Strategic Plan for the Government Law Center

Adopted December 14, 2018


The purpose of this strategic plan is to set forth a clear statement of the Government Law Center’s mission, and to establish goals for the next five years. This plan builds on previous work, including the work of the prior members of the Advisory Board, staff, and the Directors of the Center since its inception in 1978; the 2013 report of the Government Law Center Review Committee; and the strategic- planning retreat held in Albany in July 2018. This document also builds on Albany Law School’s strategic plan, and aims to promote the goals set forth in that plan. It contains both overarching goals for the Center and specific guidance on implementation of those goals.

This strategic plan is intended as internal guidance for staff and faculty at the Center and the Law School, as well as trustees, Advisory Board members, and other stakeholders; it will not be publicized or posted online in its current form. The mission statement that follows, however, will be made public, and many elements of the discussion below will serve as a basis for other documents that describe our work to the public. This document sets forth both overarching goals and specific ideas for implementation of those goals.

Mission Statement

The Center’s mission statement is as follows:

The Government Law Center at Albany Law School helps state and local governments better serve their communities through nonpartisan legal research and analysis.

By bringing together a diverse and inclusive group of lawyers, students, scholars, and community partners, we prepare students for careers as skilled and leading attorneys in public service; advance Albany Law School’s unique connection to government; and inform nationwide conversations on government and the law.

Our mission has several key elements:

  • Helping governments better serve their communities. The principal aim of our work is to serve as a resource for governments and, by helping governments inform themselves about the law, to promote their ability to serve their communities. The word “communities” is broad, and it is useful, in the context of any given program, to define which communities will benefit from the help we offer to governments.
  • Focus on state and local governments while informing nationwide conversations: Our focus is on legal issues that affect state and local governments. While we have special expertise on governments in New York State, our research aims to have a nationwide impact.
  • Nonpartisan identity: The Center’s nonpartisan identity is key to its success. By eschewing advocacy on disputed policy issues, we can remain a trusted source of information about those issues.
  • Legal research and analysis is the work product described in the mission. This could be delivered in a variety of forms, including written publications, live trainings and events, and media appearances.
  • Preparing the next generation of skilled lawyers and leaders in public service. Central to the law school’s mission, and therefore central to ours, is training skilled lawyers and future leaders in the legal profession.
  • Connecting the law school to the community and bringing together a diverse and inclusive group of practicing lawyers, students, scholars, and community partners. Connecting the law school to the community is a key part of the Center’s mission.

The Government Law Center will pursue its mission by committing to the following foundational goals:

  • Work product: Producing excellent legal research and analysis that helps state and local governments better serve their communities and, in doing so, informs nationwide conversations on government and the law.
  • Students: Training the next generation of skilled lawyers and leaders in public service.
  • Connections: Advancing Albany Law School’s unique connection to government and bringing together a diverse and inclusive group of government officials, practicing lawyers, students, scholars, and community partners.

Each of these three goals is explained in the following sections. Each section includes criteria for assessment. The Center’s Director will work with the Dean to develop specific metrics for each of these criteria.

The three goals overlap. Many, if not most, of the Center’s programs will promote all three goals. Some programs won’t; for example, the Center will sometimes organize programs for students that are purely focused on training future attorneys in public service. But it is important to maximize opportunities to promote all three goals, because all are central to the Center’s work. Given our limited resources, we will look for opportunities to advance all three goals at once.

Goal 1: Legal Research and Analysis That Helps State and Local Governments Better Serve Their Communities

We produce high-quality, nonpartisan legal research and analysis that helps state and local governments better serve their communities. Our research and analysis will be delivered in various forms: publications, trainings and other live events, and media appearances.

Successful pursuit of this goal requires choosing both topics and kinds of work product that advance the Center’s mission. When choosing topics and planning work product, it is important to consult with stakeholders in government to hear their perspectives on what kinds of research and analysis would be most useful in helping them serve their communities.

