Success Stories

Dean's Scholar Program

Cassidy Allison, '19

Among the multitude of resources that Pace's Academic Success department provides is the Dean's Scholar program. Dean's Scholars are top-performing upper-level students who conduct weekly review sessions with first-year students as a supplement to regular class instruction. These review sessions include practice questions and study techniques that reinforce classroom learning and help students effectively prepare for final exams. Cassidy Allison '19 has served as a Dean's Scholar for four consecutive semesters—in the subjects of Torts, Property, and Constitutional Law—and she counts her time as a Dean's Scholar as a defining Pace experience.

"I chose to pursue this because I have always enjoyed teaching and helping other students succeed," Cassidy explains. She says that being a Dean's Scholar has also had a very practical added benefit: "It helped me learn the substantive law again, which is a huge help in preparing for the bar exam."

Finally, the Dean's Scholar program allowed Cassidy to forge strong connections across class years. "It helped me create meaningful relationships that will last throughout law school as well as in the future," Cassidy says, "as I am sure that these are some of the future attorneys I will be interacting with in the workforce."

Federal Judicial Honors Program

Christopher Emch, '20

With his 2L year underway, Christopher Emch '18 is already looking ahead to next semester, when he will participate in Pace's prestigious Federal Judicial Honors Program and spend the spring interning with a federal judge. "I chose this path because learning the mechanics of our judicial system from inside a judge's chambers is an invaluable experience," Christopher says. "What better way is there to be an effective advocate for your client than to understand the expectations on the other side of the bench?"

Reflecting on his initial decision to attend Pace, Christopher cites two motivating factors. "First, the school offers significant value for the amount of time and money that students invest in their JD," Christopher explains. "Pace's academic programs are built to prepare students for the bar, and its merit-based financial aid offering means that I will graduate without a mountain of debt." Christopher also points to the extensive career placement resources available to students. "The legal field is fiercely competitive," Christopher says, "but Pace's career advisers have connections to some of the profession's most sought-after law firms and public-sector employers."

Beyond affordability and outcomes, Christopher also identifies what he considers the most underrated factor in choosing a law school: camaraderie. "I found a great group of friends at Pace," Christopher says, "and I think many of the students in our class have had a similar experience. We motivate each other and provide a much-needed dose of humanity when the hours get long or the work gets particularly arduous. Each law school has its own culture that way, and I am fortunate to have chosen one where I feel quite at home among my classmates."

Theory in Practice

George Burns, '12
“It was, without a doubt, the best job I’ve ever had,” says George Burns, reflecting on his recent clerkship with Chief Judge Dora Irizarry of the Eastern District of New York.  George exemplifies a growing trend in clerkship hiring: rather than clerking immediately after graduation, he practiced for several years, first as an Agency Attorney at the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, and then as an Assistant County Attorney in the Litigation Bureau of the Westchester County Attorney’s Office.   But he “never lost sight of the idea” of clerking, and the Westchester County Attorney’s office generously granted George a one-year unpaid leave to serve as Judge Irizarry’s law clerk from September 2016 to September 2017.
 
While in Judge Irizarry’s chambers, George served as one of four law clerks.  (Chief district judges are able to hire additional law clerks to help with their extra administrative responsibilities.)  The cases were randomly distributed by docket number to the four clerks, so George worked on a tremendous range of issues, from the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to RICO to employment discrimination.  In addition to his behind-the-scenes work drafting opinions and orders, George assisted in many of Judge Irizarry’s courtroom proceedings, from oral arguments to trials and sentencings.  And George, along with other Eastern District law clerks, had the chance to sit in on some of the highest-profile cases occurring in the EDNY during his time there, such as the Marvin Shkreli trial and the hearing on President Trump’s January 27, 2017 Executive Order on immigration.  
 
Now back at the Westchester County Attorney’s Office, George reports that he has “taken all the knowledge and experience I gained from my clerkship and brought it back to my practice at the County.”  His current responsibilities include taking and defending depositions, drafting and filing motions, negotiating settlements, and appearing at hearings and administrative proceedings on the County’s behalf.  And George draws a straight line from his FJHP experience to his clerkship and work experience.  “I think every internship helped make me a stronger candidate for future employment,” he observes.  “The biggest benefits of participating in the FJHP are learning how judges and their clerks make decisions, strengthening one’s writing, gaining exposure to vastly different areas of law, and making connections with judges and their staffs.  Over three years, we’re all taught in classrooms about law in the abstract; the FJHP gives students the opportunity to see theory in practice.”
 
