Success Stories

Shari B. Hochberg '12: Going For It

Law Clerk, United States District Court, Southern District of New York

Shari B. Hochberg ’12 knew from the time she was twelve years old (if not sooner) that she wanted to be a lawyer. Choosing Haub Law due to its unique geographical location and proximity to both numerous law firms and the courts, Shari found it to be the perfect fit. Now, as a career law clerk with the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Shari shares with us why a clerkship is the best legal experience you can get and how no two-days are alike.

Did you always want to be a lawyer? I knew I wanted to be a lawyer at least since I was twelve years old. I was asked to write an essay in the sixth grade about what I wanted to be when I grew up and I wrote, among other things, that my occupation would be “Courtroom Ruler” and that I would be “known throughout the state of New York” for my trial skills. Influenced by a passionate, brilliant English teacher I had when I was a junior at the Bronx High School of Science, I sought to pursue journalism for a brief period. But by sophomore year of college, an internship with the Special Litigation Division of the Federal Public Defender Service reinforced my desire to go to law school and become an attorney. Even without yet having a degree, I saw the real impact that my dedication and work ethic could have on marginalized communities and the public at large, and I was sold on the career path.

Why did you choose Haub Law? I graduated college toward the end of the Great Recession, when the job market had not yet rebounded, and employment prospects were grim throughout all industries. With my mind focused on future employment, geography first drew me to Haub Law – because between NYC and Albany, there’s only one law school, but there are tons of law firms. I felt a sense of security that I would be able to utilize Haub Law’s geographical advantage to obtain internship opportunities and post-bar employment. I was also deeply interested in pursuing public interest law and litigation, in particular. Haub Law’s Public Interest Law Center, clinic opportunities, career counseling, and commitment to the growth and success of its students solidified my choice.

And, once you got to Haub Law – how was your experience? Haub Law was a perfect fit for me. The school afforded me a work-life balance, such that I could pursue extra- and co-curricular activities and internships while maintaining my coursework. Haub Law enabled me to launch a chapter of the Unemployment Action Center, so that I could continue representing individuals in Unemployment Insurance hearings before Administrative Law Judges while also training other law students to do the same. I was given the opportunity to serve as Editor-in-Chief of the Pace International Law Review as well as publish my own law review article. I developed strong relationships and made friends at Haub Law that are still some of my best friends today.

You are a Law Clerk in the US District Courts for the SDNY – what is your day to day like? I can’t give away all the secrets, but I can tell you that I work on every type of case filed in federal court, preparing orders, drafting written opinions and bench rulings, preparing the judge for conferences, arguments, hearings, trials, criminal sentencings, advising him on legal issues and briefing him on the positions of the litigants appearing before us. I like to think of my role as essentially counsel to the judge. And in my particular role as a career clerk, I am expected to be involved in everything happening in Chambers – including supervising interns, training new law clerks, managing ethics and conflicts matters, calendaring, event planning, and general office management.

What advice would you give students who want to pursue a clerkship? Go for it! First, if you haven’t already pursued a judicial internship, I’d suggest applying for one while you’re in law school. It will help you decide if a clerkship is right for you (and it also can’t hurt having that on your resume). I’d also advise students to work on creating a well-rounded, diverse, and interesting resume and always carefully crafting your cover letters: judges and their staff really do read them, and when you write something that demonstrates that you’ve done your research about us, it just may give you the leg up.

You often hear it said that a clerkship is amongst the best legal experience you can get – why is that? There is simply no other job that gives you the opportunity to immerse and educate yourself in this many diverse areas of the law. Every day is a chance to see and learn about legal issues that you wouldn’t ordinarily come across when working in a discrete practice area. For example, in just one day this week, I worked on an ADA discrimination case, a narcotics conspiracy case, a civil rights case, a Fair Credit Reporting Act case, and a personal injury case. I do not think I would have had the opportunity to prepare for a murder trial while I was practicing commercial litigation – but here, I can. The job demands a commitment to finding the right answer and explaining it clearly, requiring you to sharpen your research and writing skills. You are also surrounded by great legal minds who are eager to share their knowledge.

There is also no other job that lets you get behind the curtain and see how the courts work; how cases proceed from beginning to end; how motions actually get decided; how judges think; what judges want you, as a lawyer, to tell them, etc. In a time when only 1-2% of cases go to trial, we prepare for multiple trials monthly. A clerkship truly is the best legal experience you can get.

What do you like to do in your spare time? I am an avid television watcher and a big fan of unwinding with friends and family. I love to explore the beautiful Hudson Valley with my husband and we frequently end up at Muscoot Farm for quality time with the goats and the other incredible animals there.

Madison Lane '25

A Natural Advocate

A 2L with a passion for becoming a criminal prosecutor, this semester, you can often find Haub Law student Madison Lane in New York City. “I am externing at the New York County District Attorney’s Office in Manhattan, conveniently located near Pace’s undergraduate campus, 1 Pace Plaza. Often, I spend time studying at 1 Pace Plaza before heading to my externship, where I have gained invaluable experience in the field.” Through Haub Law's Prosecution Externship course, Madison is receiving course credit for this experience. Although she has a passion for criminal law, Madison would like to explore the other side of the legal spectrum and will intern this summer with a private civil litigation firm in White Plains, an opportunity she obtained through the on-campus interview process offered at Haub Law.

