B.A., New York University  
J.D., Harvard Law School

Professor Mary A. Lynch is the Kate Stoneman Chair in Law and Democracy. A magna cum laude graduate of New York University and a cum laude graduate from Harvard Law School, she served as an assistant district attorney in New York County from 1985-1989. She joined the Albany Law School faculty in 1989 and for the past twenty years has directed the Domestic Violence Prosecution Hybrid Clinic. During her tenure at Albany Law, she taught and directed the Disabilities Law Clinic, the Field Placement Clinic and the Post-Conviction Remedies Clinic. In 1997, while serving as director of Albany Law’s Domestic Violence Law Project, she and seven Albany Law School students won a groundbreaking clemency case for an incarcerated battered woman who killed her abuser.

The range of courses she has taught includes Criminal Procedure Adjudication, Disabilities Law Seminar, Domestic Violence Law Seminar, Pre-Trial and Trial Practice Courses (civil and criminal), and Litigation Planning and Skills.  Her scholarship has focused on multicultural awareness in legal education and law practice, gender bias, violence against women and legal education reform. From 2001 to 2009, Professor Lynch directed or co-directed the Albany Law Clinic & Justice Center. Albany Law School has honored her with the Excellence in Teaching Award (2014) and the Kate Stoneman Special Recognition Award for contributions to the advancement of women in the legal profession (2014).

Professor Lynch has played a leadership role in the movement to modernize legal education. From 2007 to 2020, she served as the Editor and frequent contributor of the award-winning Best Practices for Legal Education Blog and from 2009 to 2020 as the Director of the Center for Excellence in Law Teaching (CELT) at Albany Law School. Nationally, she has served as co-president and on the board of the Clinical Legal Education Association (an organization with over 1200 members) and as an executive committee and board member of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Section on Clinical Legal Education.  Within New York State, she served on the state bar’s Committee on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar (LEAB) from 2011-2015 and from 2010-11 on the Future of the Legal Profession Taskforce, chairing the subcommittee onEducating and Training New Lawyers”.

Professor Lynch has served on countless statewide and community coalitions and taskforces related to over her 30+ year career.  She has been honored by the National NOW’s Capital Region division with the Making Waves award and as an Irish Legal 100 Honoree by the Irish Voice and as a Top 100 Irish-American by Irish America magazine.


Evaluation Process

Evaluation is an important part of the clinical process. Students enrolled are evaluated throughout the semester. Feedback is shared with them formally and informally throughout the semester as well.

Formal Evaluations

Written Reviews of Simulations - After all major simulations students are given a written evaluation of their performance in the simulation.

Mid-semester Evaluation

At mid-semester all of the students have an individual meeting with the professor to discuss the students performance to date. The student is asked to complete a self evaluation form at that time.

End of Semester Evaluation

At the end of the semester the students have an individual meeting with the professor to discuss the students performance. The student is asked to complete a self evaluation form at that time. After the end of semester meeting the student is sent a written evaluation of their performance.

Grading and Evaluation Criteria

There are four general criteria used in assessing your performance. These criteria are described briefly below.

I. Pre-performance skills/planning: Students are expected to demonstrate competent skills in case-planning, case organization, collaboration and time management. Students are also expected to demonstrate that they have acquired knowledge of the applicable law and procedure and familiarity with the necessary facts to plan for activities on the assigned case(s).

II. Performance skills: Students are expected to demonstrate competent ability in engaging in lawyering activities such as: client counseling, interviewing, fact investigation, negotiating, research and writing, drafting legal documents, examining witnesses, oral advocacy, and corresponding with clients and relevant parties. Students are also expected to demonstrate sensitivity to client needs, concerns and goals during the course of representation.

III. Post-performance skills/reflection and correction: Students are expected to be reflective and self-corrective. Students must demonstrate the ability to assess and critique their own and others' performances. Students must show that they have learned from their initial experiences and can incorporate that knowledge in the next experience. Students are expected to share their experiences with other students in a positive way to foster cooperative decision making. Students must demonstrate the ability to critically review and evaluate the legal system through the clients' experience and reflect on their role within the system.

IV. Professional Responsibilities: Students must behave in a professionally responsible manner at all times in dealings with clients, the community, colleagues and opposing counsel. Students must demonstrate knowledge of ethical rules. For example, students must represent their clients zealously, preserve client confidences, respect client autonomy and exercise independent professional judgment on client's behalf. Students are also expected to act responsibly and sensitively in their lawyering roles.

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