A. Choosing Topics That Advance the Mission

The topics on which the Center focuses at any one time will be chosen with the Center’s overall mission in mind. They will give us an opportunity to provide excellent legal research and analysis that will help state and local governments serve their communities; an opportunity to train students to become skilled attorneys in public service; and an opportunity to connect the law school to government.

Topics on which we work will fall into three categories:  “core topics” (on which we build significant on-staff expertise); “emerging issues” (one-time publications or live events on topics of particular interest and relevance that advance our mission); and “topics to explore” (issues we’re considering as potential future core topics).

1. Core Topics

At any given time, the Center will have a small number of core topics on which it focuses for a sustained period of time. There are several advantages to long-term focus on core topics. Long-term focus allows us to build deep expertise and community connections in a given area. This, in turn, allows us to build relationships with stakeholders who see us as experts, and are thus more likely to call on the Center.

Similarly, media are more likely to cover our work if they see us as experts on certain topics. And donors are more likely to support our work on a topic if they see that we have significant expertise in that area. Also, having a reputation for expertise on core topics can help the school to attract prospective students who are interested in those topics.

Presently, the Center has three topics which will we continue to treat as core topics:

  • State and local involvement in immigration law;
  • State constitutions; and
  • Aging and disability law.

Two other topics on which the Center is presently doing significant work—rural law and police oversight—are discussed below, under “topics to explore,” because we will explore significant reconfiguration of those programs.

2. Emerging Issues

Although the Center will delve deeply into a small number of core topics, it is important to have occasional, ad hoc publications and live events that deal with miscellaneous “hot topics” or emerging issues. We will pursue such publications or live events when they would significantly advance our mission.

For example, the Anderson Breakfast Seminar Series, which involves four sessions on emerging issues that need not be related to the Center’s core topics, advances our connection to the state legislature and other state government agencies, gives us an opportunity to connect directly with influential practitioners and members of government, and promotes the Center’s reputation and connection to media.

Another important function of the emerging-issues category of work is that it allows us to build connections with government officials and practitioners while opening opportunities for students. For example, GLC Fellows can intern with members of the advisory board to prepare brief publications on emerging issues, which makes use of the board- member’s substantive expertise while allowing students to explore areas beyond the Center’s core issues. Another example of a good forum for emerging-issues work is the Government Law Review Online, which is maintained and edited by the students at the Government Law Review. Blog posts by external authors are another good way to contribute to the emerging-issues work.

The emerging-issues channel can be an important way for the Center to maintain a presence in a field where we lack the resources to build significant staff expertise. If members of the faculty and external experts, such as members of the Advisory Board, can supervise student work that leads to a blog post or another publication for the Center, the Center can build credibility and relationships in that field with minimal investment of staff resources.

In some cases, multiple publications or events on an “emerging issue” may be feasible; the fact that an issue falls into the emerging-issues category does not mean the Center should limit its work on that issue to a single publication or project. It means, rather, that the Center is not presently devoting significant staff resources to the topic.

It is important not to allow the emerging-issues channel to dominate the Center’s work—that is, not to allow the whole Center to become a hot-topics center. In theory, almost any program could conceivably be deemed within the Government Law Center’s scope, because, in the words of one participant in the 2018 retreat, “practically everything relates to government.” This can lead to what another participant described as “all trees, no forest”: a collection of programs that have little relationship to each other. Commitment to the mission and strategic plan will help ensure that we achieve a cohesive identity while making sound choices about program priorities, and the emerging-issues work will be pursued with this in mind.

3. Topics to Explore

Along with our core topics and our work on emerging issues, the Center will also explore issues that may be suitable as future core topics. Identifying topics that are under active exploration as potential future core topics allows us to build knowledge, experience, and relationships in a particular area before we pursue significant funding or commit to building significant staff expertise on the issue.

Issues in this category will be actively explored through research into potential funding streams, institutional partners, and the feasibility of developing expertise within the Center’s staff. In other words, staff resources will be devoted to the topic, but on an exploratory basis, with a goal of identifying what form of work on the topic would best serve our mission so that we can decide whether to adopt it as a core topic.

