Haub Law’s Sustainable Business Law Hub Partners with Prestigious Firms to Provide Practical Student Internship Experiences and Launches Hub Student Scholars Program

March 9, 2023
Six grid photo of Haub Law students

The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University has launched a series of collaborative paid internship experiences with prestigious firms and companies as part of its new Sustainable Business Law Hub. The school also announces the launch of its newly created Sustainable Business Law Hub Student Scholars Program with the selection of its inaugural class of students.   

As part of its recently launched Sustainable Business Law Hub, a new initiative through which Haub Law students will be trained to become the first generation of “sustainable business lawyers,” the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University has collaborated with prestigious firms and companies to offer students paid internship opportunities in their ESG practice. The law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP continues to offer paid internships in their ESG advisory practice. Qualified Haub Law students have had the opportunity to intern with Paul, Weiss every semester since Spring 2021. Additionally, Gibson Dunn and Nestlé have collaborated with Haub Law to launch an innovative ESG Fellowship program to allow a student to participate in a 10-week summer experience program.

“The creation of the Hub has been absolutely transformational in terms of student interest and student placement. Many of our top students are interested in ESG, sustainable business, and the Sustainable Business Law Hub, along with these collaborative firm partnerships will allow students to pursue these interests in a meaningful way,” said Jason Czarnezki, Gilbert and Sarah Kerlin Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law and Associate Dean of Environmental Law Programs and Strategic Initiatives. “The Hub has had the effect of making our students more competitive for ESG and environmental law jobs at these and other major law firms, companies, non-profits, and more.”

Since spring 2021, Paul, Weiss has hosted four Haub Law students and another two will participate throughout the upcoming spring semester. “Students who are selected for internship opportunities at Paul, Weiss are fortunate enough to be supervised by Hub Advisory Board Member, Madhuri Pavamani, who is the Sustainability & ESG Advisory Practice Director at Paul, Weiss,” said Czarnezki. “The opportunity to be supervised and mentored by a leader in the field of sustainability is tremendous. Our students walk away from this experience having learned from innovators and prepared to lead the next generation of ESG lawyers.”

The competitive Gibson Dunn and Nestlé ESG Fellowship program launches in summer 2023. One Hub student per year is chosen to participate in a 10-week paid summer experience that has them start work in Gibson Dunn's Los Angeles office and then be ”seconded” to Nestlé to work with their in-house legal team. “We are fortunate to have great partners who are willing to provide Haub Law students with real experience in an ESG legal practice,” said Achinthi Vithanage, Associate Director of Environmental Law Programs. “Interns work with leading attorneys in the space, gaining insight into the work of both corporate ESG counsel as well as in-house sustainability counsel, while developing the necessary skills to prepare them for a career in sustainable business law.” Anna Marciano Romanella, Vice President, Sustainability, Zone North America Nestlé, and General Counsel & Head of Sustainability, Nespresso USA, is a member of the Hub’s Advisory Board and has been extremely influential in the continued development of the Sustainable Business Law Hub.

Haub Law student, Sam Perlmutter, Class of 2023, served as an intern with Paul, Weiss in spring 2022 as part of the Haub Law Sustainable Business Law Hub, working with the firm’s Sustainability & Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Advisory Practice. She said the experience provided her with very useful practical training in applying the law to promote sustainable business practices in the private sector. “As an ESG intern, I worked with the team and helped conduct a human rights impact assessment for a U.S.-based technology company. I also researched and built out a playbook for the ESG team to use on the intersection of current-day, pressing ESG and executive compensation concerns,” she said. “Additionally, I helped the ESG team address the myriad questions from clients regarding the recently proposed SEC rule on climate change disclosures, including comments on the rule and GHG emissions reporting concerns. I am grateful for the opportunity to work towards a new standard of corporate responsibility that includes a focus on economic, social and environmental welfare,” Perlmutter said.

Haub Law is also proud to announce the launch of the Sustainable Business Law Hub Student Scholars Program ("Hub Scholars Program"). The Hub Scholars Program is a key component of the Sustainable Business Law Hub in creating the next generation of sustainable business lawyers. Six students have been selected to serve as the inaugural Sustainable Business Law Hub Student Scholars (“Hub Scholars”) and will benefit from ESG internships at prestigious law firms.

The Sustainable Business Law Hub Scholars Program is a curricular, scholarship, and mentorship program for students pursuing careers in sustainable business law and as ESG lawyers. The highly-selective program is designed for students with outstanding entrance credentials and a well-articulated passion for pursuing a career at the intersection of sustainability, business law, and environmental law. Hub Scholars will have the opportunity to receive practical training and experience in using the law to foster sustainable business practices through an internship/externship experience with an ESG practice group in a law firm, under the guidance of in-house counsel within a corporate entity, or within an NGO/government body working in the ESG space.

