Faculty Information

  • Biography

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

    Professor Lynch specializes in violence against women issues, criminal procedure and clinical education. She is the director of the Center for Excellence in Law Teaching (CELT), the editor and frequent contributor to the award-winning Best Practices for Legal Education blog and serves as the 2015 co-president of the Clinical Legal Education Association, an organization of more than 1,200 law teachers who are experts in facilitating the formation of students into lawyers of excellence. She also serves on the advisory Board to the Journal of Experiential Learning. In 2014, she received Albany Law School’s Excellence in Teaching award and the Kate Stoneman Special Recognition award for her contributions to the advancement of women in the legal profession.

    Prior to joining the Albany Law faculty in 1989, Professor Lynch worked as an appellate and trial attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s office. In 1996, while serving as director of the school's Domestic Violence Law Project, Professor Lynch and seven Albany Law School students won clemency for an incarcerated battered woman. This marked the first time in New York that an incarcerated battered woman who killed her abuser was granted clemency. Professor Lynch currently supervises students in the Domestic Violence Prosecution Hybrid Clinic in which students prosecute batterers and sexual offenders in SVU units throughout the Capital Region.

  • 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.

    The Following forms are used by the students and faculty during the evaluation process:

    Additional Evaluation Information (.pdf)
    Self-Evaluation Form (.pdf)
    Individual Planning Form (.pdf)

  • Presentations

    Avoiding Unintended Consequences: Understanding Recent Statistics & the Difficulty of Holding Abusers Accountable in 2013 (with Lisa Frisch & Professor Sara Rogerson), New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division, Third Judicial CLE training program for appellate court attorneys, New York State Bar Association, Albany, NY, 9/19/13

    Cross-Fertilization Comes in Many Colors: Diverse Clinical Strategies to Address Family Violence, Co-panelist with Professor Jill Engle and Jeffrey Baker, AALS Clinical Conference concurrent Session, San Juan, PR, June 2013

    Theories about Gender Differences Regarding Institutional and Communal "Housework" in American Law Schools in a Time of Economic Distress, Oxford Interdisciplinary Roundtable, 15th Annual Conference on Women and Education, Harris Manchester College, Oxford, England, March 2013

    Redeeming Law Schools: How Do “OUTCOMES” Fit In?, Touro Faculty Colloquium, February 2013

    Interpersonal Violence: The Intersection Between The Legal and Medical Fields, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY, January 2013

    An Evaluation of Ten Concerns About Using Outcomes in Legal Education, William Mitchell Faculty Workshop, St. Paul, MN, April 2012

    Bringing Ideas for Setting and Assessing Learning Objectives Back to Your Institutions, CELT Inaugural Conference, Albany, NY, March 2012

    Introduction of Chief Justice Margaret Marshall, Great Women, Great Chiefs, Albany Law Review State Constitutional Law Symposium, Albany, NY, February 2012

    Beyond Best Practices: Integrating Cultural, Competence Training in Legal Education, AALS Clinical Conference, Seattle, Wash., June 2011 

    Best Practices for Skill Building in Teaching Land Use, Environmental, and Sustainable Development Law, Co-sponsor of Conference, Introductory Overview, White Plains, N.Y., May 2011 

    Best Practices in American Legal Education, Quatar University, Doha, Quatar, May 2011

    Using Critical Perspectives to Inform Change, (with Profs. S. Ashar, M. Montoya and T. Steinbach), AALS Clinical Section annual Conference, Plenary, Baltimore, Md., May 2010

    Re-vision Quest: Choices, Context and Consequences for Experiential Education in Law School (with D. Maranville, P. Goldfarb, R. Engler & S. Kay), AALS Clinical Section Annual Conference, Concurrent Workshop, Baltimore, Md., May 2010

    Best Practices, Carnegie, Outcomes Based Learning & ABA Revisions: A Conversation about Current Initiatives & Reforms in Legal Education, Roger Williams University School of Law, Faculty Workshop, Bristol, R.I., February 2010

