Founded in the mid-1970s, the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University (Haub Law) has built a strong reputation for its environmental law program in its short history. The school’s namesake was a noted environmentalist and philanthropist whose charitable foundation has created several environmental programs in her name. Today, the environmental program is considered one of the top programs in the country. Haub Law also offers advanced law degrees focused on the subject matter. The law school’s historic campus sits partly on a battlefield from the American revolution. Despite being one of the newest law schools in the country, Haub Law has produced several federal judges, numerous New York assemblymen, and one Secretary of the State of New York.
Haub Law offers a number of programs to earn their Juris Doctor degree. Students may pursue their J.D. with a traditional three-year program, a part-time program, or an accelerated program (2.5 years). All J.D. programs require 88 hours of coursework of which 36 hours constitute the “first-year” program. These courses include the six, traditional courses of American legal education–civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, property, and torts–as well additional substantive courses in professional responsibility and administrative law. As part of the first-year program, students begin to develop practical legal skills in a two, three credits courses on fundamental and advanced legal skills. Both part-time flex students and accelerated J.D. students complete the same first-year curriculum requirements over a slightly modified time frame. Flex students generally take 8 to 10 hours per semester and complete the first-year program in two years.
Haub Law requires all J.D. candidates to complete an upper-level writing requirement, six hours of experiential learning credits, and participate in a professional development program. Haub Law offers students a unique “Path to Practice” program that prepares students to practice in certain specialties by prescribing certain academic and experiential courses. Additionally, Haub Law offers three formal certifications: environmental law, international law, and health law and policy. These certifications require additional focused coursework and demonstrate a student’s mastery of a practice area.
To complement its nationally acclaimed Juris Doctor in Environmental Law, Haub Law offers two advanced law degree programs focused on the subject matter. The Master of Laws (LL.M) in Environmental Law requires 24 hours of advanced study as well as an LL.M thesis. The majority of the credits are elective in nature. Additionally, Haub Law offers specialization tracks that focus on key areas of environmental law: global environmental law, sustainable development, and energy and climate change. The specialization tracks prescribe most of the 24 hours required to earn the LL.M degree.
For students who wish to pursue an academic career in environmental law, Haub Law offers a Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) in Environmental Law. The program requires at least one year of additional coursework although many students continue their coursework for two to three years. Following the completion of their coursework, S.J.D. candidates spend a year of residential work on their dissertation. This process allows students to work closely with Haub Law’s renowned faculty as they hone their research and writing. Students earn their S.J.D. after successful defense of their dissertation.
Haub Law also offers an LL.M focused on comparative and international law. This program is targeted at foreign law students who earned their first law degree in at an international university. This program also requires 24 credit hours for completion. Students may opt to focus on American law (with the intent of sitting for a bar exam) or focus on international law.
J.D. candidates at Haub Law may also pursue one of ten joint degrees that pair their Juris Doctor with another professional degree. Students interested in environmental law may earn both a J.D. and an LL.M from Haub Law in 3.5 years. Other joint degrees pair the J.D. with a Master’s degree from other professional schools such as the School of Forestry at Yale University, a Master of Business from Pace University’s Lubin School of Business, or a Master of Arts in Women’s studies from Sarah Lawrence College. Joint degrees allow students to complete both programs in less time than pursuing them separately.
Career and Career Placement
Within 10 months of graduation, over 88% of Haub Law graduates are employed in long-term, full-time careers. Of those employed, almost all (98%) are employed in careers that require a law license or prefer a Juris Doctor degree. Less than 45% of graduates found careers in traditional law firm settings with law firms under 25 attorneys accounting for 75% of students who chose law firms for their first careers. As expected from a law school with a renowned reputation for environmental law, over a quarter of all employed graduates opted for work in government offices. Over 10% of graduates pursued careers in the business sector or secured judicial clerkships. New York–by a wide margin–was the most common destination for graduates to begin their professional careers.
With a staff comprised entirely of experienced lawyers, the Haub Law Center for Career and Professional Development (the “Center”) provides a broad range for students and alumni as they help them achieve their career goals. The Center provides one-on-one counseling, interview and resume preparation programs, extensive job searching support, and targeted programs for the school’s areas of strength such as environmental law careers.
Experiential Learning/Distance Education
All students at Haub Law are required to complete six hours of experiential learning. Students can satisfy this requirement through participation in the clinical program, through an external field placement, or through one of the school’s many simulation based courses.
Haub Law offers eight different clinical programs that allow students to work with live clients as they practice the skills of advocacy and case management. Haub Law houses an important environmental litigation clinic as well as clinics critical to the community such as the immigration law clinic and the neighborhood justice clinic. These clinics not only prepare students to practice law–they serve the indigent and under-represented citizens of the region. Clinicians are supervised by faculty experts who oversee students’ caseloads and offer critical feedback throughout the clinical program.
Haub Law’s externship program includes nine different field placement types that allow students to spend a semester embedded in an external legal office as they work alongside practicing attorneys. Externship offer even more practice areas for students to study including mediation, criminal prosecution, or work in real estate law. Externships also introduce students to the surrounding legal community allowing them to build their professional networks.
Simulations courses are based on skill work. Students learn by engaging with classmates to solve real-world legal problems through collaboration and practical skills. Simulation courses allow students to work through complex legal issues in the safety of the classroom.
The campus of Haub Law school is set just 30 minutes north of midtown Manhattan in the White Plains, New York. The student body is extremely active with more than half of students actively participating in student organizations, journals, and co-curricular activities. The law school houses almost 30 student organization and three academic journals. Haub Law instills in its students the necessity for the ethical practice of law through both classroom teachings as well as mentorship and promoting a balanced life. Hub Law also provides all students with significant technological support to help their education as well as their professional futures.
White Plains is an oasis away from the hustle of New York City but with quick access to everything wonderful about New York City. Housing is more affordable; public transportation is just as robust, and the law school has easy access to restaurants and entertainment options. In White Plains, law students enjoy some of the larger amenities offered by Pace University. Students also enjoy additional amenities located a short drive away on the main campus in Pleasantville. With all the life of New York City a short train ride away, Haub Law students enjoy tremendous affordability and quality of life at a fraction of the cost.