Success Stories

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.

Angelica Cancel '17

A Passion for Advocacy

Passionate about social justice issues from a young age, Angelica Cancel ‘17 knew she wanted to be an advocate, but wasn’t sure what that looked like for her. “I was a Philosophy and Political Science major in college and the pieces just kind of fell into place. I took a few constitutional law classes and found myself really excited about the material,” said Angelica. “From there, I developed mentoring relationships with some attorneys. The idea of going to law school became more of a real possibility and when I thought about it, it felt right.”

Once she enrolled at Haub Law, Angelica knew she was in the right place. “The student-faculty ratio, location in Westchester and proximity to NYC, and the public service and advocacy programs all appealed to me. From the very beginning, Haub Law felt like a community.”  At Haub Law, Angelica was heavily involved in both the Latin American Law Student Association and the Advocacy Program, both of which she describes as crucial to her development as a student and attorney.

Today, Angelica is a staff attorney with the Civil Action Practice at The Bronx Defenders. Her practice focuses on housing, employment, and civil rights. Working with The Bronx Defenders is exactly what Angelica hoped to do – engage with her community and more meaningfully pursue social justice initiatives. “As a Latina from the Bronx, I had been following and admiring the work of the organization for a long time and feel fortunate to be part of it now.” 

Angelica notes that her day-to-day responsibilities vary as a staff attorney, but the tools she learned through her participation with the Advocacy Program at Haub Law have proved invaluable. “One day, I can be in Bronx Housing Court presenting oral argument or negotiating settlement agreements. The next day, I can be predominantly on the phone following up with clients, opposing counsel, and various agencies. The following day, I am drafting dispositive motions, advocacy letters, and responsive papers. Our office also heavily emphasizes a holistic defense model which means collaborating with other practice groups to address all a client’s needs. Being a public defender illuminates just how much various systems affect one another, which has been essential to becoming a better advocate and community member.”

It was through her participation in the Advocacy Program at Haub Law that Angelica began to build her confidence. “I am the first in my family to attend law school and sometimes I had many moments of self-doubt and insecurity. The Advocacy Program instilled confidence in me from the very beginning. I started with the 1L competition. Somehow, I got through it, advanced, and received positive feedback. I competed in a national competition with my now husband, Jordan Montoya ‘17, and a close friend, Richard Roman ‘17, and we won! I had the opportunity to travel to Florida, Puerto Rico and Vienna, Austria (twice). Of course, those were transformative and beautiful experiences that I will never forget, but more importantly than any travel or accolade, were the relationships I formed with mentors, teachers, and colleagues,” recalls Angelica. “I learned so much from my teammates and coaches, constantly. You develop such a comradery as you go from late nights practicing answering questions in the fishbowl to rooting for each other silently during a stressful round. I knew I wanted to eventually teach as an adjunct professor and coaching advocacy teams upon graduation. After a few years practicing, I was granted that opportunity and have since coached 10 teams.”

Recently, Angelica started teaching Advanced Appellate Advocacy at Haub Law as an Adjunct Professor. “I feel so incredibly grateful to not only teach, but in many ways, learn again. In Advanced Appellate Advocacy, students are so vulnerable in presenting and organizing a complex legal argument. I feel proud to hear their questions, watch them grow as speakers, and perform with confidence and persuasiveness. The students in the class are so talented and it’s been such a gift to be a witness to their passion. It has been a truly full circle experience being able to give back to the Haub Law community that taught me so much.”

Eric Brown '25

An Officer and a (Future) Lawyer

Eric Brown has become accustomed to balancing work, school, and responsibilities throughout his life. Eric grew up in a single parent household where his mother instilled in him the importance of an education. “My mother and grandmother’s backgrounds trace back to Puerto Rico,” said Eric. “They both worked from a very young age but were never pushed to pursue any sort of education beyond high school. After my mother finished high school and had my brother and me, she did start her college degree, but it was difficult as a single parent to continue while also working and raising two children alone. From a young age, she encouraged me to place a priority on my education.”

