Success Stories

Environmental Law Review

Zach Berliner, '18

One way that law school students hone their legal writing skills is on the law review. Pace has three different law reviews for which students can write and edit:  the Pace Law Review, Pace International Law Review and the Pace Environmental Law Review.

Zach participated in the law review write-on competition after he completed his first year in law school. After demonstrating strong writing skills, Zach was accepted as a Junior Associate on the Pace Environmental Law Review. During his second year, Zach drafted and finalized his own piece of scholarly writing on a topic of his choosing, while editing other articles for publication. He was then elected to serve as the Editor-in-Chief for the Environmental Review in his third year.

Zach is currently charged with leading the law review, accepting articles from scholars around the world for publication, and mentoring Junior Associates to ensure their skills are developed. He is currently pursuing post-graduation placements.

Family Law

Meghan Hook, '19

In their second year, students sometimes feel the pressures of wanting to be involved in everything, and it can sometimes be overwhelming at first. Once a student obtains academic success, opportunities to be involved in various, prestigious organizations present themselves. After placing in the top 15% in her first year, Meghan is a testament to all that this campus has to offer.

During the conclusion of her 1L year, Meghan attended the Public Interest Fair held at NYU campus. With careful prepping by faculty and Career Development staff, Meghan was able to speak to institutional representatives and was afforded the opportunity to interview with several of them. Ultimately, Meghan was able to receive a student practice order and worked for the Pace Women’s Justice Center Family Court Legal Program. There, she was able to advocate for her clients in court to several family court judges. In her second year, Meghan is volunteering for the Courtroom Advocates Project where she files orders of protection for victims of domestic violence.

These hands-on experiences, coupled with her involvement in Pace’s Family Law Society and Women’s Association for Law Students, has given Meghan the tools and expertise she needs to be a strong advocate for public interest cases.

Federal Judicial Honors Program

Kristyn Francese, '18

While Pace Law may be centered in White Plains, New York, that does not limit the opportunities for our students to seek gainful employment in the tristate area. With her track record for academic excellence, and deep understanding and appreciate for business law, Kristyn was able to obtain a clerkship in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of California, in San Diego.

Kristyn is no stranger to the court room. In the summer after her first year, Kristyn interned at the Second Department of the New York Appellate Division. In her second year, she was selected to participate in the Federal Judicial Honors Program and was able to fully explore the federal court process. Kristyn was paired with a faculty mentor and able to emulate the judge-law clerk relationship in the fall semester. She was then placed in the District Court for the Southern District of New York, here in White Plains, in her spring semester.

In order to become a better-rounded student, Kristyn spent the summer between her second and third year as a summer associate at a leading financial services firm. Kristyn credits her prestigious post-graduate placement to the extensive opportunities afforded to her by Pace Law.  Kristyn is looking forward to her new adventures in California, but will always be a proud Pace Law alumna.

Joint Degree

Alix Dobles, '18

An ordinary student pursuing their Juris Doctorate at Pace Law will usually spend three years on campus. However, Alix is no ordinary student. Through her academic success and the substantial connections at Pace Law, Alix was able to enroll in a dual degree program and will graduate with a J.D. from Pace Law and a Masters in Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. 

Alix enrolled at Pace Law as a full-time student in the fall of 2014. She then spent two years studying environmental law at Pace before spending a full year at the Yale University campus, obtaining her Masters. Alix rejoined the Pace Law community for her final year and will be walking at graduation in May of 2018.

Alix credits her substantial success to the extensive pool of Pace Law alumni. She explains, “I find this web of alumni to be very comforting as I plan to enter the workforce, but also it shows that the industry has confidence in the legal skills that Pace Law cultivates in its students.” Alix has helped solidify the relationship between Pace Law and Yale, and has set a precedent for future students to follow her tremendous footsteps.

