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Lawyering Up 

UAlbany, Albany Law and Local Attorneys Partner to Help Students Advance Skills

Last year's team from the Theodore Jones Undergraduate Students of Color Moot Court Competition.

ALBANY, N.Y. (Jan. 19, 2017) — The collaboration between UAlbany and Albany Law School has resulted in a host of new study and research opportunities for both students and faculty.
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Albany Law's Rosemary Queenan and UAlbany's Michael Christakis trade sweatshirts as a symbol of the two schools' collaboration. (Photo by Naomi McPeters) 

Michael Christakis, UAlbany’s vice president for student affairs, and Rosemary Queenan, the associate dean for student affairs at Albany Law School are leading a joint team of faculty and staff to advance advocacy and trial practice for undergraduate students, including intercultural students.

The efforts are supported through the latest round of the affiliation’s Collaborative Venture Fund. Developed in 2015, the Fund supports new academic opportunities for students, and novel research and grant prospects for faculty.

Supporting faculty and staff on this project include Ekow King, UAlbany’s director of intercultural student engagement; Pershia Wilkins, director of multicultural initiatives & assistant director of admissions at Albany Law School; and Kristen Swaney and Nicole Clause, pre-law advisors in UAlbany’s advisement services.

On April 8, the organizations will host the Theodore Jones Undergraduate Students of Color Moot Court Competition at Albany Law School, featuring an oral advocacy competition for undergraduate students of color. The competition has grown tremendously in just one year, with three times as many undergrad students scheduled to participate than in the competition’s inaugural year. Other colleges invited to participate include The College of Saint Rose, Siena College and Union College.

In Fall 2017, UAlbany and Albany Law will offer a second moot court competition for all undergraduate students. In addition, the organizations will support a mock trial mentorship program for all UAlbany students interested in participating in UAlbany’s Mock Trial Team.

UAlbany faculty and staff, including academic advisors and student affairs professionals, as well as Albany Law faculty and students will advise students interested in law, and teach them oral advocacy and trial practice skills. Each team will be paired with a local attorney or law student mentor to prepare for the competition.

“The moot court competition was an excellent experience," said Dakayla Bowlay-Johnson, one of the students on last year’s winning moot court team. “It gave me the chance to learn about my personal strengths and weaknesses while being evaluated by local judges and attorneys.

UAlbany also offers a living-learning community for freshmen interested in pursuing a career in law called The World of Laws and Justice. The communities allow students to live and study with other like-minded students and have exposure to topical services and events.

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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.