Success Stories

Haub Alumni of the Month: Lisa Denig


In 2019, Lisa Denig was appointed Special Counsel for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Initiatives for the NYS Office of Court Administration, overseeing one of the most innovative programs to date in the New York Court system: the creation and implementation of Chief Judge Janet DiFiore’s initiative, the New York State Presumptive ADR Program. The Presumptive ADR Program was implemented in all five boroughs in addition to three specialty courts inside New York City. A certified mediator herself, Lisa is a strong advocate for requiring early ADR in civil court cases and strongly believed in and advocated for the initiative long before it came to fruition.

Lisa notes, “In order to implement this program properly, I had to meet with bar associations, ADR groups and other stakeholders to incorporate them into the new program as well as provide the necessary training opportunities for court staff and outside lawyers. I worked with numerous committees to create rules, templates, develop a data tracking system, along with evaluation forms so we could actually see how the newly instituted program was working and report this to the Chief Judge.”  

The program was a success, but it was an uphill battle at times. When asked about one of the biggest challenges she faced, Lisa answered: diversity. “I knew that there would be a diversity issue in the pool of mediators, but did not realize how serious it was. On the first day the mediation program was rolled out in New York City Civil Court, we had four cases that were amenable to mediation-all of whom spoke Spanish-and one Spanish interpreter. This brought home the issue of culture and diversity in mediation as well as all the concerns about access to justice that such challenges raise. From there, I made it a point to promote mediation trainings for diverse attorneys, connect with affinity bar associations, and more.”

Due in part to Lisa’s work, ADR plans were created that require litigants to attempt some form of ADR early in the stages of a civil case. The required ADR may include settlement conferences with judges or court staff, mediation, arbitration, or summary jury trials. Statistically speaking, the NYS Presumptive ADR Program is massive; Lisa notes that it deals with “over 1 million civil filings per year and more than 800,000 of those are in New York City alone.”  

Last year, in honor of her work advancing the Presumptive ADR Initiative, Lisa was recognized as one of New York Law Journal’s Attorney Innovators of the Year. “Not long ago, settlement or mediation were thought of as secondary to years of discovery, enormous cost outlays, and time spent on trial preparation. That is no longer the case. Today, attorneys come prepared-at the preliminary conference - to discuss alternative ways to resolve their case. Alternative dispute resolution is not the wave of the future, it is the present.”

After serving as Special Counsel for ADR Initiatives for two and a half years, Lisa recently accepted a position as Counsel to New York State Chief Judge Janet DiFiore. Although her role has expanded, Lisa remains the Chief Judge’s liaison to the Presumptive ADR Initiative, giving her the opportunity to remain active in the programs she spent years building.  Previously, Lisa spent nearly eight years at the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office in a variety of roles.

Lisa, who is an active member of Haub Law’s advisory board, the Board of Visitors, recalls fond memories of her time at the law school, which set her on the path for ADR success. “Pace gave me the tools I needed for a successful legal career after law school,” she said. “I loved my time as a law student and I continue to remain involved with the school. The best advice that I could give any current or future law student is to get involved and network – this will open up more doors than you could imagine.”

Philip Monteiro '22

Philip Monteiro is a current 3L at Haub Law from Dobbs Ferry, NY. He is also a first lieutenant with Civil Air Patrol. Upon graduating, he hopes to work to solve real problems for real people. For the 2021-2022 academic years, Philip is the president of the Pace Military Law and Veterans' Society (MILVETS).

Tell us a bit about your background.

I am from Dobbs Ferry, NY and the only child of two blue-collar parents. I was the first person in my immediate family to earn a bachelor's degree and will be the first lawyer in the family.

What inspired you to pursue a career in law?

Like many members of the profession, over the years, I developed a strong interest in debate, politics, and the application of reason to solve problems. Beyond that, I have always viewed law as a vehicle for helping people and giving power to those who otherwise have little or no power. I decided to pursue a career in law to do what I can to balance out this power dynamic and help give peace of mind to those I serve.

What are some of your favorite things about Haub Law?

