Professor Stephen J. Ellmann (1951–2019) was a beloved scholar of human rights, constitutional law, and clinical theory and practice who taught at NYLS for nearly 30 years until his death in March 2019.
As Director of the Office of Clinical and Experiential Learning at NYLS, Professor Ellmann helped lead the School’s expansion of opportunities for students to develop practical lawyering skills. He wrote extensively on the skills and ethics of lawyers’ interviewing and counseling of clients. He also wrote about broader questions of legal ethics, and in 1990 he earned the Sanford D. Levy Memorial Award from the New York State Bar Association Committee on Professional Ethics.
In 1985, while teaching at Columbia Law School, he launched the Clinical Theory Workshop. Through the workshop, law professors from around the nation have presented papers on various aspects of clinical education, including understanding lawyering skills, training students in them, and encountering the realities of law practice.
Beginning in 1992, the workshops met regularly at NYLS. They became a model for the development of similar workshops elsewhere in the United States. Today, NYLS, New York University School of Law, the City University of New York School of Law, and Fordham Law School jointly sponsor the workshop series, signifying Professor Ellmann’s broad and lasting influence in clinical education.
For additional information, contact Professor Richard D. Marsico, Director of NYLS’s Impact Center for Public Interest Law.