month we focus on Environmental
Law and the many paths a career in this broad
field can take you.
We have included some environmental
career advice, a summary of our public
interest environmental career
panel and some career "tips," and a
list of upcoming career
fairs where environmental employers will be in
attendance. And, of course, please do not
miss our First Annual Pace Law School Winter
Career Fair on Thursday evening, January 17,
from 6 - 8pm in the Tudor Room. Bring
your resumes and interest and feel free to mingle
and speak with as many employers as you wish.
We will circulate more information about the Fair
in an upcoming email.
So, good luck on exams, enjoy the holidays and see
you in January!
Guide to Environmental Legal Careers
It’s finally here!!!
After many rounds of revisions and much
collaboration between the Center for Career
Development (CCD) and the Center for Environmental
Legal Studies (CELS), we are proud to launch the 2007-2008
Guide to Environmental Legal Careers!
To access the Guide,
you will need to enter the username
"carpe" and password "diem."
Hardcopies will also be available in the CCD and
the CELS. As
usual, please do not share the document or this
password outside the Pace community.
Please note that this Guide is an ongoing
work in progress and will be updated periodically.
We welcome constructive feedback at any
time on this Guide or any of our other
guides or programs.
Careers – Following Your Path
Over one third of each entering
class comes to Pace to pursue a career in
environmental, land use and/or energy law.
The good news is that there are many
positions open to our graduates in these fields.
The key is finding one that fits your skill
set, interests, geographic profile, and lifestyle.
Many Pace graduates seek
out positions in private practice.
This setting affords lawyers significant
variety in the type of clients they work with and
matters they handle.
Compliance counseling, permitting, land
use, zoning, and litigation are all matters
handled by private firms across the nation.
Senior law firm partners invest significant
time and energy in training their new associates
in the application of the law and in managing
cases, preparing client memoranda, and court
I personally gained a fantastic grounding
in the Clean Air Act, Superfund, the Clean Water
Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery
Act in private practice at Winston & Strawn in
In this environment, I also honed my client
relations skills and gained an understanding of
how law firms market their skills and services to
Other Pace students find
themselves drawn to the not-for-profit sector.
This sector is broad, and in my mind,
includes traditional advocacy groups such as the
Natural Resources Defense Council or Defenders of
Wildlife for example; “place-based” groups
like the Chesapeake Bay Foundation or Save the
) Sound; and trade associations which represent a
particular industry or environmental service
provider, like the National Association of Clean
Water Agencies. Reflecting
on my own career, I came to Pace after spending
eleven years working in trade associations.
I found this practice-setting engaging
because I was empowered by my collective clients
to take a public position, to build coalitions and
forge relationships with diverse interests, to
litigate when needed, and to impact public policy.
with any of our graduates in advocacy based
organizations and they’ll tell you that they are
energized by the ability to carry a message and
agenda forward and to make a difference.
Another career path popular for Pace alumni is
government service. Once
again, this sector is broad and encompasses
practice at the local, state, or federal
There are many ways to serve in government
– from regulatory and policy development and
implementation with the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency or a state agency – or to
litigating for the
for the U.S. Department of Justice or a state
attorney general’s office.
Our graduates in this field are as
passionate about their work as any.
And of course, there are many positions that do
not fit any “mold” – such as working on
public policy in a think tank, teaching,
international environmental work, and more.
The bottom line is to take advantage of the
many opportunities Pace provides to “test” out
a variety of work settings and practice
environments while you are here as a student.
Talk to Center for Career Development staff
about their ideas; meet with your professors; and
of course, my door is always open.
The opportunities in the field are truly
endless. . . .
Alex Dunn, Assistant Dean for the
Center for Environmental Legal Studies
Interest Careers in Environmental Law
Return to top
On Tuesday, November 13, the Center for
Career Development and the Center for Environmental
Legal Studies hosted three terrific practitioners to
speak about Public
Interest Careers in Environmental Law:
J. Provence (Pace Law ‘98), Associate
at Ansell Zaro Grimm & Aaron in NJ and of
Counsel to Clean Ocean Action; Leah
Schmalz (Pace Law ‘00), Director of
Legislative and Legal Affairs, Save the Sound, a
program of Connecticut Fund for the Environment; and
Turner, of Counsel to Snyder &
Snyder, Tarrytown, NY, and Board Member of Federated
Conservationists of Westchester County.
Asst. Dean Alex Dunn from the Center for
Environmental Legal Studies moderated the
Also in attendance was Adjunct Prof. Dan
Estrin, Supervising Attorney for the Pace
Environmental Litigation Clinic, who contributed
much helpful insight and answers to student
notable theme of the evening was that each of the
panelists took a slightly different route to their
current positions – Mr.
started at a private law firm and assumed a general
counsel position to the public interest
organizations, Ms. Schmalz spent time as a judicial
clerk and then as a staff attorney at Save the
Sound, and Mr. Turner worked in agencies such as NYC
Corp Counsel, the Legal Aid Society, the
Environmental Crime Bureau of the NYS Attorney
General’s Office and served as the Town of
Greenburgh’s Attorney before joining his firm –
but they all agreed that they had made certain
choices to follow their passions and interests.