After Eric finished high school, he moved away from home and attended Manhattanville College while also working part-time. “I am the first to attend and graduate college in my family. After college, I also obtained my master’s degree from Seton Hall. Receiving my JD will be my third higher education degree.” Eric originally aspired to be a dentist, but quickly learned that he did not enjoy the coursework as much as he anticipated. “I was bored, but then one day I attended a job fair and met a professor who invited me to take a political science course. I fell in love
with the curriculum and decided to pursue a degree in it.”

Shortly after graduating from college, Eric took the police department exam and began a career in law enforcement. Once he decided to attend law school, Eric sought out the perfect setting for him to do that – one where he could continue his job as a police officer and further his education. Haub Law was the perfect fit with its flexible part-time program. “I have worked part-time throughout all my educational pursuits. It has allowed me to honor my upbringing, provide for myself, and my family.”

Eric acknowledges that the busy schedule of being a part-time law student along with a police officer is not without its struggles at times, but also very rewarding. “Having the experience as a police officer has been very beneficial, it allows me to see both sides of the law and view things more objectively. While I am constantly on the go, my outlook has always been positive and that anything is possible if you stay focused and humble. This is especially true if you stay confident in yourself while never being afraid to ask for help.”

For Eric, help when he needs it, has been readily available at Haub Law. “I personally love the extra support that is always given by the staff and professors here. And, my classmates are amazing, they are always willing to help one another out. The level of comradery is extraordinary.” In particular, Eric is thankful for the support he has received from the Honorable Daniel D. Angiolillo, who is the Jurist-in-Residence at Haub Law and also, Dean for Students Angie D’Agostino. “Both of these individuals have instilled so much wisdom in me and so much support. In my life, I have learned that the right people will always show up when you need it and that has proven very true here for me.”

As a part-time student, Eric is set to graduate in 2025 from Haub Law. He spent his spring 2023 semester as a judicial extern for the Honorable Adam Silvera, an Administrative Judge in the Civil Division of the New York State Supreme Court. As far as future goals, Eric is taking it one day at a time. “I really enjoy my career in law enforcement, but I can also see myself in the private sector. I try to have an open mind about the future.”

Faculty Focus: Professor Camila Bustos

Joining the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in 2023 as an Assistant Professor of Law, Professor Camila Bustos is one of Haub Law’s newest faculty additions. Originally from Bogota, Colombia, Professor Bustos shares a passion for human rights law and climate change law. Prior to joining Haub Law, Professor Bustos was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Human Rights at Trinity College and a Clinical Supervisor in human rights practice at the University Network for Human Rights. She also served as a term law clerk to Justice Steven D. Ecker of the Connecticut Supreme Court and as a consultant with the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP). At Haub Law, she will be teaching an International Human Rights Seminar, an Environmental Law Survey course, and the Environmental Law Seminar: Climate Change & Migration. Learn more about Professor Bustos and the fresh, innovative perspective she brings to her research, scholarship, and the classroom in this Q&A. 

Let’s jump right in, can you tell us a bit about your background?

I am originally from Bogota, Colombia and I moved to Miami when I was thirteen. This period in my life was deeply formative and continues to inform how I navigate and approach my personal and professional life. My time in Miami exposed me to different languages, cultures, and ways of thinking, which has always made me intellectually curious about meeting new people and traveling to new places. In addition to having Spanish as my native language, I have been learning Portuguese. I also try to stay connected to Latin American issues as much as I can (news, culture, music, etc.).

My time growing up in Miami also showed me the arbitrariness of borders and the way in which having legal status can transform someone’s life. Growing up in a city of immigrants and being an immigrant sparked my interest in immigration law – its development, limitations, and opportunities for change.

During college, I spent a lot of my time between research and advocacy spaces. I researched international climate politics, while engaging in fossil fuel divestment campaigns. I became interested in how law and policy can be leveraged to tackle problems like climate change. Afterwards, I spent two years working for a Colombian human rights organization before returning to the States for law school.

Your research interests and areas of expertise include human rights law, environmental law, international environmental law, and climate change law – what is it about those areas that hold your interest?

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges that humanity faces, if not the greatest. As with other environmental problems, climate change is inherently a global problem that requires international cooperation in addition to strong domestic action. These areas seek to understand how global politics and policies may hinder or facilitate progress.

I see environmental issues, including climate, as intrinsically human rights issues. They entail a range of impacts with severe consequences for the fulfillment of human rights, necessitating decisive State action to protect people and ecosystems.

