Associate Dean Helen Albertson: 'I Have the Greatest Job in the World'
Helen Albertson graduated from law school in 1997, but she remains an engaged student of legal education. Not long after Albertson earned her juris doctor, she returned to law school to help others achieve their legal ambitions. As an administrator, she has endeavored to find new ways to assist law students. In pursuit of her doctorate in higher-education management, she researched methods of using academic-support programs to help at-risk law students pass the bar exam on their first attempt.
After graduating from Temple University School of Law, took the bar exam and accepted a position with a small firm. But she never strayed far from her law-school roots. Albertson worked as a recruiter and application evaluator for her alma mater, Temple.
Albertson later became the assistant director of admissions at Widener University School of Law. There, she represented the school at recruiting events and counseled prospective students on the admissions process. The move gave her a chance to focus on a lifelong passion. “I just think that education is the best thing in the world,” she said. “You can be 95 years old and still be out there learning something new. I think that once we stop learning, we stop living.”
Later, Albertson became director of admissions and financial aid at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. But the legal academy remained a draw, and she next accepted a position as assistant dean of admissions at Drexel University’s Earle Mack School of Law. At Earle Mack, she focused on cultivating a diverse student body and using emerging new-media tools to engage prospective students. Most recently, Albertson was associate dean of students and administration at the University of Idaho College of Law, where her duties including oversight of the academic-support and career-development programs.
Loyola Law School was a natural next step for the former Navy Reservist, whose two-year assignment to the U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany included several high-level positions. “Loyola is a large school but has that small-school feel, and Los Angeles is a fabulous place to live,” she said. “It was a great opportunity to do something that I love in a place that I like very much.”
In the classroom, Albertson has had a wide range of experiences both as student and teacher. She attended law school as a mother of two young girls, which she credits with giving her insight into the issues of students with families of their own. As a teacher, she taught communications as a master training specialist during her 20 years in the U.S. Navy Reserve. And she has taught Ethics & the Legal Professional. All this makes Albertson acutely aware of the challenges facing students.
“My goal is to make students’ travels through law school as stress-free as possible. If we can make it easier to get through the road blocks, then I’ve done my job,” she said. “I have the greatest job in the world. Where else can I say that I helped people make their dream of graduating law school a reality?”