Albany Law School has a deep and abiding commitment to pro bono service and to supporting students pursuing public sector careers. The law school's distinguished faculty includes some of the leading scholars in criminal, environmental, health and government practice. Students may choose to focus on a variety of public interest practice areas, including civil litigation, criminal law, environmental law, family and elder law, and government administration and regulation.
The law school's renowned clinical programs provide unique opportunities for students to gain invaluable legal skills while providing assistance to those most in need. The Albany Law Clinic & Justice Center includes several in-house clinics, a field placement program, and a one-hour practicum course.
In addition to outstanding public interest curricular offerings, Albany Law School offers a robust Pro Bono Program.
Pro Bono Program
Albany Law School students are at the core of the growing and evolving Pro Bono Program. The Office of Student Affairs and the Post-Graduate Pro Bono Fellow work closely with Albany Law School students, community partners and faculty to broaden the scope and range of pro bono service learning opportunities.
The Pro Bono Fellow works with firms, legal services organizations, agencies, community resource centers, and faculty to develop legal or law-related service-learning opportunities for students; oversees and provides institutional support to pro bono programs, including the Pro Bono Society; and engages national pro bono organizations to increase awareness and visibility of Albany Law's programs and projects.
The Pro Bono Society: The Pro Bono Society allows students to work in small groups under the supervision of a community partner, and with the leadership of a student project director. The pro bono program employs two work-study students to serve as Co-Presidents of the Pro Bono Society, and assist the Fellow in the day-to-day management of the Pro Bono Society's projects. Each individual project is led by a student project director who works closely with their community partner to develop their individual projects, delegate service assignments and schedule and conduct trainings for student members. The community partner supervises the legal or law-related work students do as part of the projects, and works with the student project director to develop meaningful, appropriate, and engaging service learning opportunities for student members. Each project has a faculty advisor to assist the project directors in realizing their vision and meeting their goals. The Post-Graduate Pro Bono Fellow provides institutional and program support.
Hurricane Sandy Relief: Working with volunteer attorneys through the NYSBA and the ACBA, students will provide pro bono legal assistance to victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Free PASS: Free Private Attorney Student Support (Free PASS) is a on-time opportunity for students to work with a private attorney by researching a specific area of law for a portion of the attorney's pro bono case. Students are afforded the opportunity to directly learn from an attorney working in a private practice while making important connections in the legal community.
The Economic Justice Project: Advised by Professor Ray Brescia, students provide research assistance to a host of organizations, including Empire Justice, the Urban Justice Center and Brooklyn Legal Services.
The Institute for Health and Human Rights at SUNY at Albany: Advised by Dr. Alaei, and supervised by Professor Harrington, students work on the legal sections of a series of modules on health and human rights issues in prisons. This is an initiative developed by the SUNY Institute for Health and Human Rights and the UN/PAHO Human Rights team. Each module addresses a specific health issue of concern in prison (i.e. Tuberculosis, HIV, STI, etc.). The legal sections will focus on the international (UN), and regional legal framework.
Capital Region's Anti-Trafficking Task Force: Advised by the Deputy Bureau Chief, Criminal Prosecutions Bureau, New York State Office of the Attorney General, students assist with the efforts of this task force.
If you would like to get involved in our Pro Bono Program, or you have questions please contact Patrick Barnett-Mulligan.
Pro Bono Information
Pro Bono Bar Admission Requirement at Albany Law FAQ
Community Partner Bios
Pro Bono Society Projects
Pro Bono Supervisory Manual
Pro Bono Resources
American Bar Association Center for Pro Bono
American Bar Association Model Rule 6.1 Voluntary Pro Bono Public Service
Character and Fitness Requirements for Lawyers and Students Permitted to Practice Law (.pdf)
New York Lawyer Assistance Programs for Law Students (.pdf)
The Pro Bono Requirement, Making it Work at Albany Law (video)