When asked for career “tips” from the
student audience, the panelists independently
emphasized many of the same points we teach here at
what’s out there and explore the possibilities
– there are positions in numerous government
agencies, law firms and organizations, and they may
be in New York, Boston, Denver or New Jersey;
knowing what’s out there and where your area of
interest is practiced is the first step in building
your career path; the new Guide
to Environmental Legal Careers is a great place
to start; you should also speak with a CCD career
Network! – nothing beats meeting and speaking
with people who practice in an area you are
interested in; remember, most jobs come to fruition
from personal contacts; you may be able to get your
“foot in the door” at your potential
employer-of-choice by simply speaking to someone who
works there, even if only to learn more about what
the employer does; if
you are not comfortable “cold” speaking
with someone, we can help you learn how to contact
organizations and people for “informational”
interviews, join Bar associations and various
committees and generally learn to feel more
confident about asking attorneys about what they do;
you may also find a good mentor, another important
component to finding a satisfying legal career.
Another way to network and learn about an
organization is to volunteer there.
All of the panelists noted that they had
volunteered with environmental not-for-profits
because (i) they were interested in the causes the
organizations represented and (ii) they wanted to
get inside the organizations they hoped to work for
some day. Many
not-for-profits are eager for help and will be very
receptive to your enthusiasm and (freely offered)
if there are no current positions open now, you want
them to know your name and the quality of your work
with them if a position does open in the future.
yourself – any satisfying career path requires
some self-assessment; in environmental law in
particular, also knowing your political and moral
ideologies will help you identify the kind of
employer you would want to work for (though even in
private practice we are hearing that the trend is no
longer to label sides as “good” vs. “bad”);
you should also note what you are willing to
compromise (money for more satisfying but low-paying
position; living in a different part of the country
to be able to work for the EPA; working in a
litigation law firm for a few years to be able to
lateral into a clean water advocacy group).
Upcoming Career Fairs
addition to the many opportunities and organizations
listed on our Symplicity site and in the Guide
to Environmental Legal Careers, students
interested in working during the summer or after
graduation in the area of environmental law should
consider attending at least one of the following
annual career fairs:
Annual Northeast Consortium
, D.C. Spring Job Fair (January 15, 2008;
registration closed on December 3, 2007) –
interview with such employers as
Federal Regulatory Energy Commission
Public Employees for Environmental
EPA, Office of Enforcement.
Nicole Moncayo (email@example.com;
914-422-4217) for more information.
Public Interest Legal Career Fair (February 7 and 8,
2008; student registration closed on December 5,
2007) – the list of employers includes
Conservation Law Foundation
Environmental Defense Fund
DOJ—Environmental and Natural
Resources Division, Environmental Enforcement
for more information.
California Public Interest/Public Sector Legal
Careers Day, University of California Hastings
College of the Law, San Francisco, CA (Saturday,
February 9, 2008)
– for those who are interested in California,
this program is sponsored by the Consortium of
Northern California law Career Services Offices of
several California law schools and the Public
Interest Clearinghouse. (Note that formal interviews
are limited to students of sponsoring schools (Pace
is not a sponsoring school); meet the advocates
(tabling) is open to all students/alumni of any
advocates for 2007 included (among many others):
Public Utilities Commission
Earthjustice, Environmental Law
more information, contact Katherine Moser at
415-422-6757 or firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit: http://www.pic.org/programs/pilp/pipsday.html.
Public Interest Environmental Law Conference –
the premier annual gathering for environmentalists
worldwide, distinguished as the oldest and largest
of its kind. The Conference historically unites more
than 3,000 activists, attorneys, students,
scientists, and concerned citizens from over 50
countries around the globe to share their experience
and expertise. The conference includes over 125
panels, workshops, and multi-media presentations
addressing a broad spectrum of environmental law and
advocacy. Topics include: forest protection and
ecological restoration, grazing and mining reform,
labor and human rights, air and water pollution,
Native American treaty rights, globalization and
"free" trade, environmental justice,
corporate responsibility, marine wilderness,
international environmental law, water rights and
dam removal, oil and gas litigation, genetic
engineering, and urban growth.
The Conference is organized solely by the
volunteers of Land
Air Water (LAW), a student environmental law
society, and is sponsored by
Friends of Land Air Water (FLAW), a non-profit
The 2008 conference will be held March
6-9, 2008 in
For more information on this annual conference see www.pielc.org.
For a further list of public interest
career fairs, see: http://www.pslawnet.org/cms/index.php?pid=54
Events and Programs
Career Fair, Washington,
17, 6-8 pm, Tudor Room, Pace Law School
22, 5-8 pm, Outside Cafeteria
Interview Prep Workshop
23, 5-6 pm
Fellowship & Other Deadlines
Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Summer
Bar Association Section of Litigation
Judicial Intern Opportunity
Seacrest & Emery LLP Diversity