In some cases, programs that already exist at the Center (like the Rural Law Initiative and the police-oversight work described below) will be treated as “topics to explore” because, while the current program does not adequately serve the mission, we are exploring whether an adapted form of the program would work as a core topic.

At this time, three topics in particular will be explored as potential future core topics:

  • Rural community renewal. The current Rural Law Initiative involves a mix of direct services, community education, and policy-level research, and focus on a diverse collection of topics. As the current funding for the project comes to an end in 2019, we will cease providing direct services, and explore re-orienting the project to focus on work product more consistent with the Center’s mission and on the topic of community renewal in rural areas, including questions of how rural governments deal with vacant and abandoned property.
  • Police oversight. The Center currently provides administrative services to the City of Albany’s Citizen Police Review Board. We will explore providing legal research and analysis to policymakers on the issue of police oversight, and examine whether to continue the current arrangement.
  • Government ethics. We will also explore publications and projects on government ethics, and the possibility of building significant expertise on staff in this area.

Informal roundtables, student research projects supervised by faculty members and external attorneys, and blog posts by members of the Advisory Board are particularly promising ways of exploring potential core topics.

B. Work Product That Advances the Mission

1. Publications

The Center will focus on several core types of publications, and explore several others. As appropriate, the Center may collaborate with other policy institutions on the development of publications.

The core types of publications will be explainers, collections, and research papers. We will also explore blog posts and podcasts. Each of these types of publications are described here:

  • Explainers. A GLC Explainer is a 5-10 page publication that sets out the law relevant to a policy issue facing state and local government. Its audience is primarily lawyers in public service, but it should be accessible to a non-legal audience, including non-lawyers in government, community members, business leaders, representatives of municipal associations, advocacy groups on both sides of relevant issues, and scholars from other institutions.
  • Collections. A GLC Collection is a publication of 10 to 50 pages or more that compiles pieces by a variety of authors with expertise in the field. One example is the Government, Law and Policy Journal produced in partnership with the New York State Bar Association.
  • Research Papers. A GLC Research Paper is a solo-authored paper of more than 10 pages that explores a given topic in depth.
  • Expert Bank. The Center will compile a list of experts, both at Albany Law School and on the Advisory Board, who can speak to media on specific topics.
  • Blog posts and podcasts. The Center will create a blog and a podcast as forums for outside expertise and pieces on emerging issues, as well as for publicizing staff work. We will take care to distinguish the views of external experts, for whom we may provide a forum in appropriate circumstances, from the nonpartisan analysis provided by the Center’s staff, with an eye toward preserving the Center’s nonpartisan identity.

2. Live Trainings and Programs

The Center holds live trainings and events when they will promote its mission of sharing legal expertise that helps government better serve the community. With due regard for the large number of events held on the Albany Law Campus, and the possibility of reaching audiences through alternative means (such as media appearances), live trainings and events can be a good way to connect with our intended audience.

It is particularly important to look for ways for the Center’s personnel to appear at trainings and events sponsored by other organizations, to make effective use of our own resources.

Where feasible, live events will be tied to one of the Center’s publications, so that the event helps to spread word about our work and so that audience-members can leave with a sample of that work.

It is also advantageous for events to be connected to the Center’s core topics. The Center will conduct some events on emerging issues, such as Anderson Breakfasts (which sometimes involve core topics but more often focus on emerging issues), but emerging-issues events do not capitalize on the Center’s expertise on core topics or help promote its reputation for expertise.

Also, whenever possible, live events will be recorded, so that recordings can be made available later. Live events typically reach a relatively small audience, but recorded programs can be made available indefinitely.  Also, whenever possible, live events will be an occasion for media outreach. (See below.)

