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Center for Environmental Legal Studies (CELS)
CELS oversees Pace Law School’s extensive environmental curriculum, projects, and research centers, including the Environmental Litigation Clinic, the Energy and Climate Center, the Land Use Law Center, and the Kheel Center for the Resolution of Environmental Interest Disputes.
CELS anchors innovative and ongoing projects addressing a wide range of environmental issues, including energy conservation, international environmental law, and sustainable development. Students working with CELS actively participate in these projects, often assisting with researching, editing, and drafting important publications. Under the direction of CELS, students also perform hands on work to better the local environment and community. For example, student efforts led to the 2008 passage of a law school sustainability policy and the creation of an organic vegetable garden on campus to provide local, healthy food for law school events and to reduce Pace’s carbon footprint.
CELS also maintains close relationships with important international environmental organizations, giving Pace students unique insights into and experience in a fast developing area of environmental law. CELS is the only law school body that is a voting member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world’s oldest and largest global environmental network. Through CELS' partnership with IUCN and others, Pace students participate in identifying practical solutions to pressing environmental challenges. The UN Environmental Diplomacy Practicum allows students to work with small island nations on pressing environmental matters with diplomats at the United Nations. The China Program gives Pace students the opportunity to collaborate with students and scholars at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Wuhan University Law School, amongst others.
In addition to its research, sustainability, and international environmental work, CELS also holds periodic national and international symposia and conferences, which Pace students assist in organizing and directing. Over the past two years, these have included a symposium to launch an international environmental judicial institute, “Sustainable Development Law Rediscovered,” “Practically Grounded: A Conference for Law Professors,” “Natural Gas Drilling in the Marcellus Shale Region,” and “Legal Challenges & Opportunities for Offshore Wind & Hydrokinetic Energy Development in the Northeast.”