Madison has always been confident that she would like to pursue a career as a lawyer. She embarked on her law school journey two weeks following her undergraduate graduation and started as a January admit student at Haub Law in 2023. “I continued full steam ahead and took courses over the summer to become a 2L in the fall. So far, I have loved the close-knit environment that Haub Law fosters. I have had the opportunity to become close with professors and other faculty members. There are endless opportunities and resources to take advantage of both on and off campus.”

Alongside her studies, Madison is actively involved in Haub Law’s Advocacy Program and participates in several mock trial competitions, which occupy a significant portion of her time. “It is a big commitment and very demanding, but I would not trade it for anything else. I have had the opportunity to compete in the Tournament of Champions (Fall 2023), an invite-only mock trial competition hosted by the University of Houston. I also competed as a witness for the National Trial League Competition this semester (Spring 2024). The team won the regular season and the championship title for the first time since the school joined the competition in 2020, making the advocates national champions. I also competed in the American Association for Justice student advocacy trial competition this semester (Spring 2024). I advocated for both sides of the case, plaintiff and defense, as just a 2L, and advanced to the regional finals. This program has been a fantastic opportunity to improve litigation skills before entering the workforce.”

Not one to slow down, Madison is also a Junior Associate for Pace International Law Review and is writing a note on the clash between international cultural traditions and the enforcement of universal human rights. She is also a representative for the law fraternity, Phi Alpha Delta, at Haub Law and was this organization's Vice President and Treasurer while she was an undergraduate student.

Mentorship has been a critical aspect of Madison’s experience at Haub Law, and she is paying it forward through her participation in Haub Law’s peer mentor program and as a Dean Scholar. A Dean Scholar is an upper-level student who conducts weekly review sessions with 1L students to supplement their regular class instruction. “My experience as a 1L student with Dean Scholars was memorable. Being in contact with another student who had been in the same shoes just a semester before was comforting and reassuring. I knew they intended to help me best understand the material, and all of them had worked hard to do so. I think Dean Scholars are unique to Haub Law and have significantly influenced my success in courses and what I have accomplished here at Haub so far. I am so happy to help provide that same reassurance now as a Dean Scholar for Criminal Law.”

Rounding out Madison’s experience at Haub Law so far has been her participation in a Civil Rights Field Study. “One of the most memorable experiences I have had at Haub Law is the recent opportunity to participate in a Civil Rights Field Study and travel to Montgomery and Birmingham, Alabama, to learn more about the civil rights movement. I applied to participate in this course, was selected, and, thanks to a generous anonymous donor, attended at no cost of my own. I was able to walk in the footsteps of those who fought for justice and equality and visit historical sites and landmarks that shed light on the struggles and triumphs of the civil rights movement. The trip broadened my perspective, challenged my preconceptions, and inspired me to advocate for change.”

Although it is hard to believe Madison has any free time, she also enjoys crocheting and spending quality moments with her friends. “I also enjoy crime-related shows on Netflix, which should be no surprise!” As for advice for incoming law students, she would encourage them to come in knowing that the path forward will be challenging and competitive, but always make sure to stop and reflect on what works best for them and be proud of all they are accomplishing.

Faculty Focus: Professor Leslie Y. Garfield Tenzer

Professor Leslie Tenzer started her journey at Haub Law in 1986 as a Lecturer of Law, before joining officially as a professor in 1990. Most recently, Professor Tenzer was named the Luk-Cummings Family Faculty Scholar (2021-2023) and the James D. Hopkins Professor of Law (2019-2021). Professor Tenzer's scholarship and teaching is known to bridge the worlds of theory and practice, most recently with a particular focus on regulating conduct in the digital age. Her other scholarly and research interests include constitutional regulation, criminal punishment for emotional harm, social media law, and affirmative action regulation. A favorite in the classroom, she has taught a number of courses during her tenure at Haub Law, including Commercial Law Article 2, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Torts, and Social Media Law. In addition, Professor Tenzer is the host of two popular legal podcasts, Law to Fact, and Legal Tenzer: Casual Conversations on Noteworthy Legal Topics. When she isn't in the classroom, you can find Professor Tenzer staying active - whether it be through yoga, golf, and or even a mini-triathalon. Learn more about Professor Tenzer in this Q&A.

You have taught at Haub Law for quite some time, can you tell us about how that started?

I have been working for Haub Law for too long to admit! I began as a legal research and writing professor and then left to work for the city of New York. While there, I drafted legislation including the window bars law and the very first no-smoking law. I returned to Haub Law and have had the good fortune of teaching criminal law, constitutional law, entertainment law, tort law, contracts, sales and now social media law.

Your research interests and areas of expertise include commercial law, social media law, criminal law, and more – what is it about those areas that hold your interest?  

I am always interested in what is on the horizon. While in law school, I wrote about reporting early election results.  It was an issue at the time because the major networks would report the results from the east coast states before the polls on the west coast states closed and many argued that the practice deterred west coast electors from voting. I wrote a paper on the issue for the law review and it was selected for publication. It was so timely that right before the paper went to print, congress adopted a law prohibiting the reporting of early election returns. Since that time, I have always looked to write about things that are very timely.  Social Media fit the bill when I started thinking about it in 2006.

