Paul T. Rink

  • Visiting Assistant Professor


BS, University of Michigan
MEM, Yale School of the Environment
JD, Yale Law School

Professor Paul Rink is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University. Prior to joining the Haub Law faculty in 2023, Professor Rink worked at the climate law firm, Our Children’s Trust, representing young people from around the world in strategic, legal efforts to secure their right to a safe climate system.

Although originally from Gaylord, MI – a.k.a. the top knuckle of your middle finger on the hand Michigan map – he has lived in many places around the United States and the world. After graduating with a BS from the University of Michigan in 2012, Paul spent a year and half teaching soil science and environmental science to Singaporean students at Ngee Ann Polytechnic as a Princeton in Asia Fellow. He then extended his fellowship for an additional year, working on policy advocacy at the International Water Management Institute in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Immediately after earning his JD from Yale Law School and his Masters of Environmental Management from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in 2019, he spent a brief stint in Australia working as a forest restoration consultant for Conservation International. Following this consultancy position, Paul researched the impact of business interests on international environmental law as a Fox Fellow in Mexico City before heading to Portland, Oregon for his position as a Global Staff Attorney at Our Children’s Trust. While at Our Children’s Trust, Paul co-implemented a successful campaign to enshrine 100% renewable energy targets in Florida law; drafted comments responding to the Office of Management and Budget’s draft Technical Support Document on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases; and co-developed third-party intervention filings before multiple tribunals including the Mexican Collegiate Court in Administrative Matters of the First Circuit, the European Court of Human Rights, and the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea.

In his scholarly endeavors, Professor Rink has written academic articles ranging from the household economic benefits of rainwater harvesting systems to a comparative analysis of the forestry policies in Indonesia and Brazil. He has also contributed chapters to the Oxford Handbook on International Environmental Law (2021) and the 2019 Yale University Press publication, A Better Planet: 40 Big Ideas for a Sustainable Future.­ His research interests all relate to climate law, more specifically human rights and climate change, sustainable investment and net zero policy, and administrative cost-benefit analysis in the midst of the climate crisis.

Fellowships & Scholarships:

  • Aspen Ideas Festival Fellow, Aspen Institute, 2022
  • Robert L. Bernstein Fellow, Our Children’s Trust, 2020-2021
  • Fox International Fellow, Yale University, 2019-2020
  • Salzburg Cutler Fellow, Yale Law School, 2017
  • Kirby Simon Human Rights Fellow, Schell Center for International Human Rights, 2016
  • Princeton in Asia International Fellow, Princeton University, 2012-2015

Awards & Honors:

  • Climate Law & Governance Essay Silver Medal, International Sustainable Development Law Centre, 2018
  • Phi Beta Kappa junior-year inductee, 2010


Researchgate webpage, SSRN

Book Chapters

“Disaster,” in Oxford Handbook on International Environmental Law 2021) (with Robert R.M. Verchick)

“Helping Kids Stand Up for Their Rights: The Role of Climate Change Litigation,” in A Better Planet: Forty Ideas for a Sustainable FutureDan Esty ed., 2019.


Children, Climate, Constitutional Rights: Juliana v. U.S., 21(10) Energy L. Rep. 334 (2021) (with Andrea Rodgers and Phillip Gregory)

Regulating the Trees for the Forest: How Indonesia and Brazil Attempt to Reduce Deforestation through Forestry Policy, 10(1) J. Animal & Envtl L. 47-69 (2019)

The Potential Benefits of Rainwater Harvesting for Households in the Jaffna Peninsula, 21(1) Sri Lanka J. Aquatic Sci. 59-65 (2016) (with Christina Semasinghe and Herath Manthrithilake)