Summer in Practice

Summer in Practice

Summer in Practice (4 or 6 Credits)

Students who have completed their first year or two semesters of law school have a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in exceptional judicial, governmental and public interest offices for an intense summer semester-long placement experience.  Under the direct supervision of a highly experienced Supervising Attorney/Mentor, students participate in and conduct the legal work of their chosen office. Depending on the placement, students may be involved in witness interviewing, trial preparation, legal research and writing, drafting of opinions, fact investigation, depositions and conducting trials or hearings. Students participate in the related field placement class, and maintain a daily journal of their placement experiences, and meet periodically with the course instructor. 

Who is Eligible?

All law students who have completed one year at an ABA-approved law school are eligible to apply for this unique experience.

What are the Requirements?

Students have the option of a full-time placement for six credits or a part-time placement for four credits. Students opting for a full-time placement must work 35 hours per week at their placement for a total of 245 hours over the seven week summer term. Students in a part-time placement must work 24 hours per week for a total of 168 hours over the seven week summer term.

Students must arrange their schedule directly with the placement. It is recommended that students schedule large blocks of time and consult with their 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.)

Students are also required to participate in a weekly, one-hour classroom component at Albany Law School, either in person or by using distant learning technology. Students must complete all class assignments and program-related paper work, and attend a mid-semester meeting in order to receive credit for the course.

Benefits of Taking the Course:

Whether the student is drafting legislation or rule making, preparing for legislative or administrative hearings, participating in policy meetings or conferences, or supporting a litigation team, or engaging in other lawyering tasks, students will benefit from, and gain an appreciation for, the varied skills required to be an effective lawyer.

Potential Placement Offices:

Most State agencies and public law offices and many federal agencies can host field placement students for the summer. Other unpaid placements can be considered for inclusion in the program

For a complete list of possible government and public service placements and for additional information including links to placement websites, click here. Or from the main Albany Law School website, click on Clinic & Justice Center, then Field Placement Clinic, then Available Placements. Not all placements listed are available during summer term, and some placements have specific application requirements.

Application and Procedure for Course Registration:

Informational Meeting

Students interested in a Summer in Practice placement may contact the course instructor, Prof. Robert Batson,, at the Government Law Center to set up an appointment to obtain more information about the course and to discuss interests and placement options.


Albany Law School students planning to enroll in the course must apply on the Career Services Manager (CSM). Students from other law schools should contact Robert Batson,, for an application.


During the placement process, students will likely be asked to participate in an interview with a placement Supervising Attorney.  Interviews may be evaluative, but are typically used as an opportunity for the Supervising Attorney to meet the student, to discuss his or her interests, describe the work of the agency or office,  identify the type of assignments and tasks available, and determine whether the placement fits with the student's interests, goals, and expectations.


Upon acceptance at a placement office, students may complete registration for the course on WebAdvisor.

Tuition and Fees

Students planning to enroll in the course will be required to pay the appropriate tuition and fees for summer session. Questions concerning financial aid should be directed to the Financial Aid Office.

Contact Information


Robert Batson, Government Lawyer in Residence
Course Instructor
Government Law Center
Telephone: 518-445-3348

Barbara Chandler
Administrative Assistant/Paralegal
Law Clinic & Justice Center
Telephone: 518-445-2328

Professor Nancy Maurer
Director, Field Placement Clinic
Law Clinic & Justice Center
Telephone: 518-445-2328


Joann Fitzsimmons
Registrar Telephone: 518-445-2324

Financial Aid

Andrea Wedler
Director of Financial Aid
Telephone: 518-445-2357


Admissions Office
Telephone:  518-445-2326

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS) about the Summer in Practice Course

How do I apply to take this course?

Albany Law School students must apply on the Career Services Manager (CSM). Students from other law schools should contact the course instructor at  

Is it competitive to get into this course?

No. Although Albany Law School cannot guarantee that you will be accepted at a particular office, all students will be accepted into the course, assuming all other procedures for registration are followed. Every effort will be made to secure your first or second choice placement.

Can I take other Summer Session courses in addition to this course?

Yes. You may take any one of the other summer session course offerings in addition to this course.

Do I have to be an Albany Law School student to take this course?

No. The Summer in Practice course is open to all students at ABA-accredited law schools who have completed one year of law school.

Do I have to be a United States citizen to take this course?

No. International students, who are enrolled at and attending an ABA-approved law school are eligible to take this course. Please note, however, that certain agencies may impose restrictions on whether or not an international student will be accepted for a placement.

Can I be placed in a government office outside of the Capital Region (e.g., Washington, D.C.)?

Yes, but you must participate in the class in real time by distance learning technology.

Can I get financial aid to help me pay tuition and fees for the course?

Yes. Students must enroll in a minimum of five (5) credits to borrow funds through the Federal Stafford Loan Program for summer session courses. To apply for these funds, students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and financial aid summer request form. The FAFSA can be completed at Summer request forms are available in the Financial Aid Office.

Students enrolling in less than five (5) credits ar e eligible to apply for private loans.

Albany Law School students cannot receive fund disbursements until Spring grades are available and satisfactory academic progress is verified. Summer session tuition can be deferred until funds are disbursed.