Where do you see the future of social media law heading?  

This is such an exciting time for the legality of social media. Until about 2 or 3 years ago, social media posed some interesting issues like, how to sanction jurors who tweet, whether schools can punish students for off campus posts, etc. But more recently, the Supreme Court has had to reckon with Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which provides social media sites with immunity from lawsuits for anything posted on their sites.  Two cases last term and four this term deal with Section 230. No one knows how to fix it, and I suspect the Supreme Court will not be able to offer a remedy to those who want to sue a social media website either.

In 2017, you launched your own podcast, Law to Fact, and then more recently, you became the host of Legal Tenzer: Casual Conversations on Noteworthy Legal Topics, which was created in collaboration with West Academic. What peaked your interest in starting a podcast and what is the goal of Legal Tenzer?

I started my podcasts because I wanted to offer students a way to learn while they could work-out or drive in their car. West Academic enjoyed my original podcast, Law to Fact, so much that they asked me to host a podcast for them. That podcast is Legal Tenzer, and I am thrilled that both podcasts, which are available on almost all major podcast platforms, are very well received. In Law to Fact, students enjoyed a candid view on all things law school and relevant legal topics. With Legal Tenzer, I feel fortunate that I get to discuss such a range of timely legal topics with a variety of experts – from artificial intelligence law, to rethinking the law school curriculum, to environmental governance, and more.

Why did you want to become a professor?  

At the University of Florida, where I attended law school, 3Ls taught legal research and writing. I loved it so much that I wanted to continue to teach. I spent a year at the Fashion Institute of Technology teaching business law, and that solidified my passion for teaching. I love teaching students and engaging them in the relevancy of the law. When students come to law school, they may not realize the full extent that a subject like torts applies to their everyday life. By the time they leave my class, it is impossible for them to not see a potential tort throughout their daily activities!

You recently published an article, A 180 on Section 230: State Efforts to Erode Social Media Immunity, with a current Haub Law student, how did that collaboration develop?

I was so impressed with my research assistant's research and quality of work, Hayley Margulis, that I thought it was only fair to ask her to partner with me rather than support me. The article writing process became a true collaboration. While I am tasked with teaching my students, I learn so much from them as well. Part of being a successful professor is being open to learning new things. 

What advice do you have for law students?  

For law students generally, I would say give law school your all. Read all the cases and think about them, take every class you can enroll in. You are only in law school for 3 years and once out, lawyers tend to practice a very discreet area and no longer have the chance to explore new legal issues. Regarding reading the cases, I think students deprive themselves of a proper legal education when they rely on Quimby or other canned briefs. The purpose of law school is to learn to think like a lawyer and the best way to do it (the only way in my opinion) is to read the analysis of cases and think about how judges got to the rule they got to.

Aside from law, how do you spend your spare time?

I love exercise, yoga, golf, knitting, and listening to music. I completed a century ride around Lake Tahoe, and a mini-triathlon before that.  They were years ago, but I enjoyed the challenges and never miss the chance to tell people about them!

Faculty Focus

Professor Barbara Atwell

Professor Barbara Atwell joined the faculty at Haub Law in 1986. A health law teacher and scholar, she was also appointed as the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in 2009. Prior to joining Haub Law, she clerked in the sixth circuit and worked as an associate with Arnold and Porter. Now, in her 38th year of teaching at Haub Law, Professor Atwell enjoys all of the courses she teaches, with Bioethics and Medical Malpractice having a slight edge as her favorite. Learn more about Professor Atwell's journey to law, her scholarship, and things you may not know about her such as her passion for Feng Shui, in this Q&A.

Q: What was your journey to ultimately becoming a professor at Haub Law?

A: After receiving my undergraduate degree from Smith College, I worked at IBM for three years.  From there, I went to Columbia Law School.  After graduating, I clerked for a year on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati, Ohio.   Still unsure about my career path, I decided to move to Washington D.C. and joined Arnold and Porter as an associate.  While I was in law school, I thought about pursuing a career in academia, but it wasn’t until I was working at the firm that I began to seriously consider it again. I had a friend who started teaching a few years before I did, and he encouraged me to pursue a career in teaching. I ended up at Pace in part because of the location, and in part because of the people I met when I interviewed here.

Q: What was your experience working at the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit?

A: Working on the Sixth Circuit was amazing.  I had the opportunity to watch many oral arguments – in some ways, it’s like watching a lot of Moot Court arguments because the Sixth Circuit is, of course, an appellate court, so you are watching lawyers come in and make oral arguments every few weeks or so. My responsibilities as a judicial clerk included drafting opinions and writing bench memos.  In other words, I did a lot of legal writing, which was quite beneficial for my subsequent positions.

Another invaluable part of my clerkship experience were the people I worked with.  Judge Nathaniel Jones had three clerks, and we became close friends, so in addition to being a great learning experience, my time as a clerk was like working with family.

Q: Would you recommend clerking as an entry point before getting out into the legal workforce?

A: Absolutely! Every judge and every clerkship is different, but often times it gives the clerk an opportunity to refine his or her research and writing skills. If you have a chance to clerk for a judge, you should definitely take it because I don’t believe there is anything else quite like it. For me, it truly was a wonderful experience.  It also enhances your resume.