Further development of human rights and environmental law is essential to hold accountable the most powerful actors behind the crisis, namely fossil fuel companies, carbon-intensive industries, ultrarich individuals, and top-emitter States. Despite its limitations, I am interested in how law can be leveraged by affected communities and individuals alike to seek justice in a deeply unequal world.

What are some of your current research interests and projects?

I am interested in continuing to think and write on the legal protection gap for climate displaced people at the international and domestic levels. I am also interested in further exploring the duties of States— as rooted in human rights law or ethics more broadly—to climate displaced people. My forthcoming article Climate Change and Internal Displacement in Colombia: A Tragedy Foretold? looks at the development of separate protection regimes for internally displaced people.

While there is a legal framework for those displaced in the context of armed conflict (e.g., think about abuela in the Disney movie Encanto), individuals displaced by environmental and climate events fall under the disaster policy framework. Through the case study of Gramalote, Colombia—the first municipality in Colombia displaced by climate-related events—I argue States must protect the right of populations to stay in place and return when possible.

I have also been researching the implications of climate change for the legal profession writ large, looking at the ways in which the climate crisis requires a transformation in how lawyers practice law and conceive of their professional responsibility. I am keen to explore legal ethics through a comparative perspective, focusing on the UK and the US for now. I am currently working on a book chapter for the forthcoming publication Educating lawyers for climate and environmental justice: theory and practice (2024).

You have recently published articles on climate migration and displacement – can you speak a bit more about that research area and the overall big picture impact you see that having on different people/groups and society as a whole? 

Although exact figures on climate displacement projections vary, climate change will continue to force people to move internally and across borders. This is a tremendously complex issue, with implications for administrative, immigration, and international law, among others. I am keen to contribute to this debate for a few reasons.

First, climate change disproportionately impacts groups that have been historically marginalized or discriminated against. Displacement often impacts individuals with more limited resources to adapt and whose high exposure to climate risk might push them over the edge.

Second, the scale of the challenge requires scholars and practitioners to collaborate on policy gaps and potential solutions.

The last few articles I published focused on climate migration and displacement from different angles: (1) how do climate displaced people experience climate catastrophes, relocate, and establish new lives after displacement; (2) how does human rights law apply in the context of environmental and climate displacement in Central America and Colombia; and (3) what legal avenues, domestic and international, are available to protect climate displaced people whether internally or across borders?

Why did you want to become a professor?

It’s a bit of a funny story. For years, my partner had encouraged me to think about becoming a professor. I’ve always been intellectually curious and most of my professional experience before joining Pace involved significant research and writing. Before seriously considering academia, I was already writing articles “for fun” with colleagues. Even then, I thought I would practice law for several years before considering an academic position.

However, the opportunity to teach an undergraduate class and work closely with undergraduate and law students was transformative. I realized how amazing it was to be surrounded by students and how much more deeply I was able to think about issues when teaching and facilitating enriching discussions. Having a profession where you can teach, think, write, and collaborate is such an exciting and privileged career. Although becoming a professor was unexpected in some ways, I feel incredibly lucky to have joined the Pace community.

As a professor you are tasked with teaching students, but what have you also learned from them in return?

I love this question. I am going to cheat and quote Claudia Goldin, who recently won the Nobel economics prize for her groundbreaking work on wage inequality. During an interview, Goldin emphasized the role of students in her research:

“I am a professor; I am a teacher. I am standing here because I have my students. And my students are my muses; my students are the individuals I depend upon to listen to my ideas and react to them. Everyone should realize that teaching is the handmaiden of research. Research is knowledge creation; teaching is knowledge diffusion. And we do both.”

I learn from my students in every single class. They bring unique and fresh perspectives to new and old problems; they challenge me to crystallize my thinking and ideas. They make me a better thinker and scholar. Most importantly, they make me a better person by helping me question my own assumptions, biases, and paradigms.

What advice do you have for law students – generally and more specifically to those who want to gain experience in human rights law?

First, I would encourage students to try learning a second or third language if they can. While English remains the lingua franca in many international spaces, understanding other languages will open doors to different regions of the world and areas of practice. It also demonstrates humility and intellectual curiosity, which any future employer would value.

