McGeorge School of Law

Daniel Cacciatore ’20: A passion for protecting the environment

April 3, 2020

Daniel Cacciatore ’20

Daniel Cacciatore ’20

When it comes to recommending University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law to potential students, Daniel Cacciatore ’20 doesn’t spare the accolades.

“Just to be a student at McGeorge is helping me be the man I’ve always wanted to become,” said an enthusiastic Cacciatore, a Sacramento resident and third-year law student. “The school and the faculty have helped me accomplish my dreams of becoming a successful attorney and individual.

“I’m making changes and pursuing my passions.”

A New Jersey native, Cacciatore moved to Florida after studying at West Virginia and Kean University, largely to get away from the cold weather, and ended up working full-time as the lead assistant for a boutique Florida law firm.

With an undergraduate degree in political science, Cacciatore was determined to earn a law degree and become a full-fledged attorney. He discovered McGeorge when he followed friends to California and remembers feeling good about the campus when he first visited, noting the dedication of faculty and staff and their abiding interest in their students as the school’s most outstanding characteristics.

Originally determined to practice state government law, Cacciatore said professor Stephen C. McCaffrey’s international water law seminar helped him instead shift directions as he discovered an interest in water and environmental law.

“Professor McCaffrey’s international water courses are amazing because he has so much experience with huge international cases with far-reaching implications,” Cacciatore said. “Water issues and retention rights underlie a majority of the legal issues worldwide, and he helped me understand that.”

In addition, he noted that professors Jennifer Harder and Rachael Salcido “teach in interactive ways, always hands-on, which is beneficial in learning how to practice law.”

Presently, Cacciatore is working for the Delta Stewardship Council, where he has handled CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) matters using knowledge he gained in his classes at McGeorge. He enjoys applying academic learning to real-world issues, such as fighting for better water quality in the California Delta.

He met his wife, Jessamy, in a Sacramento dance club and they share a 6-month-old daughter, Aegean, Gigi for short. Fittingly, she is named after a Mediterranean sea. After graduation from law school and passing the bar, the couple want to relocate to a coastal community in Northern California.

For Cacciatore and his family, his time in law school has passed quickly. He encourages undergraduates interested in pursuing law to keep their dreams and passions foremost in mind.

“Never let those be influenced by things you witness in your studies, and don’t let anything bring you down,” he recommended. “It seems like a struggle, but before you know it, you’ll be graduating.

“Law school helps you develop into a stronger and more resilient individual,” he added, “with deep friendships that will grow and last forever.

“It’s all worth it in the end.”