Dean Kim Hawkins and Caitlin McGuire ’25 Evening with the delegation from the Philippines.
New York Law School is internationally recognized for its robust experiential learning program—including the experiential offerings for Evening Division students. With recent and upcoming teaching trips to Uzbekistan and Germany, NYLS’s Joe Plumeri Center for Social Justice and Economic Opportunity—which houses our internships, simulations, and clinics—is a model the world over.
In October, The Plumeri Center hosted a delegation from the Philippines that included Josefe C. Sorrera-Ty, Commissioner, representing the Philippines Association of Law Schools; Isaiah O. Asuncion III, Senior Partner, DivinaLaw; Floro C. Balato, Jr., Partner, DivinaLaw; Jose I. Dela Rama, Jr., Dean of Tarlac State University, School of Law; Madonna C. Echiverri, Presiding Judge of RTC QC Branch 81; Al Conrad B. Espaldon, Corporate Secretary and Compliance Officer of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA); Rigor R. Pascual, Acting Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court, City of Malolos, Bulacan, Branches 14 and 15; and Judge Sherwin Peter O. Pulayan, Presiding Judge of the Metropolitan Trial Court, Branch 1 of Manila.
The delegation’s visit was marked by a touch of drama, says Professor Kim Hawkins, Stephen J. Ellmann Dean for Clinical and Experiential Learning. As the delegation made their way to NYLS’s Tribeca campus from their hotel in Long Island City, historic rain fell on the City, flooding roads and subway stations across the five boroughs.
But even the rain couldn’t dampen the spirit of the event. The delegation made it to campus and, along with Dean Hawkins and Dean and President Anthony W. Crowell, had lunch and shared a wide-ranging conversation—“a really nice back and forth,” Dean Hawkins says.
Next, it was time for an in-depth presentation.
“I explained that at New York Law School, every incoming law student gets experiential learning from day one, starting with the yearlong Legal Practice course,” Dean Hawkins says. Covering the lawyering skills NYLS works to develop in its students, the academic courses that support that effort, summaries of our clinics and their many accomplishments, simulations courses, externships, co-curricular programs, direct client representation, and so much more, Dean Hawkins laid out the School’s comprehensive offerings.
“There are real differences in the way that lawyers get trained internationally,” Dean Hawkins says. Since most legal education in the Philippines is on a part-time basis with an emphasis on evening classes, the delegation was particularly curious about NYLS’s Evening Division experiential learning opportunities.
Dean Hawkins explained NYLS’s Evening Division-friendly experiential learning classes: simulations courses and live client opportunities that can happen remotely and outside of working hours, like a segment of the Nonprofit and Small Business Clinic.
Beyond classes, NYLS has plenty of infrastructure to support experiential learning — like our mock courtroom. (The delegation received a full tour that included The Plumeri Center and the Stiefel Room, which houses New York Law School Legal Services, Inc, the School’s in-house law firm.
“The level of commitment that we have here to experiential learning is pretty significant,” Hawkins says. It’s an aspect of the NYLS education that sets the School apart — and one that draws students set on developing lawyering skills in real-life situations to better prepare them to be devoted advocates in their careers.
Dean Kim Hawkins speaking to the delegation from the Philippines.
Experiential Learning at New York Law School’s Plumeri Center
Experiential learning is an integral part of the NYLS education. The Plumeri Center is NYLS’s home for experiential learning, and the Center houses our many clinics. Through our top-tier programs, we offer students the opportunity to turn theory into practice: Starting in their first year, students participate in counseling, interviewing, and negotiating exercises in their foundational Legal Practice course. During their upper-level years, students may select from a wide array of experiential learning courses to hone their lawyering skills. Together with a comprehensive legal education, these experiential offerings prepare our students for careers in advocacy.