Environmental Law and Policy Hack Competition

The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University introduces a virtual student-centered environmental law and policy problem-solving competition. This competition will orient students toward the development of practicable environmental policy; encourage law students to collaborate with policy stakeholders, including from government and the community; catalyze the conceptualization and implementation of innovative solutions to pressing environmental problems; and further our commitment to advancing environmental protection.
Environmental Law & Policy Hack

General Information

  • As a result of the the COVID-19 pandemic, this event will be held virtually. 

  • Identifying the Challenge: Pulling from the expertise from our environmental faculty and in consultation with colleagues in the environmental field (an advisory council), Pace Environmental Law will identify an emerging environmental challenge that could benefit from innovative law and policy approaches; craft a challenge prompt, or problem, describing the issue and providing a framework for the development of law and policy solutions; and invite participants to study the issue, brainstorm solutions, and propose innovative and practical solutions. 
  • Selection and Implementation:  A panel of Pace faculty and possibly invited professionals with expertise relating to the challenge subject will select three team submissions as finalists.  A representative from each of the finalist teams will be invited to Pace, with travel paid, to present the team solution to a panel of distinguished judges, who will select the wining team solution.  All participating teams will be invited to attend the finalist presentations, which will also be available for remote viewing.  The winning team will receive a trophy and a cash prize, with the money to be put toward implementation of the team’s policy concept.


Question: Must teams select a specific locality to make the focus of their policy brief and implementation plan?
Answer: We anticipate that teams will likely focus on a specific locality/community although it would be permissible to discuss more generally how the policy could be implemented in a particular type of locality/community; i.e., large urban area, rural area.  Teams might combine both approaches, for example, by orienting the implementation plan to a specific community and also explain how it could be adopted by other similarly situated communities.

Question: The rules require at least two students to be JD, L.L.M., or S.J.D students. Can other accommodations be made?
Answer: The rules will be amended to require at least two students to be JD, L.L.M., or S.J.D students, except by special permission.



Team Registration & Payment

​​​​​​2020 Registration
*Registration will close September 1, 2020 

Building Teams: Law school teams are invited to submit proposed solutions to the challenge prompt. 

General Information – Registration is open through September 1,2020.  The nonrefundable registration fee is $50.00 payable online by credit card through eventbrite.   Teams must include at least two current law students, may be interdisciplinary, and the participation of at least one community or government stakeholder is strongly encouraged. Each team must also have a law school faculty advisor as their team coach. 

To Register- https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pace-environmental-law-and-policy-hack-tickets-86551175897

TEAM REGISTRATION: Each competing team shall be composed of at least two law students and must also have a law school faculty advisor as their Team Coach.

Post Payment- Please e-mail, aolson@law.pace.edu a list of the following:

  1. School name
  2. Participating Law Students
  3. Team Coach
  4. Any other participants

The final round will take place on Friday, November 13, 2020 via Zoom.


Environmental Law and Policy Hack Competition Schedule-
Friday, November 13, 2020, via Zoom 

Welcome, 1pm-1:10pm
Team 1 presentation and judge questions: 1:10pm-1:55pm
Team 2 presentation and judge questions: 1:55pm-2:40pm
Team 3 presentation and judge questions: 2:40pm-3:25pm
Judge deliberations:  3:25pm-3:55pm 
Announcement of winning team and concluding remarks: 3:55pm-4:10pm

The event will be recorded and available to view through the Pace Law website in support of the Hack's goal to promote and disseminate creative, interdisciplinary thinking about sustainability policy challenges.

Team Submittals

  • Submitting Solutions: Submissions should evidence careful analytical study of the challenge, describe relevant legal background and considerations, propose a practicable law and policy solution, and include a path to implementation. All submissions will be posted to a competition web page with the goal of contributing to public thought on the selected issue.  The length and format of submissions are set out in the Official Rules. 

Oral Presentations

The Environmental Law and Policy Hack Competition will be a virtual event.