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Dean's Message to 2013 Graduates and Recent Alumni

Dear Students and Alumni:

As you start or continue your legal career in these pressing financial times, rest assured that Pace Law School will continue to offer both established and innovative methods of assistance. We present the below information uniquely applicable to graduating students and those alumni who may currently be out of work or facing a substantial debt burden. You may navigate through the categories of information by clicking on the section headings below this paragraph.

When you came to Pace Law School, you joined a community of students, scholars, teachers, caring professionals and a network of thousands of alumni across the country and the globe. We are proud of the achievements of our students during their time at the Law School, and we cheer and support them during their fruitful and exciting careers. We hope that you will continue to make Pace Law School as much a part of your life as we make you a part of ours.

 

 


FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Pace Law School offers a Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) to provide financial aid to graduates with a high level of law school debt who work in public interest, government, or other lower income organizations. The participants and amounts of the LRAP loans are determined by an applicant’s level of indebtedness and adjusted gross income (maximum $55,000 per annum), and eligibility for loan forgiveness under any other loan repayment assistance program. The amount awarded to each graduate ranges from $3,000 to $5,000 per year for three years. Applications are due January 31st of each year. For further information, please see the LRAP information page or contact the Office of Student Services (914) 422-4136.

Bar Examination Loans

Taking time off to prepare for the bar exam can create financial hardships. The cost of bar preparation courses can also add up quickly. Loans specifically for this purpose are available from private lending sources. Please visit http://studentlendinganalytics.com/ratings.html for more information and to compare the lenders that offer bar exam loans.

College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 (CCRAA)

Signed in September 2007, the CCRAA offers financial assistance to law school graduates holding qualifying federal loans. Benefits can include reducing your monthly loan burden (Income Based Reduction, or IBR), if your debt is high and your income is low, for both private and public sector employment, and forgiving the remainder of your debt after ten years of qualifying public interest employment (primarily employment with nonprofits and any kind of government agency). Heather Jarvis of Equal Justice Works, the national expert on the CCRAA, gave an excellent presentation at Pace, which can be accessed here. Equal Justice Works provides extensive information, including excellent webinars, on the state of loan repayment assistance programs, including the CCRAA. See their website at www.equaljusticeworks.org. To sign up for email updates on the CCRAA and the new public interest forgiveness program, or to determine if you qualify for IBR, please visit www.ibrinfo.org. New information is becoming available on a daily basis. For more information, contact Adriana Pace, Associate Director of Financial Aid, at (914) 422-4050 or Jennifer Friedman, Director of the Public Interest Law Center, at (914) 422-4265.

 

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UNIVERSITY SERVICES/LAW SCHOOL SERVICES FOR ALUMNI

As an alumnus of the Law School, you may already be aware that you will have continued access to many University Services. More detailed information can be found on the University alumni webpage and the Law School alumni webpage and include the following:

  • Fitness Center Alumni Membership
    Located on the Pleasantville Campus, the Ann and Alfred Goldstein Health, Fitness, and Recreation Center provides Pace alumni the ability to purchase memberships to use the Recreation Center at a discounted rate. A properly validated Pace University Alumni Photo ID card must be presented at all times for admission to the center. Consult published and posted schedules for facility hours. For additional information, please click here.
  • Continuing Legal Education
    Pace Law School Center for Continuing Legal Education offers discount for CLE programs for attorneys who are unemployed, employed by the private sector or who work for a not-for-profit entity. The application for this discount must be submitted to Kathleen Carlisle, Director, Pace CCLE at least two weeks prior to the program. The application can be found on the CLE website. Also, the CLE Department hosts Bridge the Gap Weekend, where new graduates you can earn one full year of MCLE credits in one weekend by attending the program in December. Please visit their website for the dates and registration information.
  • Meeting Space
    Pace Law School has meeting rooms available for outside organizations. Please view the Law School website for information about reserving meeting space.
  • E-Mail Accounts
    Pace Law School alumni who graduated after 2010 will continue to have access to their Pace Law School email accounts. Pace Law School alumni who graduated prior to 2010 do not have access to their email accounts. Pace Law School alumni  may obtain a free permanent email address that never expires or changes. Even during a job change or email provider change, the free permanent alumni email address remains the same. All that needs to be done is to change the forwarding email address. To obtain a free permanent email address, alumni must sign into the Pace Alumni Online Community (see above); once there, alumni can enter a preferred email name that will be the first part of the permanent email address (i.e. yourname@alumni.pace.edu).
  • Online Community
    The Pace Alumni Online Community is a free and secure forum, accessed via the Pace University website. The online community allows all Pace alumni (including Pace Law School alumni) from around the world to reconnect, exchange ideas, and network with each other over the Internet. Its features include a searchable database, the ability to update your own contact information, message boards, news, career resources, and more.
  • LexisNexis and Westlaw
    Students who are studying for the Bar will have access to Westlaw during June and July. For further information on this and other current benefits, please view Westlaw's site by clicking here.  Please contact Maisa Chiang at maisa.chiang@thomsonreuters.com with any questions. 
    For information on the current benefits available to graduates through LexisNexis please click here.  Please contact Mary Beth Drain at marybeth.drain@lexisnexis.com with any questions.
  • Library
    Pace Law Library provides a host of services useful to the recent graduate. The general brochure outlining these services is available at http://lawweb.pace.edu/library/alumni.pdf. The Law Library has also created a guide to free and low cost resources for legal research. In addition, the Library has a public access version of Lexis that is available for use by our alumni when they visit the Library. For more information, visit http://law.pace.edu/alumni-services.

 

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ALUMNI CONNECTIONS

You can stay in touch with the law school and fellow classmates and alumni by visiting one of the following sites:

Pace Law School on Flickr            Pace Law School on Facebook             Pace Law School on LinkedIn           Pace Law School on YouTube            Pace Law School on Twitter
Flickr         Facebook        LinkedIn      YouTube        Twitter

 

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PACE ENVIRONMENTAL LLM PROGRAMS

There are many good reasons to continue your legal education after receiving your JD. Principal among these is the opportunity to develop or further cultivate your expertise in a field of specialization. Also, in this economic environment, some people are choosing to further their education as a way to do something useful while riding out the storm – to continue their professional development when job opportunities may be scarce.

If you are thinking about continuing your own legal education, Assistant Dean Lin Harmon would be glad to meet individually with you to discuss the options. Dean Harmon is the interim director of Pace’s LLM programs and can advise you about the opportunities here. Pace Law School offers an environmental LLM, the world’s first LLM track dedicated to Climate Change Law, and a track in Land Use and Sustainable Development Law. These programs build on our long-standing excellence in environmental, land use and energy law to offer a unique head start on a career in one of these growing fields. Many of you who have taken environmental courses or who earned a Certificate in Environmental Law at Pace may be eligible to complete one of these programs by taking as few as 12 additional credits. This means that you could obtain an advanced degree in as little as one year of part-time study or one semester full-time.

If you wish to discuss any of our LLM options, please email or call Lin Harmon at (914) 422-4207 and check out our Graduate Programs and Environmental Programs webpages.

 

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CAREER AND JOB SEARCH ASSISTANCE

If you are still looking for post-graduate employment, you can rest assured that the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) and the Public Interest Law Center (PILC) are doing all that they can to help you, regardless of your practice or geographic interest.

The CCPD and PILC are open all summer long and available to Pace Law School alumni at any stage of your career. Call 914-422-4217 or email Lauren Vaccianna-Gordon to make an appointment with one of the counselors. As an alumnus, you will also continue to have access to Symplicity, and your Pace Law email account, so that you can continue to access the job posting database as well as CCPD announcements.