I like the local feel of the school, not just in terms of the physical campus but also in the curriculum. There are many opportunities to learn about and work with New York State and local law, which I find highly valuable in meeting my goal of practicing in the Hudson Valley and New York metro area. One of my most memorable Haub Law experiences was having a sitting federal judge come into my 1L Civil Procedure class and holding an actual court session at the school. This allowed me to see the concepts taught in class come to life and demonstrated how law operates in practice.

What are your goals after you receive your degree?

Once I am admitted to practice I hope to get to work solving real problems for real people. My primary areas of interest are real estate, trust and estates, elder law, and aviation law. Ideally, I would like to combine all of these disciplines in my practice.

Are you involved in any school or local organizations?

I sit on the board of New Horizons Music of Westchester, a small nonprofit dedicated to promoting amateur and beginner bands in the Westchester community. I am also a member of the Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association. For the 2021-2022 academic years, I am also the president of the Pace Military Law and Veterans' Society (MILVETS).

What are some of your passions and hobbies outside of law school?

I am an avid trumpet and saxophone player. I also have a strong passion for aviation, and I serve as an officer and aircrew member in the Civil Air Patrol, the civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force.

What advice would you give a current or prospective law student?

In the beginning, it's okay to be unsure of exactly what you want to do or which area of law you want to pursue. In fact, you will likely change your interests as you progress through law school. There may be many people who discourage you, but at the same time there will be many people who will encourage you as well. Above all else, take care of yourself and don't neglect your own needs.

Joshua Brachfeld ‘23

Joshua Brachfeld is a 2L at Haub Law and so far he describes his experience at the School as “amazing.” “The School has been extremely helpful in assisting me navigate my law school experience in the midst of a pandemic. All the faculty and staff I have worked with have been great. Everyone is willing to help. Notably, the Center for Career and Professional Development has been a huge help this last year in helping draft my resume and respond to any questions or concerns I had about internships and in providing useful advice for applications.”

Joshua spent this past summer as a Judicial Intern for the Honorable Andrew E. Krause in the Southern District of New York. He noted that “everyday was something new in Judge Krause’s chambers. Some of the most interesting legal work I did included writing bench memos for the Judge and listening to pretrial and settlement conferences. This experience was great as it exposed me to many different areas of law. I was also able to further develop my legal writing skills. I learned to better synthesize and analyze information, and also discuss that information in a persuasive way. My research skills were very much enhanced and overall, I gained a better understanding of the stages of a lawsuit.”

While at Pace, Joshua is pursuing a concentration in corporate law. “Upon graduation, I plan on practicing Corporate Law in New York. I have accepted a 2022 Summer Associate position at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. This experience will provide me the opportunity to work on corporate matters, such as M&A, Private Capital, or Executive Compensation.” Recently, Joshua completed participating in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Student Honors Program. This is a ten-week program for law students to become acquainted with the regulation of the securities markets.

Boris Hrushko '24

Tell us a bit about your background.

I was born and raised in Ukraine. During my childhood and teenage years, I used to play soccer professionally for soccer clubs Shakhtar Donetsk and Metallurg Donetsk. I came to the United States when I was 17 to go to college in New York. I lived with my older sister for a while until I decided to join the military. After being honorably discharged from the Marine Corps, I graduated from Pace University in New York City and started at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in Fall 2021. My parents still live in Ukraine. My father is an electrical engineer, and my mother is a college professor. My sister continues to live in New York and works as a tax lawyer for a large international law firm.

What inspired you to pursue a career in law?

My sister was an original source of inspiration for me because she told me about her law school experience and some of the cases that she had worked on early in her legal career that had a real impact on other people’s lives. While she currently works as a corporate tax lawyer, she also does a significant amount of pro bono work for clients in need of immigration, tax and other advice. Similar to her, I want to be able to help immigrants obtain legal status in the US, as well as help people in need have proper representation in courts. Eventually joining efforts with my sister would be an added bonus! 

What activities are you involved in as a student?

