September 2016 Alumni Highlight

Stephanie VulloStephanie Vullo ('94) never thought of becoming an attorney while growing up. The only attorneys she knew were on "L.A. Law" and "Law and Order." She graduated from Cornell with a degree in government and history. From there, she landed a position as a congressional aide with the late Bill Green (R., NY). It was while she was helping constituents navigate the government system that she realized she was using the skills that are crucial to lawyering: legal research, analysis of situations, problem solving, and advocacy. "All I needed was the law degree to make it official."

Stephanie applied to masters programs and law schools and decided to accept offers from NYU's Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and Pace Law. Taking an unorthodox approach because the two schools did not offer joint degrees, Stephanie completed her first year of law school at Pace, completed an MPA in Finance and Management at NYU, where she attended NYU Law School as a visiting student, and returned to Pace to earn her law degree. "This was a unique situation which could not have been accomplished without the generous help and understanding of former Dean Barbara Black and Registrar Nilda Rodriguez. I have never forgotten the opportunity they created for me to earn two professional degrees. I worked almost full-time while attending Pace full-time and it was quite a load to manage and I don’t know where I got the energy, but Pace helped make it easier." Despite Stephanie's work commitments, she also made the time to stay involved with her academics. She was a senior member on the Law Review and a ranking scholar. She also was actively involved in various student organizations, founding the Pace Latin Law Students Association (now "LALSA").

It was the coursework at Pace that made a lasting impact on Stephanie. "It wasn't simply mundane classroom instruction – it was real life, putting theory into practice teaching. I will be forever grateful to Pace for preparing me to hit the ground running as a practicing attorney." After graduating from Pace, Stephanie became a senior court attorney with the New York State Supreme Court in Jamaica, New York, eventually leaving that position to work in the Office of the Attorney General as an assistant attorney general. Stephanie would remain there for more than three years and gain what she describes as "some of the best experience a young attorney could have." "I handled cases from the beginning to the end, whether the cases were disposed of by settlement, summary judgment, or trial."

Though Stephanie thoroughly enjoyed her time working for the State, she knew it was not ultimately where she desired to spend the rest of her career. In 2001, Stephanie was hired as an Assistant General Counsel for New York University and was promoted to Associate General Counsel. Again, she found herself acting in all different capacities and loved it – from advisory, to policy and procedures, litigation, training, drafting contracts, and more. "The ten years I spent at NYU was an eye opening experience for me. I felt lucky each day to be using the skills I learned in law school and learning even more at the same time and on top of that to be in an academic setting."

Opportunity came knocking for Stephanie again in 2011 when she was hired as the Assistant Vice President, Executive Legal Counsel, and Labor Designee for Baruch College of the City University of New York. Today, Stephanie is the General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, and Secretary to the Board of Trustees at Brooklyn Law School, a position she began in September of 2014. "In a sense, things have come almost full circle. I am back in a legal academic environment using the legal education that I gained many years ago." Stephanie’s day to day includes providing legal and business-related advice to the senior leadership on a variety of issues, negotiating and reviewing contracts, defending the Law School against judicial and administrative claims,, developing and initiating policies and procedures, and monitoring various activities to ensure compliance with a myriad of laws and regulations.

As for advice to future Pace Law students, Stephanie cannot stress the importance of reaching out and networking. "Make connections and keep in touch with those connections. Reach out to alumni. I love hearing from Pace Law graduates. I have spoken with and assisted many Pace Law graduates and remain able and willing to do so!"

Stephanie resides in New York City with her children and her husband, Chris Standora, Chief Financial Officer for the Bronx District Attorney, Darcel Clark.