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A Message from the Director of Pace Law’s Graduate Programs
Welcome to Pace Law School’s Graduate Programs website. In a world of increasing legal specialization, lawyers must become experts in a particular field of law. Pace offers two distinct Master of Laws (LLM) degrees designed to strengthen a lawyer’s knowledge and skills in specialty areas.
Students in the LLM in Environmental Law Program explore environmental statutes, policy and litigation through coursework. They frequently work closely with Pace’s internationally recognized environmental law faculty. The program has consistently ranked among the top three in the nation according to US News & World Report.
Pace was one of the first law schools in the country to develop a comprehensive and integrated curriculum in environmental law. With it came a commitment to ensure the sustainability of our natural and built environments. The program prepares lawyers to address the scientific, economic and political forces that shape environmental law and to work for outcomes that both protect our natural surroundings and promote smart and sustainable development. Students choose from over 40 environmental courses offered each year and may participate in ongoing political, economic, and social research conducted by the Pace faculty and research centers. The program offers courses in a wide range of environmental legal subjects, such as eco-markets, international environmental law, and climate change. Most environmental faculty have had significant careers in the practice of law before becoming legal educators. Even now, many of them provide counsel on issues of importance in the environmental field. Their experience in law firms, as corporate counsel and as federal and state regulators adds important practical perspective to principles of environmental law. The environmental law program offers opportunities to explore in-depth concentrations in two currently vital areas – Climate Change and Land Use and Sustainable Development.
Students in the field of Environmental Law may obtain dual and joint degrees provided they meet certain requirements.
Pace also offers a unique Doctorate of Juridical Science (SJD) in Environmental Law – the only such specialized program in the country. The SJD prepares scholars to teach and research environmental law. Admission is highly competitive and requires completion of an LLM in Environmental Law either at Pace or in a comparable program prior to beginning SJD studies.
The LLM in Comparative Legal Studies is designed for students who received their legal education outside the United States and who want to expand their knowledge of US law or to explore an advanced field of law. It provides an introduction to US common law traditions and insight into how the US legal system fits within a comparative and international legal framework. The globalization of legal services over the last two decades makes it even more important for non-US lawyers to appreciate how the US system operates in order to work in an increasingly transnational legal environment. Some Comparative Law LLM graduates go on to take the New York State bar exam and practice law in the United States.
Each year Pace admits a class of around 30 graduate students from across the United States and around the world. The Graduate Program takes great pride in the personal attention that each student receives. We expect and encourage our LLM students to become active participants in Pace’s research centers and clinics, and in innovative practical training programs, such as the UN Environmental Diplomacy Practicum. Graduates have gone on to successful careers in private practice, government, and non-profits, both in the United States and around the world.
We invite you to take this opportunity to explore our website and see what our programs have to offer.
Professor, Assistant Dean and Director, Environmental Law Programs