Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University Honors Legal Standouts at 27th Annual Law Leadership Dinner

March 18, 2022
2022 Law Leadership Award Recipients
(Left to right) Pace University President Marvin Krislov with Distinguished Service Award recipients Brian S. Hermann and Mayo Bartlett, Haub Impact Award recipient John C. Lettera ’99, and Haub Law Dean Horace E. Anderson Jr.

The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University honored three distinguished leaders of the legal community, as well as outstanding young alumni, during its 27th Annual Law Leadership Dinner, held in person once again at the Rye Country Club on March 10, 2022. The celebration was the law school’s most successful fundraiser in history, raising vital funds in support of student scholarships.

The Law Leadership Dinner, first held in 1995, is the signature fundraiser for Haub Law and provides the setting for the presentation of the Distinguished Service Award, which honors individuals or organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the legal community, as well as the Rising Star Award, recognizing excellence in practice among alumni in the first 15 years after graduation. This year, Haub Law introduced the inaugural Haub Impact Award to honor an individual who has made a lasting impact on the Haub Law community.

More than 250 alumni, faculty, students, elected officials and members of the judiciary, and distinguished lawyers attended the event. Among this lively crowd of community leaders, a spirit of service and celebration was palpable.

“The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University has produced generations of talented, committed attorneys,” said Pace University President Marvin Krislov. “We’re proud that our alumni and friends have supported us in such a spectacular way. The generosity of our honorees and sponsors speaks volumes about their commitment to Haub Law, to the legal community, and to the future of the profession.”

The 2022 Distinguished Service Award was presented to Mayo Bartlett '92, Principal Attorney at the Law Offices of Mayo Bartlett, PLLC, and to Brian S. Hermann, a 1991 graduate of Pace University’s Lubin School of Business and a current Partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP. The first-ever Haub Impact Award was presented to John C. Lettera ’99, Founder & CEO, RealFi Financial, LLC.

A member of the School’s Board of Visitors, Mayo Bartlett was commended for his impactful work in human rights. A former Westchester County prosecutor, Mayo is a criminal defense lawyer and civil rights attorney. Over the course of his career, he has built strong professional relationships throughout the Westchester County legal community, using his platform to advocate for change in the legal system. He has demonstrated an unwavering commitment in the fight against discrimination and hate crimes, and works for promoting equal access to justice, inmate rights, and police reform.

Brian Hermann, who also received the Distinguished Service Award, has had a prominent career with Paul, Weiss, which represents some of the world’s largest publicly and privately held corporations, financial institutions and asset managers, and clients needing pro bono assistance. Recalling his humble upbringing and his journey to partner at an AM100 law firm, he credits his early success to hard work and a good education at Pace University. He has since been committed to giving back and opening doors for young and disadvantaged lawyers seeking careers in “Big Law.” The dinner’s emcee Paul Saunders, a member of the law school’s Board of Visitors and a retired partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, credited Brian and his firm as a “symbol of the best our profession can become.”

John C. Lettera was presented with the Haub Impact Award by Anthony Balbo ’18 and Sabrina Blefgen ’19 who are now employed by his firm, RealFi Financial, LLC. These alums are just two of 16 Haub Law graduates who John has hired and mentored over the past decade. John has had a successful 27 year career in real estate debt originations and acquisitions as well as equity investing, founding and has successfully managing two financing funds worth over $100 million. He is a member of the School’s Board of Visitors, an adjunct professor at the Law School, and a generous donor to the Law School, recently providing a five-year grant to name the law school’s Investor Rights Clinic. In 2013, he also received the law school’s Distinguished Service Award. Ever a champion for the law school, John’s remarks challenged alumni at the dinner to tell their stories and represent the Pace Law name proudly and, as lawyers, to “do good, besides just doing well.”

“John has gone above and beyond to support our students and has made a truly meaningful impact at the Law School, sharing not only his resources, but his time, intellect, and connections for the benefit of the school,” said Dean Anderson. “We are grateful for his passion and conviction. He is a mentor for our students and role model for all of us.”

2022 Rising Start
(Left to right) 2022 Rising Stars: Fatima Silva ’08, Cherie Phoenix-Sharpe ’07, Haub Law Dean Horace E. Anderson Jr., Kevin Sylvester ’14, Cayleigh Eckhardt ’15, Michael Bauscher ’10 (not pictured)

An early highlight of the dinner was the presentation of the Rising Star Award to: Cherie Phoenix-Sharpe ’07, General Counsel to Connecticut Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz; Fatima Silva ’08, Managing Attorney at Silva Law and Co-Host of Reasonable Doubt on Investigation Discovery at Discovery Inc.; Michael Bauscher ’10, Partner at Carter Ledyard; Kevin Sylvester ’14, Chief of Police at Ossining Police Department; and Cayleigh Eckhardt ’15, Attorney-Advisor at US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“This award is always a proud moment for so many of us at the Law School,” said Dean Anderson. “These five successful alumni represent what our mission is all about. By already demonstrating leadership in the profession and a commitment to giving back to those who follow in their footsteps, they are sure to leave a substantial and lasting influence upon the legal community, and the broader public.”

Sponsors of the 2022 Law Leadership Dinner included: Susan Stoner Brown, RealFi Financial LLC and its Founder and CEO John Lettera, Bleakley, Platt & Schmidt, LLP and Cuddy & Feder, LLP, Balbo Management Group, Mayo Bartlett, Class of '92, Broadfield Realty Capital, DelBello Donnellan Weingarten Wise & Wiederkehr LLP, Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP, Fontana Giannini, LLP, Freedom Land Title Agency, Goldschmidt & Genovese, LLP, Mavrides, Moyal, Packman & Sadkin, LLP, Senator Shelley Mayer, John T. O'Connor, Class of '86, Keane & Beane, P.C., Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, Hon. Terry Jane Ruderman '80 and Jerry Ruderman, and Mike Tellone.

View photos from the event

About Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University
Pace University’s Elisabeth Haub School of Law offers JD and Masters of Law degrees in both Environmental and International Law, as well as a Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) in Environmental Law. The school, housed on the University’s campus in White Plains, NY, opened its doors in 1976 and has over 9,000 alumni around the world. The school maintains a unique philosophy and approach to legal education that strikes an important balance between practice and theory. Haub Law launched its Environmental Law Program in 1978, and it has long been ranked among the world’s leading university programs, with a current #1 ranking by U.S. World and News Report.

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