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August 21, 2023

New York lawyer Jessica A. Bacher new chair of the ABA Section of State and Local Government Law

WASHINGTON, Aug. 21, 2023 — Jessica A. Bacher, executive director of the Land Use Law Center at Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in White Plains, New York, has been elected as chair of the American Bar Association’s Section of State and Local Government Law. Bacher will serve until August 2024.

The Land Use Law Center aims to foster the development of sustainable communities and regions. It promotes the use of innovative land use strategies and dispute resolution techniques.

At the center, Bacher is responsible for the development and implementation of projects that relate to the local land use practice, affordable housing, clean energy siting, sustainable communities, land use responses to sea level rise and resiliency, and code enforcement, as well as providing strategic assistance to numerous municipalities. She also serves as a trainer for the center’s award-winning Land Use Leadership Alliance Training Program that has educated more than 3,500 local leaders in land use strategies, consensus building and regional stewardship.

Recently, Bacher led the city of Newburgh, New York, in the development of a distressed property remediation implementation plan that focuses on the development of a land bank. She was also named to the Stakeholder Advisory Committee for New York State’s Master Plan for Aging.

A member of the ABA Section of State and Local Government Law, Bacher chairs the Distressed Properties Subcommittee of the Land Use Planning & Zoning Committee. She was selected by the ABA in 2014 to receive the Jefferson B. Fordham Award, which is presented to a young practitioner who has shown great promise through her contributions to the field.

Bacher is an adjunct professor at Pace Law where she teaches land use law, sustainable development survey, and the advanced land use and sustainable development seminar.

She also directs the Land Use Law Center’s academic programs and guides student research. In addition, she is a  lecturer and project supervisor at Yale School for the Environment, where she manages the school’s Land Use Clinic.

Bacher regularly writes land use features in New York and national publications and has edited numerous small books in the fields of land use and real estate law, including “Vacant and Problem Properties: A Guide to Legal Strategies and Remedies.” She also presents at regional and national conferences and has served on the New York State Climate Action Plan Land Use and Local Government Working Group, Climate Smart Communities Standards Committee and the Sea Level Rise Task Force Legal Work Group.

Bacher received her law degree from the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University and graduated with a B.S. degree from the University of Florida.

The ABA Section of State and Local Government Law is the premier association for lawyers involved in urban, state and local government law and policy. Lawyers in private practice, academia, the judiciary and government turn to the section to access the latest expert information on issues that relate to their practice, and share ideas and best practices with colleagues in dealing with government agencies.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.