Notes on specific kinds of live programs follow:

  • Trainings. The Center’s staff, and community partners where appropriate, will participate in training sessions for government officials. We will also pursue opportunities to appear when trainings for government officials are organized by government entities such as the CLE department at the Attorney General’s Office and the Public Service Workshops Program, or independent organizations like the Conference of Mayors, the Association of Counties, and the Association of Towns, as well as bar associations.
  • Anderson Seminars. One of the Center’s longest-running and most popular programs is our annual Anderson Legislative Breakfast Seminars, which connect us directly to legislative staff and other attorneys in government, as well as lobbyists and others who have significant potential to help us pursue our mission by connecting us to government officials.
  • Crawford Lecture. Our annual Crawford Lecture on municipal law is an endowed program and an opportunity to connect with government officials and others who are significantly accomplished in local government or public service. Where possible, we will look into having the Crawford Lecture as the keynote speech at the Government Law Review’s annual symposium, so that each program can benefit from the other.
  • Roundtables. The Center will explore convening stakeholder roundtables, which can serve either or both of two purposes: to bring together parties on different sides of important issues; or to bring together parties facing common problems to trade experiences and ideas about innovative approaches to those problems. Informal roundtables can be a useful way to explore emerging issues; they can also help the Center make better connections and develop greater expertise in core subject areas.
  • Government Law Review Spring Symposium. The Center’s staff will continue to serve as advisors to the Government Law Review, particularly to help organize its spring symposium.
  • Other events. The Center will pursue other kinds of events when it advances the mission.

2. Media Appearances

The Center’s staff, and community partners, will promote each of our publications and events with media appearances wherever possible. We will also generate op-eds and other publications to help disseminate our work.

Goal 2: Preparing Students for Public Service

Our second goal is to prepare students for careers as leading attorneys in public service. We will advance this goal both through the GLC Fellowship Program, a selective opportunity for a relatively small group of students from each class, and by supporting students who are not Fellows.

A. GLC Fellows Program

The Fellows program has three main goals: substantive preparation for public-service practice; creating a sense of community for students interested in public service; and connecting students to attorneys in public-service practice.

Preparation for public-service practice. Anyone who graduates as a GLC Fellow should have an excellent foundation of knowledge and skills for public-service practice. The Fellowship will help to build that foundation. In particular, over the next 3 to 5 years, we will:

  • Explore building into the Fellowship program a newly-designed course on basic concepts in government law for academic credit in the second year.
  • Encourage Fellows to serve as interns working on the Center’s projects; explore having the third year of the Fellowship involve serving as an intern at the Center and working, separately or collaboratively, on a capstone project.
  • Explore whether to require, or at least recommend, core courses like administrative law and government ethics for Fellows to take before graduation.
  • Collaborate with the Alumni office to help GLC Fellows participate in the law school’s mentoring program, so that mentors can help them build their understanding of public service.

Connecting students to attorneys in public service. The Center will also help Fellows (and other students) develop connections to attorneys in public service. With this goal in mind, we will:

  • As mentioned above, collaborate with the Alumni office to help GLC Fellows and other students participate in the law school’s mentoring program, so that mentors can help them build their understanding of public service.
  • Where appropriate, involve GLC Fellows (and other students, where appropriate) in meetings and events organized or attended by the Center’s staff-members.

Creating a sense of community for students interested in public service. Through social events and other activities, GLC Fellows will develop a sense of community that will help build a sense of their professional identities as students interested in careers in public service. They will also serve as a core group around which other students—non-Fellows— can coalesce to learn more about public service and continue to build their professional identities. With these goals in mind, we will:

  • Continue to encourage the executive board of the Fellows to work as leaders in organizing events for Fellows and other students.
  • Help the executive board organize social events for the GLC Fellows.
  • Organize special events, like Capitol tours, as team-building exercises.

B. Supporting Non-Fellows Interested in Public Service

The Center will also serve as a resource for students (Fellows and non- Fellows alike) who are interested in public service.

