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Consul General Claro S. Cristobal (6th from left, 2nd row) with Filipino-American lawyers (1st row, from left) Betheena Dizon of SGV/EY), Connie Montoya (FALA-NY), Amanda Bernardo (FALA-NY), Elizabeth Cueva (NYS DHR), Patricia Sta. Maria (Yale), (2nd row) Vice Consul Tanya Faye Ramiro, Graciela Base (Yale), April Lacson (NYU), Agatha Ramos (Columbia), Christine De Castro-Lejano (Columbia), Patricia Peña-Drilon (Columbia), Christian Drilon (Harvard), Tim Dauz (Fordham), Julianne Alberto (University of Michigan), Dr. Nona Helena Palarca, (3rd row) Jayson Lopez (Harvard), Alex Custodio (Columbia), Luisa Mauricio (Columbia), and Consul Arman Talbo.  (Photo by NYPCG)


Consul General Claro S. Cristobal met with Filipino lawyers taking up post-graduate studies at select universities in the U.S. northeast at the Philippine Center in New York on Jan. 25, 2019.

The students are currently enrolled at Columbia University, New York University, Fordham University, Yale University and Harvard University.

One student from the University of Michigan also attended the event.

Cristobal noted the steady increase in the number of Filipino law students taking masteral programs in the East Coast, particularly in New York, and that the Consulate will continue to reach out to Filipino student groups and help them establish networks with professionals from their chosen professions and with the Filipino-American community in the region.

He likewise encouraged them to be the Consulate’s partners in assisting members of the Fil-Am community particularly in legal matters.

The meeting afforded the students the opportunity to listen to insights from practicing Filipino-American lawyers Atty. Elizabeth Cueva of the New York State Department of Human Rights, Atty. Connie Montoya and Atty. Amanda Bernardo of the Filipino-American Lawyers Association in New York (FALA-NY), and Atty. Betheena Dizon of SGV/Ernst and Young, on their experiences practicing law in New York vis-à-vis law practice in the Philippines.

The students expressed their appreciation to the Consulate for reaching out and organizing the meeting, saying that the valuable information they gained from the fellowship had widened their perspective and networks.

They committed to assist the Consulate in strengthening the program so that future students from the Philippines would have a support system while studying in the East Coast.

Cristobal assured the group that the Consulate will organize similar events at least twice a year and expand it to cover other professions as well.


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From left, Atty. Betheena Dizon talks about her experience as an expat tax lawyer both in the Philippines and in New York. Atty. Connie Montoya speaks about the challenges of being a Filipino-American practicing law in New York. Atty. Amanda Bernardo talks about finding a niche in her law career assisting Filipinos on immigration-related cases. Atty. Elizabeth Cueva talks about her journey as a Filipino lawyer deciding to pursue a career in law in New York.  (Photos by NYPCG)

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