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Land Use Law Center Staff
Professor of Law
Founder & Faculty Liaison
John R. Nolon is a Professor of Law at Pace Law School where he teaches property, land use, and sustainable development law courses and is the Founder of and Faculty Liaison to Law School's Land Use Law Center. He has been an Adjunct Professor at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies since 2001, where he developed a curriculum concentration of five land use courses. Professor Nolon served as the James D. Hopkins Professor from 2009-2011 and the Charles A. Frueauff Research Professor of Law during the 1991-92, 1997-98, 1999-2000, and 2000-01 academic years. He received the Richard L. Ottinger Faculty Achievement Award in 1999 and won the Goettel Prize for faculty scholarship in 2006. In 2009, he was awarded the National Leadership Award for a Planning Advocate by the American Planning Association. Professor Nolon received his J.D. degree from the University of Michigan Law School where he was a member of the Barrister's Academic Honor Society. He has served as a consultant to President Carter's Council on Development Choices for the 1980's, President Clinton's Council on Sustainable Development, New York Governor George Pataki's Transition Team, and Governor Elliot Spitzer’s Transition Team. He is a member of the Editorial Board of THE LAND USE AND ENVIRONMENTAL LAW REVIEW, published by Thomson-West. He is also on the New York Planning Federation's Advisory Council. Professor Nolon received a Fulbright Scholarship to study sustainable development law in Argentina in 1994-95 and has published over a dozen articles, chapters, and books on that subject.
Adjunct Professor of Law
Jessica Bacher is the Land Use Law Center’s Managing Director, as well as an adjunct professor at Pace University School of Law. Ms. Bacher teaches Land Use Law and the Advanced Land Use and Sustainable Development Seminar, runs the academic programs, and guides student research in areas such as sea level rise and smart growth. She graduated from the University of Florida with highest honors in 1999 with her B.S. in Marketing and a minor in Environmental Studies. She received her J.D. summa cum laude from Pace Law School in 2003 along with a Certificate in Environmental Law. While in law school, she published two scholarly articles in professional law journals on the topic of using land use law to preserve barrier islands. Ms. Bacher was one of the first Graduate Fellows at the Land Use Law Center. She coauthors a regular land use feature in the New York Law Journal and Real Estate Law Journal and has edited numerous small books in the fields of Land Use and Real Estate Law.
Tiffany Zezula is the Managing Director of for both the Land Use Law Center and the Kheel Center on the Resolution of Environmental Interest Disputes. Ms. Zezula trains local officials, environmentalists, planners, and developers in land use law and consensus building techniques, provides strategic assistance to local governments and intermunicipal councils, and mediates land use disputes. She is also a frequent speaker on collaborative governance and local decision-making. Ms. Zezula graduated from Tulane University in 2000 with her B.S. in Ecological, Environmental, and Organismal Biology and a minor in History. She received her J.D. cum laude from Pace Law School in 2003 along with a certificate in Environmental Law. In addition to publishing two scholarly articles in environmental law journals, Ms. Zezula has edited numerous small books in the field of Land Use Law. She also is a certified mediator in the State of New York.
Adjunct Professor of Law
Manager of Urban Programs
Jennie Nolon Blanchard is an Attorney for the Land Use Law Center and also serves as an adjunct professor of law at Pace Law School in White Plains, NY. Ms. Blanchard’s work focuses primarily on the growth of urban centers, working closely with cities to address obstacles to redevelopment and sustainability. She also manages the Center’s student research; writes frequently on legal issues pertaining to land use and sustainable development; lectures at CLE programs, bar association events, and conferences; and trains local officials, environmentalists, planners, developers, and attorneys in land use law and consensus-building techniques. Ms. Blanchard graduated cum laude from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science degree in 2003. In 2008, she received her Master of Environmental Management degree from Yale University with an advanced concentration in Urban Ecology and Environmental Design and her J.D. cum laude from Pace Law School, where she was on the Pace Environmental Law Review. She has also achieved designation by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional, making her one of fewer than 40 LEED APs in New York State registered in the area of legal practice. With a keen interest for volunteerism, Ms. Blanchard has served as a Peer Review Editor for the Pace Environmental Law Review, a volunteer grader for the American Planning Association’s Planning & Law Division (PLD) annual Smith-Babcock-Williams Student Writing Competition, is PLD’s current Chair-Elect and newsletter Editor-in-Chief, and is a Junior Board Member of Music for Autism – an international organization committed to raising public awareness and improving the quality of life of individuals with autism and their families through music.
Adjunct Professor of Law
Jeff LeJava is the Land Use Law Center’s Managing Director of Innovation and also serves as an adjunct law professor at Pace Law School. Previously, Jeff served as the Administrator of the Highlands Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) Program for the New Jersey Highlands Water Protection & Planning Council, a state land use agency that manages the protection and development of an 860,000-acre region of northern New Jersey. In this capacity, Jeff developed and was implementing one of the nation’s largest TDR programs. Jeff also served as Staff Attorney for the Council where his responsibilities included litigation coordination and overseeing the Council’s land preservation activities. Before joining the Highlands Council in 2005, Jeff practiced environmental law for seven years with White & Case LLP and Latham & Watkins LLP. He is qualified to practice before the New Jersey and New York bars and the US District Court for the District of New Jersey. Jeff received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Pace University School of Law in 1998 along with a Certificate in Environmental Law, and his B.A., cum laude, from the College of the Holy Cross in 1994.
