Government Law Center Fellowship program

The Government Law Center Fellowship is a unique curriculum and mentoring program that prepares students for distinguished careers in public service. The Fellowship is designed for three-year Juris Doctor degree students, but is available for students on other tracks, including the Accelerated Two-Year, Four Year, Pro Bono Fellow, Spring Start, and LLM degree programs.

The GLC Fellowship has three main goals:

  • Help students develop a foundational substantive knowledge and practical skills
  • Create a sense of community for students interested in public service
  • Build strong connections to attorneys in public-service practice


The Fellowship is different at each stage of law school. New Fellows get extracurricular opportunities to explore whether public service is right for them. Upper-class Fellows take specific courses that will help prepare them for public service; they also undertake an experiential capstone project. Prior to graduation, Fellows give a roundtable presentation on their capstone experience. All fellows participate in a series of exclusive workshops and lectures.

By combining informal mentoring with academic preparation and experiential training, the Government Law Center Fellowship helps develop law students into future leaders in government and policy. It opens doors for students who might not otherwise have equal access to the opportunities provided and, in doing so, makes government better.

GLC Fellows in Capitol


New Fellows

The Government Law Center Fellows program opens for applications for new Fellows each year in January and July. Applicants are selected on a rolling basis until the classes of Fellows are filled.


During students’ first year, or at any point thereafter when they are still in the Fellows program, students may describe themselves as “Government Law Center Fellows.”

However, if a student leaves the program before completing all required components, they may describe their experience only with a notation for the period of time during which they were a Fellow. For example, a student who has left the program after the first year can refer to their “Government Law Center First-Year Fellowship,” or say they were a “Government Law Center First-Year Fellow,” but they may not describe themselves as a “Government Law Center Fellow.”


The GLC Fellowship helps students prepare for public service in several ways.  First, the Fellowship helps students build knowledge in key areas of the law and the practical skills required to be a successful practitioner. Second, it helps students build a sense of community on campus, so that they can share their experience with colleagues facing the same challenges. And, third, the Fellowship helps students build connections to the community of public service practitioners off-campus.   

Every program that forms a part of the Fellowship also helps students build their professional identity, that is, the goals, values, sense of commitment and meaning that will help them succeed and thrive in public-service practice.  

The GLC Fellowship includes different programs at each stage of law school. It begins with informal programs, then progresses to academic requirements and an experiential capstone.  Each is described below.

Programs for New and Ongoing Fellows

New Fellows are first provided with a series of optional activities to enable them to explore whether public service is right for them. Programs are designed to be both exploratory and preparatory. Students who are not yet sure of their plans explore the possibility of public service, while students who are firm in their career path will benefit from the exposure.  

Each of the programs described here is also open to upper-class Fellows unless specifically indicated otherwise.

These extracurricular programs will fall into one of three basic categories, which correspond to the three goals of the Fellowship program: learning about public service; community-building; and making connections to attorneys in public service.

Learning about Public Service

Programs that build knowledge and skills may include:

  • Lectures and other class-like sessions that explain specific fields of practice or legal topics;
  • Participation in the Government Law Center Mentoring program;
  • Workshops on career topics;
  • Individual mentoring by the Center’s staff; and
  • Field observations, in which groups of Fellows have the opportunity to see government lawyering in practice (e.g. observing Court of Appeals arguments, discussions with judges, or observing legislative and/or administrative hearings).


Through social events and other activities, GLC Fellows develop a sense of community. The Fellows also serve as a core group on the Albany Law School campus around which students who are not in the Fellowship program can coalesce to learn more about public service and continue to build their professional identities.

Programs that create a sense of community among students interested in public service may include:

  • Social activities, such as receptions at the beginning or end of an academic year organized by members of the GLC Advisory Board’s Student Engagement Committee;
  • Skill-share sessions, where Fellows exchange ideas about challenges facing them in law school;
  • Community-service projects; and
  • Open houses and study breaks at the GLC during exam periods.

Other programs discussed above, like field observations, will also help build community.

Making Connections to Attorneys in Public Service

Programs in the third category help Fellows (and other students) develop connections to attorneys in public service.

Programs of this kind may include:

  • Collaborating with the Alumni office to help GLC Fellows and other students participate in Albany Law School’s mentoring program, so that mentors can help them build their understanding of public service;
  • Attending sessions in which attorneys in public service meet with the Fellows to describe their practice and career paths;
  • Participating in a GLC mentoring program in which each student Fellow is assigned to meet with a lawyer who has signed up to be a mentor to learn about the setting in which that lawyer practices and what it’s like to practice there. Fellows then report back in a roundtable session that the GLC will organize; and
  • Where appropriate, attending meetings and events organized or attended by the GLC’s staff-members.

Academic Programs

Upper class Fellows are required to complete two academic classes as part of the program’s requirements. Students select one class from each of the two lists below.