Q: What made you want to practice health law?

A: There wasn’t one single precipitating factor that pushed me toward health law. I clerked in the midst of the Reagan Administration when people were losing social security disability benefits.  I remember seeing cases where people who, for example, complained of pain that prevented them from working were suddenly losing their benefits.  My recollection is that some of these people lost their disability benefits without any documented change in their medical conditions.  Later, at Pace, I began teaching health law when the school was building up the health law program. I volunteered to teach health law, and I’ve been doing so ever since.

Q: What is your favorite course to teach?

A: Well, I really enjoy teaching Bioethics and Medical Malpractice -- that is probably my favorite class. To be honest, I really enjoy all the health law classes.  I’ve also begun to teach Poverty Law, which I also find quite rewarding.

Another course that was special to me was a course I created a few years ago called Great Migrations.  I think it was just a 1 credit course, and it was a lot of work because there was no casebook, but I taught things like the Chinese Exclusion Act, Japanese Internment, Operation Wetback, etc.

Q: How did you get involved with diversity and inclusion at Haub Law?

A: I was appointed as director of diversity in 2009.  I was appointed to help ensure that the Law School is a welcoming and inclusive environment for people of all genders, races, cultures, ages and abilities.  As Director of DEI, I serve as a resource for students, faculty, and staff and regularly meet with heads of student organizations, assist in planning events, and advocate for certain institutional changes on campus. My role runs the gamut and I truly enjoy it.

Q: You have a number of publications, which were your favorite to work on?

A: The last one I wrote was very interesting to me, From Public Health to Public Wealth: A Case for Economic Justice. This article was in the process of being edited when the pandemic hit.  And since the article has a section on public health, I was happy to be able to edit it before the final publication and add in the current information we had at the time. Things changed so rapidly, though, that even as I added new information, it was quickly becoming dated!

In some ways my article Mainstreaming Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the Face of Uncertainty was my favorite to work on because I am a big believer in complementary and alternative medicine. Teaching health law gave me insights into how traditional medicine and complementary and alternative medicine can fit nicely together.

Q: What advice do you have for students?

A: My biggest piece of advice would be to really take advantage of all the opportunities that are available to you as a law student. This includes getting to know professors, participating in student organizations, and getting involved in work outside of the classroom (while not slacking off on class work).

Q: Can you tell me about your certification in Feng Shui?

A: I think it was 2004 when I went to feng shui school. There is a bit of background that goes into this – in 2000, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I attended a yoga class. My yoga instructor had books about Feng Shui. At the time I didn’t know anything about it.  My journey of healing led me to acupuncture and to feng shui. In some ways, they are similar in that they are both focused on energy.  Acupuncture balances the body’s energy, and feng shui is about balancing the energy of our physical spaces. Feng Shui is really about balance and de-cluttering. I haven’t had time to do much Feng Shui in recent years. When I retire, I will probably dedicate some of my time to Feng Shui.

Q: What is something that your students or fellow faculty do not know about you?

A: I’ll give you a couple of personal tidbits that not everyone knows. First, my children are adopted and so I am a strong advocate for adoption as a way to form a family.  Both of my children have met their birth mothers, and my daughter also recently met her birth father.

Second, my partner is a man I started dating in 2014, but we met back in 1976 at the beginning of our senior year in college. I was at Smith College, and he attended Williams College.  We met at a party and remained friends. Although we lost touch for a few years in the middle as we each got married, had kids, etc., we never lost touch for very long.  You never know when a longstanding friendship may evolve into a life-long partnership.

Natalie Lara '25

Bridging Science, Policy, and People

Natalie Lara ’25 is a first generation Mexican American whose parents both came to the United States as young adults. Natalie was the first in her entire extended family to attend undergraduate school and now is the first to attend law school.

Originally, Natalie wanted to become a climate researcher, but after taking her first environmental policy course she learned more about environmental law and was intrigued. “Environmental law really stood out to me, because my professor had explained it as a way to bridge science, policy, and people,” said Natalie. “I knew I liked working with people, but I also wanted to advocate for better environmental conditions. Furthermore, growing up in South Florida, hurricanes were a common occurrence. I saw how climate change was affecting my community and other communities like mine, and I realized that I wanted to use the law to advocate for a sustainable future for all.”

So far, Natalie has had a very well rounded and positive experience at Haub Law. She finds the professors engaging and enthusiastic and all are willing to go beyond the classroom and act as mentors to help their students navigate their legal careers. “Professor Narula in particular always inspires me,” said Natalie. “In addition to her impressive legal career and despite any injustices that she's confronted throughout her life, she is still kind to everyone, and she reminds us to do the same. She reminds her students that it's important to process emotions as we feel them, whether we have great wins or great losses. This has been invaluable to remember.”

During her time at Haub Law, Natalie has participated in the Land Use Law Center legal externship and helped to develop the Climate Resilient Development workshop series. She is also president of the Environmental Law Society here at Haub Law, secretary of the Latin American Law Students Association, and Hospitality Vice-Chair for the National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition.

Natalie is pursuing an Advanced Certificate in Environmental Law and when she graduates in 2025, she hopes to find herself working in environmental law. “I would love to end up at a firm full of people who are inspired by the law and continue to challenge themselves.”