George’s advice to FJHP students and alums applying for clerkships?  First, make sure to follow the instructions in each judge’s job posting: “the most efficient way to thin the applicant pool at the outset,” he recalls, is to reject any applicant who failed to follow directions.  Beyond that, “the most important thing to remember is that you have to show the judge that you are thoughtful and thorough—at the most fundamental level, a law clerk is the judge’s counsel.” 

Prioritize Law School

Kristyn Francese , '18

Kristyn Francese (J.D. 2018) always knew she wanted to go to law school.  “I am very problem-solving focused and I thoroughly enjoy learning.  Both my mother and my uncle are Pace Law alums, and with Pace being in my home county (Westchester), coming here was a no-brainer.  I did not even apply to any other law schools.”

Once Kristyn started at Pace Law she jumped right in.  She joined the Corporate and Commercial Law Society, Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, and obtained a position as Professor Darren Rosenblum’s research assistant for the spring semester of her first year.  “I wanted to immerse myself and hit the ground running.  In particular, the opportunity to serve as Professor Rosenblum’s research assistant has been invaluable.  Not only did I dive deep into areas I had not previously explored, but the guidance that he gave me throughout my law school career has truly gotten me where I am today.”

When asked about one of the most valuable experiences of her law school career, Kristyn does not hesitate to answer with the Federal Judicial Honors Program.  “My experience participating in the Federal Judicial Honors Program was instrumental to say the least.  As a law school student, I was able to say that I have seen the inner workings of a federal judge’s chambers, which is fascinating.  It is also ultimately what led me to pursue a federal clerkship post-graduation.”

Prior to participating in the FJHP, Kristyn had the opportunity to intern for the Honorable Francesca E. Connolly, New York Appellate Division, Second Department.  In that experience, Kristyn conducted legal research on civil and criminal issues on appeal, drafted legal memoranda for ongoing Second Department appellate proceedings, and even had the opportunity to draft a judicial opinion and order.  Kristyn notes that “some of the most valuable time I spent as a judicial intern was in chambers, discussing complex questions of law on appeal with the Judge and her Law Clerk.”

After her Summer with Judge Connolly, Kristyn went on to complete an externship with the Honorable Cathy Seibel, United States District Court, Southern District of New York as part of the FJHP.  In this time, she assisted law clerks with research, prepared bench memoranda, and drafted decisions regarding pending motions before the Court.

In addition to the Federal Judicial Honors Program, Kristyn spent time while at Pace concentrating on financial compliance.  During her last summer while in law school, she was a Summer Associate for a boutique financial services law firm.  Eventually, Kristyn would like to work on the regulatory side of securities litigation – such as with the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, or one of the regulators like FINRA or the CFTC.  And, even further down the road, she would like to work for a financial firm, such as a broker-dealer, bank, or investment advisor, in the hopes of transferring her skills and experiences to these institutions to help them create and enforce strong compliance programs and hopefully help them avoid securities laws violations and the ensuing litigation.

Immediately next on Kristyn’s radar is the bar exam and then her clerkship.  In July, she will sit for the New York Bar Exam with plans to sit for the California Bar Exam in 2019.  Later this Summer, Kristyn will move to San Diego where she will be clerking in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of California.  “I am looking forward to the next chapter.  I will miss Pace, but am so thankful for the experiences I had and all that I learned and gained.  I would absolutely not have the opportunities I have had and continue to have without my Pace Law education and if not for the amazing relationships and guidance from Professors Darren Rosenblum, Bridget Crawford, and Jill Gross.”

As for advice for current and future students:  “My biggest piece of advice to incoming law students is to prioritize law school in a way where it – attending class, doing the readings, participating, etc. – is not optional.  This can be tough at first, and it may take a while to get into the swing of things, but once your mindset is changed, the path for success has been paved.  I would also tell students to take advantage of the opportunities that Pace gives them.  I don’t necessarily mean over commit yourself by joining every club or to getting involved with every program.  Instead, students should really focus on what opportunities would fit best with their interests, goals, and resume.  For example, I am not necessarily litigation/advocacy focused, so I did not join trial teams or participate in the advocacy programs.  I am much more transactional and I enjoy research and writing.  That is why FJHP and a guided externship at FINRA worked for me.  There are plenty of opportunities – programs, teams, clinics – to fit each students’ particular circumstances.  You just need to take advantage of them.”