Symplicity Email Blasts & Resume Book

If you are still looking for post-graduate employment, and would like to receive our weekly email blast of recently posted job posting emails call 914-422-4217 or email Lauren Vaccianna-Gordon to be added to our Alumni Opportunities Email Blast. 

Additionally, one of the ways the CCPD and PILC can continue to help you look for post-graduate employment is by making your resumes available to employers. The CCPD is creating a resume book for graduating students to be referenced and matched to employers as they notify the CCPD of positions and that the CCPD will use to actively solicit alumni and employers on your behalf.

If you would like the CCPD to have your resume on hand, then please (a) upload a copy of your resume onto Symplicity, update your profile (graduation date and year in school) and contact information on Symplicity, and email Lauren Vaccianna-Gordon that your resume is uploaded and may be used for the resume book; OR (b) email Lauren Vaccianna-Gordon a copy of your resume and your updated contact information so that the CCPD will know how to reach you over the coming months.

The CCPD will advise you of any employers or alumni that ask for your resume or any employers or alumni to whom they send your resume. Please note that in identifying potential contacts for you, the CCPD relies not only on your resume, but on counseling notes, the information you supplied in the CCPD Cap and Gown employment form, and updates on your employment status that you share with CCPD and PILC staff. It is therefore very important that you speak with a CCPD or PILC counselor if you have not done so already and that you email the CCPD with your (1) contact information; (2) employment status (legal/non-legal, full-time/part-time); and (3) areas of interest, both legal practice wise and geographically.

After the Bar Exam, Continue Your Job Search Process

Stay in touch with the CCPD/PILC and your professors. In addition to learning about possible job,  networking, and temporary part-time opportunities with outside employers, there are sometimes research, project and other positions available with various professors, clinics, centers and departments here at the law school.

Some organizations and bar associations hold job fairs in August and September (as well as other times during the year), and many of these fairs are open to law graduates. The CCPD maintains a list of career fairs; and PSJD.org is a great resource for job fairs both local and national.

For those interested in judicial clerkships, there may be openings throughout the year due to newly appointed judges and staggered clerkship terms. You should periodically check OSCAR (the on-line federal clerkships job posting database), state court websites and Symplicity for openings.

Similarly, opportunities in the government can arise any time during the year and those applications may be more involved and require advance planning and forethought on your part. For example, candidates for NYS or other state staff attorney or law-related positions in areas including environmental issues, investigations, securities and public finance may have to sit for competitive civil service exams on scheduled dates. To learn about this process in New York, go to http://www.cs.ny.gov/. Also, make sure you are regularly checking state agency websites, www.usajobs.com (for federal government positions around the country), and reading the CCPD’s email updates about upcoming government opportunities and deadlines.

Reciprocity with Other Law School Career Offices

If you are looking for employment outside the tri-state area, the CCPD can arrange for your use of the resources at another law school career services office. Contact Lauren Vaccianna-Gordon with your request, including the name of the law school with which you are seeking reciprocity.

Practicing Under a Student Practice Order

Before you are admitted to practice, you may seek to develop and sharpen your legal skills by performing pro bono services. You can do this by rendering legal services under a student practice order issued through a qualified governmental agency or public interest organization. Working under a student practice order typically requires direct supervision by an attorney affiliated with that organization. Each jurisdiction has specific rules regarding the extent of the practice allowed and the duration.

Practicing Under a Student Practice Order

Before you are admitted to practice, you may seek to develop and sharpen your legal skills by performing pro bono services. You can do this by rendering legal services under a student practice order issued through a qualified governmental agency or public interest organization. Working under a student practice order typically requires direct supervision by an attorney affiliated with that organization. Each jurisdiction has specific rules regarding the extent of the practice allowed and the duration.

 

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BAR APPLICATIONS AND ADMISSIONS

Many students have already come into the Dean's Suite with questions about the bar application process. While we are happy to help answer your questions and assist you with the process, please also refer to the How to Deal with an Ethical Dilemma resources created by Deborah Scalise, attorney and adjunct professor.

 

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