Haub Law Co-Hosts Impactful New Directions in Environmental Law Conference & Food Law Student Leadership Summit

April 19, 2023
Professor Josh Galperin

The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University was proud to co-host the joint New Directions in Environmental Law Conference (NDEL) & Food Law Student Leadership Summit (FLSLS) held at Yale University in New Haven, CT from March 31-April 2, 2023. In past years, these two remarkable conferences have happened separately but in the wake of COVID, this year they combined. This year’s joint conference theme was Rethinking Resilience. In addition to Haub Law, the conference was also co-hosted by Yale Law School, Yale School of the Environment, the Harvard Law School Food Law Policy Clinic, and the National Food Law Student Network.

Over the three-day conference, there were a variety of lectures and panel discussions featuring leading experts in their fields who discussed today’s most significant food and environmental issues. The conference covered ocean and coastal justice, food sovereignty, Indigenous knowledge, sustainable business, the Farm Bill and more. The Haub Law community of faculty and students played key roles building up to and during the NDEL/FLSLS Conference. Several faculty served as panelists and many students led planning committees in the months before and during the conference.

Haub Law Professor Josh Galperin was central in the overall success of the Conference as its faculty advisor, working with the students to plan and ultimately execute the conference. “As usual, an incredible group of students put on an incredible conference. What was unusual this year was how the students were able to seamlessly tie together agriculture, food, climate, and environmental law and policy so that the New Directions in Environmental Law conference and the Food Law Student Leadership Summit could co-occur in such an effective way,” said Galperin. “I always walk away from events like this thinking about how valuable it is for everybody involved. For the participants, it brings together such a rich group of speakers to help us think and learn. And because the students do all the planning, it isn’t the same old speakers that we professors would invite. It always brings a fresh perspective. Hence, “New Directions.” For the faculty, we get the chance to catch up and learn from each other. This has always been important, but it is so much more heartwarming and rewarding in the wake of our COVID isolation. Finally, for the students, it is such a cool way to learn.”

Professor Galperin opened the conference with welcoming remarks, outlining the breadth and depth of the conference agenda. He noted the collaborative nature of this year’s conference, which involved so many institutional players, all contributing in different ways. Notably, the majority of student leaders were Haub Law students, with Gina Hervey, Brooke Mercaldi, Joshua Briggs, Hailey Pedicano, Brianna Grimes, Kaitlynn Dixon, and Shaune Hickson contributing immensely to the entire conference’s success. Additionally, several Haub Law students also dedicated their time on the day of the conference. Haub Law faculty also played a significant role at the event as both panelists at moderators. Haub Law faculty who served as speakers, panelists, or expert participants during the event included, Professors Smita Narula, Jason Czarnezki, and Jon Brown, Visiting Professor Uché Ewelukwa, Associate Director of Environmental Law Programs Achinthi Vithanage, Adjunct Professor Hiroko Muraki Gottlieb, and Adjunct Professor Maria Antonia Tigre.

“The conference provided a space for unique conversations that synthesized many of climate change’s challenges and interconnections. The amount of work that went into organizing this conference was tremendous, but the end result was truly amazing,” said Gina Hervey who spearheaded the joint conference. “The opportunity to be a part of something this large is unlike any other law school experience I have had. It was a learning experience in so many ways and I am proud and humbled to have had this opportunity and to have met and worked with such incredible people.” Gina is a current Haub Law student pursuing a joint degree at Yale School of the Environment. She is also very involved with the National Food Law Student Network.

Haub Law student Gabriella Mickel, who is also pursuing a joint degree at Yale School of the Environment attended the three-day conference and described it as an inspiring experience. "The joint conference brought together some of the brightest minds in the fields of food and environmental law to discuss critical issues facing our societies. Gina Hervey, Brooke Mercaldi, and the rest of the student team did an amazing job organizing a truly informative and inspiring experience. The theme of 'Rethinking Resilience' was the perfect lens through which to explore the complex and interconnected challenges of our time. The student-organized conference provided a platform for insightful discussions and innovative ideas.”

You can learn more about the Summit on the Conference website.

You May Also Like