Meg Byerly is a Staff Attorney at the Land Use Law Center. In this position Ms. Byerly assists with the Center’s various programs, including projects focused on neighborhood development and sea level rise. She also helps with the Advanced Land Use and Sustainable Development Seminar and assists with student research management. Ms. Byerly graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Biology from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. In 2004, she received her M.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University where she studied ornithology. In May 2010, Ms. Byerly received her J.D. magna cum laude from Pace Law School with a certificate in Environmental Law. At the same time, she graduated from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, earning her MEM. While attending Pace and Yale, Ms. Byerly served both as Professor Nolon’s Research Assistant and as Teaching Fellow for Yale’s Spring 2010 Land Use Planning and Practice Course. Additionally, Ms. Byerly served as Research and Writing Editor for the Pace Environmental Law Review during the 2008-2009 academic year.
Director of Administration
Ann Marie McCoy is the Director of Administration for both the Land Use Law Center and the Kheel Center on the Resolution of Environmental Interest Disputes. She has been with the Center since 1999, beginning as administrative assistant for both the Land Use Law Center and Pace's Graduate Program in Comparative Law. Ms. McCoy is responsible for all aspects of the administration of the Center, including its many educational and outreach programs. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Pace University magna cum laude in 2003, her Master of Science degree for Teachers from Pace in 2007 and Paralegal Studies Certificate in 2011.
Allison Sloto is a rising 2L at Pace University School of Law. She graduated cum laude from the Commonwealth Honors College of the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2012 with dual degrees in Environmental Science (B.S.) and Political Science (B.A.), a minor in Mandarin Chinese, and certificates in International Relations and Public Policy and Administration. Her undergraduate honors thesis focused on determining the effectiveness of international environmental governance mechanisms (with an emphasis on the role of epistemic communities) in the successful implementation and execution of international environmental treaties. While volunteering at the Land Use Law Center during her 1L year, Allison became especially interested in the land-use-related means by which local communities handle issues raised by hydrofracking. This summer, she is a research assistant to Professor John R. Nolon, assisting him with his latest book project. She is the Vice President Elect of the Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Society and the Secretary Elect of the Public Interest Law Student Organization for the 2013-2014 academic year. Allison expects to graduate from Pace in 2015 with a J.D. and Certificate in Environmental Law.
Cayleigh Eckhardt graduated from McGill University in 2010 with a BA in Environmental Science and Development as well as Political Science. She is entering her second year at Pace Law School, where she is expected to graduate in 2015. Since beginning her legal studies at Pace, Cayleigh has participated in the Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Society, the Environmental Law Society, and was a board member for the National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition (NELMCC). This coming year, she will act as Head Chair for the NELMCC planning and organization committee. Cayleigh also volunteered at the Land Use Law Center throughout the 2013 Spring semester. Cayleigh is excited for her externship at the Center this summer, for the opportunity to combine her interest in environmental sustainability and land use law.
Roisin Grzegorzewski graduated from Fordham University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban and Environmental Studies. While at Fordham, Roisin wrote her Senior Thesis in urban studies on “Yonkers: The Class and Race Dynamics of Waterfront Revitalization” and interned at Scenic Hudson in the Land Use Advocacy department. Those experiences inspired her to come to Pace University School of Law to continue her education in the environmental and land use field. Roisin is entering her second year at Pace University School of Law. Roisin is involved in Pace’s Environmental Law Society and is the secretary of the Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Society. She volunteered at the Land Use Law Center in the fall and spring semesters of her first year at Pace Law. Roisin is expected to graduate from Pace Law School in 2015 with a J.D. and a Certificate in Environmental Law.
Katie Hatt graduated from Virginia Tech in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Sciences. After graduation she worked for Wildscreen USA and the National Zoo where she developed an interest in international land use practices. Currently, Katie is a second year law student at Pace Law School where she serves as the current president of the Environmental Law Society and a vice chair for the National Environmental Moot Court Competition. Katie is expected to graduate in 2015 with a J.D. and a Certificate in Environmental Law.
David Kenny is entering his second year at Pace University School of Law. David graduated from Manhattan College in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. While at Manhattan College David was part of the schools NMUN team and represented the team in the committee for sustainable development, modeled after the Rio+20 conferences. David wrote his senior thesis about the Hydrofracking conflict in New York State. He has been a volunteer at the Land Use Law Center since February 2013, and currently works at the center as an intern. David is expected to graduate from Pace Law School in 2015 with a J.D. and a Certificate in Environmental Law.
Sameer Ponkshe graduated cum laude from Virginia Tech in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. Prior to attending Pace Law School, Sameer has held internships with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Greenpeace. During his work at HHS, he became familiar with different implementation strategies used for certain portions of the Affordable Care Act of 2010. In addition, his work at Greenpeace educated him on the importance of citizen outreach to address global environmental issues. Sameer is expected to graduate from Pace Law School in May of 2015 with J.D. and Certificate in Environmental Law.