Alumni Profiles

The Environmental & Land Use Law Alumni Group was formed to provide interaction between alumni and students. The following alumni serve as co-chairs of the Alumni Group.

Thomas G. Pelham
Thomas G. Pelham is a Land Use and Planning consultant with extensive experience in administrative procedures. He previously served as the secretary of the Florida Department of Community Affairs from 2007-2011. Pelham received his J.D. from Florida State Law in 1971, and his LL.M. from Harvard in Land Use Planning Law, Local Government Law and Property Law in 1977. He has litigated and/or provided consulting services to both private and public sector clients regarding a wide range of land use and growth management matters, including zoning, development permits, comprehensive plan consistency cases, comprehensive plans and amendments, school and transportation concurrency, developments of regional impact, building moratoria, vested rights and takings claims. Pelham also has substantial experience in assisting major projects through the development review and approval process, and he has testified as an expert in comprehensive planning, land use planning and growth management in judicial and administrative proceedings.

Mary F. Smallwood
Mary F. Smallwood is a shareholder in GrayRobinson's Tallahassee office in the Administrative and Environmental practice groups. Previously, she was a partner at the Tallahassee law firm of Ruden McClosky. She graduated from the Florida State Law, magna cum laude, in 1977, where she served on Florida State University Law Review editorial board. Smallwood has concentrated in the area of environmental law for the past 23 years. From 1981 to 1986, she served as general counsel to the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation. In that capacity she supervised a legal staff in excess of 25 attorneys who handled all of the agency's legal matters, represented the agency in permitting and enforcement cases before the Environmental Regulation Commission, and lobbied before the Florida Legislature. From 1986-87, she served as director of the Division of Environmental Permitting for the Department of Environmental Protection where she was responsible for each of the agency's six district offices around the state and for the permitting of major projects in Tallahassee. While at the Department of Environmental Regulation, she worked closely with the federal environmental agencies, other state agencies, the water management districts and local environmental programs. Since joining Ruden, McClosky she has represented a variety of private and public sector clients in matters including groundwater remediation for petroleum contamination, federal Superfund cleanups, dredge and fill permitting, air pollution, and surface water management. Also, Smallwood served on the executive council of the Environmental and Land Use Law Section of the Florida Bar from 1986-97 and was chair of that Section from 1995-96.