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Alumni Highlights and Class Notes
September 2016 Alumni Highlight
Keep up-to-date with your fellow Law School Alumni
Pace Law would like to keep up-to-date on your personal and professional news. If you have recently moved, had a career change, a job promotion, gotten married, had a child, or were given an honor or award, please share!
The Law School reserves the right to edit all Class Notes submissions.
Stephanie Vullo ('94) never thought of becoming an attorney while growing up. The only attorneys she knew were on "L.A. Law" and "Law and Order." She graduated from Cornell with a degree in government and history. From there, she landed a position as a congressional aide with the late Bill Green (R., NY). It was while she was helping constituents navigate the government system that she realized she was using the skills that are crucial to lawyering: legal research, analysis of situations, problem solving, and advocacy. "All I needed was the law degree to make it official."
Stephanie applied to masters programs and law schools and decided to accept offers from NYU's Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and Pace Law. Taking an unorthodox approach because the two schools did not offer joint degrees, Stephanie completed her first year of law school at Pace, completed an MPA in Finance and Management at NYU, where she attended NYU Law School as a visiting student, and returned to Pace to earn her law degree. "This was a unique situation which could not have been accomplished without the generous help and understanding of former Dean Barbara Black and Registrar Nilda Rodriguez. I have never forgotten the opportunity they created for me to earn two professional degrees. I worked almost full-time while attending Pace full-time and it was quite a load to manage and I don’t know where I got the energy, but Pace helped make it easier." Despite Stephanie's work commitments, she also made the time to stay involved with her academics. She was a senior member on the Law Review and a ranking scholar. She also was actively involved in various student organizations, founding the Pace Latin Law Students Association (now "LALSA").
It was the coursework at Pace that made a lasting impact on Stephanie. "It wasn't simply mundane classroom instruction – it was real life, putting theory into practice teaching. I will be forever grateful to Pace for preparing me to hit the ground running as a practicing attorney." After graduating from Pace, Stephanie became a senior court attorney with the New York State Supreme Court in Jamaica, New York, eventually leaving that position to work in the Office of the Attorney General as an assistant attorney general. Stephanie would remain there for more than three years and gain what she describes as "some of the best experience a young attorney could have." "I handled cases from the beginning to the end, whether the cases were disposed of by settlement, summary judgment, or trial."
Though Stephanie thoroughly enjoyed her time working for the State, she knew it was not ultimately where she desired to spend the rest of her career. In 2001, Stephanie was hired as an Assistant General Counsel for New York University and was promoted to Associate General Counsel. Again, she found herself acting in all different capacities and loved it – from advisory, to policy and procedures, litigation, training, drafting contracts, and more. "The ten years I spent at NYU was an eye opening experience for me. I felt lucky each day to be using the skills I learned in law school and learning even more at the same time and on top of that to be in an academic setting."
Opportunity came knocking for Stephanie again in 2011 when she was hired as the Assistant Vice President, Executive Legal Counsel, and Labor Designee for Baruch College of the City University of New York. Today, Stephanie is the General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, and Secretary to the Board of Trustees at Brooklyn Law School, a position she began in September of 2014. "In a sense, things have come almost full circle. I am back in a legal academic environment using the legal education that I gained many years ago." Stephanie’s day to day includes providing legal and business-related advice to the senior leadership on a variety of issues, negotiating and reviewing contracts, defending the Law School against judicial and administrative claims,, developing and initiating policies and procedures, and monitoring various activities to ensure compliance with a myriad of laws and regulations.
As for advice to future Pace Law students, Stephanie cannot stress the importance of reaching out and networking. "Make connections and keep in touch with those connections. Reach out to alumni. I love hearing from Pace Law graduates. I have spoken with and assisted many Pace Law graduates and remain able and willing to do so!"
Stephanie resides in New York City with her children and her husband, Chris Standora, Chief Financial Officer for the Bronx District Attorney, Darcel Clark.
