Will Acevedo-Hernandez

A 2021 Commencement Q&A

What do you remember from your first day of law school at Pace? 

I will always remember my first day at Pace for being both one of the most exciting and terrifying moments of my life. As I sat through my first Civil Procedure lecture that Monday I was doing everything I could to quiet my mind and tune into what Prof. Mushlin was covering, but if I’m being honest, Civil Procedure was competing with thoughts of “Wow am I actually finally here?, Am I really cut out for this?, and geez these people are smart.” While I definitely did not get the sense of surety in myself that Pace has now come to give me, by the end of the day though one thing was certain—yes I would be challenged, and yes, I was going to have hard days, but if there was any place that was going to turn me into a lawyer it would be Pace.

What experiences throughout your time at Haub Law did you find most impactful?

So I have always said to anyone who cared to listen, that one of the things that makes Pace special is just how hands on you get to be. One of the most impactful pieces of advice that I was given which still helps me to this day came from Professor Carol Barry. As I was talking with one of my now mentors, she told me “Go into your first summer internship ready to learn and work, and everything will be fine. You’re not going to be given anything where they won’t be able to walk it back if you make a mistake.” I took that advice to heart and learned so much from my time with the Westchester District Attorney’s Office in large part because I wasn’t afraid to fully engage in the opportunity. That’s what Pace trains you to do, go into this work in very real and practical ways, ready and eager to learn.

What are your post-law school career plans?

I am exceptionally fortunate to say that I will be starting as an Assistant District Attorney for the Queens County District Attorney’s Office in September of 2021. QDA was the last place I interned at and I can honestly say, it’s an amazing office. I am excited to serve the People of the State of New York and the residents of Queens County in this role. 

What would your advice be for any incoming or current law students?

However you can, and as often as you can, always be willing to help. SO MUCH of what I have learned and accomplished while at Pace came from my being the guy in the room who was willing to lend a hand when it was needed. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but at least in my view, our community just has a way of bringing that out. Whenever I try to be helpful, it really is for the sake of being of service. But I wouldn’t be totally honest if I didn’t recognize that it’s in these opportunities that I was given the chance to acquire real skills that I continue to build on to this day. 

How would you sum up your feelings about graduating from Haub Law?

To put it plainly, one of the best decisions of my life was attending Pace. I knew I wanted to be a lawyer from the age of nine. I can be that specific because I literally made the announcement to my mom and dad on the heels of a Law and Order episode I had just finished watching. (Yes, I was that child). When the time came to actually get the knowledge I needed to finally achieve that goal though, Pace took the chance on me. I am exceptionally proud to say I am graduating from the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University.
Processional Will