Law Student of the Year: Kevin Murphy, Albany Law School

In his role as president of Albany Law School’s Pro Bono Society, third-year law student Kevin Murphy has provided leadership and service to students and members of the community. He has supervised more than 20 student-led pro bono projects, in which students provided more than 2,000 hours of free legal help to residents. Projects helped people of various demographics and needs including veterans, senior citizens, the LGBT community, the physically and mentally disabled, as well as prisoners, immigrants, and refugees from foreign countries.

He also headed up planning for numerous Law Service Days, which consist of a series of workshops, free consultations from volunteer lawyers, a resource fair, and a free lunch. Senior Citizen Law Day is the most popular day, and attracts more than 250 attendees. The highlight of the year was the society’s sponsorship of LGBT Law Service Day, which was the first of its kind nationally and was recognized with an award from the National LGBT Bar Association.

“Needless to say, a great deal of planning and organization goes into these events. Kevin has worked tirelessly to make each of these days a success,” said Pro Bono Coordinator Patrick Barnett-Mulligan. “From meeting with attorneys to develop workshop programs, to fundraising, to sweating all the tiny details, Kevin has done an outstanding job.”

Murphy has also made a valuable contribution to the governance of the Pro Bono Society. Under his leadership, the society created a six member executive board that acts as team to plan events, increase student involvement, and help those in need of legal assistance. Under this plan, members of the Executive Board have flexibility to take on different tasks in running the day-to-day operations of the organization as well as planning larger events, like Law Service Days. 

In addition to his leadership and planning roles, Murphy has devoted many hours to the International Refugee Assistance Project. The project helps resettle refugees who provided help to allies in the Middle East and other trouble spots. In five semesters, he has provided the school with more than 200 hours of pro bono service, well above the requirements to graduate with the school’s Pro Bono Honors distinction.

Murphy is one of 25 future lawyers honored in the National Jurist’s inaugural “Law Student of the Year” feature.