November 2015 Alumni Highlight

John ShabanJohn Shaban (’93)

Politician.  Founder of non-profit.  Former semi-pro football player.  Environmental Lawyer.  Pace Law alumnus.  Meet John Shaban, a 1993 graduate of Pace Law School.  John grew up in Brooklyn, New York, went to high school in Westchester County, and college in Boulder, Colorado – so attending Pace to continue his education post-undergrad was an easy decision. 

“I enjoyed University of Colorado, but was ready to come back to the east coast to begin the next chapter of my life.  I started CU as an astrophysics major, but graduated with a BA in Political Science.  Law School was a natural next step for me, and I knew for years that I wanted to pursue the law.”

It was also Pace’s strong reputation and expertise in environmental law that reaffirmed John’s choice to attend Pace.  It was the logical choice for him in terms of reaching his end goal – to pursue a legal career, with the necessary background to also focus on environmental law.

As a student, John excelled.  He was consistently on the Dean’s List, was a member of Pace Law Review, received the best oralist, best brief and best team awards in the Advanced Moot Court Competition, and was a member of the National Moot Court Team.  He was also one of the founders of the Pace Law Rugby Club.  During his second year, John also served as a Judicial Clerk in the Second Department of the Supreme Court of the New York Appellate Division as part of Pace’s clerkship program. 

After his second year at Pace, John worked as a summer associate at the well-known firm of Kelley Drye & Warren, which ultimately led to his first post-law school position.  John pursued his environmental interests by partaking in the environmental studies program, ultimately earning a certificate in environmental law.  At the end of his three years at Pace Law, John graduated cum laude

After John’s first legal job with Kelley Drye, he moved to Whitman Breed Abbott & Morgan in their New York City office, where he remained for three years.  From there, he became an associate with Levett Rockwood in Westport, Connecticut.  Ultimately, in 2003, he went back to Whitman Breed – except this time John was a partner and based in their Greenwich, Connecticut office.   John remains at Whitman Breed today.  He is admitted to the New York and Connecticut state and federal courts, and the United States Supreme Court.

John’s practice focuses on commercial litigation, with a strong emphasis on construction litigation, intellectual property protection, securities litigation, corporate governance disputes, employment issues and environmental/energy law.  John notes that his strengths as an advocate for his clients were honed at Pace.  “Pace is where I learned my base skillset as an attorney, and I have built on that foundation ever since.”  John is also a huge supporter of pro bono work and has been honored for his work prosecuting a CERCLA claim on behalf of an indigent client.

In addition to his work as an attorney, John also serves in the Connecticut General Assembly as a State Representative for the 135th Assembly District.  He serves on the Environmental Committee (where he is the Ranking Member), the Judiciary Committee, and the Finance Committee.  John is in the midst of his third term in Hartford, except this year, he is also running for US Congress for Fairfield County Connecticut.  “I consider public service a core part of my practice” Shaban noted.

As if he isn’t busy enough, John is also the founder and president of Athletes in the Community, Inc., a nonprofit organization “focused on teaching underprivileged children to transfer their athletic efforts toward improving their education and life skills.”  He is also a coach and President of the Aspetuck Wildcats youth football – an interest that comes from his background as a former semi-pro football player.

John currently resides in Redding, Connecticut with his wife and their three sons.  

John Shaban - Pace Law Rugby Football Club