Alumni Profiles | Pace Law School

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Alumni Profiles

The ability of Pace Law graduates to hit the ground running is reflected in the number and quality of the international law firms employing Pace Law graduates, including: Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle LLP; Linklaters; Clifford Chance; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; the U.S. Court of International Trade; the U.S. Department of State; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates; White & Case LLP; Holland & Knight LLP; Hunton & Williams LLP; Nixon Peabody LLP; and others - a list which grows each year.


Jessica Bannon VantoJessica Bannon Vanto (JD, 2001) provides a perfect example of how Pace Law’s international programs can provide the foundation for an enriching career. Over the past ten years, she has worked for three of the top international arbitration practices in the world. “The international offerings at Pace not only prepared me for a career in international law and arbitration but were in fact directly responsible for the career opportunities that awaited me after graduation. After my first year at Pace Law, I participated in the Summer Externships Abroad program, which took me to Vienna and Paris. Primarily as a result of those international experiences, I was able to join the international dispute resolution group at Debevoise & Plimpton, first as a summer associate and then as an associate. My experiences at Debevoise, in turn, qualified me for lateral moves, first to Hanotiau & van den Berg, an international arbitration boutique in Brussels, Belgium, and then to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer's International Arbitration Group in New York.”

Most important of all, Jessica has found a career path that she finds satisfying. “International dispute resolution is very different from domestic litigation. It requires cultural sensitivity, language ability and other soft skills that are not as prominent in national litigation. Reconciling often vast differences between parties in a conflict situation is always a challenge for those of us in this field. It is also what I find so fascinating about my work.”


"After spending time abroad in Thailand teaching English at an international university, I knew I wanted to work in international law, but I wasn’t sure exactly which fields even existed,” notes Pace Law alumnus Christopher Bloch (JD, 2010).  When he arrived at Pace Law, Chris began consulting with members of the international law faculty, and quickly found himself interested in the field of international arbitration.

Via Pace Law’s Summer Externships Abroad program, Chris received a summer placement in Sydney, Australia with Clayton Utz, a renowned Australian firm known for its particular strength in the field.  “From that point,” he notes, “I was just hooked.”  Back at Pace Law, Chris gained further hands-on experience as an intern for a federal court judge and as a researcher for the Pace Law Institute of International Commercial Law.  All of these experiences helped prepare Chris for a coveted summer associate position at the Cologne, Germany office of leading international firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, where Chris deepened his already impressive experience in international arbitration.  “With the rise of the global economy, and the flattening of the globe, international arbitration is only becoming more prevalent and more important,” he says, “I want to keep working in this field, and Pace Law has definitely helped me make that plan a reality.” 

Upon graduating magna cum laude in May 2010 with Pace Law’s Certificate in International Law, Chris returned to the Institute of International Commercial Law as a Staff Attorney and Research Scholar to assist on several projects involving international sales law and an international project on on-line dispute resolution for UNCITRAL.  Chris then spent two years working for Michael Hwang Chambers in Singapore, assisting one of the leading arbitrators in the world on cases involving parties from all over the globe.

After that, Chris became a member of King & Spalding’s International Arbitration group, based in their Singapore office, where his practice focused on international commercial and investment arbitrations with an emphasis on construction and oil and gas disputes.  He still believes that “the work I have done in Australia, Germany and Singapore has all been directly affected by my time at Pace Law and all of the faculty members who helped me get to where I am today.”