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University and Albany Law School Announce Deeper Affiliation

Builds on 20-Year Collaboration, Strengthens Cross-Disciplinary Offerings for Students, and Advances Capital Region’s Role as Leader in Higher Education & Innovation

Participants in the affiliation announcement were, left to right: Darius Shahinfar, Albany City Treasurer; State Assemblymember Patricia A. Fahy (109th District); State Senator Hugh T. Farley (49th District); Alicia Ouellette, President and Dean, Albany Law School; President Jones; Daniel P. Nolan, ‎President and CEO, Hugh Johnson Advisors, chair, Albany Law School Board of Trustees; Michael J. Castellana, President and CEO, SEFCU; State Senator Neil D. Breslin (44th District); State Senator George A. Amedore, Jr. (46th District); Interim Dean David Rousseau, UAlbany College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity; and Bethany Hicks, Albany Law School student. (Photo by Mark Schmidt)

 

ALBANY, NY (September 29, 2015) – The University at Albany and Albany Law School today announced a deeper affiliation that creates important new academic opportunities for students, novel research and grant prospects for faculty, and advances the Capital Region’s role as a leader in higher education and innovation.

The announcement marks the natural next step in a 20-year collaboration between the region’s public research university and the nation’s oldest independent law school. That relationship already includes a “3+3” program in which students can receive an undergraduate degree and law degree in six years (instead of seven), and multiple joint graduate programs.

“This agreement strengthens both the University at Albany and Albany Law School, providing tremendous opportunities to our students and faculty across many disciplines,” said UAlbany President Robert J. Jones. “Today marks an extraordinary accomplishment—both as a model of collaboration and in establishing a powerful academic portfolio in our region.”

“This partnership makes both institutions stronger,” said Albany Law School Board of Trustees Chairman Daniel P. Nolan, both a UAlbany and Albany Law School alum. “With more than a dozen collaborative programs launching now, and in the coming months, our affiliation will offer unprecedented opportunities for Albany Law and UAlbany students, while enhancing the region’s economic growth, public service and access to justice.”

In addition to allowing expanded academic and research opportunities, the affiliation creates powerful synergies that can help tackle issues critical to our local community, our state and our increasingly complex world.

“An understanding of the legal landscape is crucial to numerous fields across UAlbany’s academic footprint,” UAlbany Provost James Stellar said. “Deepening our affiliation with Albany Law School will enable UAlbany students to incorporate legal education into their knowledge base, whether they are studying biology, business, mathematics, atmospheric science, political science, social science, public health, fine arts, psychology or countless other fields.”

UAlbany and Albany Law School agreement
UAlbany President Robert J. Jones and Alicia Ouellette, president and dean of Albany Law School, sign affiliation agreement between the two institutions. (Photo by Mike Nolan)

“Together, Albany Law and UAlbany will now be able to offer more innovative and robust educational programs to undergraduate, graduate and law school students,” said Alicia Ouellette, President and Dean of Albany Law School. “We will also be able to strengthen the research and collaboration of the faculty at both institutions, while providing access to law school to a more diverse population.”

As just one example, the affiliation comes as UAlbany launches its new College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (CEHC).

“The University at Albany’s affiliation with Albany Law School is perfectly timed as the University launches the new College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (CEHC),” said CEHC Interim Dean David Rousseau. “This allows both partners to train professionals who can navigate the tradeoffs between security and civil and social rights in the most dire and distressing circumstances.”

In addition to the existing 3+3 program, academic partnerships already in place include joint degrees with Albany Law’s J.D. and a Master’s in Business Administration, J.D. and a Master’s in Public Administration, J.D. and a Master’s in Regional Planning, and J.D. and a Master’s in Social Work. Together the two schools also run The Institute for Financial Market Regulation, which educates students about, and researches critical issues in, financial market regulation. Also, the UA-ALS Health and Human Rights certificate program in UAlbany’s School of Public Health was recently approved by the State.

Capital District business and civic leaders also recognize the importance of this partnership to the region.

“As President and CEO of the area’s largest credit union, Chairman of the UAlbany University Council, Advisory Council Co-Chair to the Capital Region’s Upstate Revitalization Initiative, and proud two-time UAlbany alum, I understand how this enhanced alliance between two important institutions to the Capital Region strengthens our community, its workforce and vitality,” said Michael J. Castellana, President and CEO of SEFCU, UAlbany ‘84, MBA '92.

