Philip Genty Made Honorary Professor at Macedonian Law School
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NEW YORK, January 15, 2009 — Columbia Law School Professor Philip Genty (below) has been awarded the title Professor Honoris Causa by Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Macedonia, for his work developing clinical education there.
Clinical education is still rare in Eastern and Western Europe. Columbia Law School clinical professors have worked to improve legal education in the countries of the former Soviet Union, Poland, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic, Serbia and Montenegro, Macedonia, Slovakia, Albania and Bulgaria. Genty has been involved in the initiation and support of Ss. Cyril’s clinical program since 2000.
“It’s nice to think in some official level that I am a colleague with them, and a part of the university,” he said. “Particularly in Macedonia, I've worked with a wonderful group of dedicated professors who are also gracious hosts.” And he said, “The students are just amazing and very excited about new educational opportunities.”
Genty directs the Prisoners and Families Rights Clinic at Columbia Law School. He also directs the first year Legal Practice Workshop and Law School Moot Court program and teaches professional responsibility. Last May, the graduating students at Columbia Law School awarded Genty the Willis M. Reese Prize for Excellence in Teaching.
While the Skopje clinical program does not, at present , work with real clients like Columbia Law School and most American law schools do, Genty is optimistic about their re-establishment in the future, particularly to address domestic violence there. The Skopje program does, however, use lawyer-client simulations and analysis of case files – which are novel approaches to teaching and learning law in Europe, and Macedonia.
“It’s a kind of time travel,” he said. “It’s like 30 or 40 years ago in legal education in the U.S., there’s innovative spirit that’s exciting to be a part of.”
Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School joins traditional strengths in international and comparative law, constitutional law, administrative law, business law and human rights law with pioneering work in the areas of intellectual property, digital technology, sexuality and gender, criminal and environmental law.