Civil and Criminal Advocacy


a group of people in a room

Albany Law School is proud of its historic tradition of preparing graduates for general civil and criminal practice. Students may come to law school uncertain of their path, but by the time they graduate they have been ignited with a passion for criminal prosecution, criminal defense, representation of individuals in civil matters, or a host of other exciting careers. Some students are more comfortable with small town or rural practice while others feel the call of the big city and the big firm. Leveraging Albany Law School’s intensely loyal alumni network, students find employment, lifelong mentors and professional contacts to build a satisfying personal and professional life.

Student Life

The Civil and Criminal Advocacy Pathway starts at Orientation where new students can participate in special sessions introducing them to the Pathway and meet faculty, peer, and alumni mentors.

Academic Program

Students following the Civil and Criminal Advocacy Pathway are not required to choose a concentration, but the following concentrations align with this Pathway. Students can elect to concentrate in one of these areas or use the concentrations as a guideline for course selection in the areas in which they have an interest:

  • Civil Litigation
  • Criminal Law
  • Civil and Constitutional Rights
  • Family Law
  • Elder Law
  • Labor and Employment Law

Experiential Opportunities

Civil Advocacy Field Placements/Summer & Semester-in-Practice

  • Disability Rights New York (Disability Advocates)
  • Legal Aid Saratoga
  • Legal Aid Society of Northeastern, NY, Inc.
  • Mental Hygiene Legal Services
  • U.S. Trustee, Department of Justice
  • Albany County Attorney
  • New York State Attorney General – Litigation Bureau
  • Real Property Bureau
  • Sexual Offender Management Bureau
  • Appeals & Opinions Division
  • Civil Recoveries Unit
  • Claims Bureau
  • Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau
  • Civil Service Employees Association
  • Prisoners Legal Services of New York
  • The Legal Project
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of NY
  • Judicial Placements (more than 50 courts offer opportunities for judicial placements)

Criminal Advocacy Field Placements/Summer & Semester-in-Practice

  • Albany County Conflict Defender
  • Albany County Public Defender
  • Columbia County Public Defender
  • Federal Public Defender
  • New York State Defenders Association
  • Rensselaer County Public Defender
  • Saratoga County Public Defender
  • Schenectady County Public Defender
  • Schenectady County Conflict Defender
  • Albany County District Attorney
  • Berkshire County District Attorney
  • New York Prosecutor's Training Institute
  • NYS Attorney General – Sexual Offender Unit
  • Prisoners Legal Services of New York
  • Rensselaer County District Attorney
  • Saratoga County District Attorney
  • Schenectady County District Attorney
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of NY
  • Warren County District Attorney's Office
  • Washington County District Attorney
  • Judicial Placements with criminal case matters)

Strategic Partnerships

Students can earn a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice through our collaborative degree program with the University at Albany’s highly ranked School of Criminal Justice. Students can also cross-register for courses in the School of Criminal Justice such as Crime and Public Policy, Capital Punishment Seminar, Law & Science in Criminal Justice, Psychology in the Legal System, and Guns & Gun Control.

Career Opportunities and Placement

Career Planning provides professional development opportunities specific to each pathway. Students work with alumni mentors to network and explore career opportunities in the area of civil and criminal advocacy.

Types of Careers

  • Assistant District Attorney
  • Assistant US Attorney
  • Private practice (civil and criminal)
  • Public Defender
  • Legal Aid attorney
  • Attorney for a not-for-profit

Where do our Alumni go?

  • District Attorney's Offices (Albany County, Rensselaer County)
  • Saratoga County
  • Schenectady County
  • Bronx County District Attorney
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • New York County District Attorney’s Office
  • Public Defender’s Offices
  • Legal Aid Society of Northeastern NY
  • United States Attorney’s Office
  • Jones Day
  • Skadden Arps