School-life balance is important to Natalie and even as a 1L last year she was able to read 100 books for leisure! “It is important to dedicate time to focus on yourself outside of your studies,” said Natalie.

Ellie Taranto '24

Inspired by a Life of Advocating for Others

It was 4L Ellie Taranto’s own personal journey that inspired her to pursue a career in law. “My older (twin) brother, Dennis, is an expert when it comes to all things YouTube, Raffi, Thomas the Train, and Disney World. Dennis has autism and has limited communication,” said Ellie. “He requires constant supervision for his safety and attends a day program with other adults with different abilities. My mother has been an amazing support system for my siblings as we navigate our lives. When a member of your family has special needs, your entire family's life depends on putting their needs first.” Witnessing her mother first-hand navigate the legal system to ensure that her brother Dennis had proper guardianship, care, and benefits inspired Ellie to want to pursue a career that similarly helped others.

“My first legal job out of undergrad was as a legal assistant at a workers' compensation and Social Security law firm,” said Ellie. “I loved being able to help people in this capacity during difficult periods of their life, but more importantly I learned so much about the legal system.” This job was a turning point for Ellie as she realized that it was through the law that she desired to help others. She has continued to solidify this decision through then working full time as a paralegal in personal injury and insurance recovery prior to and during her time at law school. 

When she applied to law school, of primary importance to her was her ability to not just continue to work while she attended school, but to have the ability to participate in important law school experiences even as a “non-traditional” student. “With the help of Adjunct Professor Lisa Denig, I was able to complete a Guided Externship (or, a "flex"-ternship as Professor Denig and I refer it to) during my 3L year.” Since she was working full-time, Ellie could not participate in a traditional externship or clinic, however, the guided externship allowed her the opportunity to receive class credit while being placed at a company outside of the school, during non-traditional working hours. “This opportunity allowed me to gain invaluable experience in a new and unfamiliar field to me on a schedule that worked best for me. I am forever grateful for that flexibility.”

Ellie is also on Pace Law Review, where she is serving as the Executive Promotions Editor for this school year as they’re hosting the Symposium later this Spring. Ellie notes that “Pace Law Review (and our other two law reviews as well) went above and beyond to make sure that Flex students were offered the same opportunities that were traditionally for full-time students.”

For Ellie, knowing she wanted a career helping others led her to explore law as an option, but it was her work experience that solidified that choice. “By gaining work experience in the legal field, I not only solidified my interest in law, but I also gained other skills that have benefited me in my studies and will ultimately help in my career. I would encourage others thinking about law school to consider volunteering or gaining work experience in law as well before applying to law school to ensure their interest in the field.”

In her spare time, Ellie loves utilizing her Peloton, spending time with her husband and stepson, and taking long walks with her (rescue) dogs, Tucker and Cooper.

Donna Lanzetta ’86

A Sustainable Climate Future
CEO/Founder, Manna Fish Farms, Inc.

Donna Lanzetta ’86 grew up on Eastern Long Island surrounded by water, but it wasn’t until she was an adult that the ocean took on more than a recreational meaning in her life. “After thirty years of civil litigation culminating in stress related health issues, I decided to make a concerted effort to destress and eat healthier – that included major changes to my diet, including eating more seafood,” said Donna. “As I looked closer, I was shocked to see our shellfish and eelgrasses have virtually disappeared, with 99% gone. At the same time, our wild capture fisheries are at maximum sustainable capacity. Then I learned that the United States is importing over 90% of our seafood.  I studied the matter further to learn about ocean farming, and its potential to feed the world with responsibly raised protein, protein grown in balance with the environment. Considering sustainability, responsibility, and protein production in the face of climate change, I realized that, done right, ocean farming is part of the solution.”

Donna started a self-proclaimed independent study program, learning as much as she could about seafood and sustainable production. “I began to travel within and outside of the United States to attend conferences and learn more – at the time there was a lack of formal education programs on this topic.” Donna was fortunate enough to have had the invaluable benefit of touring working farms around the world. “I learned about organic production in Canada, about seafood certifications, and more. I also learned about the negative – the illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) seafood, about seafood fraud and mislabeling. The United Nations SDGs brought it all together for me, and I was compelled to take action.”

Today, Donna is CEO & Founder of Manna Fish Farms, Inc., along with a number of related companies. Her mission: feed the world with sustainably grown seafood. “It’s time to build science-based support for ocean mariculture proving that protein production is possible in the ocean in balance with the environment.” To do this, The Manna Companies will use the latest technology to support responsible behavior and ensure balanced operations. “We must work with one another to site farms in the least impactful locations. The time is now. Seafood protein is the fastest growing protein sector, and the most environmentally sustainable protein to feed our growing world population. Consider it: Seafood is the last protein that we commercially hunt for, and the farming of seafood is a natural progression, on land and at sea. Let’s develop an ocean farming industry that operates in balance with the environment, without chemicals and overcrowding.”

