$1 Million Gift to Benefit NY Law School Students Who are Volunteer FFs

March 24, 2023
After nearly 40 years of volunteer fire service, Christopher Steadman ’99 wanted to help students at his Albany alma mater.

After nearly 40 years of volunteer fire service, Christopher Steadman ’99 wanted to help students at his alma mater.

The former Albany-area attorney now living in New Hampshire specifically aimed to support volunteer or on-call firefighters and medical responders and/or non-traditional Albany Law School students since, beyond battling blazes, he pursued his law degree after working as a carpenter for many years.

Through a tremendously generous $1 million gift, the new Christopher A. H. Steadman ’99 Scholarship will provide full year-long tuition to an Albany Law School student that has given back to their community.

"Law school is not for the faint of heart,” Steadman said. “Neither is volunteering to be a firefighter, nor returning to school later in life. I know this firsthand.  I do not regret one minute of time spent helping others, whether on the fire ground or in the courtroom. It is intended that this scholarship will help those who have already shown their altruism by helping others to further, and expand, their ability to do so.”

The renewable scholarship will be awarded annually to, primarily, student(s) with a record of service as a volunteer or on call firefighter, volunteer or on-call emergency medical services provider, or a non-traditional student with preference to those currently or formerly in the building trades and now pursuing a second career.

“A commitment like this – not only financial, but something so thoughtful and passionate – creates access to justice for students, their communities, and beyond,” said President and Dean Alicia Ouellette ’94. “This exemplifies what it means to be part of the Albany Law School community and our students will be stronger and well supported thanks to this generous gift.” The new scholarship joins two other commitments from the last calendar year aimed to increase access to an Albany Law education:

The John DeMatteo Memorial Scholarship which is awarded to a male or female rugby player and/or a male or female United States armed forces veteran.

The Peter M. Pryor ’54 Scholarship that is awarded to awarded to Black, Indigenous, or people of color who are pursing law.

Albany Law School is a small, private school located in the heart of New York State’s capital where it has educated leaders since 1851. The institution offers students an innovative, rigorous curriculum taught by a committed faculty. It has an affiliation agreement with the State University at Albany that includes shared programs and access for students and faculty to learn from one another. Students have access to New York's highest court, federal courts, the executive branch, and the state legislature. With approximately 10,500 alumni practicing across the country and several continents, Albany Law School’s graduates serve as a vital community and resource for the school and its students. The school offers the J.D. degree—the traditional law degree—along with residential and online Master’s and LL.M. programs, as well as online advanced certificate programs.

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