Second, I would advise students to engage with all the critical scholarship on human rights law. There are significant foundational and theoretical questions underpinning human rights practice. To name a few, are human rights universal? If so, what do we mean by that? Can human rights be a transformative project despite some of its practical limitations and historical origins? Reading critical approaches to international law (i.e., TWAIL or feminist critiques) makes us better human rights scholars and practitioners.

Third, find what you are passionate about. Human rights law is a broad area, encompassing a range of issues from racial discrimination, armed conflict, gender equity, environmental protection, etc. There are also different points of intervention: local, national, and international. I encourage students to think creatively about “human rights”, their own set of skills, and in what capacity they would like to contribute their talents.

You also co-founded Law Students for Climate Accountability (LSCA), a national law student-led movement pushing the legal industry to phase out fossil fuel representation and support a just, livable future – can you talk about what led you to found this movement and the importance of it? And, your best advice for how students can effect this type of very impactful push towards change like you did/have.

Like many others in my generation, I decided to go to law school to use the law to work on climate change issues. While I found the 1L doctrinal courses interesting, I found myself frustrated at both the failure of most 1L curriculums to address climate issues and the collective pressure to go work at a corporate law firm after law school.

While law firms are not monoliths, many of the largest and most prestigious firms conduct extensive lobbying, litigation, and transactional work on behalf of the fossil fuel industry. In response, a group of us decided to explore the ways in which “Big Law” upholds the fossil fuel economy and often hinders climate action by producing the first-ever Climate Change Scorecard.

Since 2020, LSCA has grown into a national and international movement, with colleagues in the UK, Canada, and Australia working on similar initiatives to hold the legal industry accountable. We have produced four iterations of the Climate Change Scorecard and have organized students across dozens of campuses in the United States.

My advice to students is to remember their own power to effect change. The legal profession and legal institutions are by default small “c” -conservative and resistant to change. It takes persistent and organized efforts to change social institutions, but it is possible.

As an undergraduate student, I remember several administrators and professors told us that fossil fuel divestment was simply “impossible” and would never happen. Today, more than twenty universities have partially or completely divested their endowment from fossil fuels and the movement has only continued to build momentum.

While I understand the pressure students face in securing a job after graduation, students shouldn’t forget that they hold the power of their talent.

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

I love spending time with my dog Spice and must admit a lot of time goes into walking, brushing, and cuddling him. I also enjoy running and spinning —I am a huge Peloton fan (sorry not sorry). Aside from that, you can find me singing and dancing to Bad Bunny or Taylor Swift on repeat, going on walks and hikes across Connecticut, and attending concerts and music festivals with my partner.

Lina Arboleda, LLM ‘23

A Global Pathway to Immigration Law

With a desire to fully understand the US legal system, Lina Arboleda applied to the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University to pursue her LLM in Comparative Legal Studies. She shares that she was particularly impressed by a law school named after a woman. “Although environmental law is not on my radar now, I admire Elisabeth Haub’s environmental advocacy and philanthropic work. As a woman and Latina, I know how difficult it is for women to open paths and advocate for good causes,” said Lina. During her time at Haub Law, Lina appreciated the diversity at the Law School. “Haub Law embraces diversity; the students, professors, and administrative staff always made me feel welcome.”

Originally from Colombia, Lina did not always desire to be a lawyer. “My sister and I are the first generation in our entire family to pursue higher education,” said Lina. “In high school, I participated in different forums of social sciences, philosophy, and politics. We discussed different social issues, including the rights of affected communities, victims of forced displacement and civil war. At that moment, I knew I was curious about how the legal system worked in my country and how the law could be used to protect these communities. This curiosity and desire to learn how to use the law to benefit affected or vulnerable populations, led me to study law at the Universidad de Medellín.”

Today, Lina is a staff attorney at Lutheran Social Services of New York where she helps provide Pro Se immigration legal information sessions, including but not limited to Know Your Rights, Employment Authorization Documents, Temporary Protected Status, and Asylum. “Additionally, we provide consultations, limited representation and legal clinics to asylum seekers and arrivals. I’m responsible for training and supervising the work of the paralegals, and for coordinating logistics and pre-screenings, so the information sessions and clinics run smoothly.”

