Isabelle Hayes '24

An Environmental Impact

Isabelle Hayes ‘24 is from a big Irish family and the youngest of four. “My mom's parents were Irish immigrants. My dad's father attended Fordham Law in the late 1930s, served as the interim Borough President of Brooklyn in 1961, and was a State Supreme Court justice from 1977 to 1984.”

With a passion for environmentalism, inspired by her grandfather’s legal background, and while pursuing a MA in Environmental Policy at Pace University, Isabelle decided to pursue law school. “I decided to initially pursue a MA in Environmental Policy so that I could have a comprehensive understanding of environmental issues from a policy perspective. During these studies, I found myself more and more interested in the law and I wanted to learn how I could use the law to positively impact the environmental field and help people in my community. My graduate degree from Pace University provided me with a critical foundation to then build my legal skills and knowledge upon and sharpen my environmental focus, specifically in food, agriculture, and land use law.”

In her first two years at Haub Law, Isabelle has immersed herself in the various opportunities available to environmental law students. “Professor Nolon and the Land Use Law Center have inspired me. I have had the pleasure of being part of the LULC since my 1L year. Through the Center, I have met a wonderful community of students that are bright, kind, and motivated to have a positive impact.”

During the spring semester of her 2L year, Isabelle participated in the Food and Farm Business Law Clinic and is continuing with it this semester. “The Clinic has expanded my knowledge and taught me concrete skills; it has provided me invaluable "real world" lawyering experience. It has been very rewarding to participate in pro bono work, directly help clients with their needs, and have a positive impact in the food, agriculture, and land use law spaces. I feel very grateful to be a part of this Clinic.”

Now in her 3L year, Isabelle ultimately hopes to help people in her community, promote smart land use practices, and help to preserve and bolster agricultural spaces and communities throughout the state. Her advice for future and current law students: “Be patient and kind to yourself. You chose this path for a reason, do not lose sight of that vision. Choosing to pursue a law degree means choosing to be a leader in your community--take pride in embodying that role and embrace the responsibility that comes with it.”