Donna Lanzetta '86
Donna Lanzetta, Manna CEO, "intervening" at the United Nations in support of responsible ocean farming

Recently, Donna became an advisory board member on Haub Law’s Sustainable Business Law Hub. To serve and give back to her alma mater was important to her. “It has been uplifting to watch Haub Law’s Environmental Law Program grow over the years to national acclaim. The Sustainable Business Law Hub is a potential platform to teach about the importance of a sustainable future, including sustainable aquaculture and permitting, as well as the legal issues surrounding those practices. Most importantly, I feel it is a forum where I might contribute, with a hope to influence positive change and responsible aquaculture industry development.”

As a business owner, Donna works seven days a week, taking time off when she can for church, friends, travel, and her new grandchildren. Donna acknowledges that time management is a challenge, “I am so excited about what I am doing, building the Manna Companies and brands, that I forget to schedule time for my family and myself.” When asked about advice for future law students, Donna notes that it is important to learn the foundations, and then build upon them, which has propelled her towards her goal of a sustainable and climate smart future.

Manna Fish
Manna Ocean Engineer Zachary Davonski with Angelos Apeitos, Hatchery Manager at The University of Southern Mississippi

Dan Ruben ‘91

Executive Director, Equal Justice America

When Dan Ruben was a 2L he read a small article in the NY Times about a program at another law school where students were raising money to fund summer public interest jobs. A self-starter, committed to public interest, he thought this program was a great idea and decided to start a similar one at Haub Law, which today, we know as PILSO.

“To get the program off the ground, I went knocking on the office doors of every faculty member. I was surprised and very pleased that nearly all of them took out their checkbooks and made a contribution,” said Dan. “I realized that this idea could grow beyond fundraising at the level of a single school.” Dan describes starting PILSO as the highlight of his law school career. “The issue driving it—the lack of adequate legal representation for so many Americans—is so compelling, the need is so great, that I imagined such an organization could be successful on a national scale. I realized almost right away what I’d be doing when I graduated.”

In 1993, Dan launched Equal Justice America.  His goal upon founding EJA was “to put as many law students and graduates as possible to work on behalf of people in need.” Dan wanted to help law students committed to public interest get hands-on experience that would help them achieve their career goals and thereby the greater good.

“I wanted to see our EJA Fellows become inspired by the work and turn their Fellowship experience into careers devoted to helping others in need. The organization started off modestly but has grown exponentially. In the summer of 1994, EJA awarded five law student fellowships. Since then, more than 6,000 law students have served as Equal Justice America Fellows working with more than 700 legal aid programs across the country. “So many of our EJA Fellows have done exactly what I had hoped.  They’ve devoted their careers to public interest and provide shining examples of how the benefits of our program long outlive the duration of each individual fellowship.”

In more recent years, EJA has started funding post-graduate fellowships. “We currently have post-grad EJA Fellows advocating for domestic violence victims, veterans, young people trying to avoid the school to prison pipeline and human trafficking survivors,” said Dan.  “Another post-grad EJA Fellow’s work is focused on civil rights, racial justice and ending the criminalization of poverty.”

In 2000, Equal Justice America partnered with the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University to establish its Disability Rights Clinic. “I was grateful to the Law School and wanted to give back.”  One of EJA’s Board Members, David Santacroce, was the very first student at Pace to respond to Dan’s call to his fellow students for help launching PILSO. “David and I had conversations with Professor Vanessa Merton way back then and the EJA Disability Rights Clinic was the result of those conversations.”  The Clinic was launched with a major grant and an ongoing commitment from EJA.

Over the years, the EJA Disability Rights Clinic led by Professor Gretchen Flint and more recently Professor Patricia Angley, has helped develop so many students into public interest attorneys and as a result helped so many low-income individuals with disabilities.

When Dan started law school, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. “I was looking for a way to try to do some good. When I had that great success in getting Pace faculty to support PILSO I knew that I was on to something and that I had found a way to use my law degree in a constructive way that would help lots of people who really needed it.”

Over the years, PILSO has remained steadfast in their commitment to helping students launch careers in public service. The student run organization runs public service networking events, career panels, and also collaborates closely with the thriving Public Interest Law Center (“PILC”). PILC was formed at Haub Law in 2009 to unite and expand the public interest programs and career opportunities at the Law School and has continued to grow and expand their initiatives.

In the early 2000’s, Haub Law and PILSO recognized Dan and his trailblazing efforts of founding PILSO and Equal Justice America with a Lifetime Achievement Award. “Dan has done more for the practice of public interest law in this country than any other Pace Law graduate,” Haub Law Professor Vanessa Morton wrote in an e-mail to her faculty colleagues, which was read at the dinner that honored Dan.

Dan Ruben '91

Today, Dan is confident he made the right career path for himself in founding PILSO and ultimately, EJA. “The U.S. Constitution rightly guarantees that criminal defendants will be provided with legal counsel.  There is no such right to counsel for people who are unable to afford lawyers in legal matters involving basic human needs - such as shelter, sustenance, safety, health, and child custody.

The Legal Services Corporation estimates that 80% of the legal needs of low-income people are not being met. “That justice gap needs to be closed,” said Dan.   “Unfortunately, what EJA is able to do is really just a drop in the bucket. Legal aid programs need to be better funded to meet the need. However, in our own small way, I believe EJA has contributed to a better and more just legal system by encouraging students to make careers serving others and giving them the opportunity to get the experience necessary to have successful public interest careers. Countless thousands of individuals struggling to keep it together in difficult and often desperate situations have received help from our EJA Fellows during their Fellowships and during their careers as public interest attorneys.”