Lina is passionate about the areas of real estate and immigration law. Previously, she worked as a paralegal in a law firm where she was part of negotiations with other attorneys, banks, developers, and investors. It was this experience that revived her desire to practice law and learn more about the US legal system. “However, although I’m still passionate about real estate, I decided to transition into immigration law,” said Lina. “I feel that as an immigrant, it is an area of law where I can contribute the most with the use of my bilingual skills and at the same time, be consistent with my initial desire to use the law to benefit affected or vulnerable populations.”

During her time at Haub Law, Lina’s favorite experiences included meeting people from all over the world. “I believe that diversity brings with it other perspectives and ways of looking at life that we are not otherwise aware of. I was amazed to see the preparation, high-level skills, and integrity that these lawyers bring from their countries.” After graduating in 2023, Lina was able to ultimately fulfill her goal of better understanding the US legal system.

“I would absolutely encourage others to pursue their LLM at Haub Law. Whether you want to practice law here or not, it is a great opportunity to expand your knowledge, learn about new cultures, and share your legal experience with others.”

Daniel Reyes '24

Believing In You

When asked about his Haub Law experience so far, the first words Daniel Reyes mentions are "support system." Daniel grew up with a close-knit family who looked to one another for support, so seeking out the same environment for his educational pursuits was paramount. “I am a first-generation college graduate and law student; my parents always preached the importance of education to my brother and me and the importance of having people you can depend on. My brother recently became the first engineer in the family, and I am now working towards becoming the first lawyer in the family. Haub Law showed immense faith in my potential and had a very family-oriented feel to its campus.”

For Daniel, his involvement with the Latin American Law Students Association (LALSA) has been where he found his support system. “The members of LALSA have been mentors for me and have truly guided me throughout my first two years at Haub Law. I am truly grateful for each and every one of them and it was so rewarding to serve as a mentor for the incoming 1L class in return.” Daniel is also a member of the First Generation Law Students Society, which he notes has connected him with so many others who share a similar background and upbringing as him.

As a 2L, Daniel participated in Haub Law’s competitive Federal Judicial Honors Program (FJHP), where he worked in the federal courts for the Southern District of New York for twelve hours a week. “The experience was both challenging and rewarding. Having the opportunity to have your writing and research skills put to the test at a judge’s standard is intimidating, but a very valuable learning experience. The practical and hands on knowledge I gained is amazing.”

While law school wasn’t always at the forefront of Daniel’s mind, today, he can’t imagine another educational pursuit. “For most of my life, I wanted to become a police officer. However, I began studying accounting during undergrad and discovered a new passion. After graduating from Rutgers in 2020, I decided that going to law school would be the best way to merge my two interests in criminal justice and accounting. I try to keep an open mind and think outside of the box. Attending Haub Law has solidified for me that I made the right choice.”
Although Daniel still has another year left of law school, he hopes to work in private practice one day. “Right now, I am interested in corporate, banking, securities, and tax law. However, each new experience I have at Haub Law makes me realize how vast the profession of law is and that there truly is no limit to what you can do with your degree.”

When Daniel isn’t studying, he enjoys playing chess, soccer, and snowboarding. He is also a huge New York Jets fan. His advice for a successful law school experience: “The first step to success is believing in yourself! Once you truly have faith in your capabilities, the only person that can stop you is YOU.”

Daniel Castelo Branco Ramos '21

SJD: A Crucial Degree

As a federal judge in Brazil, Daniel Castelo Branco Ramos describes his day to day as “overwhelming.” With the number of cases per judge always in the thousands, one of the highest on average in the world, Judge Ramos is lucky if he has any down time at all.

“Many of my cases involve a lot of litigation. Each morning, I dedicate myself to studying the most complex cases, elaborating on, and editing my opinions. In the afternoon, I attend to the lawyers, preside over hearings, and coordinate my advisors. As a morning person, this division of tasks works well. Even though it is extremely busy, I enjoy what I do, both the intellectual tasks and the personal contact with lawyers and litigants.”

Judge Ramos is also a professor, teaching environmental law, tax law, administrative law, and civil procedure law at the Milton Campos Law School, a private law school in Brazil. “Learning has always been of interest to me and in turn, so has teaching. I graduated with a degree in law from the Federal University of Minas Gerais 1998, which is one of the most traditional and respected universities in Brazil. I later received a master’s degree in public law in 2009 from the same University.”

