Update from the Dean

April 15, 2020

Dear Albany Law School Community:

I write today with three updates.

On Tuesday, our faculty voted to adopt an exam policy for Spring 2020. This policy, developed in response to the COVID-19 crisis, was recommended by the Academic Affairs Committee and informed by feedback from the student body. These are big decisions, and I am so thankful for the openness of our students and the thoughtfulness of our faculty.

Regarding Spring 2020 exams:

  • Final exams will be open book and open notebook, and will be administered remotely.
  • Students will be given a 24-hour window to take timed exams. This gives flexibility to students who are caring for children or family members, accounting for time zone differences, or dealing with any other concerns.
  • Accommodations will continue and will be administered by the Registrar's Office.
  • For the full Spring 2020 exams policy, that was distributed by Dean Mayer this morning.

We have decided that all Summer 2020 courses will be held remotely.  There is still much uncertainty around the trajectory and timeline of this pandemic. At this time, we feel it is best to take a cautious approach and continue remote education for the summer session. This not only maintains the wellbeing of our community, but also allows our students the time and space to prioritize health, safety, family, and other basic needs.

Online summer classes will be graded as usual, meaning the Spring 2020 grading policy will not be extended. We note, however, that, Albany Law School has always been willing to accommodate students who are facing extraordinary challenges. If you need to discuss options—such as a medical leave—after starting a summer course, Dean Queenan and Dean Mayer will be available. We are here to help.

Finally, the Board of Trustees has set the J.D. tuition for 2020-2021 at $51,114 for returning 2Ls, and $50,138 for returning 3Ls in the three-year program. For the four-year program, tuition will be $38,336 for returning 2Ls, and $37,604 for returning 3Ls and 4Ls.

This decision was made with great care. Every year, the Board has a serious conversation about our students' debt load, and how to balance cost of attendance with the financial realities of providing high-quality academic and student-support programs. This year, there is the added concern of uncertain months ahead. The Board remains committed to giving our students the best possible legal education, and this incremental increase of 3% allows us to do that by keeping pace with operational costs. To reassure our returning students: no scholarships will be lost at the conclusion of the Spring 2020 semester.

We are all anxious to return to residential classes, and in-person community. That day is coming, although we can't be certain when. Believe me when I say that I can't wait to see you back on campus—when the time is right. I really miss each and every one of you.

For now, keep up the good work, and keep in contact. You, our students, are holding up your end. Speaking on behalf of the faculty, staff, and administration of Albany Law School, we'll keep holding up ours.

All my best,

a drawing of a person

Alicia Ouellette
President and Dean