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Legal Studies Pathway Program Established In Partnership with HVCC, Albany Law

(Photo Credit: Habib Affinnih / The ASP)

By Saba Mann | September 13, 2021

The University at Albany, along with Hudson Valley Community College and Albany Law, are partnering to allow HVCC students guaranteed admission into Albany Law, provided they meet certain criteria. All majors transferring from HVCC have the opportunity to enroll in this legal studies pathway program and can continue to pursue the major of their choosing at UAlbany, and end with a Juris Doctor from Albany Law School.

The new legal studies pathway program was designed specifically for those who transfer from HVCC to UAlbany. It sets a framework between the schools to seamlessly guarantee admission into Albany Law, upon successful competition of a bachelor’s at UAlbany while also “achieving a GPA and a one-time or average score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) that is no lower than the median GPA and LSAT score for the or the prior year’s entering class at Albany Law,” according to the press release.

“There has always been a significant number of students who are interested in legal careers and we have seen an increase in students seeking this career track in the last 5 years,” said JoAnne Malatesta, Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education, on investing in the initiative.

The pathway program requires students to go through Albany Law’s application process.

Students in the program will also have access to engage with faculty and utilize the Pre-Law programming at UAlbany while enrolled at HVCC.

The collaboration is an extension of the Transfer Admission Guarantee program established in 2019, which guarantees HVCC students admission into UAlbany. In both programs, students must maintain a program-specific GPA.

This program is one of a few that UAlbany has with Albany Law. Another is the 3+3 joint degree program with Albany Law School, which is designed for incoming freshmen intending to pursue a law degree. Through this program, UAlbany core requirements are completed within three years and the first year of law school is started during what typically is the fourth year of undergraduate study. Students then receive a bachelor’s after completing one year of law school.

Malatesta says the university has been working closely with Albany Law over the past seven years to establish these pathways, like the 3+3 program for students, and this new initiative bridges these existing programs together.

“Building this pipeline benefits students at all three institutions by providing access and opportunities for students to progress seamlessly through each program and successfully achieve a law degree in an accelerated time frame,” said Malatesta.

Malatesta says this collaboration will benefit many students pursuing degrees in humanities departments.


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