It was Judge Ramos’s interest in both learning and environmental law that led him to pursue his SJD at Haub Law. “I knew Haub Law’s strong reputation and decided to apply for the doctoral program in environmental law. In addition, the differences between the legal systems in the United States and Brazil motivated me to do more in-depth comparative law research.” While he was a student at Pace, Judge Ramos had what he describes as many outstanding professors, including David Cassuto, Jason Czarnezki, and Nicholas Robinson.

While Judge Ramos describes the SJD program at Haub Law as one of the toughest intellectual and personal tasks of his life, he is very cognizant of the importance of the end result. “I work with environmental litigation and teach environmental law. The knowledge that I acquired during my SJD studies was crucial both in solving practical day-to-day issues and in deepening my legal thinking and research. Additionally, being immersed in a learning environment with a social and legal culture so different from the one I was used to was invaluable.”

When he isn’t behind the bench or in the classroom, Judge Ramos enjoys immersing himself in the nature of his home state, Minas Gerais, its many nature reserves, impressive waterfalls, fauna and flora. He is also very interested in the arts, literature, and music.

Eliana J. Cruz '26

Taking a Leap of Faith

Unhappy in her job at the time, Eliana J. Cruz ’26 decided to study for the LSAT and apply to attend law school. “It was a long time coming, with each path my career took, I became more interested in the law. Finally, I decided to finally take a leap of faith. At the same time, I switched careers and became a paralegal. To me, it made sense that if I was working, I should work directly with attorneys while attending law school.”

Eliana’s background also inspired her to push herself and her education further. “I come from a big multi-generational, multi-cultural Latinx family from the Bronx. I’m privileged to say most of my family has attended and graduated from college. We were inspired by my grandfather. He immigrated to The Bronx with his parents and small children, he did not have a high school diploma to his name. I dedicate all my academic accomplishments to him. All my degrees are his, too.”

Eliana chose the FLEX JD program at Haub Law because she knew she would receive a quality legal education in New York while working at a job she enjoyed and provided her with an income. “The FLEX JD program allowed me to have it all and not have to fall into debt. When I graduate, I will be competing for jobs I want in the City I call home.” While balancing working and attending law school has had its challenges, Eliana is steadfast in her belief that it is well worth it. “My paralegal work has been paramount in gaining experience that will land me a job after graduating. I am actively applying what I learn in class, while networking with some of the top attorneys in my field. It’s a win-win. And the Haub Law community is tremendously supportive. I feel a true sense of camaraderie. I know if my classmates can do it, I can do it.”

As a FLEX JD student, Eliana has not yet participated in clinics or externships, however, her most recent career move has her as a Legal Operations Manager at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. “This position has fueled my interest in media and intellectual property law; however, transactional law is where my passion is now. I enjoy the technical aspects of it.” Prior to her position at Lincoln Center, Eliana was a Foreclosure Defense Paralegal at New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG).

Notably, Eliana also co-founded NYC Celebrates Women, a non-profit group dedicated to Women of Color Entrepreneurs. "The non-profit was co-founded by a friend and former manager of mine. We saw that the services offered by WOC owned businesses in our neighborhood were of exceptional quality, but lacked the investment and marketing needed to compete with other businesses at the level they wanted to. So, we created an organization as a platform for these women to connect and grow as entrepreneurs."

Despite her busy schedule, Eliana likes to stay active. “I swim whenever I can. I also paint, draw, and write in my free time.” Outside of work, Eliana has also had some of her writing published and her art featured in different galleries across Westchester.

Kasama Star '23

A Star on the Rise

Kasama Star ’23 grew up in a single parent immigrant household, moving from Thailand to Queens when she was 7 years old. After completing her undergraduate degree, MBA, and taking time off to raise her family, it was the murder of George Floyd that motivated Kasama to apply to Haub Law. Three years later, Kasama feels that Haub Law has provided her with top tier opportunities, experiences, and resources. After taking the bar exam, she will begin her legal journey as a litigation associate at a NYC firm.

What will you miss about Haub Law?

