Paula brings leadership, sound judgment, creativity and strategic thinking to complex problem solving.
Paula serves the firm in two important capacities: as Chief Talent Officer (CTO) and as a practicing environmental litigator.
In her role as Chief Talent Officer, Paula is responsible for coordinating and leading the firm’s attorney talent recruiting, retention and development efforts. The CTO develops and executes a talent recruiting and retention strategy as part of the firm’s overall Vision and Strategic Plan and helps sustain a healthy, productive, positive and inclusive workplace for all employees. The CTO works with the Management Committee, Chiefs and Managers to create a collaborative and supportive environment and to build a workplace that fosters employee engagement and supports the Firm’s business objectives and values.
Paula has been active in firm-wide leadership positions since becoming a shareholder at B&D. In addition to serving as B&D’s Diversity Principal, Chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee and as a member of the firm’s Management Committee, in 2019 Paula led the creation and launch of B&D University (BDU) – the firm’s internal professional development curriculum on substantive legal skills and additional skills such as client service, leadership, business development, and marketing.
In her legal practice, Paula represents industrial manufacturing and refining companies in toxic torts, product liability suits, and suits brought under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and other similar statutes. She is sought after for her consensus-building skills in joint defense or other multi-party groups.
Paula specializes in cases concerning groundwater contamination and impacts to drinking water wells. Her significant experience and skill working with experts on issues related to causation, source identification, natural resource damages, remediation and repair, project management, and the fate and transport of contaminants in many types of media are highly valued by clients.
Paula works to understand both her clients’ business needs and litigation goals. She helps her clients manage risks in the manner best suited to their company’s overall strategy. She finds the practice of environmental law empowering, having the tools and credentials that can uncover good solutions for difficult challenges.
Her casework includes:
- Coordinating expert strategy and numerous expert reports regarding potential impacts to drinking water resources from thousands of sites and across multiple municipal and hydrogeologic boundaries where she helped her client negotiate a very favorable outcome before trial on the strength of the expert reports and legal arguments supported by them.
- Creating and executing a plan to bring her client into compliance with document preservation and production obligations while it was undergoing significant and stressful change that was efficient, targeted, and thorough, paying special attention to the political and business-related tensions at the company, and succeeded in bringing the client into compliance and put them in a good position for responding to discovery and creating a strong defense going forward.
Paula's research while at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies focused on land use and land use planning, including hydrogeology, wetland analysis, and restoration. She has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Pace Law School where she taught courses in Land Use Law, Environmental Litigation, and Toxic Torts.
- State University of New York - Empire State (B.S.)
- Business and Environmental Studies
- Yale University (M.E.M.)
- School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
- Pace University (J.D., summa cum laude, 2002)
- New York
- District of Columbia
- The Honorable Nina Gershon, United States District Judge in the Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court – Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court – Eastern District of New York
- New York State Bar Association
- American Bar Association, Section on Environment, Energy and Resources
- Board of Editors for Natural Resources and Environment
Paula has served on the firm's Management Committee and as the firm's Diversity & Inclusion principal and Diversity & Inclusion Committee Co-Chair. She is committed to B&D’s ongoing leadership in areas of diversity and inclusion, particularly in the environmental legal profession, and served as the Corporate Secretary for the Minority Corporate Counsel Association. She also served as a Planning Board Member for the Town/Village of Harrison, N.Y., as the Chair of the Westchester County Soil and Water Conservation District, and on the Board of Directors for the Victory Institute.
Honors & Awards
- Super Lawyers, part of Thomson Reuters, New York Super Lawyer (2013-2020)
- Who's Who Legal, part of Law Business Research Ltd., recognition in Environmental Law (2016-2017)
- Super Lawyers, part of Thomson Reuters, New York Rising Star (2011-2012)