Albany Law School
80 New Scotland Ave.
Albany, NY 12208
Phone: (518) 445-2311
Academics & Programs: At Albany Law School, the “research facilities and resources are endless, well staffed, and easily accessible.” Moreover, one of the greatest aspects of Albany Law is the “wealth of practical experience and internship opportunities.” Indeed, “there is no excuse for not having a summer internship, or an academic year internship… There is absolutely no shortage of court, government, and political exposure.” As one content student explains, “The connection to New York State government is fantastic and the biggest selling point of the school.” And while some students might head to Boston or New York City for internships, many brag that “You can’t beat the law-student thrill of being able to walk up to the highest court in New York, the Court of Appeals, and then walk down two blocks to find yourself at the federal Appellate courthouse.”
Although students do have great access to internships, etc. a number still express dissatisfaction at the need to “place a greater emphasis on practical application of the law.” One frustrated student reveals, “I will have finished a year of contracts without actually looking at a single contract. In a rough job market, the school could really stand to improve on producing great attorneys, instead of great law students. You would think the school would know how to do this by now, considering it’s the oldest independent law school in the country.” A handful of students also complain that there’s “no way to complete a concentration because enough of the specialty courses aren’t offered, and the ones that are almost always conflict with bar classes.
”Thankfully, for the most part students are fond of their professors. “They are brilliant, work hard, and are easily accessible.” As one student happily shares, “There are some incredible, pedigreed professors at this school.” And many “are able to take their genius and make it relatable and teachable in the classroom.” Another student reveals, “I have had professors that inspire me to learn through their enjoyment of the field, and I’ve also had teachers that motivate me to learn through fear of being called on.” Unfortunately, compliments do not extend to the administration. As another student bemoans, “I attended a public undergraduate institution with 18,000 students that was far more responsive to student needs than the administration of this 750 private law school. Instead of sending an email to or leaving a message with administrators, instead write down your issues or questions and then light the paper on fire there is no difference between the two.”
Campus Life/Facilities: The student body is “competitive but friendly” at Albany and “relations among students are generally very strong.” “It’s not like people hide in books or anything,” says a 2L. Another 2L adds, “I would say the crowd nowadays is more on the conservative side politically, but the liberal side socially.” A fellow student interjects, vociferously sharing “I’m a liberal who constantly feels out of place because I’m not here to pursue a six figure salary… It’s rather shocking how conservative the school is considering Albany is a very progressive city.”
While students are “very busy” there is ample opportunity for socializing “if you make it a priority.” Many claim that Albany Law “is like high school” but few complain about a campus where “smallish cliques are the norm,” as the social life is “great” and “people are free to interact with multiple cliques, and those groups often get together to form a whole.” There are many student organizations to join if one is inclined, though with many students commuting, they’re not as popular as some would like.
Albany, as a city, “is pretty dingy and small” with its fair share of “crime in the city limits.” For this reason, many students choose to live outside the city limits and commute (which amounts to only a fifteen-minute drive). Students still often choose to walk around Albany at night, though “There are several colleges and universities [nearby], and so the police chaperone as necessary.” Unlike many law schools, parking is not too much of a problem, even for a city campus. “Commuting to internships (even at rush hour) is never problematic,” says a student. Overall, the facilities are “well-maintained and look great,” and a nice bonus is that the law school is entirely self-contained, with library access in the main classroom building. “It is much appreciated when you need a quiet place to sit with only an hour in between classes and when it’s too cold to want to walk outside to get to another building.”
* The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.