Tom McCarthy ’23 can now cite himself when he is BlueBooking.
A research paper he completed for Professor Ted de Barbieri’s Housing Policy Seminar was accepted and published in the American Bar Association’s Journal of Affordable Housing & Community Development Law.
The paper, Helping the Good Cause: Building a Better Anti-Eviction Scheme Through Local Innovation, focuses on the recent housing challenges in the United States including large rental price increases, short supply of housing units, and rising evictions.
McCarthy used Albany’s “Good Cause Eviction” law, enacted in 2021. It was the first of its kind and a model for other cities as they navigate challenges. Albany’s law prohibits evictions unless the landlord can show a “good cause.” McCarthy compared Albany’s law to others around the country and proposed a new model that combined the strongest and most intuitive pieces of each city’s policy.
“The original assignment was on something like unique or ongoing development in the field of housing. And I couldn't think of anything for a while. And then when it was really time to start writing, the idea to write about Albany's new Good Cause Eviction Legislation came to my mind because it was something I had been following on my own for a while,” he said. “It was perfect because Albany is the first city in the state to enact a law of this type. It's really popular in some other states, and it's becoming more of a national topic right now. So, it fit locally. It fit for a broader audience. It was a lot of good things coming together.”
Professor De Barbieri encouraged his students to submit their papers for publication. McCarthy—a lifelong Albany resident—jumped at the chance to share Albany’s precedent with a greater audience.
“I can add it to my resume. It looks super professional when you can Blue Book your own citation on your resume. Yeah. And it'll be a great thing to talk about when I do job interviews when I apply to things,” he said. “It has also been exciting to follow the law. It was at the trial level and now it's on appeal and we're writing an amicus brief that will be filed with the appeal really soon.”
“Albany can be now a model for other cities in New York state, and it already has been a bunch of cities right after Albany enacted a very similar law. It was really cool to be writing about it while it was happening right here.”
McCarthy is building on this work through the Community Economic Development Clinic this semester.
“Some of the projects I'm doing now in the clinic are actually the same topic as I wrote about in the paper. United Tenants of Albany is one of our clients. I am getting to meet the people who work there and the people that they serve,” he said. “I'm building on knowledge that I had already researched and written to put those skills into action with real clients.”
McCarthy spent some time in the workforce before attending Albany Law School, mostly with the New York State Assembly.
“I think that definitely helped me be more organized, more able to handle the workload of law school. So, I kind of had a mindset where I was going to treat law school like a job, and that has definitely helped,” he said.
He has completed internships with two U.S. District Court judges, Hon. Lawrence E. Kahn and Hon. Mae D'Agostino and the Empire Justice Center, a nonprofit.
While he’s not certain where he will land after graduation, helping to make his hometown a better place has some serious appeal.
“When you help people through groups like United Tenants, you feel a connection to the people that you're working with. They’re your neighbors,” he said. “There's definitely opportunities here and there's always something going on, something new, or something changing to be part of.”