A four-year David vs. Goliath battle pitting a cadre of aspiring lawyers at Albany Law School against New York state and its attorney general culminated in dramatic fashion last week when the students won a 5-0 appellate court victory, and perhaps even helped establish a legal precedent.

Matter of Debra VV., 98713, involved a woman struggling to care for the child and grandchildren of her terminally ill sister. She was misinformed about the availability of kinship benefits and turned to the Health Law Project at Albany Law School for help. The clinical program took the case and ran with it. Over four years, about a half dozen students worked the file. In January, a third-year student was permitted to argue the case before the Appellate Division, 3rd Department.

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