Hub Scholars can also take advantage of targeted training workshops and programs that will prepare them for these externship experiences while working closely with a faculty supervisor and a professional mentor in the field to develop their interests and to identify networking and job opportunities. “Our Hub Scholar Program is an important part of our larger vision for the Sustainable Business Law Hub,” said Horace Anderson, Dean of the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University. “The students selected for this highly competitive program will have the opportunity to hone their expertise in sustainable business law and have opportunities to participate in prestigious ESG internship and externship opportunities with leaders in the field.”

During the course of their studies, students receive curricular guidance that will allow them to receive the Advanced Environmental Law Certificate while pursuing courses relevant to sustainable business law, including the Business Law Path to Practice and the option to pursue an MBA with the Lubin School of Business as part of the joint JD/MBA program. Haub Law also offers new courses on sustainable business law which include topics such as the definition of ESG, corporate responsibility and the triple bottom line; the role of the corporate board in achieving sustainability; social impact investing and ESG ratings; and ESG and climate disclosures, voluntary ESG reporting and risk management. Importantly, Hub Scholars will also have access to a wide network of Haub Law alumni, Lubin alumni, the Hub’s Advisory Board, and subsequent Hub Scholar alumni, who may serve as mentors to new Hub Scholars.

Biographies of Inaugural Class of Hub Student Scholars

Brianna Grimes is a JD candidate at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University. She graduated in 2019 from Syracuse University with a BA in Biology. During law school, Brianna has joined many organizations and is currently a Junior Associate on the Pace Environmental Law Review; President of the Environmental Law Society; Vice Chair, Grading and Scoring, for the National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition; and Environmental Law Society Network Student Liaison for the ABA Section of Energy, Environment and Resources’ Marine Resources Committee. This past summer, she worked as a Maritime & International Law Extern at the United States Coast Guard Judge Advocate General in Washington, DC. Next summer, she will be a Summer Associate at Baker Botts in their Washington, DC office.

Brooke Mercaldi is a JD candidate at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University. In August 2022, Brooke also began her Master’s degree at Yale where she is a Research Assistant at the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and a participant in the Environmental Protection Clinic at Yale Law School; she is pursuing a Business and the Environment specialization. Brooke earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Systems and Sustainability Studies from Southern Connecticut State University in 2020 where she completed her Honors Thesis on the coastal dynamics of the Connecticut shoreline. During her time at Haub Law thus far, Brooke has completed legal internships at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, United States District Court in the Southern District of New York, and ACT Commodities Inc. Brooke has also worked in Haub Law’s Land Use Law Center and Global Center for Environmental Legal Studies and is a Research & Writing Editor for the Pace Environmental Law Review.

Maggie Pahl is a JD candidate at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, pursuing an Advanced Certificate in Environmental Law. She has experience working as a legal intern at the John Jay Legal Services Food and Beverage Law Clinic, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. She served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Judge Vera M. Scanlon at the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York. After graduation, she will take the New York State Bar Examination before beginning a one-year clerkship under the Honorable Judge Gary Potters in the New Jersey Superior Court Family Division. After her clerkship term elapses in August 2024, she is interested in entering the ESG field. She is looking forward to being a part of the inaugural class of Hub Student Scholars and further exploring her career options in sustainable business law.

Aric Prazeres is a JD candidate at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University. Aric has interned for the Investor Rights Clinic, Judge Halpern at the SDNY, and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Divisions of Corporation Finance and Enforcement. Before starting law school, he received his MBA and worked for a company that specialized in corporate bartering. Aric is a Senior Associate for Pace Law Review, and recently participated in the St. John’s FINRA 2022 Securities Dispute Resolution Triathlon where his team won first place in the arbitration round. Last year he served as the law school’s Environmental Law Society Energy and Climate Director, and spends much of his time thinking about the role of blockchain and other technologies in creating sustainable business strategies.

Kasama Star is a JD candidate at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University. She holds a BS in Human Development and Family Studies from Cornell University and an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business. Prior to law school, Kasama had a career in web development and project management. During her time at law school, she has interned for judges at the Southern District of New York and the Third Circuit, presented on Asian American discrimination, and contributed to pro bono work.  She is a productions editor of the Pace Environmental Law Review and has served as president of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Law Student Association and the Immigration Law Society.  Last summer, she was a litigation associate at Fenwick & West and an intern for Second Circuit Staff Attorney’s office. This semester she interned at the Securities and Exchange Commission in Corporation Finance.

Christopher Sudol is a JD candidate at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University. Christopher received his bachelor's degree in history from Montclair State University, where he also minored in business. As an undergraduate, Christopher focused his studies on the intersection of business and the environment in twentieth-century American business practices. Christopher also has a master's degree in history from the University of Wyoming, where his research focused on the environmental impacts of American colonialism. Throughout law school, Christopher has participated in the Haub Law Food and Farm Business Clinic supporting local and sustainable farmers in various matters, in private law firms forming corporations and drafting organizational documents, and with non-profit organizations contributing to developing their diversity programs and efforts. Christopher is interested in a career that supports sustainable environment, social, and governance business practices to solve important issues of the present and the future. This spring, he will be an intern with Paul, Weiss and gain experience in the areas of sustainability and ESG.

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