The Writing Specialist is available to meet and work individually with students, to assess student writing to determine individual student problem areas, assist students with outlining, drafting, and revising both first-year and upper level writing assignments with faculty approval, to coordinate with lawyering faculty, to provide support for faculty generally, and to assist students with creating effective cover letters, job applications, and resumes. The Writing Specialist also oversees the Peer Writing Assistance Program.
Peer Writing Assistance Program
The Peer Writing Assistance Program is available to assist students struggling with law school-related writing. We have peer writing assistants to assist with academic work and peer writing assistants to assist with job search-related writing projects. Students may bring any law school academic project for review, including memoranda, briefs, class papers, upper level writing papers, and law review articles. Trained writing assistants will work with the student in developing or refining critical writing skills.
In addition, students may bring writing prepared for work with career and professional development counselors including resumes, cover letters, and writing samples. Trained writing assistants will work with the student in developing or refining critical writing skills in the context of career and professional development. Peer writing assistants who work with the Career and Professional Development Office may be found both here and through that office.
Meet This Year's Student Assistants (Portal Log-in Required)
Where the writing under review is a class assignment, writing assistants must receive permission from the professor who has assigned the project before review. In addition, writing assistants will always follow any limitations placed on their review by the assigning professor.
The writing assistants will assist students in identifying problems with their writing and then work with the students to develop a plan to address those problems. Peer writing assistants are not editors and will never give feedback on the substance of a paper.
During this semester, student conferences will be held via Zoom given the nature of the shared review of a written product.
Advanced Legal Analysis I
Applied Legal Analysis I is a second year academic success course that follows a skills based approach to help students become academically successful in law school, on the bar examination, and in practice. The course focuses on the following skills, among others, with special emphasis on how to employ these skills in the context of the bar exam: writing about situations that involve multiple topics within the law; "issue-spotting" and avoiding irrelevant facts; breaking down factual analysis into parts; and recognizing arguments on both sides of an issue.
Advanced Legal Analysis II
Advanced Legal Analysis II is offered in the fall and spring semester of the third year and introduces students to the following: content of the bar exam, subjects tested and the scoring system, proper study techniques, critical reading, thinking, issue spotting, and writing organized essay answers in IRAC format. In addition, the course introduces students to strategies for answering multiple choice questions, and time management and stress reduction techniques. Written feedback is provided on written essays and the MPT.
Bar Exam Writing Specialist
The Bar Exam Writing Specialist is available to meet and work individually with students, to assess student writing to determine individual student problem areas, assist students with outlining, drafting, bar exam essay responses.
Bar Exam Mentoring
Albany Law School also provides a bar mentoring program for third-year students. The Bar Exam Mentoring Program provides students with an opportunity to ask questions and receive guidance on study tips, test procedures and other general questions and concerns regarding the exam.