So much. I am sad to graduate, there is always so much more to learn. I picked up a new interest/skill even in my last semester when I took the Mediation Practicum with Professor Erin Gleason Alvarez. I have really enjoyed being a mediator. Mediation is a skillset that builds upon my previous life experiences (studying psychology and business). It feels really gratifying to give people a chance to air their feelings and an opportunity to resolve their disputes so that they can avoid the costs and expenses (mental and physical) of litigation. But most importantly, witnessing the opportunity to repair a relationship after a dispute is what really gratifies me as a mediator. So, I will miss the constant stream of opportunities to learn more, do more, and discover new passions. Haub Law has left me feeling very blessed and well-trained.

What brought you to law school and to Haub Law in particular?

I grew up in a single parent immigrant household and am originally from Thailand. Growing up as an immigrant, I never thought going into law was a possibility. I was raised with the mentality that professions like law are not something immigrants do, and I shouldn’t even think about it. I completed my undergraduate studies at Cornell and worked as a web designer. From there, I received my MBA at NYU Stern and transitioned to business process management. Then, I took time off to care for my kids and be a mom. It was during the pandemic, after the murder of George Floyd that I knew I wanted to do something. I decided to go to law school. I applied to two law schools and was accepted into both. Haub Law had a lot of what I was looking for in terms of location and size. I chose Haub Law, and the rest is history.

You have been very involved during your time at Haub Law, in particular with the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA) – what has that experience meant to you?

As soon as I came to law school, I was able to get involved with the Land Use Law Center and Professor Nolon and during that time I read the book “The Color of Law” – which discusses redlining and the way it impacts Black Americans to this day. In that book, you learn about the case, Shelley v. Kraemer, which discusses restrictive covenants. Until I read the case in entirety, I didn’t realize that they had consolidated two cases, one had a covenant that was also restrictive against Asians (restriction applied to “Mongolian Race”), while another also implied the exclusion of Asians (and other non-White races) and I was fascinated by it. So, circling back to an earlier question about how I got to law school – I am here because of George Floyd, but the moment I read that case, I realized that I am here because of my upbringing too. I ended up doing extensive research on our American history against Asian Americans and was able to conduct several panels and presentations through APALSA. As an immigrant, you can feel very powerless, and the fear of deportation is driven into the back of your mind. When I came to law school, to be able to be involved in an organization like APALSA, learning more about the appalling legal history of AAPI discrimination and presenting on it have been empowering. Also, in my Environmental Justice class, I learned so much more about structural inequities and atrocities like the mass sterilization of Native American women. I feel so much more powerful and equipped to respond to arguments positing structural inequities as choices or coincidences.

Which professors at Haub Law have been most impactful for you?

Where do I begin? All of them, really. As soon as I started law school, I knew what a great community I had just become a part of and as a result, my (non-exhaustive) list of impactful professors and staff is very long. Professor Waldman has been an incredible mentor to me. She really cares about her students and teaches the subject of civ pro in a way that is thorough, but not intimidating. I loved taking classes with Professor Humbach, Professor Gershman, Professor Cassuto, Professor Pollans, Professor Brown, Professor Narula, Professor Kuh, Professor Lin, Dean Horace Anderson, Dean Jill Gross – they have all been amazing in their own unique ways. The Center for Career and Professional Development staff members Jill Backer, Kapila Juthani, and Elyse Diamond have all been a great support system and mentored me during my job search. I’ve also enjoyed learning from adjunct professors – Professor Hatcliffe, Professor Lettera, Professor Stephen Brown, Professor Muller, Professor Jay Diamond, Professor Shahmanesh, Professor Gleason Alvarez and Professor Carbone. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the incredible support that I have received as a Haub Sustainable Business Law Hub Scholar as well as all the support staff at Pace who truly make it run.

What do you feel makes a “good” lawyer?

I am going to use the words that I have learned from my professors. “Don’t lose your heart, don’t lose yourself and the reasons why you came to law school.”

Do you have any advice for current or future law students?

Law school is emotionally demanding. Have confidence in yourself and just go for it. And three years later, when you are about to graduate, don’t forget to take note of what an accomplishment that is. Professor Narula reminded me before graduation about how powerful a law degree is and what a defining moment it is to accomplish graduating law school. Stay motivated - although it has been demanding, it has also been very rewarding. Haub Law graduates can do anything!

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