Student Spotlight

New Student Group Focuses on Nontraditional Experience

Caitlin Mattos '25

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According to the leaders of the newly formed Non-Traditional Law Students Association, one in five Albany Law School students identifies as “non-traditional.” These students may have changed careers, taken time off to work after undergraduate studies, or started a family, and the Non-Traditional Law Students Association (NLSA) offers a support system for individuals whose paths may look different from that of a typical law student.
When Caitlin Mattos '25 returned to school, she realized that she was in uncharted territory.

“I came back with the same mindset of being a student, but my prior experience obviously looked very, very different. I've been out of school for a significant period of time. So, readjusting to what that looked like and having people who could say ‘these are the things that you're going to experience’ was a lifeline I didn’t realize I needed.”

Mattos is the Vice President of NSLA, and has a background in education and owned a New York City-based tutoring company for fifteen years. She hopes to use her teaching experience to help educate individuals on the importance of estate planning.
Diana Waligora '25, NLSA’s Treasurer, spent fifteen years in corporate consulting before deciding to pursue a legal education to supplement her skill set. 

She spoke about the impact NLSA has already had in its early stages.  “We are excited to have formally established a community for current non-traditional Albany Law School students. The support from school administrators has been extremely encouraging, and one of our goals is to provide non-traditional student recommendations as the school continues to execute against its strategic plan.  We are also keenly focused on forging relationships between our non-traditional student population and Albany Law School alumni.”
NLSA aims to create networking opportunities for non-traditional students with firms in the Capital Region and engage with the greater Albany Law School community.  To learn more and connect, contact NLSA at NLSAeboard@albanylaw.edu or on Instagram.

Hear NLSA President Kristina Wieneke ’23 on the Albany Law School podcast: