Student Involvement


The Pace Energy and Climate Center (“the Center”) offers numerous opportunities for Pace University students in the form of legal internships and research projects. The program focuses on policy analysis, legal writing and administrative practice related to electric utility law. Students will also learn some of the intricacies and skills associated with environmental non-profits and think tanks.

Energy law is a rapidly changing field, confronting emerging issues relating to climate change, distributed generation and renewable energy, cybersecurity, changes in wholesale and retail energy markets, and numerous other questions. By developing valuable skills and knowledge through practice, the Pace Energy and Climate Center intern program prepares young lawyers to confront pressing issues within the burgeoning field of energy law.

Students have gone on to careers at institutions central to the energy discussion, such as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Energy Foundation, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the New York Power Authority, and the New York Independent System Operator. Involvement at the Center provides students an opportunity to gain valuable experience in a unique and challenging area of the law while working with an interdisciplinary staff of lawyers, scientists, and economists.

While all students are welcome to apply, preference is given to rising 2L and 3L J.D. candidates. International LL.M. students who have completed their J.D.-equivalent training outside of the U.S. must complete the required law school writing course before being eligible for consideration.

2017 Academic Year Internship Program

The Pace Energy and Climate Center is seeking students for its 2017 Academic Year internship program. The program runs from September 18, 2017 to April 27, 2018. Preference is given to students who are able to commit to the full Academic Year internship, but alternate start / end dates may be arranged in some circumstances.

Applicants should submit (1) a resume, (2) a writing sample from a class, and (3) a response to one of the research questions below OR a personal statement of no more than 500 words addressing the applicant’s interest in energy and climate related legal practice. All writing samples must include proper citations and references. Applications must be submitted by 5pm on Tuesday, September 5, 2017.

Please email applications to Radina Valova at, or drop off hard copies in Room 215 of the E-House.

Interns are paid $10.00/hour with flexible hours up 20 hours per week during the academic year and 35 hours per week during the summer program.

Deliverable Goals

Interns learn primarily through support to staff at the Center. Past interns have produced project-specific legal memos and research, provided organizational support such as planning and organizing, explored questions of legal procedure and substance, worked in close coordination with environmental nonprofit groups, and directly participated in administrative proceedings. Interns experience a variety of tasks associated with energy law and environmental nonprofit organizations.

Research Questions

Applicants should submit either a 1-2 page response to one of the research questions below OR a personal statement of no more than 500 words addressing the applicant’s interest in energy and climate related legal practice.

Research topics the applicant may address include:

1.         Provide a procedural history of the Reforming the Energy Vision proceeding in New York State.

2.         Describe the differences between net metering and value of solar tariffs.

3.         Describe the difference between rate-based and mass-based greenhouse gas emissions standards.

4.         Summarize the procedural history of New York’s Green Bank proceeding.

5.         Describe standby rates, their purpose, and their impact on distributed generation.

6.         Summarize the NY Public Service Commission’s Order establishing Community Distributed Generation projects, and opine on whether the Commission permissibly interpreted its enabling statute.


Ottinger Interns. Dean Emeritus and PECC founder, Richard L. Ottinger, supervises several volunteer interns each semester. These interns work exclusively for Professor Ottinger on energy topics related to international sustainability. Interested students should bring their ideas to Professor Ottinger to discuss this opportunity.

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