Hon. Francesca (Leibold) Connolly was appointed by NYS Chief Administrative Judge A. Gail Prudenti to the position of Associate Justice of the Appellate Term of the Supreme Court, second Department, Ninth and Tenth Judicial Districts. In this capacity, she will hear appeals from the District, City, Town, and Village courts in Suffolk, Nassau, Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Dutchess, and Putnam counties. This assignment is in addition to her current duties as a Supreme Court Justice, Ninth Judicial District, where she presides over a general civil calendar and the Ninth Judicial District Environmental Claims Part. She has been serving as a Supreme Court Justice since 2009.
Fredric I. Green has been appointed chief of the Special Prosecutions Division and a second deputy district attorney.
Joseph A. Saccomano was elected to the Board of Directors for the Business Council of Westchester. Joseph is the Office Managing Shareholder of the White Plains and Albany offices of Jackson Lewis P.C.
Dr. Nader J. Sayegh was praised for his “countless contributions to society” in a statement issued by Rep. Eliot L. Engel. Dr. Sayegh’s passion for community involvement was noted, specifically through his service on various Boards.
Robert J. Waine has joined the firm of Dinsmore & Shohl LLP. He will practice out of the corporate department and work with the real estate group.
Susan M. Corcoran was honored as a Distinguished 2014 Empire State Counsel by the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) for her extraordinary pro bono efforts in 2014.
Joseph A. Ruhl has joined Orange Bank and Trust Company as a regional president. Previous to this he was with Hudson Valley bank as seinor vice president and division executive in charge of its legal services division.
Marla E. Wieder was elected Secretary of the New York State Bar Association Environmental Law section. She also received the Environmental Section Council Award this year.
Nicholas M. Ward-Willis was elected to a one year term on the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar Association Environmental Law section.
R. Nadine Fontaine was appointed Assistant Counsel to the Governor with a focus on Human Services. Prior to this, she was at Epiq Systems, Inc., where she was a Director.
Carl L. Finger (LLM) was elected as a trustee for the Village Board in Scarsdale. Carl is a member of Fingers & Finger, P.C., a White Plains law firm.
Joseph A. Sarcinella was elected to Partner at Thompson & Knight LLP. His practice is concentrated on real estate, finance, and corporate matters.
David I. Aboulafia’s first book, a dark psychological horror novel entitled “Visions Through a Glass, Darkly,” will be released by Cosmic Egg Books, an imprint of John Huint Publishing in Summer 2015. His second book, a collection of comedic essays entitled “Snapshots from my Uneventful Life,” will be released by Library Tales Publishing at the same time.
Eric S. Andreas’ novel Origins Rising has been recognized as a finalist in the 17th annual Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards for Young Adult Fiction. This is Eric’s debut novel which “tells the story of how people re-evolve after a catastrophic asteroid strike into flyers, swimmers, and swift runners. Click here to read more.
Bridget A. Short joined Fox Rothschild LLP as a partner in their New York office. Her practice areas are copyrights, intellectual property, IP Litigation, Patent Prosecution & Transactions, and Trademarks.
David P. Steinberger joined Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP in their environmental and natural resources practice. He is a partner based out of their Denver office.
Elizabeth Verrier delivered the keynote address for the 31st annual Kalon Leadership Scholarship Day on February 21 at Bethany College. Elizabeth is Vice President and Senior Counsel at American Express.
Maiaklovsky Preval formed the Maiaklovsky Law Firm, PLLC.
Jinhi Park taught international business law as a full time lecturer at Pai Chai University in Korea after 9 years of teaching as well as working as a Foreign Legal Consultant/Attorney for E.M. Hwang & Partners in the trademark department. In March, Jinhi started working as a partner at Heis Law Office in Seoul, Korea as a foreign attorney.
Dev B. Viswanath received a proclamation from the NYC Council in October 2014, on the eve of the Diwali Celebrations at City Hall. The proclamation was for contributions to the City of New York and community service.
