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By Vinny Reda (July 3, 2007)

King 'Capitalized' On UAlbany Pre-Law Experience

King at the Lincoln Memorial Chris King at the Lincoln Memorial

Even as a freshman in 2003, Chris King had a goal and a plan - attend law school after his University at Albany graduation, and use the public policy strengths of UAlbany's Rockefeller College to get him there.

"Majoring in public policy was the best decision I made in my years here," said King, who also enrolled in UAlbany's Washington Semester this spring before graduating in May.

"It's not just that I liked my professors at Albany – which I did," said the Colonie native. "It's because my classes all focused on analytical and critical thinking, which allowed me to push myself. They also usually involved writing in-depth papers and connecting seemingly contrasting ideas – all valuable for the pre-law student."

King benefited as well by joining UAlbany's student-run Pre-Law Association, eventually rising to become vice president. "I was around other people who were pursuing law school educations after UAlbany, and all of us shared stories and advice."

Washington Semester students
Chris King, upper left, sits with fellow UAlbany Washington Semester students who did internships this spring in the nation's capital. Clockwise, they are, with internships: Max Figarsky '08,- Environmental and Energy Study Institute; Jessica McKee '08, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY 14); Kathleen Dooley '07, Department of Energy; Amanda Holzer '09, Senator John McCain's Exploratory Committee Legal Team; and Nicole Willis '08, Congressman Randy Kuhl (NY 29).

He shared of himself too. Developing a strong relationship with Pre-Law Associate Director Dawn Kakumba and adviser Linda Scoville – he credits them with aiding his Law School Aptitude Test preparation - he volunteered to help at workshops for pre-law freshmen.

"He talked to them about how to have a good first year here, and he always volunteered to stay afterward to speak to them individually," said Kakumba. "He's a very special young man."

King said he enjoyed conversing with students who had aspirations similar to his own upon coming to Albany. "Plus, the workshops opened my eyes to how much I have learned during my time here," he said.

A lasting learning experience came with the Washington Semester, where he worked first as a press intern for U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer and then as a paralegal with Paul Strauss & Associates, P.C., a firm concentrating on criminal, family, real estate and tenant law. He will attend Seton Hall University School of Law in the fall.

"Working for Senator Schumer provided significant exposure to the media and public relations lens of the policy process," said King. "And working in the office of Strauss & Associates has enhanced my interest in the practical and hands-on work of attorneys. I've enjoyed the fast pace and analytical environment at both offices, all while fulfilling my semester's thesis requirement."

"My time in Washington also gave me a true appreciation for what I studied and learned at UAlbany, and how I can apply it at the highest levels."


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