Barely a week after he returns to Manila, Rommel Casis ’10 LL.M. will go back to school. But this time, Casis will find himself in front of a classroom at the University of the Philippines College of Law, where he has been a professor since 2005.
An experienced attorney and scholar, Casis practiced corporate law before he began teaching, and he also directed an international environmental law program in his home country. He says his time at the Law School not only expanded his knowledge base, but provided an opportunity for continued learning and advancement even after he finishes his studies at Columbia Law School. “The LL.M. [program] is a bridge,” Casis says. “It creates networks. Not just networks of knowledge, but networks of relationships with people who are ahead of you in the field—people who are in key positions and are very important in establishing contacts.”
Casis was eager to take classes at the Law School like Advanced Climate Change Law, taught by Professor Michael Gerrard, the director of the Center for Climate Change Law, who chose Casis to be a research assistant. He intends to build on the knowledge he gained by helping the Philippine government and legislators craft effective laws regarding climate change, which he says remains an emerging field in his country.
Casis also hopes to create and teach a new class at the Philippines College of Law based on two courses he enjoyed at the Law School: Use of Force in the International System and International Humanitarian Law. And there is still more learning ahead, he says—a J.S.D. or Ph.D. may loom on Casis’ horizon. “Coming here and seeing all the resources, all the possibilities,” he says, “has only made me thirstier, hungrier for more. I need to take it further.”