I have been involved in Pace Veterans Association since my undergraduate years at Pace University. As a member of this organization, I have participated in numerous events throughout the years, such as Veterans Day parades, 9/11 events, job fairs, and speaking panels with military leaders. Being involved in Pace Veterans Association has been an extremely positive experience for me because I got a chance to be a part of a really dynamic veterans’ community and became friends with lots of other student veterans. Throughout our undergraduate years, we have supported each other on both academic and personal fronts. At Haub Law, I have joined the Military Law and Veterans’ Society and am looking forward to meeting my fellow veteran law students there. I have also recently become involved in the Sports, Entertainment, and Arts Law Society and the Criminal Justice Society at the Law School.

Thank you for your service. Can you speak about that experience?

The years I spent in the military have been life-changing for me. Completing boot camp in Parris Island was a very tough experience, which taught me to persevere and withstand any challenges. After completing the boot camp, I went to Marine Combat Training in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and then Supply School (Logistics) in Camp Johnson, North Carolina. Subsequently, I was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines (Infantry Battalion) aboard Camp Pendleton, California. In Camp Pendleton, I had two jobs –Supply Administration and Combat Marksmanship Coach. As part of the Supply Administration job, I had to account for the property of my Battalion, as well as place requisitions for the items that we were deficient on. I also had to oversee and manage the budget that my Battalion could spend on various items. As the Combat Marksmanship Coach, I had to supervise Marines on the shooting ranges, make sure that they adhere to the safety procedures, and correct their shooting positions so they could become more proficient in their shooting skills.

During my service, I have been deployed to Okinawa, Japan for 7 months. I also received a number of awards from the military, including three Certificates of Commendation for exemplary performance and Certificates of Recognition for volunteer services. As part of such volunteer services, I, among other things, helped US veterans who were homeless, displaced or disabled to find shelter, search for jobs, and prepare for job interviews.

What does it mean to you to be a veteran?

Being a veteran is of great importance to me. While serving in the Marine Corps, I have experienced a unique sense of comradery, friendship and support for each other. Every year when I march with Pace University in the Veterans Parade on November 11th, I experience very special moments of pride, joy and happiness. Military service has also had an impact on my law school experience. Mainly, it taught me mental and physical discipline, which I regularly incorporate into my law school life.

What do you enjoy doing outside of school?

I love to play soccer, run and exercise at the gym – I find that regular physical activities help me stay focused in school. I also like to spend time with my family and friends and read about sports.

What advice would you give a new or prospective law student?

Attending law school is a challenging, but very interesting path. Be ready to work hard and put in the hours and I am sure your efforts will pay off in the future.

Nechelle Nicholas '22

Let’s jump right in – how did you spend this past summer, as a rising 3L?

I was a summer intern at Black Marjieh & Sanford LLP. It was a great experience. I had the opportunity to complete assignments in many different aspects of insurance defense.  On one day, I was preparing summaries of depositions and medical records.  On another day, I was observing depositions, conferences, and was even asked to give feedback on case-strategy.  I was also able to draft discovery demands, responses, and motions. 

What do you feel you gained from your summer experience?

I definitely gained more practical legal experience, which was my goal for my 2L summer.  I began the internship with little knowledge on insurance law and have left with a lot of valuable experience.  I saw concepts such as negligence, service of process, and summary judgment at work, and analyzed them in current cases. I also sharpened my legal writing skills. 

What activities are you involved in at Haub Law?

I am an Articles Editor on the Pace Law Review, where I lead a group of Junior Associates weekly.  My law review note surrounding the Eighth Amendment and ICE detainees in the COVID-19 crisis will be published in the upcoming volume.  Also, I am the Public Relations Chair for the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) and will be competing with the BLSA Mock Trial team.  Along with those positions, I am a 3L Rep for the Women’s Association of Law Students.

Do you have a specific area of law you are focusing on or know what you hope to do upon graduation?

I am still undecided, but I plan to graduate with the Corporate Law Path to Practice.  I have developed a strong interest in litigation, so I hope to do some type of litigation upon graduation, whether it is commercial litigation or in the public interest sphere. 

What would you say about your Haub Law experience?

It has been great.  I have been able to participate in moot court competitions, the Federal Judicial Honors Program, law review, and a few societies. The small class sizes are a plus in terms of grasping course content and having your professors know you by name.  Also, the ability to participate in various externships and programs has helped me to see explore various areas of the law, while still figuring out what I would like to do upon graduation.  The non-competitive atmosphere has allowed me to thrive academically and socially, as everyone wants to see you do great.

