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