Equal Justice America is celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year.  Please consider a donation at http://www.equaljusticeamerica.org.

Faculty Focus

Professor Louis Fasulo
Director of Advocacy Programs and Professor of Practice in Advocacy

Alumnus. Attorney. Professor. Director of Advocacy Programs. Entrepreneur. Mentor. These are some of the words that can be used to describe Lou Fasulo’s professional life. After graduating from what was then called Pace Law in 1983, Professor Fasulo worked as a Public Defender for the Legal Aid Society in Manhattan for 11 years. He quickly rose in the supervisory ranks to the Position of Director of Staff Development and Training. From there, he founded his own firm while also starting his journey as Director of Advocacy Programs at Haub Law as well as Professor of Practice in Trial Advocacy. Professor Fasulo has tried over 100 cases in state and federal court in both civil and criminal matters ranging from White Collar crimes to Terrorism. He is a true trial attorney, and the courtroom and classroom are where he thrives. For the last 30 years, Professor Fasulo has made an impact on a countless number of Haub Law students and developed a top ranked advocacy program at the Law School.

What drew you to the practice of law?
I always wanted to be a lawyer for as long as I can remember. My dad was a lawyer, and he was my inspiration. I learned what the law practice meant to him and how much he enjoyed helping clients. There was no other career I could imagine myself doing from a very young age.

What was it about Pace that appealed to you when you were applying to law school?
I had friends going to Seton Hall, my dad went to Brooklyn Law, and I felt that I needed a new challenge and my own identity, so I decided to visit Pace. I was impressed with the community and the opportunities. Right away I liked the faculty community, I liked the size, and I just felt it would be a perfect fit. I wanted to begin a more serious academic journey and it worked out perfectly for me.

How did you start teaching and directing the advocacy program at Haub Law?
When I graduated from Haub Law, I went to work at the Legal Aid Society in Manhattan, I served there in a variety of capacities. Along the way, I ran into the then current teacher of trial advocacy at Pace. She was going on trial and needed help in the classroom, so I helped and I loved it. That in turn led to me getting my first class and then Dean Emeritus Richard Ottinger appointed me as the first ever Director of Trial Advocacy at Pace and I have been here since, furthering my involvement along the way. Teaching has always been my greatest passion. I love the courtroom, but I am truly passionate about teaching. It has been a true blessing to be at Pace in the capacity I am. Nothing makes me happier than watching the journey of my students in practice. I am excited when a student invites me to their first trial and shares their professional and personal successes. It is very rewarding to see the positive journey and path so many former students are on.

Lou Fasulo in classroom

What differentiates Haub Law’s advocacy program from other advocacy programs?
We have a deep-rooted commitment in developing the individuality of each advocate and focusing on what personal attributes that advocate brings to the table. We work on developing each individual advocate’s skillset. We are not in the business of creating robotic lawyers. We want to find which skills will best serve that particular law student in their legal career. We expose our students to various techniques and styles so that they can find in themselves what is best for them. We provide great mentorship and opportunities for our students to get experience before graduation. It’s an all-hands-on approach by one of the most dedicated and talented faculty in the country.

What have you learned from your students over the years?
I learn how important the continual path of learning is to being the best lawyer I can be. Every single thing that happens in the classroom I reflect upon, and it helps me to adjust, modify, and sometimes change the things I do in my practice on behalf of my clients. I am also reminded about the pure excitement and energy that I had when I graduated. Being in the classroom and teaching reinvigorates me as to why I chose to continue to be on the path to serving clients and being in the courtroom.

What advice do you have for law students who are interested in pursuing a career in litigation?
My number one advice is good lawyers are good listeners, but great lawyers are great listeners. I encourage the students to be prepared but to listen to what is needed to succeed. That listening may be auditory or might just be picking up on the vibe of a judge or jury.

After 11 years at the Legal Aid Society, you founded your own firm, over 30 years ago. What are the biggest rewards and challenges of having your own firm?
Simply stated it is defining your work world. Who you wish to work with, the cases you choose to work on and creating the atmosphere which encourages collaboration and teamwork all in the effort to serve our clients. The greatest reward is the ability to decide exactly what your practice is going to look like, how you are going to spend your days, and what legal issues you want to invest in. The second greatest reward is the mentorship you are able to provide to so many associates and new attorneys. The ability to have that positive and direct impact on new lawyers is profound. The challenge is the business end of the practice of law. You must be a good businessperson to be able to be successful as a law firm partner.

What makes Haub Law such a special place for you?
The support of the community. As much as I feel like I contribute to Haub Law, the Law School has been extremely supportive of me and the Advocacy Program. When I started, we did not have an advocacy program, but with the support of the deans, the faculty and staff I was able to develop a tremendous, top ranked program that we should all be proud of. Our deans, our faculty, our staff – they are all very supportive of one another. However, the most important element is our students. Our students work hard, respect each other and care as much about our program as I do. They are truly invested. They prove this by giving back to future classes. Haub Law to me means community and from that community come great opportunities and connections. Some of the proudest moments of my professional life have been as a result of my connection to the Law School – having the first-year moot court competition named after me and being honored at the annual law leadership dinner. It is truly a little bit different than every other law school.

