FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Jennifer Riekert, Pace Law School (914) 422-4128, email@example.com
Tom Schuyler, M Booth & Associates (212) 593-3223, firstname.lastname@example.org
PIONEER PACE LAW SCHOOL ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAM
TO MARK 30TH ANNIVERSARY
Distinguished alumnus John P. Cahill to assess accomplishments and future of environmental law
Pace program was one of first in nation, helped shape the field
WHITE PLAINS, NY, September 25, 2007 – Pace Law School helped create the field of environmental law 30 years ago when environmental subjects were not regularly taught in law schools and most law firms did not have environmental law practices.
Now, when both are now mainstream, the school is celebrating its environmental program’s 30th anniversary with two days of reflections on the history and prospects of the field its professors and graduates have shaped. The school is regularly ranked among the top three law schools in the U.S. in environmental law.
Calls to future action also will be part of the anniversary program, which is being keynoted by one of the school’s stellar graduates, John P. Cahill (JD ‘85), former chief of staff and secretary to New York Governor George Pataki.
The event is open to the media with pre-reservation, to alumni, and to interested lawyers and policymakers. It takes place at Pace’s White Plains, N.Y., campus Friday and Saturday, October 19 and 20.
“Graduates of the environmental law program have made outstanding contributions to promoting and protecting the environmental standards,” wrote Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in a congratulatory letter.
Pioneer in the wilderness of saving the wilderness (and other ecosystems)
Pace Law School’s Environmental Law Program was among the first in the nation when it was founded in 1978 by Nicholas A. Robinson, then a recent graduate of Columbia Law School, now an internationally-recognized leader in the field.
Currently, the program’s most prominent environmental alumnus is Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (SJD ‘87), who is a professor and co-director of the school’s Environmental Litigation Clinic. Early graduates, Robinson says, include “Christopher Blanc, who went on to establish the first environmental crimes unit in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, and Marla Rubin, who became the leading scholarly commentator in New York State on professional responsibility in the practice of environmental law.”
Pace’s environmental law alumni, including those presenting at the anniversary, have been educated by some of the nation’s most outstanding environmental lawyers including Robinson; Richard L. Ottinger, dean emeritus of the Law School and a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives; Ann Powers, former vice president and general counsel of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Jeffrey G. Miller, former head of the EPA’s enforcement program; and Karl Coplan, co-Director of the Pace school’s Environmental Litigation Clinic.
Pace was the only environmental law program to start with an international specialization. It was the first U.S. law school admitted to membership in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), the oldest and largest international organization of governments, scientists and professionals working on conservation.
Summit conference, Law review, national moot court competition
Last year, the program was host to hundreds of the world’s best-known environmentalists who gathered at Pace Law School for one of the year’s largest and most important environmental summits, held under the auspices of the IUCN’s Academy of Environmental Law. With approximately 1,000 alumni, the environmental law program now attracts nearly one-third of each year’s entering class and sponsors a program of training and exchanges focused on environmental issues in Brazil, international internships, the Pace Environmental Law Review, the National Environmental Moot Court Competition, the Pace Energy Project that researches the environmental costs of electricity and promotes alternative energy sources, and the Environmental Litigation Clinic, which has helped win a number of landmark suits to protect the Hudson River and other natural resources. Reaching out across oceans and war zones, the widely-emulated program has offered distance learning opportunities for students in places from Gaza to Singapore.
“The multifaceted and successful careers of Pace Las alumni in many environmental fields are a true reflection of Pace’s long-term vision, dynamic leadership and committed faculty and staff,” wrote New York Governor Eliot Spitzer in a letter congratulating the Las School on the anniversary.
Anniversary panels and discussions will provide fresh legal views of issues that have been shaping recent international stories, from deadly pollution unleashed by rapid industrial development in emerging nations to punishing storms and floods.
Friday, October 19: John P. Cahill delivers Kerlin Distinguished Lecture in Environmental Law
The anniversary celebration will launch Friday evening, October 19, at 5PM when Cahill reflects on his experiences in Albany and outlines future environmental law issues that need attention in New York State and the nation. His talk, the annual Gilbert and Sarah Kerlin Distinguished Lecture in Environmental Law, is titled “Environmental Law in New York State: The Past as Prologue to the Future.”
Saturday, October 20
Sessions starting in early afternoon presented by Pace Law alumni will cover emerging topics including ethics, climate change, ethics, local land use issues, corporate responsibility, suits brought by citizens, and insurance.
The Legal Implications of Climate Change: The Future of Renewable Energy in the U.S.
Plenary session at 1:00 PM: “The Legal Implications of Climate Change: The Future of Renewable Energy in the United States.” Participating are Christopher Rizzo, an associate at Carter, Ledyard & Milburn LLC; Victor M. Tafur, Staff Attorney at Hudson Riverkeeper; Karl Rabago of AES Corporation; and Patricia Mastrianni, an attorney in the Division of Environmental Enforcement at the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. The session will explore how legal practices are changing to accommodate climate disruptions from greenhouse gasses to unavoidable natural events, and how these disruptions are changing areas like how insurance rates are set, how real estate development is designed, and how environmental impact statements are written. Mastrianni is in charge of rewriting the New York State rules for environmental impact statements, all of which will henceforth have to evaluate issues of climate change.
Other notable Saturday sessions, again featuring pace Law’s environmental alumni are:
• “The Future of Citizen Litigation in the Environmental Field,” focusing on cutting-edge issues in citizen suits brought under federal environmental statutes. The session will be conducted by Daniel E. Estrin, a supervising attorney in the Pace Environmental Law Clinic; Jeffrey Odefey, a counsel to the Waterkeeper Alliance; and Janice Dean, an Assistant Attorney General in the Environmental Protection Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s Office.
• “Global Aspects of Environmental Law Practice,” examining a spectrum of issues and led by John Garrison of the United States Agency for International Development, Marco Olsen, provost of the University of Belize, and Marc Yaggi, an attorney with the Waterkeeper Alliance.
• “Biofuels and the Promise of Sustainability: The Brazil Experience,” exploring major legal, environmental and policy issues facing the United States as it seeks to enhance energy security and increase its use of biofuels (as Brazil has). Participants include Marla Weider, an attorney with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Romulo S.R. Sampaio, a Brazilian lawyer pursuing his S.J.D in Environmental Law at Pace Law School, and C. Nicole Simmons, of the Law Office of Howard Davis.
Founded in 1976, Pace University School of Law has nearly 6,500 alumnae throughout the country and the world. It offers full- and part-time day and evening JD programs on its White Plains, NY, campus. The School also offers the Master of Laws in Environmental Law and in Comparative Legal Studies and an SJD in environmental law. The School of Law is part of a comprehensive, independent, and diversified University with campuses in New York City and Westchester County. www.law.pace.edu.