HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. —
Hofstra Law School Professor Serge Martinez has been awarded a grant to serve as a Fulbright Scholar to teach during the 2011-2012 academic year at the National Taiwan University College of Law in Taipei, the flagship law school in Taiwanese legal education.
“This is very exciting for me, both professionally and personally,” said Martinez. “Over the past several years, there has been a conversation developing in Taiwan about reforming their legal system. I am looking forward to participating in that conversation by demonstrating how experiential education and teaching practical lawyering skills can make an impact on the training of Taiwanese lawyers.”
While in Taiwan, Martinez will teach practical lawyering skills through experiential courses, giving students the opportunity to learn through simulations and similar exercises. His courses will cover a wide range of lawyering skills, including interviewing, counseling, negotiation and drafting.
“Currently, legal training in Taiwan is heavily focused on passing the bar exam, due to an extremely low bar passage rate,” Martinez added. “There has not been much time for students to think about what happens after law school once they are dealing with clients. Much like the development of clinical programs in American law schools was 40 years ago, I hope this will be a great opportunity for future Taiwanese lawyers to learn functional skills that are tailored to client needs and local law.”
The Fulbright Scholar grant is awarded to only a select few of the country’s best scholars each year and is part of the overall Fulbright Program. Sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright Program recognizes and encourages excellence in teaching in the U.S. and abroad. Named in honor of Senator William Fulbright, the program strives to promote mutual understanding among people of the United States and other countries.
Martinez has directed the Community and Economic Development Clinic at Hofstra Law since its establishment in spring 2007. Serving as attorney-in-charge of the clinic, he supervises students providing transactional assistance to nonprofits, community-based organizations and micro-enterprises in low-income communities in and around Nassau County. Martinez is also co-director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Fellowship. His scholarly interests include the pedagogy of practical legal education, community development and the use of storytelling in legal advocacy.
Prior to joining the Hofstra faculty, Martinez was an attorney in the Community Development Project of the Urban Justice Center in New York City. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Brigham Young University and a Juris Doctor from Yale University.