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Alumni Highlights and Class Notes
October 2014 Alumni Highlight
Pace Law Immigration Justice Clinic alumna Miriam Lacroix (’14) selected as an Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow
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Miriam Lacroix’s (’14) interest in public interest and public policy work began at a young age and continued through college when she interned in the offices of a United States Senator and also a New York State Senator. As the child of a Haitian immigrant, Miriam understood the challenges that complex immigration laws present to disadvantaged individuals and families. Miriam dedicated herself and continues to dedicate herself to providing compassionate and topnotch legal services to immigrants.
Miriam’s hard work paid off in April 2014 when she learned that she had been chosen to serve as an Immigrant Justice Corps (IJC) Justice Fellow. The Justice Fellowship program was initiated by Chief Judge Robert Katzmann of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Miriam was selected from among hundreds of applicants and is one of 25 inaugural members. The Fellows will provide high-quality, pro bono legal assistance to immigrants. Miriam has been assigned to the City Bar Justice Center of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.
Miriam is a 2014 graduate of Pace Law School. During her time at Pace, she was a student attorney in the Semester in Practice component of the Immigration Justice Clinic at John Jay Legal Services, Inc. – the Law School’s free community clinic – where she worked closely with Professor Vanessa Merton. As a student attorney, Miriam took on the most difficult cases, intrigued by the complex legal issues. She represented a broad range of clients from a whistleblower against police corruption in the Ukraine to two young girls from Senegal seeking to avoid genital mutilation and forced marriage.
While at Pace Law, Miriam also participated in the Public Interest Law Students Organization, the Black Law Student Association, and the National Immigration Moot Court at NYU Law School. Miriam is currently working with Stephanie Ramos (’14), a Pace Community Law Practice fellow, on an article entitled, “Toward A Critical Immigration Theory: Breaking The Historical Patterns of Oppressive Immigration & Citizenship Policy.” The article traces the patterns of discrimination in immigration law and policies and invites a conversation about developing a more comprehensive, critical, anti-oppression analysis of the U.S. Immigration system.
Miriam is confident that Pace Law School has prepared her for what lies ahead, especially in the difficult field of immigration practice. She looks forward to accelerating her learning curve and continuing to ensure that immigrants receive the same access to justice as everyone else. Miriam is eager both to provide future clients with competent, capable, skilled, and passionate representation and to allocate time and energy to law reform, using her background in legislative advocacy. Miriam recalls the positive experience she had with her Pace Law professors, especially Vanessa Merton, and would not trade her experiences at Pace for anything in the world.
Miriam currently resides in Yonkers, NY. In her spare time she enjoys singing and is currently a member of the Gospel Knights, a gospel choir based in Concordia College.
Victor J. Alfieri, Jr. is County Court Judge and Acting Supreme Court Judge in Rockland County. Within the past year he has tried 15 jury and non-jury cases involving matrimonial, auto accidents, medical malpractice, contract, slip/fall, and other tort cases. Judge Alfieri was an honoree of the Rockland County Bar Association and inducted into the Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame. He also served as a volunteer E.M.T. with the local Ambulance Corps and Rescue Squad. Judge Alfieri is President-Elect of the N.Y.S. County Court Judges Association.
Marc E. Fleischman is the 2014-2015 President of the Rotary Club of Montecito, a chapter of the world-wide service organization Rotary International. The Founder and principal in the Law Offices of Marc E. Fleischman, a law practice limited to corporate, commercial, real estate and international matters – was sworn in as president in July and will serve through June 2015. Last year he served as the Vice President. In addition to his service as a Rotarian, Mr. Fleischman works as an adjunct professor of business and law in the undergraduate and MBA programs at SBB College in Santa Barbara and an adjunct professor at Brooks Institute in Ventura. He has also taught remedies at Southern California Institute of Law.Prior to starting his own firm, Marc began his professional career at the law firm Donovan Leisure Newton & Irvine, and moved to the firm’s Los Angeles office in 1989. In 1991, he became general counsel and corporate secretary to the international minerals company World Minerals Inc. While there, he rose to Executive Vice President and remained the chief legal officer. For more information about the club, visit www.montecitorotary.org.
Charles S. Lopresto was elected as a Justice to the Supreme Court of the State of New York in 2012 and presides in Queens County, Criminal Term. From 2008-2012, he was the Supervising Judge of the Civil Court of the City of New York for Queens County.