Janice Dean was elected to a three year term on the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar Association Environmental Section as a member at large. She also co-authored an article published in Environmental Law in New York entitled “Too Early or Too Late? Statutes of Limitations in Hazardous Waste and Oil Spill Claims.”
Jennifer A. Lofaro was promoted to partner at Bleakley Platt & Schmidt, LLP. She advises and represents regional and national institutional lenders and developers, as well as individual and corporate borrowers, in residential and commercial real estate transactions.
Carlisle McLean was appointed by Maine Governor Paul LePage to serve on the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The PUC is an agency that plays a key role in energy matters that are part of Governor Paul LePage’s policy priorities. Carlisle became Governor LePage’s chief legal counsel in 2013. Prior to that, she practiced with Preti Flaherty in environmental, land use, and climate strategy law.
Danielle Bifulci Kocal had her article “Creating an Asynchronous Distance Learning Class” published in The Learning Curve, which is the publication for the Academic Support section of the American Association of Law Schools.
Nicholas E. Bowers recently celebrated five years of his firm, The Law Office of Nicholas E. Bowers, PLLC, being in business. In 2014, Nicholas closed numerous transactions on the purchases and sales of coops, condos and houses in New York City, Long Island and Westchester. He also continued to conduct commercial lease reviews and negotiations and managed numerous real estate litigations.
Jason S. Herman is currently Deputy Counsel at the New York City School Construction Authority.
Rosario M. Patane was promoted to Shareholder at Golden Rothschild Spagnola Lundell Boylan & Garubo, P.C.
Neal E. Kumar is a third year Associate in the Washington, DC office of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP. In October 2014, he married Sweta Lamichhane.
Erika C. Otocka has joined Ivey, Barnum & O’Mara. She will be representing individuals in all aspects of family and matrimonial law. Previously, she practiced with the Law Offices of Gary I. Cohen, P.C. in Stamford, CT.
Alisandra B. Carnevale was elected to the Board of Directors for the Pennington Business and Professional Association. She is an attorney concentrating in Family and Divorce Law at The Law Office of Alisandra B. Carnevale. Read more on her law practice here.
Lane Marmon was named a New Leader in the Law by the Connecticut Law Tribune (2014) and 10 Best Attorneys – Client Satisfaction Award by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys (2014). She is a senior associate at Rutkin, Oldham & Griffin, LLC.
Joshua A. Roman was offered and accepted a position as Law Clerk to the Honorable A. Kathleen Tomlinson, United States Magistrate Judge, E.D.N.Y. The clerkship will begin in the fall of 2015 and conclude in the fall of 2017.
Christine E. Goodrich will be joining the New York office of Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP. She will continue to practice securities arbitration and litigation.
Gloribelle J. Perez was sworn-in as President of the Dominican Bar Association.
Craig Relles was featured in The National Jurist on how the Pace Community Law Practice (PCLP) helped him get his start as a solo practitioner. Craig’s firm is named the Law Office of Craig Relles and he was one of the first to take part in the PCLP as a legal fellow. Read more here.
Kerriann Stout and Pouyan Darian founded Darian Stout, LLP. Kerriann and Pouyan previously worked together as Fellows at the Pace Community Law Practice (PCLP). Their new law practice is housed at and incubated by the PCLP.
Joseph E. Fornadel published his article entitled The Community Risk and Resiliency Act: Building on the New York State Legislature’s Climate Change Framework in the January/February volume of New York Zoning Law and Practice Report, published by Thomson Reuters. Joseph is a Senior Court Attorney at the New York Court of Appeals.
Justin M. Guido started working as a prosecutor at the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office immediately after graduation. Since then he has had approximately 20 jury trials, wrote an appeal, and continues to litigate on a daily basis. He recently obtained a guilty verdict in a case that was published in the Miami Herald. Click here to read more.
John D. Scherer has joined Masini Law Group PC in Garden City as an associate attorney.
Benjamin S. Lowenthal has joined Harrington, Ocko & Monk, LLP in White Plains, NY. His areas of practice will be commercial litigation, corporate and business law, and real estate law.