Top 10 Law Schools in the Philippines (2000-2008)

Posted by Wicked Sago | Posted in | Posted on 1:56 PM

The following data was taken from the Philippine Supreme Court web site. The author came up with the list by averaging all the topnotchers from each schools from year 2000 to 2008.

10. University of the Cordilleras

Baguio Colleges, as the University of the Cordilleras was earlier known, pioneered in tertiary education in the mountain highlands of the Cordillera region amidst devastation in and around Baguio City after the Second World War.

Despite a pessimistic outlook and the bleak prospects pervading the climate of any undertaking at that time, Atty. Benjamin R. Salvosa envisioned Baguio City as a university town. With such vision, he undauntedly pursued a noble mission by founding a college.

It was on June 19, 1946, coinciding with the birth anniversary of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, that a historic event unfolded. Baguio Colleges was established initially offering courses in teacher training and liberal arts, with the first batch of enrollees consisting of 156 students. Classes were first held in rented spaces at the Antipolo building, and later, at the Lopez and Lamping buildings along Session Road, the city’s main thoroughfare.

9. San Sebastian College

The origin of the College of Law started way back in June, 1949, as the Lacson Law College, with Aniceto Fabia as the Dean. The Lacson Law College became the San Sebastian College-Recoletos Institute of Law on June 15, 1953. Its first Dean was Teodorico C. Martin(1952-1963), Jaime R. Nuevas(1963-1968), OIC Eduardo Martinez(1968-1969), Custodio O. Parlade(1969-1976), Antonio L. Gregorio, Sr. (1976-1988), Lorenzo R. Relova (1988-1990), Rufus B. Rodriguez (1990-1998), Arturo E. Balbastro (1998 -2002) and Abraham G. Espejo (2002-2003). From only 30 students in 1953, the student population of the College is presently at 800.

The faculty members have likewise increased from 10 in 1953 to around 55 at present. The College is the first and only Asian law school to become an associate member of the Southwestern Legal Foundation based in Dallas, Texas which sponsors the Annual Dallas Academy of American and International Law.

8. University of Cebu


The idea of establishing a College of Law in the University of Cebu was hatched five (5) years ago. Even before that UC President, Atty. Augusto W. Go, already received suggestions to put up a law school.

But it was only in 2001 that retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Regino Hermosisima Jr., presently the Chairman of the UC Board of Trustees, started moving in earnest towards the realizations of the idea. Through his initiative, breakfast and luncheon meetings were held among President Go, Chairman Hermosisima Jr., and Dean Adelino B. Sitoy to put everything into motion. Thus, the assistance of Dr. Alicia J. Tan, Vice-President for Academic Affairs was solicited to comply with administrative and other requirements.

7. Far Eastern University

The Institute started operations in 1934 and is now one of the oldest law schools in the Philippines.The Institute has the unique distinction of having two Philippine Senate Presidents served as Dean--Jovito Salonga (1956-1963) and Neptali Gonzales (1976-1986).

In 2003, the Institute teamed up with the De La Salle Graduate School of Business to offer the JD-MBA program, the first graduate dual program in law and business administration in the country.

6. Ateneo de Davao University

The Law School of the Ateneo de Davao University seeks to impart knowledge of the law; to inculcate professional ideals and attitudes; to develop professional skills such as logical analysis, counseling of clients, conduct of litigation, techniques of oral argument, negotiations and settlement, preparation of legal instruments; and to nurture the spirit of service rendered to the profession and to the public. On the whole, the College of Law strives to mold its students into excellent Christian lawyers.

The Ateneo de Davao was founded by the Society of Jesus upon the invitation of Msgr. Clovis Thibault, PME. They took over the St. Peter's Academy, a parish grade and high school. The Ateneo High School opened in June 1948 in a wooden building located in a six hectare lot in Matina. In 1951, the College of Arts and Sciences opened in Jacinto Street.

5. University of Santo Tomas

Known as Facultad de Derecho Civil, the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law is the oldest lay college in the University as well in the Philippines. It was established on September 2, 1734, the same year that the Faculty of Canon Law was founded, with a curriculum identical to that adopted during the time in leading universities in Europe.

The number of subjects in the curriculum was later enriched and expanded. During the major part of the Spanish regime the course consisted of twelve semesters (six years), based upon a year of preparatory work.

On several occasions during the American regime, the University of Santo Tomas modified the curriculum of the Faculty of Civil Law in order to meet the changing conditions. But firm in the resolve of turning out worthy members of the Bar and practical Catholic lawyers, the University adhered to its basic policy of retaining in its curriculum important subjects introduced during the Spanish regime in order to fully accomplish the aims and purposes of a sound Catholic legal education.

4. University of San Carlos

The college is one of the oldest law schools in the country. Established in 1937, USC College of Law has been and continues to be at the forefront of legal education and advancement of social change. Many of its graduates now occupying sensitive positions in the government have been known for being catalysts of change. We provide our students with the requisite tools to face the future as innovative thinkers, courageous champions of justice, and obedient servants of law.

We pride ourselves as the only law school in the south to be granted by the Supreme Court of the Philippines the privilege to have a Clinical Legal Education Program (CLEP) whereby our senior students are allowed to handle actual cases in the court with the assistance and under the guidance of a licensed member of the Bar. Likewise, we are the first law school outside the capital to be accredited by the Supreme Court to conduct Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) seminar for lawyers.

3. San Beda College

The College of Law was founded in 1948. Over the years, it has produced senators, justices of collegiate courts, judges of lower courts, active lawyers and law professors.
It has also achieved one of the highest bar passing rates and largest number of law graduates among law schools in the country. A famous alumnus, Florenz D. Regalado, is a Retired Justice of the Supreme Court, an established author, and the holder of the highest bar exam grade in the history of the bar exams in the Philippines.

In 2004, San Beda College partnered with the Supreme Court of the Philippines and the Philippine Judicial Academy to establish the Graduate School of Law, an entity that shall offer postgraduate studies on criminal justice and the judicial system in the country.
In the 2007 Bar Examinations, the College of Law got the highest passing percentage among all other law schools at 93.27% for all examinees and 93.18% for first takers.

2. University of the Philippines

The Board of Regents of the University of the Philippines formally approved the establishment of the College of Law on January 12, 1911.

The College, however, traces its beginnings to the law courses opened in 1910 by the Educational Department Committee of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), through the efforts of George A. Malcolm who was later to become the first permanent dean of the College.

In June 1911, the College was formally opened with first and second year classes. There was a total of 125 students comprising freshmen and sophomores, the latter numbering fifty when they started the YMCA school. Of this first law class, one became a President of the Philippines, another, a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, while several others became legislators and legal luminaries.

1. Ateneo de Manila University


The Ateneo School of Law is a Catholic and Jesuit institution situated within the larger Ateneo de Manila University.

The Ateneo Law School insists on intellectual rigor in the tradition of Jesuit education. Intellectual rigor includes a thorough grasp of the nature and ends of law, the ability to express legal conviction in forceful oral and written communication, and sensitivity to the role of law as instrument of service towards individuals and of social engineering.

The Law School integrates into its program opportunities for the deepening and maturing of Christian commitment and for participation in social mobilization for the creation of a more just social order.

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