The Pace-NRDC Food Law Initiative is a collaboration between the Elizabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University (Pace) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) that seeks to address the unmet legal service needs of farmers, food and beverage entrepreneurs, and nonprofit organizations seeking to improve the food system. The Initiative offers direct legal services through Pace's Food and Beverage Law Clinic, the first law school clinic in the country dedicated to providing pro bono transactional legal services to farming, food, and beverage businesses. Under faculty supervision, law students in the Clinic assist clients who cannot afford market-rate legal representation on matters including forming businesses, drafting and negotiating contracts, and navigating regulations. In addition, the Initiative conducts legal training programs on key issues affecting the food, beverage, and agriculture sectors. These programs provide farmers and food and beverage business owners with the tools they need to manage legal issues on their own and to know when to seek attorney assistance, and train attorneys who can incorporate these areas into their practices.
As a Regional Navigator, the Pace-NRDC Food Law Initiative will serve as a legal resource for their region's farming community on matters relating to farmland access and transfer. Pace's Food and Beverage Law Clinic will dedicate a portion of its services to representing farmers accessing and farmers and landowners transferring farmland. The Initiative will facilitate connections with attorneys and other professionals on land access and transfer matters, in addition to facilitating connections between farmers and landowners.