  • The Center’s staff will be available to student groups who wish to organize programs involving government officials or public- service-related topics.
  • The Center’s staff will be available to all students for advice on public-service careers.
  • As discussed above, we will explore offering for GLC Fellows a course on basic concepts in government law; we will also explore opening this course to all students.
  • As discussed above, we will support the GLC Fellows executive board in organizing events and activities open to all students.
  • The Center’s Director, along with Rose Mary Bailly, will serve as faculty advisor to the Government Law Review, helping to organize symposia and ensure the production of high-quality scholarship on government-related topics. We will encourage GLC Fellows to submit blog posts and research papers for publication in the Government Law Review.

Goal 3: Building Relationships with the Community

Every element of our mission, as set forth above, depends on building relationships with certain groups who are essential to our success:

  • Policymakers: Advancing Albany Law School’s unique connection to government is explicitly part of the Center’s mission; and success in “help[ing] state and local governments better serve their communities” requires making policymakers aware of the nonpartisan legal research and analysis we offer, and meeting with policymakers to explore areas of need.
  • Partners and contributors to our work: To succeed in “bringing together a diverse and inclusive group of lawyers, students, scholars, and community partners,” we must make practitioners, government officials, and community partners aware of our work and how they can contribute to it.
  • Students and potential employers and supervisors: To “prepare students for careers as leading attorneys in public service” we must ensure that prospective and current students are gaining the knowledge and competencies desired by potential employers; that students are aware of the opportunities they would encounter at the Center; and that attorneys considering supervising or hiring one of our mentees are aware of the advantages of doing so;
  • A national audience: To “inform national conversations on government and the law,” we must ensure that our work reaches a national audience.
  • Donors, sponsors, and foundations: Our communications and outreach strategy should ensure that we connect with current and potential financial supporters of our work, so that current supporters see the impact of their support and we can successfully build relationships with potential supporters.

The following section discusses strategy for communications, outreach, and relationship-building, and gives examples of how the Center’s programs themselves connect us to our target audiences.

A. Communications, Outreach, and Relationship-Building

Our strategy for building relationships with policy-makers and ensuring awareness of our programs will include both an overall communications strategy and a strategy for specific projects.

Overall outreach strategy

The Director will work with staff, including other departments at the law school, to develop a communications strategy and to select “channels” for communications that reach our target audiences while making effective use of our resources. The Director and staff will also work with members of the Advisory Board to develop direct channels to those in government to understand the needs and struggles of the communities they serve, and how the Center’s work can help policymakers address those needs.

Following are some of the channels that will play a central role in our communications strategy:

  • Direct Email. We will send tailored, regular updates to key audiences and supporters, as well as exploring topic-specific email updates or notices about specific programs for people interested in topics that relate to our core work. The Director will work with staff to develop a system for email that is most effective at reaching target audiences while making effective use of our resources.
  • Social-media channels. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are all commonly accessed by our target audiences.
  • Press releases and pitches to media. For each of the Center’s publications or live programs, we will decide whether to do a press release, and work with the Communications Department to identify specific journalists that might be interested in covering the publication or event, or interviewing Center staff about it.
  • Blog posts. As mentioned above, we will explore blogs and podcasts as a way of reaching our target audiences and advancing our mission.
  • Informal outreach. Along with the above tools, Center staff who work on specific projects will engage in informal outreach to policymakers and target audiences both before we engage in projects and once they are launched. Direct contact is among the most effective ways to ensure that we are learning from policy-makers about their needs, and that our message is received.

Project-specific outreach strategies

Each of the Center’s projects—that is, each publication or live program—will be accompanied by an outreach strategy, which will include identifying specific policy-makers and journalists who might be interested in it, as well as a timeline for outreach leading up to the event or the release of the publication. The outreach strategy for each project will be developed well in advance of the publication or event itself.

We will develop templates for outreach for the different kinds of projects:

  • Publications;
  • Live programs;
  • Student activities;
  • Student accomplishments (it will be a regular part of our communications strategy to increase awareness of the accomplishments of our student mentees).