The deepened affiliation will:

  • Enable UAlbany undergraduate and graduate students to enroll in classes taught by law school faculty, broadening the students’ learning and exposing them to legal education concepts that can better prepare them for their careers or consideration of advanced education.
  • Create opportunities for Albany Law School students to enroll in classes offered at UAlbany to supplement and broaden their legal education. These include such areas as public health, cybersecurity, chemistry, tech transfer, and entrepreneurship courses through UAlbany’s Business School, housed in the newly named Massry Center for Business.
  • Allow for joint UAlbany-Albany Law School grant-seeking and research opportunities through a dedicated Collaborative Venture Fund.
  • Enhance promotion of special student recruitment programs such as the existing 3+3 program in which students enroll at UAlbany for three years and then begin their legal education at Albany Law School at the start of their fourth year.
  • Facilitate recruitment of international students, a priority of both institutions.
  • Permit the law school to work with the University’s talented workforce of online course developers to create online and hybrid courses within the law school’s ABA-accredited curriculum.
  • Set the stage for additional collaboration in numerous other areas, including: study abroad programs, offerings to military veterans, and collaborative degree programs in criminal justice, history and social entrepreneurship.
  • Generate potential cost savings to both institutions through resource sharing in such areas as online course offerings, registration processes and technology infrastructures, and student recruitment.
  • Strengthen both UAlbany’s and Albany Law’s roles in growing the upstate high-tech economy.
  • Lead to more graduates who are multi-skilled problem solvers who can think and perform across disciplines creating a better-educated workforce for the jobs of the future, some of which don’t even exist yet but will find homes in the Capital Region.

As publicly engaged institutions, Albany Law School and the University at Albany will provide opportunities to create reciprocal partnerships to tackle what matters most to the community. Through combined research, teaching, and service, we can partner with our communities, from local to global, to address complex societal challenges.

“Our world’s challenges are too large to be solved by just one discipline. Partnerships and informational cross-pollination are essential to solving vexing public and societal problems,” Jones said.

As part of the deepening affiliation, Albany Law School also announced it will continue to guarantee a three-year award of $17,000 each year ($51,000 in total), for all UAlbany graduates accepted for admission to Albany Law School. The offer does not preclude the UAlbany students from qualifying for additional financial aid.

Senator Neil Breslin (44th Senate District) said: “Together these two institutions have served the Capital Region for a combined 335 years and this announcement demonstrates that they are still innovating and partnering to ensure that generations to come will benefit from their rich curriculum and faculty expertise.”

Assemblymember Patricia Fahy (109th Assembly District) said: “I commend both the Albany Law School and UAlbany for their foresight and for recognizing their respective institutions are strengthened by full collaboration to expand student opportunities in both schools. I applaud this initiative and am confident it will benefit the students and faculty and be of long term success in both institutions.”

Senator George Amedore (46th Senate District) said: “An enhanced alliance between these two institutions brings a renewed energy, vision and comprehensive mission that will serve their students and the community at large.”

Senator Hugh T. Farley (49th Senate District), Professor Emeritus of Business Law at the University at Albany, said: “This is a very exciting development for both the University at Albany and Albany Law School, as well as for the Capital Region. I applaud the schools for taking the initiative to develop this mutually beneficial relationship. I know that this collaborative effort will enhance and strengthen the programs at both schools, benefiting students and faculty alike.”

Joseph N. Garba ’02, ’05, President, University at Albany Alumni Association Board of Directors, said: “As President of the University at Albany Alumni Association Board of Directors and a proud two-time alum, I recognize that increased academic opportunities serve to further strengthen our student and alumni population. Both the University at Albany and Albany Law School have long traditions of producing well prepared graduates, and this enhanced collaboration will result in more opportunities for the students of both institutions. I believe that this broadening affiliation with Albany Law School will create even stronger pathways to academic and professional success for UAlbany students, and I applaud today’s announcement as a positive step forward for our University community.”

Albany Mayor Katherine Sheehan, an alumna of Albany Law School and a member of the school’s Board of Trustees, said: “The City of Albany has always thrived on collaborations between its institutions. These two schools – a major research university and a small, historically-rich and innovative law school – working together can only enrich the region, attract more great students and develop professionals that will help lead our region toward a successful future. As a graduate of Albany Law School, I look forward to this new affiliation.”

Bethany Hicks, a UAlbany graduate now attending Albany Law School as part of the 3+3 program, said: “This new, stronger affiliation between Albany Law School and the University at Albany will expand upon the opportunities that have brought students like me to the Capital Region. After coming to the region specifically for the 3+3 program, spending my undergraduate and law school years, I plan to make the Capital Region my home. It has given me the tools I need to succeed and launch my career, and what better place than here to do that.”

# # #

What others are saying about the University at Albany-Albany Law School deeper affiliation:

Hon. Lee Zeldin, U.S. Representative (NY 1)
“As a former student at both UAlbany and Albany Law School, I know firsthand that the two institutions will benefit from one another on many different levels. The country’s education system needs innovative solutions to challenging problems—this public-private affiliation may prove as a model for many.”

Hon. John McDonald (108th Assembly District)
“UAlbany and Albany Law School, already in a longstanding relationship, are in a position to strengthen their collaborative work together by designing innovative programs and opportunities that will truly benefit the Capital Region.”

