Student Spotlight

Up From New York City, Adebare Ogunleye Says Albany Feels Like Home

Adebare Ogunleye ‘19

By Eric Bisaillon
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Witnessing the substandard living in parts of the Dominican Republic during a college service trip struck a heavy chord with Adebare Ogunleye ‘19. He started looking into the field of housing, and careers around community and economic development. After an internship with then New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat, Ogunleye grew determined to attend law school to gain the skills needed to have an impact on communities who need help.  

Since entering law school a year ago, he spent his first summer with the New York State Department of Financial Services. This fall semester he interned with the Governor’s Office, and looks forward to an upcoming internship with the Law Office of Catherine M. Hedgeman, who serves as general counsel to the Albany Land Bank.

Ogunleye came upstate from New York City to attend University at Albany for his undergraduate school. While he makes time to experience the region—such as visits to Lake George and Saratoga Springs—the easier pace and more suitable lifestyle is what he enjoys most about living upstate. “This is a good place for school, and to develop a career.”

He described his first semester of law school as a “blend of nerve-wracking anxiety,” largely due to uncharted territory. “In the second semester I grew more relaxed, I crafted a good routine to get enough sleep and maintain a life balance with school, a social life, and the gym.” He served as a a research assistant for the Government Law Center in his second semester. In his second year he took on more responsibility, including a field placement, a job as a teaching assistant, and a position in the Admissions Office.

Currently, Ogunleye plans to study and conduct his career search in economic and community development, real estate, and transactional law. “Since college, I always had a passion for service learning and helping to improve the lives in a community,” he said.  “My Property class during my first year put things into focus—I learned broad real-property law concepts that could be applied to improving communities.”  

Ogunleye said he does not know where his career will take him, but can see himself staying in the area after law school. “Not everyone stays in the Albany area, but there is a lot of opportunity here. There’s no other law school for 90 miles, so you can pursue fields in the private sector, or the public sector, pretty extensively. I can see myself here in the future.”

Adebare Ogunleye