October 2015 Alumni Highlight

Jennifer L. Gray ('06)Jennifer L. Gray (’06) explored the idea of becoming an environmental attorney while in undergraduate school at the University of Vermont.  She graduated from UVM with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and a dual minor in political science and philosophy.  While in college, she worked as a file clerk at a law firm in Burlington, Vermont and took a course in environmental law.  Her decision to become a lawyer was reaffirmed during this experience as she saw the inner workings of a full service law firm and learned about some of the federal statutes aimed at protecting our environment. 

Jennifer ultimately chose to apply to and enroll at Pace Law School because of a variety of factors, including location – Westchester being ideal for her in terms of proximity to her hometown in Connecticut and nearness to courts and New York City.  Additionally, as an Environmental Studies major at UVM, Pace was the logical choice for her in terms of pursuing her passion for environmental law.  Once she started at Pace, Jennifer excelled and took advantage of all that Pace had to offer; particularly, the wide variety of experiential learning opportunities. 

As a student, Jennifer participated in the Washington, DC Externship program and spent the summer working at the Environmental Protection Agency.  She recalls this experience as one of the best of her law school career.  While she enjoyed her time at the EPA, she also recognized the value of a well-rounded education and wanted to experience other areas of the law.  As a result, Jennifer secured a legal internship with the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office and later, the Edwin G. Michealian Municipal Law Resource Center.  From there, coupled with taking courses with land-use guru and Pace Law legend, Professor John Nolon, Jennifer knew she wanted to pursue a career in land use and municipal law so as to be involved with issues on a local level. 

After graduating from Pace Law in 2006, Jennifer began her career as an attorney at Keane & Beane, P.C. in White Plains.  Her practice is devoted primarily to the areas of planning and zoning, municipal, and real estate matters, as well as litigation arising from each of those areas.  She also regularly handles complex matters related to compliance with the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).  In addition to representing private applicants before municipal boards, she also serves as counsel to several local planning and zoning boards. 

Jennifer is an active participant in many professional associations as well.  She is a member of the Commercial & Federal Litigation Section, Municipal Law Section, and Young Lawyers Section of the New York State Bar Association.  She is also Co-Chair of the Public Relations, Environmental & Land Use, and Networking Committees of the Westchester Woman’s Bar Association, as well as having served for the past two years as Corresponding Secretary and Editor-in-Chief of the WWBA’s monthly newsletter.  She frequently lectures on issues related to land development and zoning for the Westchester Municipal Planning Federation, New York Planning Federation, and local bar associations.   Notably, Jennifer was selected by the Business Council of Westchester in 2014 to be part of its Rising Stars: 40 Under 40. 

Jennifer’s experience at the Law School was an extremely positive one that “geared her up” for the career she has had so much success in today.  She strongly believes in giving back to her Law School and does so constantly with her time and outreach to other alumni and students.  She is Secretary of the Pace Law School Alumni Association and attends various alumni and student events throughout the year. 

Jennifer currently resides in Connecticut with her husband and her twin boys.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her kids, exploring new places, running, hiking and horseback riding.