An Amazing Experience

Nicole Harkin, '05

Nicole Harkin (’05) attended college at Purdue University where she studied Political Science, German, and Geology. After graduating from Purdue, Nicole pursued opportunities working in government oversight. “I knew at Purdue I was interested in graduate school, but I didn't know what to study. After graduation, I interned for Senator Conrad Burns, R-MT, and then eventually landed as an investigator at the Project on Government Oversight (POGO). While working there, I wrote a report about a uranium mill tailings pile outside of Moab, Utah and as part of my work I read Riverkeepers by former Pace Law professor Robert F. Kennedy. That book set me on the track to Pace."

“My time at Pace was an amazing experience filled with so many different opportunities.” As a Fulbright Scholar during law school, Nicole lived in Berlin, Germany where she studied German environmentalism.    Nicole also had the opportunity to serve as a legal intern with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. “It was so hands on. I became familiar with case investigation, trial preparation, document review, and legal research.”

Despite having a myriad of positive experiences in law school, Nicole describes herself as “the rare law student who realized very soon after starting law school that I did not want to work as a lawyer. The training I received remained relevant to my plans: improved critical thinking skills and excellent writing practice. I continued with law school and am pleased that I did because of the opportunities the experience afforded me.”

At the top of Nicole’s list of experiences while at Pace include traveling with the environmental law program to Brazil and the support and encouragement she received from the Law School, in particular from Professor Linda Fentiman and late staff member Vielka Holness to apply for the Fulbright two years in a row. “The community feeling at Pace Law is not just a feeling, but a reality. I felt supported in all the choices I made as a student about the various paths I wanted to pursue.”

Nicole also fondly remembers her time spent organizing the Environmental Moot Court Competition with a committee of other students. “Today, I remain close friends with the same people who I was on the committee with! It was a wonderful experience that we all still talk about and have in common.”

After graduating from Pace, Nicole spent an additional year in Berlin as a Bosch Fellow researching German’s Freedom of Information Act. She found the work fascinating and loved the experience of living in Germany.

After returning from Germany, Nicole was selected to be a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF). She worked for the U.S. Treasury in Washington, D.C. as an Intelligence Analyst and then Sanctions Investigator. Then, in 2008, she obtained a position as an analyst with the U.S. Government Accountability Office in D.C. “These positions allowed me to focus on the aspects of government and the law that I enjoyed – research, investigating, analysis, and writing.”

It was in 2012, that Nicole made the jump to full-time small business owner. She photographs families on the weekend and during the week writes. “Writing a book was something that was always a long-term goal of mine. It is a full-time job and once I made the switch to treating it as such I was able to publish my first book in June of 2017 - Tilting, A Memoir. And, currently, I am writing a murder mystery set in Berlin, Death in Berlin.” You can read the first chapter of Nicole’s memoir, Tilting, at www.tiltingamemoir.com.

Nicole is also a small business owner. She describes herself as a natural-light photographer. “I love capturing memories for people – families, couples, individuals. Each shoot I do is unique in its own way.” You can look at some of Nicole's photography at www.nicoleharkin.com.

In her spare time, Nicole enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and coffee! As for advice to current and future law students, “Even if you feel like you may have made a mistake attending law school or a traditional attorney career is not for you – think it through carefully. The way you learn to think during law school is unique – you will learn analytical skills that you could not learn otherwise.”

Work Hard, Foster Relationships, Give Back

Meghan J. Summers, '12

Meghan J. Summers ‘12 received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University, graduating summa cum laude and first in her major with a 4.0 GPA. As an undergraduate student at Cornell, Meghan studied communications, a major which allowed her to hone her writing and public speaking skills. She also spent time as a legal trainee at a solicitor’s firm in Dublin, Ireland, where she learned to draft contracts, perform legal research, and even assisted in writing a book chapter on Ireland’s cartel immunity program. It was this experience that made Meghan first realize her passion for the law.

After graduating from Cornell, Meghan spent a year working as a paralegal at Kirby McInerney LLP, a boutique litigation firm in New York City specializing in individual and class action securities fraud, antitrust, and qui tam litigation. As a paralegal, Meghan learned the rules of civil procedure and legal citation – skills that would come in especially useful in the years to come. She also solidified her plans for law school, applying to Pace Law School, where she was accepted with a full tuition scholarship.

While at Pace, Meghan continued to work part-time as a law clerk at Kirby McInerney. She also immersed herself in every opportunity that Pace had to offer. For example, she participated in Pace’s Federal Judicial Honors Program, through which she obtained an externship in the chambers of Magistrate Judge Paul E. Davison, United States District Court, Southern District of New York. The Judicial Honors Program also allowed Meghan to get to know one of her favorite professors, Jill Gross. “Professor Gross was my mentor for the program and worked with me on my writing piece.  She was one of those rare professors that took a real interest in her students, always having thoughtful and constructive feedback and advice to offer.”

