time around.
Note: a select number of placements such as the U.S. Attorneys Office are full year placements.
14. Is the field placement graded?
Students receive one (1) letter-graded credit for the class and other non-field-work requirements. Students receive four(4) pass/fail credits for the field work component,, and they are evaluated by supervising attorneys at mid and end of semester.