Online Graduate Programs

Government Affairs and Advocacy

2023 preLaw Top School for Government Law Logo

Since 1851, Albany Law School has educated and forged bonds with government leaders at all levels. This online program builds upon this proud tradition by preparing both lawyers and non-lawyers to thrive and advance in government affairs, advocacy, and lobbying.

Through highly practical coursework and by leveraging our historical experience the law school provides students access to local, county, state, and federal offices through virtual and in person events thanks to its unique position nestled in the heart of New York State's capital city.

Students gain a core understanding of government affairs and procedures, as well as the advocacy and lobbying tools and strategies needed in order to have a greater impact on public policy. This program prepares students to begin a lobbying career on state and local government platforms or to rise up the ranks of public service within any branch of government.

Program Highlights

  • Multiple Perspectives. Courses fall into two tracks: "Government” and “Lobbying and Advocacy."
  • Tuned To Meet Your Needs. Most courses offer two depths of study, allowing you to drill into some areas while gaining a more introductory awareness of others - all according to your own interests or needs.
  • Real-World Coursework. Courses offer a practical approach and faculty are active professionals in their fields. Assignments allow you to learn and apply your knowledge and skills as you go - especially if you choose to complete the Virtual or On-Site Field Placement.


    Courses are organized into two tracks - "Government" and "Lobbying & Advocacy" - allowing you to customize your pathway according to your interests.

    Government course offerings include:

    • GVAA 501: Administrative Law (3-credit, required for all M.S. and LL.M. candidates unless taken in prior JD program)
    • GVAA 701: Legislative Process and Statutory Interpretation (1- and 3-credit)
    • GVAA 702: State and Local Governments (1- and 3-credit)
    • GVAA 703: Government Ethics (1- and 3-credit)
    • GVAA 704: Public Budgets and Finance (1- and 3-credit)
    • GVAA 705: Government Spending and Grants (1- and 3-credit)
    • GVAA 706: NYS Process and Players (1- and 3-credit)

    Lobbying & Advocacy course offerings include:

    • GVAA 710: Lobbying Law and Ethics (1- and 3-credit)
    • GVAA 711: Policy Change Through Litigation (1- and 3-credit)
    • GVAA 712: Influencing Policymakers Through Advocacy (1- and 3-credit)
    • GVAA 713: Integrated Communications and PR (1- and 3-credit)
    • GVAA 714: Using Law for Social Change (1- and 3-credit)

    Optional Virtual or On-Site Field Experience:

    • GVAA 720: Government Affairs and Advocacy Field Experience (1-3 credits, restrictions apply)

    Download course descriptions:


    Master’s Degree (100% online)

    • Bachelor’s degree required
    • Complete in a little over a year
    • Dual degree options available

    LL.M. Degree (100% online)

    • J.D. or LL.B. required
    • Complete in one year
    • Dual degree options available

    Advanced Certificate in Government Affairs and Advocacy (100% online)

    • Bachelor’s degree required
    • Complete in as little as 3 months

    “The curriculum was relevant to current global issues. It successfully captivated and cognitively challenged students from a range of industries and disciplines. The unique and engaging teaching approaches, class sizes, open educational resources, and textbooks together fostered effective learning and valuable interactions between students and professors.”