Law Review

Lydia Rainey, '18

A work-life balance is key for a successful law student. Lydia has proven that being involved on campus and maintaining good grades is not impossible. Her focus in English during her undergraduate studies at SUNY Brockport led Lydia to pursue an Executive Board position on the Pace Law Review. She currently guides underclassmen as they write their own case notes and comments for potential publication in the Review.

Lydia has also been able to hone her oral advocacy skills through her involvement in the Oral Advocacy Honor Board. As a second year student, Lydia served as the captain of the Black Law Student’s Association Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Team. Under the tutelage of her professor, and through collaboration with her teammates, the team won the Northeast Regional competition, continuing onto the final round. Due to Lydia’s success, she has been asked to continue as the captain on the trial team in her third year.

Lydia is looking forward to taking the skills she has developed at Pace Law to her hometown of Fairport, New York, and applying to the State Appellate Division Courts. The Pace Law community will miss Lydia’s involvement and dedication to campus!

Location

Savannah Bowling, '19

Pace Law offers a diverse population of students. While a large portion of that may consist of students from the local tristate area, students travel from across the nation to attend law school at Pace Law. Savannah, originally from Emerson, Georgia, was drawn to Pace Law for a multitude of reasons.

Savannah recognizes that the Pace Law campus is extremely conducive to a scholarly environment, as it is separated from the other two Pace University undergraduate campuses. This results in a quiet, secluded campus, while still affording our students the opportunity to travel into NYC or enjoy all that White Plains has to offer. Because of this synergy, Savannah finds that campus is warm, comfortable, and less distracting. Pace Law’s geographical location also allows our students to participate substantively in the legal world at large.

After completing one of her first year courses, Savannah was able to form a strong bond with one of her professors due to her frequent participation in class and shared interest in environmental law. Her professor allowed Savannah to join him at the Corporation Counsel Roundtable, a New York State regulatory meeting regarding environmental law and land use projects. Savannah helped her professor draft zoning initiatives, shared parking agreements, and plans to revitalize industrial zones while maintaining industry. Looking back, Savannah had a rewarding experience, where she felt she really made an impact on New York State environmental procedures – all thanks to the willingness of her professor to teach and include her, and the conducive nature of Pace Law.

Networking is Key

Mark Meeker, Dec. '09

Mark Meeker (Dec. ’09) graduated from Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts, where he studied advertising, and shortly thereafter he earned a Master of Arts from Kent State University while in the media management sequence. It wasn’t until grad school that he first began to consider law school. “During one conversation with my advisor, he mentioned that I was doing well and that I should think about continuing. Continuing? What would that mean? Neither of my parents had college degrees, so I was already farther along academically than I ever expected to be. But I bought a couple of study guides, worked through them in the evenings for about a week-and-a-half, took the LSAT, and scored in the 96th percentile. That’s when I knew that law school was somewhere in my future. The question was, ‘When?’ At that point, I was still barely on the fringes of the advertising industry, and I wasn’t ready to change directions.”

Things really started to happen for Mark when he packed his bags and went chasing after his first ad agency job. In all, he spent the first eighteen years of his career in a variety of advertising and marketing roles, working primarily in account services for media companies and on the agency side of the business for brands such as McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Sonic, Pepsi, and Bank of America. “I loved what I was doing at the time, but after I met my wife and got engaged, suddenly chasing advertising jobs all over the country lost its appeal. That’s when we decided to make a change, and about six weeks after our wedding I entered law school.”

Mark started at Pace Law as a 1L in August 2006. “I was drawn to Pace because of its location. In my previous career, I had spent time working in Ohio, where I’m from, then D.C., Virginia Beach, Chicago, Kansas City, and Connecticut. My most recent position had been in New York City and we wanted to stay in the area. Pace also showed a lot of flexibility in their academic programs. I would be able to attend part-time and still graduate in 3-1/2 years. It was ideal.”

