Brazil and Pace Law: An International Experience

Juliana Marcussi, '16

A native of Brazil, Juliana Marcussi graduated from the Faculty of Law of Franca in Franca, Brazil with her Bachelor of Law in 2007. Shortly thereafter, she received her LLM from Utrecht University in the Netherlands and completed her studies at The Hague Academy of International Law and Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo in 2010.

During her studies and prior to her attendance at Pace Law, Juliana had “more than 5 years of experience in advisory and litigation in various areas of Environmental Law.” This included assisting in environmental licensing procedures, due diligence investigations, judicial and administrative proceedings, negotiations with environmental prosecutors under civil and criminal investigations, and assessment of environmental liabilities arising from soil and water contamination.

Juliana recalls that it was during the time she spent as an attorney in environmental law that she decided she wanted to continue her education. “Pace Law’s SJD program was exactly what I was seeking out.” She went on to graduate from Pace in 2016 with her Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) in Environmental Law. “My experience at Pace made me improve not only my skills as an environmental attorney, but it also opened up my eyes to environmentalism. My time in White Plains gave me the opportunity to meet people that were essential for me to establish my values as an individual, as a student and as a professional. At Pace I was able to see myself in the future as a skilled attorney and passionate in the area of environmental protection.”

Currently, Juliana is the head of the Environmental Law Department of Martinelli Advogados in São Paulo, Brazil. Juliana notes “Martinelli Advogados is a 20-year-old full service law firm, one of the top 15 law firms in Brazil, and has been acknowledged as one of the most admired law firms by the magazine Análise Advocacia 500.”

Prior to her time at Pace and since graduating from Pace, Juliana has provided legal services for non-profit organizations, such as The Nature Conservancy, Greenpeace, Wildlife Conservation Society and Amnesty International, national and multinational companies, and acted in partnership with state and federal environmental prosecutors around Brazil. “I love what I do and I am passionate about environmental law. I see each new opportunity and experience as a chance to learn more and educate myself in a new way.”

As far as the future, Juliana is working on her next professional goal, “to create new methods and forms of legal assistance to the private sector, aiming to encourage the adoption of sustainable initiatives within their operations, so that private companies become allies to sustainability.”

Juliana’s describes her experience at Pace as “living in an environment where scholars focus their studies and goals to find and improve sustainable solutions for the current economy, where people breathe environmentalism. It was a unique opportunity for which I will always be grateful. Professor David Cassuto and Professor Nicholas Robinson were simply the best advisors I could ever have. They gave me a completely new perspective on academic work, law practice and environmental values, which has helped me in both my professional and personal life. To become familiar with and understand their point of views on various matters regarding sustainable development and environmentalism, contributed significantly to my ideals, and gave me the strength and excitement to pursue my goals related to environmentalism in the world.”

Juliana remains connected to Pace, so much so that recently, she helped to organize and host the first Environmental Law Colloquium in Brazil for Pace Law alumni and friends. “It was a unique opportunity to strengthen Pace Law’s connection to Brazil, to allow Pace alumni to meet, network, and collaborate, and to foster discussion and complex dialogues amongst experts focused on relevant environmental issues.”