To Register for our upcoming Symposium on April 12, 2024 as an attendee, click here!

Lawyers, law schools, and corporate entities show increasing interest in sustainable business strategies. This is reflected by the growth in sustainability practice groups, law school courses, and textbooks illustrating the relationship between sustainability and business law; lawyers moving into executive-level sustainability positions in the private sector; and the proliferation of corporate sustainability policies, as well as increased interest in mitigating climate risk and engaging in sustainable finance. But what exactly is “sustainable business law,” and what role do lawyers play in advancing sustainability in the corporate world? And how can we ensure sustainable business strategies, especially those legally required, are truly effective? These are the questions this symposium aims to address. 

Given the recent litigation in State of Utah et al v. Walsh et al, 2:23CV00016, where the Northern District of Texas is considering the validity of a Department of Labor rule which allows ESG factors to be considered in retirement fund investments, the EU directives and SEC proposed rules regarding corporate climate and ESG disclosures, and the Biden Administration’s interest in promoting sustainable business more broadly, Pace Environmental Law Review (PELR) believes now is the time to think more deeply about the intersections between law and sustainable business.

We are pleased to announce an upcoming virtual symposium titled “Sustainable Business Law” hosted by the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University on Friday, April 12, 2024. The symposium will bring together scholars, advocates, regulators, practitioners, and policymakers to discuss the legal implications of sustainable business. Some possible topics and themes for interested scholars to consider writing include, but are not limited to:

  • Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)
  • The circular economy
  • Sustainability and blockchain technology
  • Environmental start-ups and emerging companies
  • International and comparative law perspectives
  • The role of the insurance industry in responding to climate change

To be considered, please email your CV and a 300-500 word abstract to pelracq@law.pace.edu with the subject line: PELR 2024 Symposium Issue.

  • Abstract Submission Deadline (300-500 words): October 1, 2023
  • Selection Notification: October 31, 2023

Based on abstract submissions, the organizers will invite speakers to present at the symposium, which will be held online. Additionally, one or more speakers may be selected to join Haub Law students and faculty at an in-person lunch and informal discussion in White Plains, New York following the online panel. All accepted abstracts can further be submitted as articles or essays and, consistent with the guidelines below, published in the Pace Environmental Law Review’s Symposium Issue.

If your abstract is accepted, the deadline for full articles is May 17, 2024, by 5:00pm EST.

  • Length: Articles should be between 25–75 double-spaced pages, including text and footnotes (6,250–19,000 words). Essays should be 12–25 double-spaced pages, including text and footnotes (3,00–6,250 words).
  • Style: Papers should embody thoughtful academic writing and explore a relevant symposium topic while offering a unique discussion.
  • Citations: All references should be cited as footnotes, following the citation style of the 21st edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citations.
  • Format: A table of contents should be included, noting all sections and subsections of the article. All articles should be submitted as a Word document, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins.

Also announcing the second Annual Professor John R. Nolon Student Writing Competition

Entries are encouraged from any law student from now until the final deadline of January 16, 2024. We encourage professors and practitioners to share this with law students you know may be interested! This year’s topic is Sustainable Business Law. Maximum length is 35 double-spaced pages, 12pt Times New Roman font (including footnotes, which may be single-spaced, 10pt Times New Roman font). Prize Awarded: 1st place: $500 and publication in PELR. 2nd and 3rd place – consideration for publication in PELR. Criteria for judging entries will be organization, practicality, originality, quality of research, and clarity of style.

To submit, email pelracq@law.pace.edu with the subject line reading: PELR 2024 Writing Competition.

Thank you to those who contributed to and attended our previous Symposium on October 28, 2022. Attendees enjoyed fascinating dialogue and brought thought-provoking questions for the panelists. You can view the recording below. 


Additionally, congratulations to Christen Maccone (Haub Law ’23), the 2022–2023 winner of the first Professor John R. Nolon Student Writing Competition. Christen’s article entitled Should Environmental Protection be Through Anthropocentric Rights? addresses the issues with human-centered, instead of eco-centered, environmental rights. The article will be published in Volume 41 of the Pace Environmental Law Review.