October 2017 Alumni Highlight | Pace Law School

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October 2017 Alumni Highlight

The Pace Environmental Law Alumni AssociationThe Pace Environmental Law Alumni Association (“PELAA”) was originally established as the Pace Environmental Alumni Council by a dedicated group of environmental alumni, including C. Nicole Simmons (’04), Andy Provence (’98), and Daniel McKillop (’01). PELAA is self-described as “an informal association of Pace alums who seek to strengthen ties between and among environmental alumni.” 

Mackenzie Schoonmaker (’07) is one of several alumni currently leading the group.  “PELAA’s primary mission is to connect Pace alumni, further the alumni’s professional relationship with the law school, and ensure the environmental program maintains its top caliber standing.  As a group, we are committed both to promoting and celebrating our alumni as environmental law leaders, and to bolstering the environmental program’s overall reputation.”

The PELAA demonstrates their sincere dedication to the Elisabeth Haub School of Law’s environmental program each and every year.  Every year the PELAA hosts environmental alumni gatherings, mentors environmental students, provides assistances to the environmental law program, and promotes environmental events held at and/or sponsored by the Law School. 

Notably, annually, the PELAA bestows the Nicholas A. Robinson Award for Distinguished Environmental Achievement upon deserving alumni. This past year, alumnus Mark Yaggi (’97) and Dan Estrin (’93) were the recipients of the Robinson Award. PELAA presented Marc and Dan with the 2017 Robinson Award. Janice Dean (’05), another alumna currently leading the group, notes that Marc and Dan were presented with the Award as “a recognition of their environmental achievement, support for the Law School and its students and alumni, and embodiment of the spirit of the inimitable Nick Robinson.”

What is particularly noteworthy about the PELAA is its vast network of environmental alumni. In the past few years, the group has organized this network into a comprehensive environmental alumni directory. “We want to spur further connections between alumni. We, as a group, are one of our most valuable professional assets. The more connected we are with one another, the more we can network, and use our strengths to benefit one another, the Environmental Program, and the Law School,” Janice said.    

Janice notes that the website for the Pace Environmental Law Alumni Association (www.paceenviroalumni.org) features photos and a searchable alumni directory of all currently-practicing environmental alumni, and anyone who graduated from the environmental program. “As alumni we created the directory and we maintain it. I gladly will include those who reach out to me in the directory and provide them with the password to access the directory. And, we welcome ideas! Ideas for events, and ideas on how we can continue to strengthen ties between and among alumni and the School.”

The Association has a website (noted above) and also maintains a presence on LinkedIn and Facebook. The group encourages engagement from any environmental graduate on any of these platforms. Current steering committee members of the PELAA include: Janice Dean, JD 2005, Mackenzie Schoonmaker, JD 2007, Sean Dixon, JD 2009, LLM 2010, Sam Capasso, JD 2010, LLM 2011, and Patrick Carroll, JD 2015. The group wants to stress that anyone can join the steering committee or become active with their efforts! The best way to reach out for more information on the Association is to visit their website or reach out to Janice Dean directly at janice@janicedean.com.