Judith E. Turkel was honored at the National LGBT Bar Association’s 2014 Lavender Law Conference & Career Fair in August. Judith was presented with the 2014 Leading Practitioner Award. This Award is “presented to honor an attorney for improving the lives of the members of the LGBT community through outstanding legal work, demonstrated by a longstanding commitment to providing legal services of a high quality to the LGBT community; by commitment to significant pro bono work for the LGBT community; or by leadership in significant impact litigation while engaged in the private practice of law.” Judith is a partner at her firm, Turkel Forman LLP, based in New York City. Judith was recently honored at Pace Law School’s 19th Annual Leadership Awards Dinner for her contributions to the legal community.
David Rivera was nominated by President Obama to serve as U.S. attorney in the middle district of Tennessee. David has been the acting U.S. attorney since April 2013. Before this, David was an assistant U.S. attorney in the middle district of Tennessee since 2004.
Joseph A. Sarcinella was recognized in 2014’s The Legal 500 US directory published by Legalease. Joe is Counsel at Thompson & Knight LLP. Thompson & Knight was recognized as one of the top U.S. law firms in The Legal 500 US directory. The Firm was ranked among the nation’s top firms in ten areas of practice including Real Estate and Construction where Joe was identified for his specific expertise within the area.
Adrienne Orbach announced the opening of her new law firm, Law Offices of Adrienne J. Orbach, PLLC. On September 1, Adrienne became Of Counsel to I. Miles Pollack, PC.
Joseph G. Mack was quote in USA Today in an article discussing kickbacks in the healthcare industry. You can read the article here. Joe is Deputy Chief of the Health Care and Government Fraud Unit at the United States Attorney’s Office in New Jersey.
Mark D. Wellman was hired as a shareholder at Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. His main areas of practice include: construction accidents, property litigation, consumer financial services litigation & compliance, aviation and complex litigation, automobile liability, product liability, and premises liability – defense.
Mary T. Kenny started working at the legal department for BASF, the largest chemical company in the world.
Janice Dean joined Pace Law School as Chief of Staff in September 2014. In this role, she will be working directly with Dean David Yassky. Since graduating from Pace Law School, Janice has served in the Environmental Protection Bureau of the State Attorney General’s office, most recently as Section Chief of the Toxics and Cost Recovery Section.
Clare Kathleen Schum began her position as a public defender attorney at the Maricopa County Office of the Legal Advocate in Phoenix, AZ.
Kenneth Fila has moved from the International Tax Services group at Ernst & Young LLP to an in-house role as International Tax Counsel at ITT Corporation.
Barbara J. Durkin, Assistant Professor of Management at SUNY Oneonta, published a peer-reviewed research article “Lifelong Professional Education for Lawyers: A Collaborative Model,” in The Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge, 19(2), 126-132 (2014). Her paper suggests a new collaborative model among law schools, law firms, public interest groups, continuing education providers, and regulatory agencies. Its function would be to provide long-term sustainable development of legal talent through standardized training of lawyers and by a system of tracking legal expertise. Barbara’s primary areas of specialization are human resources management and employee relations, especially in the multi-billion dollar legal services industry.
Taryn L. Rucinski’s article Global Water Resources and Publications was published in the Special Edition Joint publication of the ABA Section of International Law (Committee on International Environmental Law) and the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (International Environmental and Resources Law Committee), Int’l Envtl. L. News, no. 1, 2014, at 15. Click here to view the article. The 2014 update for the Environmental Law LEXICON by Nicholas A. Robinson & Taryn L. Rucinski was just released.
Justin Touretz has assumed the position of counsel with the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). Previously he was working on TV and film sets to making sure that the collective bargaining agreement for all performers was adhered to and also to observe safety and working conditions.
James A. Patalano joined Joshua Stein PLLC as an associate. James is the firm’s first associate and will be joining a team of contract lawyers. The firm focuses on commercial real estate. As a student, James attended Joshua Stein’s class on commercial real estate law at Pace.
Jared A. Hand received the 2nd Annual New Lawyers Leadership Award presented by the Westchester County Bar Association. The Award recognizes the future leaders of the legal profession. Jared is an associate at Welby, Brady & Greenblatt, LLP. His practice area is construction law.
Nancy Ferro Hayes has started her own practice, Ferro and Ferro Law Offices, with a focus on matrimonial and appellate work. She also specializes in Mental Health Advocacy, and civil commitments of convicted sex offenders.
Danielle Koves was hired as an Assistant District Attorney with the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office. Danielle will participate in an intensive training program for two weeks.
Kasey Parente was hired as an Assistant District Attorney with the Queens County District Attorney’s Office. Kasey was sworn in as a prosecutor in early September and is participating in a training course.