During Mark’s time at Pace, he excelled academically as well as in his involvement with the Pace community and student organizations. As a result of his high academic achievement, he was consistently on the Dean’s List, served as Executive Editor of the Pace International Law Review, and graduated cum laude with a certificate in International Law. To Mark, though, one of his best experiences was being involved with the Intellectual Property Student Organization. He started out as IPSO’s Treasurer and eventually became President. “It was the perfect organization for me to get involved with. It combined my past experiences in the marketing, advertising and branding world with new legal topics that I was studying such as trademarks and intellectual property. I was lucky enough to meet and work with some great people who helped me push the organization forward as we sought out alumni working in IP, compiled a list of all of the alumni that we could find in the field, and tried to connect them back with the law school.”

Recognizing the importance of getting your feet wet in a variety of areas, Mark pursued as many practical opportunities as he could. While at Pace, he was an intern for the Honorable Alan D. Scheinkman, a legal assistant with the law firm Worby Groner Edelman LLP, an intern with the World Intellectual Property Organization at the U.N., and a legal assistant with the New York State Office of the Attorney General. “I like to stay busy and continually meet new people; network. Each new opportunity for me was a step towards the next one.” During his final year-and-a-half at Pace, Mark worked at Pernod Ricard USA as a legal consultant, and this position stretched beyond his graduation.

Then, in July 2010, Mark joined a small law firm as an associate, reviewing and evaluating telecommunications real estate agreements for AT&T, editing and approving amendments, and drafting legal opinions related to landlord/tenant issues. Mark remained in this position for four years before launching a venture as a solo practitioner, focusing on his first passion, providing counsel surrounding branding, trademarks and social media. It was shortly after Mark hung out his own shingle that he was presented with an opportunity to join American Maritime Safety, Inc., based in White Plains, first as Director of Membership and Legal Services and now as Assistant General Counsel. In his current role, Mark conducts nationwide, on-site training classes for drug and alcohol testing plus sexual harassment. He also provides legal guidance to over 400 member companies regarding compliance with federal regulations impacting the maritime industry while also supervising staff. “I feel lucky to be in-house with such a large organization. Compliance is an interesting field on its own, but coupled with the maritime industry, it really keeps me on my toes. Plus I’m able to pursue a people-oriented aspect of this position with the training and public speaking that I do, which I really enjoy.”

Throughout Mark’s undergraduate, graduate, and professional life, what has remained most consistent, aside from his work ethic, is his passion for networking and connecting people. In 2011, Mark founded the Pace Law Alumni Network (P.L.A.N.). “My goal with P.L.A.N. was to connect Pace Law alumni with one another in a casual atmosphere. I’ve found that networking can lead to a great many opportunities, professionally and otherwise. So, we started holding these quarterly networking events back in 2011, alternating between White Plains and New York City. They’ve steadily grown in size, and now our attendance usually ranges between 30 and 70 people. We even have faculty attend, and Dean Yassky has become a familiar face.”

Not one for downtime, in 2013 Mark was added to the Pace Law Alumni Association’s Board of Directors, and was recently elected as the incoming President. He will start his term in September 2017. “Among my goals as President will be to increase the Board’s visibility and to expand the lines of communication between the alumni population and the Board.”

Aside from the marketing, advertising, and the law, Mark has always had a passion for the outdoors. “Biking, swimming, kayaking, camping, I like to stay active and get outdoors whenever possible.” In 2014, Mark became a kayak and stand-up paddleboard instructor with L.L. Bean’s Outdoor Discovery School and recently achieved American Canoe Association certification in both disciplines. Mark lives in Mount Vernon with his wife Cathy, who works for Pace University in Pleasantville.

If Mark could give any advice to future and current law students, and alumni alike, it would be to network. “Keep making new connections and maintaining past ones. Networking is key in finding out what career will be right for you and then finding opportunities. Oh, and speaking of which, come to our next P.L.A.N. event, which is scheduled for Wednesday, August 30, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. in the back garden of Tuttles Bar & Grill at 735 2nd Avenue in New York City.”