    “Where to Go Now on Best Practices?” Workshop at AALS Conference, January 2010

    Current Legal Education Reform Movement, Co-presented with Prof. C. Kaas, half-day workshop, Southern New England School of Law, Faculty Workshop, North Dartmouth, Mass., October 2009

    Incorporating Effective Formative Assessment in Course Planning: A Demonstration and Toolbox, (with Profs. Barbara Glesner-Fines, Carolyn Grose, & Peter Joy), Crossroads Assessment Conference, Panel Presentation, Best Practices for Legal Education Update, N.Y. State Bar Association, Committee on Legal Education & Admission to the Bar, New York, N.Y.

    Implicit Bias and Cross-Cultural Competence in Legal Practice (with Lillian Moy), N.Y. State Legal Partnership Conference, Albany, N.Y., September 2008

    Challenges and Assumptions about Business as Usual in Legal Education, Concurrent Session, (with Profs. M. Moore - Jackson P. Joy, A. Selillo-Lopez & R. Stuckey), AALS Annual Clinical Conference, New Orleans, La., May 2007

    Dealing with External Challenges to Clinical Education (with Profs. R. Dinnerstein and Dean R. Morgan), AALS Annual Clinical Conference, Clinical Directors Workshop Plenary Session

    The Impact of ‘Best Practices’ and Carnegie on Clinics: Evaluating Ourselves Internally & Evaluating Our Place in Legal Education, Co-Presented Full Day Workshop (with Prof. C. Kaas), Upstate-Western New York Regional Clinical Conference, Syracuse, N.Y., December 2007

    "Can You Be a “Good” Clinician and Teach in a Prosecution Clinic?” Clinical Conference, Crossing the Digital Divide, AALS Annual Clinical Conference, Technology Track, San Diego, Calif., May 2005

    Messages Regarding Professionalism, Panel Coordinator & Presenter, (with Profs. A. McCaffrey & M. Aaronson), AALS Annual Clinical Conference, Clinical Directors Workshop, Vancouver, Calif., May 2003



  • The Importance of Experiential Learning for Development of Essential Skills in Cross-Cultural and Intercultural Effectiveness, 1 Touro Journal Of Experiential Learning 129, 2014-15.

  • From Kate Stoneman to Kate Stoneman Chair, Katheryn D. Katz: Feminist Waves and the First Domestic Violence Course at a United States Law School, Albany Law Review 77 (2014). Co-authored with Melissa Breger.

  • Is it Time for Real Reform?: NYSBA’s 20 Years of Examining the Bar Exam (co-authored with Kim Diana Connolly) 85 NYSBA Journal 31-33 (September 2013)

  • "Law School Clinics in the Community" chapter in Town and Gown: Legal Strategies for Effective Collaboration (co-editors Cynthia Baker and Patricial Salkin, published by the ABA Section of State and Local Government Law)

  • Re-Vision Quest: A Law School Guide to Designing Experiential Courses Involving Real Lawyering, 56 New York Law School Law Review (2011, 2012) (with Maranville, Engler, Goldfarb and Kay)papers.cfm

  • An Evaluation of Ten Concerns about Using Outcomes in Legal Education, 38 William Mitchell Law Review 976 (2011)papers.cfm

  • Designing a Hybrid Domestic Violence Prosecution Clinic: Making Bedfellows of Academics, Activists and Prosecutors to Teach Students According to Clinical Theory and Best Practices, 74 (no.4) University of Mississippi Law Review 1177 (Spring 2005)papers.cfm

  • The Application of Equal Protection to Prospective Jurors with Disabilities: Will Batson Cover Disability-Based Strikes, 57 Albany Law Review 289 (1993)papers.cfm

  • Who Should Hear the Voices of Children With Disabilities: Proposed Changes in Due Process in New York's Special Education System, 55 Albany Law Review 179 (1991)papers.cfm

Forthcoming Publications

  • Professor Mary Lynch, co-author on the chapter, “Teaching the Newly Essential Knowledge, Skills, and Values in a Changing World, Section E: Intercultural Effectiveness” Building on Best Practices: Transforming Legal Education in a Changing World (Lexis, forthcoming 2015)

  • “Teaching the Newly Essential Knowledge, Skills, and Values in a Changing World” Book chapter with Robin Boyle, Antoinette Sedillo Lopez and Rhonda Magee, in Building on Best Practices: Transforming Legal Education in a Changing World, Lexis 2015.

