It’s been an eventful couple of weeks between the NCAA Tournament and the Worst Law School bracket. Maybe the Warren Buffett billion dollar bracket didn’t work out, but I am guaranteed to win the ATL bracket, which is pretty sweet.

So you will forgive me for not noticing this until now. While perusing Law School Lemmings, I noticed this gem:

Maybe this is the sort of program I needed before I tried to fill out my bracket…

Well, it’s not a joke. Albany Law is adding a new program to train the next generation of Tom Hagens to help manage the Corleone gaming empire.

In response to a growing demand for qualified attorneys to work in the nation’s $225-billion equine, racing and gaming industries, and with several casinos in development stage across New York state, Albany Law School recently announced that it will offer a concentration in equine, racing and gaming law — the only one of its kind in the nation — starting September 2014 for the incoming class of 2017.

Offered through The Saratoga Institute for Equine, Racing, and Gaming Law — the new institute within Albany Law School’s Government Law Center — the concentration will encompass expanded courses on equine law, racing regulations and gaming industry law, which will be added to a pre-existing business concentration that offers such courses as administrative, insurance, employment and tax law.

“Throughout New York and beyond, there is currently and will be an unmet need for attorneys trained in the legal and regulatory infrastructure of the equine, racing and gaming industries,” said Albany Law School President & Dean Penelope (Penny) Andrews. “Currently, no U.S. law school offers a comprehensive program in law relating to these industries.”

Well, no kidding. You’d think more unranked law schools would offer this since they’re asking their students to gamble their futures.

The logic of offering a course on gaming issues is sound, especially in New York where multiple new casinos are cropping up. But classes like this should be about opening students to possible career options to pursue down the road, not about funneling graduates directly into a niche practice. Because much like every other industry, the gaming industry is not making hires based on whether or not a student took a certain law school course.

I used to work with a former OTB Commissioner. You know what he never took? Law school classes about horse racing. That’s why concentrations are way more wrapped up in the myth of the practice-ready graduate than the much-maligned clinics, because at least clinics teach practical skills like how to work for a practicing lawyer. Concentrations are just about padding a 3L résumé with courses no employer will ever look at.

At least Albany’s got a focus on adding programs with practical applications these days. Albany’s had some issues paying its bills with its current course load.

And ultimately that might be what this program is really all about:

The institute will serve as a comprehensive educational and professional training center for the equine, racing and gaming industries. Institute offerings will include educational conferences and continuing legal education events, seminars on commonly encountered legal issues, and a cyber lunch series for private and public attorneys to discuss similar legal issues.

To ensure the future of The Saratoga Institute for Equine, Racing, and Gaming Law and the new concentration, Albany Law School is pursuing opportunities for long-term, sustainable funding sources.

Is a law school with budget issues adding a concentration that just happens to appeal to incredibly wealthy potential sponsors? You betcha!

So is this a good bet or does Albany need to be taken out back and put down Barbaro-style?

Albany Law School to Launch New Concentration in Equine, Racing and Gaming Law [Albany Law School]
Is this some kind of joke? [Law Lemmings]

Earlier: Even Professor Hitler Is Feeling The Pinch Of Law School Cutbacks


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