B. How Specific Programs Build Relationships

The Center’s outreach strategy involves communications about our programs, as discussed above; but our programs themselves are also effective ways to connect us to our target audiences. Thus, a program’s potential to connect us to our target audiences will be a central factor considered when planning or assessing any given program.

Following are some illustrative examples of Center programs that serve to connect us to our target audiences:

  • Trainings. Trainings help government officials serve their community, and also help connect those government officials to the law school.
  • Work on Emerging Issues. As discussed above, the Center will focus on core topics, but will also hold programs, and issue publications, on hot topics that are not part of its focus on core topics. This helps the Center connect with the community interested in those topics.
  • Anderson Breakfasts. While the Anderson Breakfasts help inform state government officials, and thus help thus officials serve their communities, the breakfasts also help connect the Center to its target audience of policymakers.
  • Expert Bank. Assembling a directory of experts on various topics will help connect the law school to those experts, and also to members of the government, the media, or the community who wish to draw on their expertise.
  • Stakeholder Roundtables. Another reason to explore stakeholder roundtables is that it helps connect stakeholders to the law school.

Conclusion: Action Items

This section describes specific actions to be taken by the Center’s staff and Advisory Board to ensure the successful implementation of this strategic plan.

A. For the Director and Staff

  • As discussed under Goal 1, develop plans for each of the core topics on which we focus, as well as work in the “emerging issues” category.
  • As discussed under Goal 2, above, develop the GLC Fellows program and other student activities. The Director and staff will develop a written plan for the GLC Fellows program.
  • As discussed under Goal 3, develop general and project-specific communications strategies. The Director and staff will develop a written plan for GLC communications and outreach.
  • Work with the Advisory Board, particularly its Governance Committee, to develop a written plan for the inclusion of community stakeholders in the Center’s work (see below). Also, develop clear roles for the staff liaisons for each Advisory Board project.
  • The Director, working with the Dean, will appoint a committee for annual review of progress under this strategic plan (see below). The Director will work with the Dean to identify specific metrics for assessment of the Center’s programs, using the criteria set forth in this strategic plan.

B. For the Advisory Board

At the strategic-planning retreat in July 2018, there was general consensus that the structure of the Advisory Board should be revisited in light of this new strategic plan.

The current Governance Committee of the Advisory Board will coordinate a process for planning how to involve community stakeholders in the Center’s work. This process will include consideration of the structure of the Advisory Board and the extent to which that structure effectively facilitates community stakeholders’ involvement in advancing the Center’s mission and goals. That process will involve consideration of this strategic plan, and the mission and goals it sets forth.

To help inform the development of this community-stakeholder plan, the following sections list ways in which members of the Advisory Board and other community stakeholders could—assuming sufficient interest and availability—help advance each of the three goals listed above. A fourth section describes how community stakeholders can help with ongoing assessment of the Center’s progress in implementing this plan.

Facilitating Goal 1 (Work Product)

Members of the community, including members of the current Advisory Board, are a vital resource for the Center’s publications, live programs, and other work product. Volunteers who are not otherwise associated with the law school can play a significant role in some of the Center’s projects. Institutional partners, including other educational institutions, are also an important resource.

Specific ways in which community-members can help with the Center’s work product include:

  • Introducing and connecting the Center’s staff to key people in government, so that we can better identify which work product will help them serve their communities;
  • Serving as experts in the Expert Bank;
  • Recruiting authors for the Center’s “collections” (anthology publications), or contributing to them;
  • Supervising students who will produce explainers or other publications for the Center;
  • Providing feedback on our past publications (e.g., participating in the Center’s ongoing assessment of its own work by commenting on the Center’s work product);
  • Contributing blog posts, or recruiting people to do so;
  • Helping recruit speakers for trainings or events;
  • Helping find sponsors for projects, where appropriate;
  • Helping publicize the Center’s work product, so that it reaches the audiences to whom it aims to be useful.

