1L Survey Course Selection

August 4, 2022 UPDATE - This form is currently closed. Contact the Registrar's Office directly if you need assistance: Registrar@albanylaw.edu


While the first-year curriculum includes a required set of courses, new Albany Law students have a unique opportunity to actively select part of their required first-semester curriculum from several new 1-credit seminars focusing on issues in law and society. 

The results of this survey will go to the Registrar's Office. Every effort will be made to accommodate the first choice of every student, but class size and schedules take precedent.

These are course descriptions for the Fall 2022 1L Survey Courses.

Each course is 1 credit.

Multicultural Lawyering and Professional Identity - Professor Mary Lynch - Tuesdays 12-12:50 p.m.

This course introduces first year students to concepts of culture, intersectionality, trauma informed lawyering and professional identity.  It lays the foundation for developing a holistic professional identity, for navigating cultural and identity differences with clients, and for becoming multiculturally aware lawyers who serve the profession effectively in our increasingly diverse and multicultural world.

Access to Justice - Prof. Connie Mayer - Mondays 1-1:50 p.m.

This course will introduce students to the role of lawyers in ensuring access to justice. It will explore the access to justice movement in the United States and examine the history, policies, and laws related to access to the courts and legal services. The course will consider the reasons why access to civil and criminal courts is limited, including barriers created by race, gender, poverty, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disabilities. The course will survey the various ways limited access has been addressed and identify ongoing gaps to access. Students will become familiar with the Model Rules of Professional Conduct with respect to a lawyer’s duty to ensure access to justice and the competent representation of clients. Topics will include the history of the right to counsel and the provision of legal services to under-represented communities, innovations in legal services, and the role of technology in access to justice.

RBG and the Quest for Sex Equality in the Law - Prof. Stephen Clark - Every other Thursday 3-4:50 p.m.

This course will introduce students to the history of political and legal efforts to establish constitutional protection against sex discrimination in the law, centering on the work of Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a lawyer for the ALCU’s Women’s Rights Project in the 1970s. 

Marriage Equalities - Prof. Stephen Clark - Every other Thursday 3-4:50 p.m.

This course will introduce students to the history of political and legal efforts to eliminate invidious discriminations in the law of marriage, centering on the successful movement to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. 

Law and Justice: An Introduction - Dean Alicia Ouellette - Every other Thursday 3-4:50 p.m.

This course will introduce first-year JD students to the concept of justice in law and society.  Through the study of caselaw, policy papers, and candid discussion, it examines the law’s role in advancing both equity and disparities based on race, class, disability, gender, gender identity or expression, and sexual identity in areas such as healthcare, education, criminal justice, and employment.

Introduction to Critical Race Theory - Profs. Ciji Dodds, Anthony Farley, Nina Farnia - Tuesdays 12-12:50 p.m.

The traditional approach to legal education tends to minimize the role of race and racism in the formation of American law.  Law in the traditional curriculum in particular is historically taught in a neutral, detached and decontextualized casebook methodology, which can result in a failure to address issues of racial oppression and discrimination in the classroom.  The failure to address race in the classroom tends to reproduce racial hierarchies in legal education by presenting the “law” as equal and neutral without taking into account the many ways in which “law” has and can be used to support racial inequality.  The failure to address race in the classroom also undermines the cultural competencies and professional readiness of law students by not fully preparing students to practice in a diverse world. This course seeks to fill this gap in legal education by exposing 1L students to issues of racial inequality at the very beginning of their legal education, while preparing students to satisfy New York’s (and other states) “competency and professional values” requirement for admission to the Bar.  

Cultural Competence for the Legal Profession - Dean Jermaine Cruz - Every other Thursday 3-4:50 p.m.

This course, for first-year students, will examine culture from a broad perspective and emphasize the importance of cultural competence in the practice of law. Students will develop cross-cultural competence that will follow them, and that they will further develop, throughout their law school and professional careers. Students will be assigned 25-30 pages of reading (articles) per module and/or will be required to screen relevant and/or supplemental documentaries/videos. Students will be assessed on participation in classroom discussions, in-class simulation exercises, written homework assignments and a final reflective paper.