At Pace, Meghan also served as an articles editor for the Pace Law Review and as a research assistant for another of her favorite professors, Professor Thomas McDonnell, during which time she edited and cite-checked a book Professor McDonnell authored on international law and terrorism. Meghan also spent a semester at University College London as part of Pace’s London Law Program. While there, she took courses on various aspects of international and EU law. Finally, Meghan participated in the Suspension Representation Project as a student advocate, where she represented New York City public school students at school suspension hearings.

During law school, Meghan also obtained various legal internships. During her 1L summer, Meghan served as an intern at the John Jay Legal Services, Criminal Justice Clinic: Post-Conviction Project, where she worked alongside Professor Adele Bernhard to help exonerate wrongfully convicted individuals through the presentation of newly discovered evidence. During her 2L summer, Meghan worked on criminal and family law cases at the Legal Aid Society of Orange County. Meghan also spent time during both summers (and throughout the school years) working for Kirby McInerney. After graduating from Pace summa cum laude in 2012, Meghan accepted an Associate position at Kirby McInerney.

At Kirby McInerney, Meghan specializes in complex commercial litigation, including the representation of plaintiffs in, inter alia, individual and class action lawsuits involving securities and commodities fraud, structured finance fraud, antitrust, consumer fraud, and common law torts. She is currently litigating several noteworthy cases, including In re Libor-Based Financial Instruments Antitrust Litigation and In re Foreign Exchange Benchmark Rates Antitrust Litigation, the latter of which has already achieved partial settlements of over $2 billion. She is also working to expand the firm’s reach into Europe, where collective redress mechanisms are becoming more prevalent, particularly in the context of securities and antitrust litigation. In December 2017, Meghan was elevated to firm partnership, and is currently the youngest Partner Kirby McInerney has ever had.

In her spare time, Meghan volunteers with the animal rescue organization, Stray from the Heart, through which she rescued her own dog from Puerto Rico in 2015. She is an avid fitness enthusiast and is currently training for her second Spartan Race, and she also loves to travel internationally whenever she can. Meghan’s advice for current and future law students? “Work hard, have an open mind, and take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. You never know who you will meet, what you will learn, and where each opportunity will take you. Foster relationships with your professors, with one another, and with others around you – those relationships are invaluable. Don’t forget to give back. Being a member of the legal profession is a privilege and with that, comes the responsibility to help the less fortunate. And most importantly, figure out your passion and pursue it with all your heart. It is so much more rewarding when you live to work, rather than work to live.”  

Believe in Yourself

Minika N. Udoko, '16

Minika N. Udoko ’16 knew from an early age that she wanted to pursue a career in law. “While I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, I am a first generation Nigerian-American. As a first generation law student in my family and a minority, I always wanted to pursue the highest level of education possible that interested me. For me, that was always law.”

As an undergraduate, Minika obtained her Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Brenau University Women’s College in Gainesville, GA.  During college, Minika decided that after graduating she wanted to relocate to New York to pursue her Juris Doctor. “Pace was a wonderful option for me. In my research, I found that Pace University’s mission is Opportunitas – this spoke directly to me as a first generation Nigerian-American.”

Minika was pleased with her decision to attend Pace Law immediately. “I had so many positive experiences throughout my time at Pace. During the Summer of 2014, I was a student in Professor Vanessa Merton’s Immigration Clinic. Professor Merton’s teaching style focuses on practicality. Also, I took Evidence and Negotiations with Professor Lissa Griffin. I also found her to have a very practical approach to learning. Both Professor Merton and Griffin encouraged me to go above and beyond and took a keen interest in my academic and professional development as law student.”  

Traveling and seeing other cultures and countries is also important to Minika. Luckily, she was able to participate in two study abroad programs while at Pace. “I traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil through the Environmental Law Program and learned about the environmental regimes of the United States and Brazil. I also was able to travel to London and focus on comparative counterterrorism law. Both of these study abroad experiences further enriched my legal knowledge and understanding of the respective issues we focused on.”

Minika notes that during her time at Pace Law she was exposed to a variety of practical experiences and opportunities. “I had internships at Safe Horizon with their Domestic Violence Law Project, with Urban Justice Project, the Housing Unit of Manhattan Legal Services, and the New York City Housing Authority’s Law Department. I was also fortunate to have the opportunity to be a student attorney with Pace Law’s Barbara C. Salken Criminal Justice Clinic. When I graduated, because of all of these experiences, I felt a step ahead in terms of practical experience and my ability to jump into a variety of situations already knowledgeable.”

