Jonathan Nasca embraced his first year at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University with a vengeance and is reaping the rewards. "I was fully aware of the work and time commitments, which helped me do well," he says. That might be an understatement for Nasca, who entered his 2L year ranked No. 1 in his class.
Although Nasca's achievements reflect his personal drive and passion, he also credits Hofstra Law’s faculty and administrators for helping him along the way. Noting their roles in making recruiting introductions and holding Q&A sessions beyond office hours, he says, "I am constantly surprised by how much they give. They are adamant about us doing well."
Because Nasca developed close relationships with professors during his first year, he was exposed to unique opportunities as a 1L, such as working as a research assistant to Professor Katrina Kuh, an expert in environmental law. The role allowed Nasca to learn more about an area that greatly interests him while gaining important skills by researching, writing and editing for different projects, among them a textbook on environmental law.
Nasca's participation in Hofstra Law's Environmental Law Society provided another outlet for practical experience. He and several other members of the organization are drafting wind energy development legislation for consideration by the New York State Senate. "First-years got a crash course in advocacy and practical experience," he says.
Over the summer, Nasca was an honors law clerk at the Environmental Protection Agency in Philadelphia, where he worked in the Federal Facility Site Remediation Branch, which addresses site cleanup and renewable energy, and the Multimedia Branch, which deals with pollutants across several areas.
Despite the amount of time Nasca commits to his work, he is not too busy to notice and appreciate the culture at Hofstra Law: "It's a welcoming and involved atmosphere. There's a real community here." He adds, with a laugh, "I've also heard there's a good social life, but I don’t get out much."