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Five Questions with Rosemary Queenan

Rosemary Queenan, the associate dean of students at Albany Law School, partnered with UAlbany Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Christakis to create a moot court program for the Albany Law-UAlbany affiliation. (Photo by Naomi McPeters)

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 5, 2017) — Rosemary Queenan is the associate dean for student affairs and professor of law at Albany Law School. As part of the Law School’s affiliation with UAlbany, Queenan works closely with Michael Christakis, the University’s vice president for student affairs, on opportunities for students as they pertain to the affiliated partnership.

As recent recipients of the Affiliation’s Collaborative Venture Fund award, Queenan and Christakis led a team of faculty and staff working to increase advocacy and trial practice for undergraduate students, including intercultural students. Team participants included Ekow King, UAlbany’s director of intercultural student engagement; Pershia Wilkins, director of multicultural initiatives and assistant director of admissions at Albany Law School; and Kristen Swaney and Nicole Clause, pre-law advisors in UAlbany’s advisement services.

The team’s work led to the April 8 Theodore Jones Undergraduate Students of Color Moot Court Competition at Albany Law School, which features an oral advocacy competition for undergraduate students of color. In Fall 2017, UAlbany and Albany Law will offer a second moot court competition for all undergraduate students.

What are you working on now?

We’re very excited about the Moot Court program we developed, which received funding from the University at Albany/Albany Law School Collaborative Venture Fund.

With mentoring from Albany Law students and faculty, UAlbany undergrad students will participate in two mock trial competitions — one of which will target students from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The competitions involve oral argument and trial skills.

There will also be a mock trial mentorship program for all UAlbany students on the UAlbany Mock Trial Team. Participants will work with Student Affairs advisors to better understand the law school and legal careers pathway.

What made you decide to pursue this area?

Mike and I decided to pursue a moot court program because it’s a great way to expose undergrad students to the practice of law and the issues around the justice system. UAlbany students will have the opportunity to visit the Albany Law campus and meet with students and faculty. Participants also benefit from having Albany Law students work with them, including those from the Black Law Students Association, the Latino Law Students Association, and OUTLaw (the LGBT student association).

What do you hope students will take away from it?

Exposure to the practice of law, the justice system, and the importance of mentorship for the mentor and the mentee.

What are some of the challenges confronting those in your field?

Ensuring that students feel intellectually fulfilled and have sufficient opportunities for employment when they graduate.

What’s one thing students might be surprised to know about you?

My parents did not go to college.

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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.