*The P.L.A.N. Facebook group can be found here.

Non-Traditional Student

Patricia Petrosky, '19

Studying to become an attorney is difficult and time consuming; however, here at Pace Law we recognize that our students have obligations other than their studies. Patricia is not only able to rank strongly in her class, but is a wife and mother of two young children.

While it may be arduous to for her to juggle so much, she credits her success to the accommodating and collegial atmosphere here at Pace Law. Patricia explains, “While some level of competition amongst students is evident, the overall culture of the school can be best described as a place where students, faculty, and staff are accommodating, resourceful, and respectful to one another.” Patricia especially highlights the willingness of upper level students to share their knowledge and help our underclassman in any way that they can. Through the Dean Scholar Program, all first year classes are assigned an upper level student who has completed that class with high marks, and is able to provide insight and support. Patricia has found it helpful to reach out to those students, converse substantively regarding the subject matter, and obtain tips and tricks for the class.

Upper level students are not the only ones ready and willing to help our students. Patricia was able to obtain a prestigious internship at the New York State Attorney General’s Office this past summer and credits a large portion of her success obtaining this position to the help of our Center for Career and Professional Development. Career Development staff guided Patricia throughout the application process, helped her revise her resume, and conducted several mock interviews to guarantee her preparedness. Pace Law’s collegial and community environment has been hugely beneficial to Patricia in ensuring her success, while also allowing her to support and enjoy her family!

 

Oral Advocacy

Christopher Zamlout, '18

Take a poll of attorneys across the nation and they will tell you in unison that one of a lawyer’s most prominent skills is their oral advocacy. Here at Pace Law, our Advocacy Program boasts numerous Mock Trial and Moot Court teams, ranging in subject matter covering all aspects of the legal profession. As a part of a student’s first year at Pace Law, they participate in the Louis V. Fasulo First Year Moot Court Competition where they showcase their oral advocacy skills. Once a student has exhibited raw talent, they are inducted into a prominent group of students who participate in oral advocacy competitions, facilitated by Pace Law.

After demonstrating his strong and commanding advocacy skills in the first year competition, Christopher was one such student who was given the opportunity to participate in one of the world’s most formidable competitions. The Willem C. Vis Moot Court Competition – started twenty-five years ago by Pace faculty members – exposes our students to the world of international commercial arbitration. Christopher and his fellow teammates spend a full academic year dissecting the issues presented in the fact patter, researching applicable international law, and perfecting their oral arguments. Towards the end of the semester, the team flies to Vienna, Austria to represent Pace Law in the competition.

Due to his tremendous success his second year, Christopher was invited back to the Pace Law team as a captain in his third and final year of school. Christopher has been able to hone his advocacy skills, while also exploring a unique field of law. Christopher explains that because of this experience he is able to set himself apart from his peers, substantively engage in international law and current events, and has developed necessary skills in order for him to advocate on behalf of future clients.

Pace Path

Kevin Douchkoff, '19

The Pace University community is large and tightly knit. It comes to no surprise when a student completes their undergraduate studies at Pace and then pursues their legal education at Pace Law. As a Pace Pleasantville alum, Kevin immediately knew that Pace Law was the school for him. Kevin is now in his second year, pursuing a concentration in Criminal Law. He aspires to work in the District Attorney’s office as a prosecutor upon graduation.

Kevin has been able to work towards his goal by taking advantage of the John Jay Legal Services Criminal Justice Externship. This past summer Kevin worked in the Putnam County District Attorney’s Office and had the opportunity to attend town and county court daily, draft memoranda, and submit a brief to the New York State Appellate Division. This experience cemented his goal of becoming a prosecutor.

Kevin is also a tremendous leader on Pace Law campus. He currently serves as the President of the Lambda Law Student Association, which strives to promote equality amongst all people and seeks out opportunities for reform. Kevin explains that these reforms first begin in our education institutions and, as future lawyers, particularly in our law schools.  

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