After graduating, Minika joined the New York State Bar Association as Special Projects Lead. From there, she became Manager of Section and Solo-Small Firm Member Outreach. And, recently, Minika started in a new position with the NYSBA, Diversity and Inclusion Specialist. “As Diversity and Inclusion Specialist, I am responsible for overseeing the Association’s efforts to increase diversity and inclusion in the Association and the legal profession through educational programming and outreach in coordination with the Association's committees and sections. This position is extremely important to me because of my personal background. I feel honored to be able to serve as a resource to the NYSBA committees, sections, and staff liaisons regarding programming focused on promoting diversity and inclusion, and the elimination of bias.”

When asked what advice she would have for current and future law students, Minika’s answer is two-part. “Stay involved. I was a member of several student organizations and not only does it give you different perspectives, but it gives you a core group of individuals to network with. And, my other advice comes from my late grandmother, who is my greatest inspiration, she encouraged and supported my dreams of becoming a lawyer as a child. As a result of her, I have always strongly believed in the Eleanor Roosevelt quote “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” I would encourage all law students to do the same – believe in yourself and your dreams.”

A Leading Environmental Scholar

Dr. Mingde Cao, SJD

Dr. Mingde Cao was recently awarded his doctoral (SJD) degree in Environmental Law by the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University. He was also presented with the Françoise Burhenne-Guilmin Award for Merit. He received this honor due to the excellence of his thesis, “A Comparative Study of Carbon Emission Reduction Systems.” Dean Emeritus Richard Ottinger notes that “Mingde’s thesis incorporated original research methods and was extremely thorough and insightful.” After the defense of his thesis, the Law School’s SJD Faculty Committee conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Juridical Sciences and he was officially welcomed as an alumnus.

Currently, Professor Cao is an environmental law professor at the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL). As a leading China environmental scholar, he participated in the drafting of the revised the major 2014 amendment of China’s Environmental Protection Law. He noted that this law was a major advancement in China’s legal efforts to promote environmental protection.

Professor Cao was a recipient of the China Law Society Award to the Ten Most Distinguished Law Professors in 2006. He has made significant scientific contributions through his research and publications throughout his career, specifically focused on carbon emissions, the environment, the ecological system, climate protection, protecting wildlife, climate change, and more. He has published three books, two textbooks, and over 100 academic pieces.

Before completing his SJD degree at Pace, Professor Cao was a visiting scholar at the Law School from 2005-2006. He was also a visiting scholar at Faculty of Law University of British Columbia, and received his LLM from Vermont Law School.  He was the Vice President of the China Association of Environmental Resources Law Research, Vice President of the Environmental Law Branch of the Chinese Society for Environmental Sciences, Director of Climate Change and Natural Resources Law Research Center of CUPL, and a legal expert of All China Environment Federation (ACEF).

Professor Cao notes that, “My studies during the course of obtaining my SJD at Pace Law were extremely interesting and valuable. What I learned at Pace will contribute immensely to my current and future research and advocacy in favor of environmental law.” 

An Alternative Career

Kate L. Harrison, '08

Kate L. Harrison (’08) is an author, a communications and marketing expert, a consultant, a business owner, an entrepreneur, and a graduate from Pace Law and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

At Pace, Kate was a member of the Pace Environmental Law Review and participated in the federal judicial honors program. “In addition to amazing, knowledgeable and dedicated professors like Professor Ann Powers (who taught me how to accurately calculate effluent levels) and Professor Don Doernberg (who turned civil procedure into one of my favorite classes with his enthusiasm for the topic), Pace had so much to offer in terms of experiential learning. Through the judicial externship program, I was able to work directly with Judge Stefan Underhill and see what clerking was like. The Pace network also connected me one summer with Sive, Paget, & Riesel, a boutique environmental law firm in New York, where I was able to experience life in private practice.”