Hon. Philip Steck (110th Assembly District)
“I applaud these efforts by the University at Albany and Albany Law School to forge a closer relationship that will strengthen both institutions, as well as the Capital District as a whole, by helping to attract and retain talented students. Most importantly, this collaboration will benefit students and better prepare them for the workforce by providing additional resources and opportunities.”

Hon. Jim Tedisco (112th Assembly District)
“A closer collaboration between the University at Albany and Albany Law School is a win-win for both schools and will give more students greater opportunities to pursue academic studies that will better prepare them for the workforce.”

Hon. Peter D. Lopez (102nd Assembly District)
“As a UAlbany alumnus and someone who values the SUNY education system, I am very encouraged by the collaboration between these two prestigious institutions. Students will significantly benefit from the enhanced programs, which will better prepare them for life and careers after graduation. The collaboration will include the recruitment of more students to the 3+3 program, encouraging faculty members to collaborate on research, and cross-registration of courses. I’m confident this collaboration will open many doors and create new opportunities for the hardworking students at these schools.”

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy
“The partnership announced today will benefit both of these quality institutions of higher learning in Albany. Albany Law School and UAlbany are going to benefit from this, as will prospective students and the community at large. I find it very encouraging that the leaders of these institutions are working together in this way.”

Heather C. Briccetti, President & CEO, Business Council of New York State, Inc.
“As an Albany Law School alumna with a vested interest in the growth and success of the state’s business community, I am extremely excited by this collaboration. This is a natural pairing and I am confident the partnership will help attract new and young people to the state, enhance the development of a high-skilled professional workforce, and create excitement for New York State as an educational innovator.”

James J. Barba, President & CEO of Albany Medical Center and Co-Chair, Capital Region Economic Development Council
"Together, a deeply affiliated University at Albany and Albany Law School will enhance each institution's ability to deliver unique and valuable educational opportunities to their students, and develop partnerships that will strengthen the economic foundation and innovation in this region and beyond.”

Mark Eagan, CEO of the Capital Region Chamber
"This partnership not only fortifies the two institutions academically, but creates a model partnership for the Capital Region community to consider as they leverage value assets, synergies, and enhanced opportunities for growth and service to this area.”

Stephen Younger, Past President of the New York State Bar Association; Partner, Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler
“What has always been special to me about Albany Law School is the common set of bonds we all share with other alumni. With the new University of Albany affiliation, we now have a multitude of additional bonds to draw on. This is a wonderful development for anyone with ties to Albany Law School.”

David Miranda, Partner, Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti, Albany Law School '88
“As an Albany Law School graduate, it is great to see my school, a leader in preparing students for the legal profession in New York, gain access to the resources of a major public university. This unique affiliation can only help us continue developing young lawyers and maintain one of the strongest and most active Bars in the country.”

Janet Silver, President, Albany County Bar Association; Albany Law School ‘03
“Albany Law School has a rich history of producing great lawyers and leaders throughout the region. This affiliation will only enhance its ability to better prepare attorneys, attract high-performing students, and contribute to the professional community. Both institutions have everything to gain.”

Denise Gonick, President and CEO, MVP Health Care
“As an Albany Law School graduate, I applaud this collaboration which is certain to help strengthen both Albany Law and the University at Albany. I’m confident that it will be good for the region too, leading to positive developments that new partnerships tend to create.”

Thania Fernandez, President, National Alumni Association, Albany Law School
“The Albany Law School’s National Alumni Association is delighted to support a broader affiliation with UAlbany, which strengthens our institution’s position and provides another source of pride for our active network of 10,000-plus alumni.”

Lisa A. Frisch, Executive Director, The Legal Project
“Throughout its 20 year history of serving the Capital Region, The Legal Project has long worked in partnership with Albany Law School in our mission of expanding critical access to legal services, regardless of income. As an alumnus of the School of Criminal Justice at UAlbany, I am excited about this innovative affiliation between these two formidable educational programs and look forward to the future as the law school and UAlbany come together to become an even stronger presence in our community.”

Lillian Moy, Executive Director, Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York
“We believe everyone has the right to equal justice regardless of income. That’s why we welcome today’s news – an agreement that can potentially help expand legal services to all people of the Capital Region.”

About Albany Law School
Albany Law School is the nation's oldest independent school of law. Founded in 1851, it has played an important role in the development of legal education in the United States. The institution offers students an innovative, rigorous curriculum. Several nationally recognized programs—including the Government Law Center and the Albany Law Clinic & Justice Center—provide opportunities for students to apply classroom learning to real situations. Students have access to New York's highest court, federal courts, the executive branch, and the state legislature. With 10,000 alumni practicing in every state, its graduates serve as a vital resource for the law school and its students.
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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.