B.A., Tufts University
M.A., University at Albany
J.D., Albany Law School (associate editor, Albany Law Review)
Professor Armstrong has taught at Albany Law School since 1989. Before teaching at Albany Law School, she was one of the first staff attorneys for the Civil Service Employees Association, Inc. representing members, the union, and its management. Before working at CSEA, was also co-counsel to the New York State Freshwater Wetlands Appeals Board, has been an associate in private practice, and clerked for the New York State United Teachers Association.
Professor Armstrong has taught a variety of courses at Albany Law School including Labor Law, International Labor Law, Torts, Civil Procedure, and Introduction to Chinese Law. She has also taught Introduction to Lawyering, Transactional Drafting, Client Interviewing and Counseling, Pre-Trial Practice, and Legal Methods or Law School Success courses. She has also created and taught an online course introducing graduate students to law and the legal system.
Professor Armstrong was the Director of Albany Law School’s Lawyering Program from 1993-2005 when the program went “directorless” and the Director of the Swyer Academic Success Program from 2002-2006 until the program was converted into required courses. Additionally, Professor Armstrong was the Executive Director of Albany Law School’s Chapter of the American Inns of Court. She is a member for the Association of Legal Writing Directors and a former member of the American Bar Association Communication Skills Committee.
Professor Armstrong is the 2012 recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award. She is a periodic contributor to the Best Practices for Legal Education Blog. She has presented and written primarily on teaching and learning theory and methodology.
The Lewis A. Swyer Lectures & Workshops
The Lewis A. Swyer Lectures and Workshops is an academic support program created for the purpose of enhancing student success at Albany Law School through skills training. Swyer Lectures and Workshops are now offered from the first through the third semester, but may also be offered at the sixth semester and beyond.
The Fall Swyer Lectures are about "how we learn" as well as "how to study" or "how to take an exam" and are interwoven throughout bi-weekly sessions held during the Fall semester. Faculty offer presentations on such topics as time management, effective reading, case briefing, note taking, legal reasoning, case analysis and synthesis, writing, stress management, study skills, and exam preparation.
The Swyer Lectures are open to all first-year students.
The Swyer Workshops, like the Swyer Lectures, provide academic support through skills training but stress active learning as the means to academic achievement. Readings, discussions, and exercises focus on developing such skills as note taking, legal reasoning, case analysis and synthesis, outlining, and exam preparation. Workshops involve large and small group work as well as intensive one-on-one support by faculty and selected upper-class teaching assistants.. Workshop faculty and teaching assistants offer written feedback on exercises as well as individual meetings with students to address specific problems.
The Workshops, offered in Spring semester to first-year students, are designed for those who, based on objective criteria and law school academic performance, could most benefit from skills training. Most strongly encouraged to attend are those whose law school academic experience has fallen below expectations. Others who may be invited include: students who have been out of the academic environment for several years; those whose academic or other backgrounds differ substantially from their classmates; and students for whom English is not their first language. Although participation in the Workshops is voluntary and does not carry academic credit, invitees are strongly encouraged to participate.
The Workshops are also offered in Fall Semester for second-year students whose law school academic experience has fallen below expectations. The Fall Semester Workshops are linked to substantive courses and involve intensive one-on-one faculty support and small group sessions.
Pamela J. Armstrong,
Distinguished Professor of Law