October 2016 Alumni Highlight

Anne CarpenterAnne Carpenter ('09) graduated from The College of William and Mary in 2002 with a B.A. in English and a minor in Geology. During her final undergraduate year Anne decide to pursue a graduate degree in environmental studies. In January of 2003, Anne enrolled in a master's program at NYU and obtained an M.A. in Environmental Conservation Education, with a focus on policy. Anne then worked for two years as an education and policy coordinator for the New York City Soil and Water Conservation District ("NYCSWCD"). At the NYCSWCD, Anne developed environmental education programs, which she taught to local elementary and high school students. She also worked with agencies such as the New York City Department of Environmental Protection regarding ways to protect and provide access to the City's natural resources. "I got my feet wet with local environmental initiatives in this position, and I learned what goes into implementing and managing environmentally focused education and public access programs. Ultimately, I decided that I wanted to pursue my law degree and focus on the environment from a legal aspect."

Anne knew she wanted a law school with a top-rated environmental law program. "I researched a number of law schools and looked into their environmental programs. It was clear that Pace had a well-established program taught by top scholars and practitioners. I believed Pace was where I would be able to jumpstart my career as an environmental lawyer."

At Pace, Anne took the environmental courses necessary to obtain her certificate in environmental law. She fondly remembers her coursework with Professor John Nolon and now retired, Professor Ann Powers. "I really enjoyed my property class, environmental skills, and the environmental litigation clinic. Though it was challenging, I learned how to connect permit-related technical issues to the underlying legal framework in Skills." Notably, Anne was part of the clinic litigation team that worked on the negotiations between Exxon, Riverkeeper (the clinic's client), and the New York Attorney General's Office in response to the Newtown Creek spill litigation. She worked with the Dan Estrin, co-director of the clinic, to prepare for the settlement negotiations, and to actively participate in those meetings. "Looking back, participating in the environmental litigation clinic was the best sort of experience that you can give a law student. It was completely hands-on."

During law school, Anne also participated in the school's Washington, D.C. summer externship program, during which she was a legal intern with The White House Council on Environmental Quality ("CEQ"). At the CEQ, she worked on the development of national environmental initiatives and policies at the executive level. "The D.C. Internship Program allows Pace students to get an inside view into how environmental law and policy are made." Back at Pace, Anne interned for a semester with EPA Region 2 in the Office of Regional Counsel's New Jersey Superfund Division, and worked on CERCLA enforcement and cost recovery actions. As a Research Assistant for the School's Land Use Law Center, she also analyzed the use of zoning laws to mitigate the impacts of climate change. In her last summer before graduating from Pace, Anne was a summer associate with Hunton & Williams LLP in Washington, DC.

After graduating magna cum laude from Pace, Anne was offered a position with the environmental litigation team at the firm Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP in Washington, DC, where she is now a senior associate. "I focus on environmental and white collar law, especially civil and criminal enforcement. My day-to-day is never stagnant. As part of corporate internal investigations, I have helicoptered to remote oil platforms in Alaska's Cook Inlet to interview workers, and I have worked with clients to learn the technical in's and out's of their business, from refining to home construction. In addition to work on Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act cases, I have participated in administrative hearings before the EPA's Office of Suspension and Debarment, and negotiated administrative resolutions to resolve exclusions from federal contracting following a conviction."

Anne's firm has provided her opportunities to pursue a wide range of legal writing, and she frequently publishes articles and advisories, and has participated in webinars and podcasts. "I enjoy research and writing. I think it is so important to stay up to date on what is going on in your individual field as an attorney. Publishing articles and looking for speaking opportunities is one of the best ways to stay relevant and active in the field." Most recently, Anne was a co-author of the article: "Criminal Prosecution of Environmental and Workplace Safety Incidents Through DOJ's New Worker Endangerment Initiative" published in the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (July 2016), and a co-author of the Clean Air Act Criminal Enforcement chapter in the fourth edition of the ABA's Clean Air Act Handbook (May 2016). In 2012, she was honored with the prestigious Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing for her work on an annual review of environmental criminal cases and trends published each year by Bloomberg BNA.

"If I could give advice to current and future Pace law students, I would tell them to pursue an area of law that they are passionate about. I would also tell them to take courses in law school that will prepare them for their future career as an attorney, and to take advantage of the unique opportunities Pace offers, like the clinic, D.C. externship program, or work with the Land Use Law or Energy and Climate Centers. And, network and stay in touch with the connections you meet while at Pace and through your work– even if it is just a quick email once in a while."

Anne lives in Virginia with her husband and their two-year old daughter. When not working as an attorney, Anne enjoys spending as much time outdoors as possible, including running and hiking, and relaxing with friends and family.