  • The Importance of Experiential Learning for Development of Essential Skills in Cross Cultural and Intercultural Effectiveness, Journal of Experiential Learning, 2014

  • From Kate Stoneman To Kate Stoneman Chair, Katheryn D. Katz: Feminist Waves And The First Domestic Violence Course At A United States Law School (co-authored with Melissa L. Breger) forthcoming Albany Law Review.

Selected Achievements

  • ​Professor Mary Lynch was named co-president of the board of directors for the national Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA), an organization that advocates for clinical legal education as fundamental to the education of lawyers.

  • Professor Mary Lynch's "Best Practices for Legal Education" blog won first place in the ABA Journal Blawg 100’s Careers / Law School category. Her blog garnered more than 150 votes and was one of 13 popular vote winners out of 100 blogs.

  • Professor Mary Lynch began her co-presidency of the national Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA), an organization of more than 1,200 members.

  • Professor Mary Lynch discussed "The Dynamics of Domestic Violence: Statistical Updates and What is Happening in Trial Courts" for the Appellate Division, Third Department, on Sept. 19, 2013.

  • Professor Mary Lynch presented her paper "Theories about Gender Differences Regarding Institutional & Communal 'Housework' in American Law Schools in a time of Economic Distress" at the 15th Annual Conference on Women and Education at Harris Manchester College in Oxford, England, held from March 17 to 21, 2013.

  • Professor Mary Lynch delivered the presentation "Redeeming Law Schools: How Do 'Outcomes' Fit In?" for the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center faculty.
  • Professor Mary Lynch, with Associate Dean Alicia Ouellette, presented on the legal obligations of medical professionals when confronted with interpersonal violence at Albany Medical College on Jan. 10, 2013.

In the News

  • ​Mary Lynch, co-president of the Clinical Legal Education Association and a professor at Albany Law School, warned Monday that dropping the pay ban would “structurally change” externships. Now, employers compensate law student externs by sharing their knowledge and supervision. Pay could erode the quality of that experience, she said.

    The proposal calls for law schools to maintain records on student externships for periodic review by the ABA. But Lynch said it’s unlikely law schools would have the resources to closely monitor paid externships. “You have an increase in the number of field placements, but law schools aren’t going to be hiring many more faculty to supervise them,” she said.

    From the article "Plan to Allow Paid Law Student Externships Advances in ABA" in The National Law Journal on June 9, 2015.

  • ​Among the speakers Tuesday were Mary Lynch, an Albany Law School professor who is co-president of the national Clinical Legal Education Association. She said her group is worried that adopting the UBE would force New York law schools to divert resources from clinics where students receive practical, hands-on lawyering skills to courses that would better prepare students for the test.

    Lynch said she feared that law schools would weigh admissions more heavily toward students who do well on the LSAT exam because they have shown proficiency at answering multiple-choice questions, which are found more frequently on the UBE.

    "There are too many unanswered questions," she said.

    From the article "State Bar Worries UBE Could Devalue 'Gold Standard'" in the New York Law Journal on Feb. 4, 2015.

  • Professor Mary Lynch appeared on The Capitol Pressroom to talk about a new partnership between Albany Law and the Legal Project to create a clinical practice fellowship for young attorneys, enabling them to help victims of domestic violence and gain real life experience.
  • Professor Mary Lynch discussed changes in legal education on WNYT’s Forum 13 program on Sept. 1, 2013.
  • Professor Mary Lynch was a guest on WNYT to talk about changes in legal education, including the shift to more experiential learning, on Aug. 8, 2013.