List 1:

Residential In-Person Juris Doctor Classes
Legislation and Statutory Interpretation Administrative Law
Online Classes Open to Juris Doctor and LLM Students
Administrative Law Legislative Process and Statutory Interpretation (3 Credits)

List 2:

Residential In-Person Juris Doctor Classes
Law of Government Administrative Law
Legislation and Statutory Interpretation Civil Rights Liability Litigation
Court of Appeals Intensive State and Local Environmental Law
Government Ethics State and Local Taxation
The Law of Lobbying Lawmaking Practicum
State and Local Governments  
Online Classes Open to Juris Doctor and LLM Students
Administrative Law Legislative Process and Statutory Interpretation (3 Credits)
State and Local Governments
(3 Credits)
Government Ethics (3 Credits)
Public Budgets and Finance
(3 Credits)
NYS Process and Players
(3 Credits)
Lobbying Law and Ethics
(3 Credits)
Influencing Policymakers Through Advocacy (3 Credits)

Experiential Capstone

Upper-class GLC Fellows are required to complete an experiential capstone project, which can take a variety of forms. 

Fellows will then make a presentation about their experiential-capstone work at a roundtable attended by GLC staff and other Fellows. Details on each of these aspects of the experiential capstone follow.

Option One: Interning at the Government Law Center

Students can satisfy the experiential requirement by interning at the Government Law Center.  Interns work at the Center, assisting with its core projects and other research. Typically, GLC interns are assigned to specific projects, such as researching and drafting explainers or reviewing new cases as part of the Improving Interbranch Communication Project.

Internships at the Center can be done as for academic credit (as a field placement) or for pay (as a research assistantship). The application schedule and commitment involved in the internship varies depending on whether it is a research assistantship or a field placement, but students must work at least 12 hours a week for the internship to qualify for purposes of the capstone requirement. The GLC is limited in the number of interns it can accept each semester, so students should let the GLC Deputy Director know as early as possible if they are considering applying for an internship.

The appropriate way to apply for an internship will depend on what form the internship takes. Students who wish to do their internship as a field placement should apply through the field placement program, which has its own requirements. Students who wish to do their internship as a research assistantship should talk to the GLC Deputy Director about how to apply. Typically, research assistant positions will be posted on AlbanyLawLink.

Option Two: An External Placement

Students can also satisfy the experiential-capstone requirement by engaging in an internship, externship, field placement, or semester in practice under the supervision of an external attorney. The external placement should be either in a government office or in a government-related position. If the placement is not in a government office, it must involve policy work, as opposed to the representation of clients. However, it is not necessary that policy work be the only work the Fellow performs at the placement; in other words, as long as the placement involves some policy-level work, it satisfies the requirement.

If a student wishes to satisfy this requirement with a government-related position, they should discuss the placement with the GLC Deputy Director before beginning work to make sure it qualifies. Examples of qualifying external placements could include working at a lobbying firm in a role that involves focus on government activities; working for an advocacy organization to affect governmental policies, including via impact litigation; and related activities.


As part of the capstone experiential requirement, Fellows will be required to make a presentation about their work and what they have learned from it at a roundtable organized by the Government Law Center and attended by other Fellows.

These roundtables will generally take place late in the relevant semester.

The Executive Board

The Fellows are represented by an Executive Board that helps organize events and advises the GLC staff in deciding which events will be most useful to students. Meetings of the Executive Board are convened by the GLC Director or Deputy Director. Members of the GLC Advisory Board’s Student Engagement Committee participate in such meetings as appropriate.

Upper-class members of the Executive Board are chosen by election in early September of each year, and serve one-year terms. First-year Fellows select board members in January, who serve until the following September. There are up to two representatives (a “chair” or “co-chair”) from each class of Fellows.

The GLC Director also chooses one GLC Fellow to be appointed as a member of the Center’s Advisory Board. That student is expected to attend meetings of the Advisory Board, to serve as a member of the Advisory Board’s Student Engagement Committee, and to participate in other Advisory Board activities as appropriate. The student Advisory Board member is chosen in the late spring to serve a term that begins on the last day of classes and runs until the last day of classes the following year.


We keep in touch with our alumni, and encourage them to stay in contact with the Government Law Center and continue to take advantage of the GLC network after completing the Fellowship and throughout their careers.

Within the larger network of Albany Law School alumni, they form a special hub of people who are passionate and knowledgeable about public service.
Alumni mentor our current Fellows and other students at the law school who wish to know more about public service, participate in Fellowship programs, and play a leading role in our community.

Government Law & Policy Concentration

Upper-class GLC Fellows may wish declare a concentration in Government Law and Policy, as the requirements for the two programs overlap. But doing so is not a requirement and the two programs are not the same. In particular, the experiential requirement for the Government Law Center Fellowship is separate from the experiential requirement for the Government Law and Policy concentration. The concentration has its own experiential requirement, which can be satisfied by participation in a clinic, field placement, or summer/semester in practice related to the concentration—or by participation in the GLC Fellowship.  

Students can use the same experience to satisfy both the Fellowship’s experiential requirement and the concentration's experiential requirement, where appropriate. For example, a student who does a field placement at the GLC in their third year would satisfy the experiential requirement of both the GLC Fellowship and the Government Law and Policy concentration. However, students should make sure that they satisfy each program’s requirement according to the program's independent criteria.

Additionally, the Government Law and Policy concentration has different academic course requirements than the Government Law Center Fellowship. Additional details about the Government Law and Policy concentration are listed on the Albany Law School website, here.