You graduated from law school in 1983, 40 years ago, what sort of alumni network do you maintain today?
I stay in touch with my core group of friends who I graduated with and who remain very influential in my life and career, but I have also expanded my network in so many ways. I have met a tremendous number of Pace alumni along the way – students who are now alumni, alumni that graduated in different years than me. I have a large and extensive Pace alumni network, which I value.

Aside from the law, how do you spend your spare time?
My family just bought a house in Italy, so I look forward to spending time there together. I am a huge New York Rangers fan. I truly enjoy traveling and meeting new people. I love going to the theater. I have many entrepreneurial interests. My terrific wife along with my two daughters are my favorite people to spend time with. I am immensely proud of my daughters and all they have accomplished and continue to accomplish. To me, family time is the most important. To be a successful lawyer you must balance professional life with a strong and active personal life

Bryn Goodman '11

Partner, Fox Rothschild LLP

Since 2013, Bryn Goodman has served as co-coach of Haub Law’s team for the prestigious Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot. “Coaching has been an incredibly enriching experience for me because of the valuable lessons I've learned from the students,” said Bryn. “I've found that I've gained just as much, if not more, from coaching as I did when I was a student myself. It's a true pleasure to witness the growth of students over the course of the six-month competition.”

Founded by the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, the Willem C. Vis Moot is the world’s premier international commercial law moot court. Held each spring in Vienna, Austria, the moot involves an arbitration of a dispute arising out of a contract of sale between two parties in countries that are parties to the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods. This moot provides experience in commercial arbitration skills and provides an opportunity for students to develop international commercial law expertise. “Participating students in the Vis moot undergo an academically challenging experience where they gain insights into procedural issues associated with drafting and enforcing arbitration agreements,” said Bryn. “They also acquire knowledge about what to anticipate during an arbitration proceeding and how to navigate the rules of an arbitral institute. The competition offers students not only a chance to enhance their advocacy skills but also an opportunity to understand the intricacies of arbitration and its relationship with domestic enforcement procedures.”

While Bryn was a student at Haub Law, she was very involved in the School’s Trial Advocacy Program and in particular, found her participation on the Vis Team to be transformational. “In the program, I spent two years on the Vis Team, which turned out to be the most rewarding experience during my time in law school. We competed against more than 300 teams from around the world, addressing issues related to the validity of arbitration agreements and breach of contract. While it might sound straightforward, it demanded extensive research and rigorous practice to refine our arguments. This experience was the most effective in preparing me for a legal career, and I believe many others in Pace's Trial Advocacy program share this sentiment.”

Today, Bryn is a partner at Fox Rothschild LLP, a leading national law firm. Her specialized area of practice focuses on employment law, where she offers guidance to companies on potential disputes and various HR-related matters. She represents clients in both federal and state court cases and administrative proceedings. She also notes that ADR is an essential tool for lawyers and in her day-to-day practice. “In my practice, I regularly negotiate and mediate cases. In the labor and employment context, arbitration is also frequently used,” said Bryn. “Many federal courts even mandate mediation as a means to reduce the case load of judges. Whether handling commercial contracts, corporate agreements, or employment contracts, lawyers should be able to assess whether ADR is available and appropriate and the enforceability of a dispute resolution clause. Creative ADR strategies can greatly benefit clients, making it necessary for lawyers to understand how to use it to their advantage to be the best possible advocates.”

Prior to applying to law school, Bryn spent a year in France teaching English and then moved to New York City where she worked as a paralegal. It was Haub Law’s international law certificate program that intrigued her to apply. She continued to work as a paralegal in New York City throughout her first and second years of law school, which she notes made balancing work and classes a constant juggling act.

“During my second year, I also took on the added challenge of joining the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Team. This presented new challenges of learning different writing and oral advocacy skills and working with a team,” said Bryn. “By my third year, I had stopped working outside of school, but I intensified my academic commitments. I became involved in the Investor Rights Clinic, held the position of Managing Editor for the Pace Law Review, served as co-captain of the Vis Moot team, and was a Dean's Scholar. Managing these responsibilities allowed me to develop strong skills in time management and prioritization, ultimately enhancing my legal skills and preparing me for the demands of professional practice.”

Today, as coach of the Vis Moot team, Bryn feels fortunate to have a part in students’ personal and professional development through the competition. “Learning and change are not always easy, but by the end of the program, everyone has made significant progress in their writing and oral advocacy skills. Each year brings new challenges as the competition introduces novel legal issues, and each team exhibits unique dynamics. It is also amazing to keep in touch with many former students and track their success. I feel so lucky to have had an opportunity to coach all these years.”

Bryn’s advice for students or graduates with a particular interest: “Do not be discouraged if you don’t land your dream job right after law school. Any job you take after law school equips you with valuable skills that will likely benefit you throughout your career. Gain experience, but also take steps toward your goal by getting involved, volunteering, networking, joining relevant committees. Focus on building a resume that reflects your ongoing commitment to your desired area of practice, and you'll eventually achieve your goal.”

On the weekends, you can catch Bryn in Central Park running, on a bike ride, or the Peloton if it’s raining, and spending time with her family.

Pages