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​Public Interest Law

 


Albany Law School has a longstanding and deep commitment to preparing and supporting students who wish to practice public interest law. The tradition was recently recognized and celebrated in 2014 when Albany Law was named one of the top ten law schools in the country for the practice of public interest law. Students dedicated to serving the public interest – along with all Albany Law students – are introduced from day one to the challenges facing those without access to legal services, and the responsibility of the profession to meet those needs.

Albany Law leverages its location in the seat of one the nation’s most vibrant state capitals—and home to numerous social justice and community organizations— to give its students unparalleled opportunities to engage in deep experiential learning with these public interest institutions.

Student Life

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

Academic Program

Students following the Public Interest Law 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:

Experiential Opportunities

Law & Social Innovation: Creative Problem-Solving

Pro Bono Scholars Program

Related Field Placement/Summer & Semester-in-Practice

 

Government (See Government and Public Service Pathway)

Environment Law

  • NY State Department of Environment Conservation
  • NY State Attorney General--Environmental Protection
  • NY State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
  • New York State Public Service
  • NYS Department of State
  • City of Cohoes, Building and Planning Department

Children and Family Rights

  • Disability Rights New York, Inc.
  • Legal Aid Society of Northeastern NY
  • Mental Hygiene Legal Services
  • Public Defender’s Office (Counties: Albany, Columbia, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady)
  • Empire Justice Center
  • Greene County Social Services Department
  • NY State Office - Prevention of Domestic Violence
  • New York State Office of Children & Family Services
  • The Legal Project, Inc.

Labor and Employment

  • National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
  • New York State Department of Labor
  • New York State Law Enforcement Officers Union (Council 82)
  • New York State Public Employment Relations Board
  • New York State United Teachers (NYSUT)
  • New York State Civil Service Employees Association

International

  • Prisoners Legal Services Immigration Project
  • Empire Justice Immigration Project
  • Legal Aid Society Immigration Project

Consumer Rights

  • New York State Attorney General, Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau
  • Honorable Robert Littlefield, US Bankruptcy Court
  • U.S. Department of Justice Bankruptcy Trustee
  • New York State Department of State-Division of Consumer Protection
  • Legal Aid Society

Strategic Partnerships

Relevant dual degrees are currently in place with the following local partners:

  • J.D./M.P.A. with the University at Albany
  • Cross-registration of up to 12 credits through our partner institutions (University at Albany and RPI)

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 public interest law.

Where do our Alumni go?

  • African Services Committee
  • Albany County
  • City of Albany
  • Disability Rights New York, Inc.
  • Federal Public Defender
  • Healthcare Association of New York State
  • Her Justice, Inc.
  • Legal Aid Society of Northeastern NY
  • National Labor Relations Board
  • New York State Education Department
  • NYS Department of State
  • Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York
  • State of New York Attorney General's Office
  • The Legal Project, Inc.