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.