While still a student at Pace, Kate was hard at work writing what would become a best-selling green wedding book, The Green Bride Guide. From there, she went on to found the leading green wedding website in the country. “It was something I was extremely passionate about. Once I started planning my own wedding, and wanted to do so sustainably, I realized there were few resources to help me. From there, I started writing the book and developing the website.”  After helping over 2 million brides “go green” – Kate sold the company to mywedding.com in 2014. “I still run a green wedding professional certification class and am still extremely passionate about green wedding planning. It is the country’s first Green Wedding Professional Certification Course administered online and at colleges throughout the United States. ”

Currently, Kate runs a branding and marketing firm, Kate L. Harrison Consulting, offering communication, branding and content marketing services to sustainable businesses, startups, nonprofits and government organizations. “Green technology and going green remain passions of mine. In everything I do, I have in mind the most sustainable way to do it. I like to work on projects that make the world better in some tangible way.”

Most recently, Kate collaborated with her father, Henry S. Harrison, who is a leading Real Estate author in the country.  Kate’s father, Henry, previously wrote a book called Houses: The Illustrated Guide to Construction, Design and Systems. “Given the current trends, I thought it would be fun to make a coloring book out of my father’s original book to bring the content to a younger and wider audience. As a result, we just released the first edition, which covers Early American and Victorian homes. The name of the book is Houses, Houses, Houses Coloring Book: Vol. 1: Early American Styles. We designed the book with a variety of audiences in mind, from real estate professionals, to house lovers, to architecture students, homebuyers, and individuals looking for a fun and unique house-warming gift.”

As a “non-traditional” law graduate, in terms of her career, Kate values her law degree and it has benefitted her tremendously as an entrepreneur.  “While I ended up pursuing an entrepreneurial path after law school instead of practicing, I still credit Pace with really teaching me how to dissect problems and lay out logical step-by-step solutions, which is a process I use daily as a branding and marketing consultant. My clients, like plaintiffs, often come to me with a messy story and a rough idea of what they need and my job is to look at the overall picture, their goals, and the marketplace and advise them on what I think their best course of action is. I love the work and appreciate the tools Pace gave me to do it.”

Kate lives in Southern Maryland with her husband Barry and their two children, Sterling (age 6) and Clio (age 3). In her free time, she enjoys baking, painting, exploring new business ventures, traveling, and Zumba. Kate’s advice for future law students? “Explore your passions and lead a balanced life.”

An Instrumental Education

Maria Antonia Tigre, LLM '14, SJD Candidate

Maria Antonia Tigre a Pace Law LLM graduate ('14), Pace Law SJD candidate, and Senior Environmental Attorney at the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice, recently published her book "Regional Cooperation in Amazonia: A Comparative Environmental Law Analysis," which provides a broad overview of the international, regional, and national laws applied to the Amazon rainforest and investigates efforts at regional cooperation for the protection of the Amazonian ecosystem, including an in-depth analysis of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO). Learning about comparative environmental law from Prof. Nicholas Robinson, Ms. Tigre discovered how the field can be “fascinating,” as different countries find different legal alternatives to similar problems, especially in a shared ecosystem as the Amazon rainforest.

Ms. Tigre started her career in Brazil, where she worked in a boutique environmental law firm. She then advised infrastructure companies on environmental impact assessments, permitting procedures and environmental due diligences. Wanting to take her studies further, Ms. Tigre applied and was accepted into Pace Law’s LLM programs. She graduated magna cum laude with an LLM in Environmental Law and also an LLM in Comparative Legal Studies. Through Pace’s Environmental Diplomacy Practicum, she interned with the United Nations. She was assigned to the Mission of Saint Kitts and Nevis and focused on the impact of climate change on small island states.

After graduation, Ms. Tigre had a fellowship with the World Resources Institute, where she developed a toolkit for good governance in cities in developing countries, such as her hometown of Rio de Janeiro. As a senior attorney at the Environment Program at the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice, Ms. Tigre provides pro bono legal support to environmental NGOs across the globe. Ms. Tigre is currently pursuing her SJD in Environmental Law at Pace. “I cannot overstate the usefulness of Pace’s LLM and SJD programs. The curriculum has made me a better attorney and in turn, a better advocate for my clients. In addition, it has made me an improved scholar in terms of research, writing, and teaching. As my supervisor both in my LLM and SJD thesis, Prof. Robinson has been instrumental in helping me shape my career in the US, and his support was paramount in publishing my first book.”

Other recent publications of Ms. Tigre’s include an article entitled ‘Cooperation for Climate Mitigation in Amazonia: Brazil’s Emerging Role as a Regional Leader’ in the Transnational Environmental Law (TEL) journal published by Cambridge University Press and a book chapter about the Dutch Urgenda Case, entitled ‘Trends in Climate Justice Litigation: The Dutch Case and Global Repercussions’ in Climate Justice: Case Studies in Global Regional Governance Challenges.

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