Morehead legal studies professor earns top prize at national competition

MOREHEAD, Ky. (WTVQ/MSU Public Relations) – Laken Albrink (Class of 2012), assistant professor of legal studies at Morehead State University, recently earned first place in the 2021 American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE) National Teaching Competition. Her lecture, titled “Applying Statues,” was recognized at the 40th AAfPE National Conference, which took place in October.   

Albrink’s lecture was a critical thinking exercise on state statutes, specifically on the Kentucky statute on arson and examining why the statutory arson requirements were met under different fact patterns. She utilized famous figures and unique examples to allow participants to explore how courts interpret statutory definitions.   

“Using Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, I explored whether corporate sabotage involving setting an aircraft on fire could satisfy the requirements of the Kentucky arson statutes since the statute references ‘building.’ I demonstrated how the definition of ‘building’ in another statute includes ‘aircraft’ to indicate the importance of reading statutes together,” she said.   

Albrink has been an assistant professor of legal studies at MSU since August 2020. She graduated from MSU with a Bachelor of Arts in Paralegal Studies and Government in 2012 and earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 2015. Her prior experience includes being a paralegal, law clerk and attorney. Before coming to MSU, she was the special attorney for the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office of Child Abuse and Exploitation Prevention from December 2016 to December 2019 and executive advisor for the Commonwealth of Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services from December 2019 to August 2020.   

Albrink said her award-winning lecture exemplifies the style and substance she tries to impart to her students at MSU through a legal studies program that prepares current Eagles for future success.   

“From our program’s internship exit interviews, students report they appreciate how ‘the licensed faculty wrap class material in real-life examples from their practice,’ and that they appreciate the many opportunities that they have to engage with legal professionals from outside the University,” Albrink said. “These are in addition to the required internship that prepares students as professionals working in the legal field. These engagement opportunities are one of the reasons that the legal studies program has 2 Top 10 national rankings.”   

Laken Albrink can be reached at l.albrink@moreheadstate.edu.   

To learn more about MSU’s Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies, contact the Department of History, Philosophy, Politics, Global Studies and Legal Studies at hpgl@moreheadstate.edu, call 606-783-2655 or visit www.moreheadstate.edu/study/legalstudies (click here).

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