Dana McClure '22

This past summer, 3L Dana McClure clerked at the law firm Shute, Mihaly, and Weinberger LLP based in San Francisco, CA. Dana spent the summer working on a variety of substantive projects ranging from researching novel issues in federal environmental law to drafting language for trial briefs. She notes, “Every day I was able to work on something new and interesting. Going into the experience, I hoped to gain hands-on experience with substantive litigation work, which I definitely received.”

Before attending law school, Dana lived in Oklahoma, where she experienced the devastating environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing firsthand. The editor-in-chief of Pace Environmental Law Review, Dana has spent the last two plus years at Haub Law immersing herself in all the environmental law program at the law school has to offer. “I came to Pace specifically for its environmental law program and upon graduating I hope to use my legal education to help transition away from the use of fossil fuels.”

Despite spending more than half of her law school experience amidst a pandemic, Dana feels prepared to graduate in May. “There have been challenges, particularly with COVID, but I have learned and grown a lot in my time here.”

Nina Rodriguez '22

“Pace has been incredibly kind to me, and I could not imagine my law school experience without the Haub Law community and all of the lifelong friends I have made here.​”

3L Nina Rodriguez spent her summer gaining legal experience as a housing intern with Bronx Legal Services. When she graduates, Nina hopes to help people that are in need and do work that advances social justice. Of importance to her this past summer were building a foundation for her future career through learning practical skills. She described the experience as exactly what she hoped for – very interesting and hands on. “Every day was different for me. Some days I spent a lot of time researching answers to niche landlord/tenant legal questions. Other days, I spent time talking to clients, doing intake, and providing them with advice.”

Haub Alumni of the Month: Caesar Lopez '12

Why I Give

Caesar Lopez fell in love with the Haub Law campus immediately upon visiting the School. “Location was an important factor for me. Additionally, I really liked that the Law School had relationships in and around Westchester and NYC with prestigious businesses, firms, and institutions. I ended up with my first job out of Haub Law at Beiersdorf, Inc., a global skincare company. This position would not have been possible without my experience in the externship program at Haub Law.”

The positive experiences and memories Caesar has from his time at Haub Law are abundant. “Externships were key. I loved my classes in Intellectual Property, Licensing, Entertainment Law, and Business Planning. All of my professors were so passionate about their practice that I enjoyed every single class I took.” Often overlooked, Caesar very much enjoyed the social side of law school. “I was able to develop lifelong friends and a meaningful network of exceptional attorneys. The student organization aspect served me well also. I was also one of the four founders of the Pace Intellectual Property Sports and Entertainment Law Forum. This was rewarding because the law school faculty supported us in developing a new platform that piqued my interests in the intersection of law and sports.”

As far as favorite professors, Caesar notes, “I may date myself, but he was known as Professor Anderson before he was Dean Anderson.”

Fast-forward to today, Caesar is the Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel of Orlando City Soccer Club of Major League Soccer and Orlando Pride of the National Women’s Soccer League. “I oversee all legal, human resources, administration, and government/external affairs.”

Now, as an alumnus, Caesar remains very involved with Haub Law. Although he is based in Florida, he is intimately involved in the Alumni Board and willing to chat with any prospective students or current students about their careers. A regular donor to the law school, giving back is very important to him. “Simply, I like to pay if forward and I believe we all have a duty to help the next generation of students make a difference.”

Michael Pabon '22

Knowledge is Power

What inspired you to pursue a career in law?

I was always taught "knowledge is power." I felt that pursuing a career in law would allow me to make the most significant impact on my community and beyond. I grew up in the John Adam's Projects in the South Bronx and Co-op City, splitting time with my mother and father. I was the second in my family to graduate from college, first to attend a top 50 university. I am the first in my family to attend law school or any other graduate program for that matter. Education is important to my family and important to me and I am proud of my path so far.

What do you feel makes Haub Law special?

I made a decision from the day I attended orientation during my 1L year that I was going to make a difference here. The entire Haub Law community made me feel welcomed and treated me like family. They guided me and enabled me to get involved as much as possible so I can truly make an impact. I will always be thankful for the community here at Haub Law.