Facilitating Goal 2 (Training Students)

Opportunities for members of the community, including members of the Advisory Board, to help the Center prepare students for public service, include:

  • Serving as mentors through the law school’s mentoring program, or recruiting mentors;
  • Helping create internships, particularly internships in which students produce research or publications for the Center;
  • Providing networking opportunities for students;
  • Helping students find jobs;
  • Guest-teaching in the GLC Fellows program.

Facilitating Goal 3 (Building Relationships)

Members of the Advisory Board and other community stakeholders play an invaluable role in connecting the Center to the community. Specific ways they can do so include:

  • Facilitating communication with those in government.
  • Promoting the Center’s work on social media and through informal channels;
  • Helping develop and maintain the Expert Bank described above;
  • Development work, including helping Center and law-school staff identify potential donors who might support our work.

Specific Committees to Consider

As the community-stakeholder plan is developed, particular consideration should be given to the structures that best facilitate the kinds of work described in the preceding section. For example, while community stakeholders can play a number of important roles in the Center’s work, some kinds of work benefit from the support of a committee, while others are best performed in an informal or ad hoc way.

Committees should be organized around specific, ongoing tasks. Each committee should have a chairperson who takes responsibility for coordinating the Committee’s work, as well as a staff liaison who facilitates the work.

To launch the Governance Committee’s discussions, following is a non- exhaustive list of specific kinds of work that might benefit from the structure of a committee:

  • Helping connect the Center’s director and staff to key players in government;
  • Recruiting authors for the Center’s publications;
  • Helping publicize the Center’s work product;
  • Development;
  • Assessment of the Center’s work and whether it promotes our mission and goals (see below for a more detailed description of assessment work).

A. Assessment

As discussed above, the Director and the Dean will appoint a committee of community stakeholders to periodically assess the Center’s progress under this plan.

This section describes criteria for assessment of the Center’s work. In all categories, the primary consideration should be whether it serves the Center’s overall mission. The following criteria help refine that inquiry.

Criteria for Assessing Goal 1 (Work Product)

When assessing the Center’s work product, including publications and live programs, the following specific criteria will be considered:

  • Does the work product help governments better serve their communities?
  • Does it make effective use of the Center’s resources?
  • Is it contributing novel research and analysis to the topics on which we work and helping to inform the conversation on those topics?
  • Is our work known nationally for its excellence? Is it useful to people who work on issues affecting state and local governments nationwide?

When assessing our work product, it may be useful to survey stakeholders among our various audiences (for example, policymakers or academics) to ask for their assessment of whether it promotes our mission of helping governments better serve their communities.

Criteria for Assessing Goal 2 (Training Students)

When assessing the Center’s programs for students, the following factors will be considered:

  • Are GLC Fellows graduating with a solid foundation in the knowledge and skills necessary for public service?
  • Are students involved in core Center projects? Does their involvement in those projects help prepare them for public service?
  • Does the GLC Fellowship help students find jobs in public service? I.e., do prospective employers view the Fellowship as a meaningful credential?

We will partner with other departments at the law school to assess our success in training students to be leading attorneys in public service.

Criteria for Assessing Goal 3 (Building Relationships)

When assessing the Center’s communications, outreach, and relationship-building, we should consider the following factors:

  • Whether we are connecting with policy-makers in a way that lets us tailor our work to their needs; whether they are aware of our work; and whether they think favorably of it.
  • Whether potential partners (individual and institutional) and potential contributors to our projects are aware of our work and think favorably.
  • Whether prospective and current students at the law school understand the opportunities available to them at the Center;
  • Whether potential employers of Albany Law Students are aware of the GLC Fellowship and other ways in which the Center prepares students for careers in public service.


On October 17, 2018, the Government Law Center’s Advisory Board voted to recommend the adoption of this plan by the Albany Law School Board of Trustees.

The faculty of Albany Law School passed a resolution in support of this plan on October 23, 2018.

The Board of Trustees of Albany Law School adopted this plan on December 14, 2018.