What or who has inspired you during your time here?

The admissions team, specifically, Miguel Sanchez Robles and Cathy Alexander both reached out to me early in my law school career. The admissions team has been consistently resourceful and have opened the door to so many opportunities for me.

What are your hopes after you receive your law degree?

I am currently enrolled in a guided externship program where I am a Legal Intern for Definitive Sports Group, working with professional athletes. After graduation, I want to continue to work in the sports and entertainment world – there are so many opportunities and directions I could see myself going. I aspire to continue working with professional athletes, musicians, and actors/actresses on business relations, negotiations, etc.

Are you involved in any professional activities or organizations?

Yes! So many. I am VP of LALSA, a Member of Phi Alpha Delta Fraternity, Homburger Chapter, the Sports, Entertainment, and Arts Law Society, the New York State Bar Association, the Puerto Rican Bar Association, the Hispanic National Bar Association, and the Hudson Valley Hispanic Bar Association. I am also the 3L Representative for the Pace Law Student Bar Association and a Peer Leader. Importantly, I am also a Board Member of the Pace Law Diversity Board.

How has your Latinx background made you who you are and influenced your current and future path?

When I was in undergrad at Penn State, I was ashamed of who I was and as a result, I fabricated my identity to avoid being constantly ridiculed for being a Puerto Rican from The Bronx. When I got to Haub Law, I decided it was time to change all of that. I quickly realized that I should be proud of who I was and where I came from and for aspiring to beat the odds and make something of myself. At Haub Law, I joined LALSA to make a difference and to represent the Latinx community. I want people to know how important it is to be comfortable in your own skin and everything else that makes us who we are. I was the 1L Representative, Secretary, and now am Vice President of LALSA – and I am proud of that. Diversity comes in many different shapes and sizes, but all of which are important because there are no two identical stories. Each person provides their own perspective and learning experiences. Latinx lawyers are not a majority, and many Latinx families do not strive for that career path. I hope to serve as inspiration to others so they may follow my path into the legal profession. An additional important point, for some, determination is not enough. In the future, I hope to be in a position to provide additional resources to those in need so they too, can be all they wish to be.

What are some of your hobbies outside of school?

I love playing sports and producing music. I spend a lot of time in the studio putting pieces together. I also enjoy doing volunteer work with the community. I went to Puerto Rico in May and collaborated with Helping Hands for Puerto Rico, rebuilding schools and community centers.

What advice would you give a new or prospective student about pursuing a law degree?

Be yourself and find YOUR routine. You will hear everyone tell you their own opinion and how to do law school, you need to find out what works for you and be true to yourself. The pieces will all fall into place from there.

Michael Mingo '22

A Place to Call Home

“My experience at Haub Law has been a blessing. From my first day stepping on this campus, I knew this was my home for the next three years of my life. Not only did this school made a great first impression, but they have maintained their commitment to my colleagues and me throughout our legal education. I could go on and on thanking and being grateful to our career counselors, financial aid professionals, media personnel, professors, chefs in the dining hall, janitors, and so many more. At Haub Law, I am around people who accept me and are genuine – long after I graduate, it will always be a place that I call home.”

Michael Mingo is a 3L who is expected to graduate in May 2022. This past summer, he was a summer associate in the Legal Department of the American Civil Liberties Union of New York (NYCLU). As a summer associate, Michael performed legal research and writing, was regularly briefed on policy throughout New York State, and was given a variety of assignments on a weekly basis. Michael notes that at the NYCLU he was “primarily responsible for conducting legal research on pressing and often nuanced issues the NYCLU faces. Much of my work this summer revolved around protecting the civil liberties of all New Yorkers. In doing so, I worked to protect First Amendment rights, Sixth Amendment rights, and Equal Protection and Due Process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. I gained a more extensive network of skilled and passionate professionals.”

While at Haub Law, Michael is focusing on criminal law and upon graduating hopes to pursue a career in criminal defense. “I hope to join alongside a group of other passionate attorneys who, just like me, are committed to the individuals and communities impacted by our criminal legal system.”