Ateneo School of Law

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Ateneo Law School)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ateneo de Manila University School of Law
Parent schoolAteneo de Manila University
School typePrivate, Roman Catholic
DeanJose Maria Hofileña
Location20 Rockwell Drive, Rockwell Center, Makati, Philippines
Bar pass rate67.55% (2012–2014)[1]
81.01% (2015)
97.36% (2016)[2]
83.44% (2017)[3]

The Ateneo de Manila University School of Law (often referred to as Ateneo Law School) is the law school of the Ateneo de Manila University, a private Jesuit university in the Philippines. It was founded in 1936, at the Padre Faura St., Ermita, Manila campus of the Ateneo, where it remained even after the college, graduate school, and basic education units moved to Loyola Heights, Quezon City in the 1950s. In 1977, it moved to Salcedo Village in Makati, and in 1998, transferred to its present location in Makati's Rockwell Center. Its current dean is alumnus Jose G. Hofileña who succeeded Sedfrey Candelaria who, in turn, succeeded Cesar L. Villanueva.[4][5][6] Its patron saint is Thomas More.[6]


The law school's primary academic offering is the 4-year law program leading to the degree of Juris Doctor. Aside from the J.D. program, it also offers a review program for the Philippine Bar Examination, a Mandatory Continuing Legal Education program, as well as seminars, conferences, and talks covering various issues. Faculty and students engage in research which are published in, among other places, the Ateneo Law Journal.[7]

Juris Doctor program[edit]

The Ateneo Law School offers a complete 4-year program leading to the degree of Juris Doctor (J.D.). The J.D. degree was first conferred on the school year 1990–1991 graduates. The Ateneo was the first law school in the Philippines to offer the J.D. in lieu of the Bachelor of Laws degree, which is still what most law schools in the Philippines offer today.[5][6][8][9][10]

The Ateneo JD program covers the different aspects of legal study required for admission to the practice of law. Among the key subjects are constitutional and political law, civil law, criminal law, remedial law, commercial law, international law, tax law, and legal ethics. There is a particular emphasis on legal and judicial ethics, with subjects on legal philosophy and history, legal profession, theology and Church social teachings, and ethics being part of the core Ateneo law program.[6][8][10]

In addition to these courses, students are required to undergo an apprenticeship program where junior and senior students get to appear in first level courts and work with other Ateneo law alumni on cases for marginalized sectors of the country. Students are also exposed to work with law firms, government agencies, public or private legal assistance agencies, courts in the Philippines, and work in the Ateneo's own Human Rights Center and Legal Services Center.[6][8][10]

Students also customize a part of their studies by choosing elective courses from a pool of offerings spanning a broad range of legal and social interests.[6][8][10]

As one of the final requirements, Ateneo law students are also required to prepare and defend a thesis on a novel and exigient subject of law. The work on the thesis culminates in the fourth year of studies, under the supervision of a faculty adviser and a committee.[6][8][10]

International Master of Laws Program[edit]

Beginning the academic year of 2011, the law school will offer an International Master of Laws Program ("LLM Program"). Discussions and plans for the LLM Program began in 2007[11] and was headed by Associate Dean Sedfrey Candelaria.

The LLM Program is a one-year program with a summer term and two academic semesters. In the summer term, all students take introductory classes including Introduction to the Philippine Hybrid Legal System (for foreign students), a Seminar on Contemporary Developments in International Law, Methods of Research and Statistics, Fundamentals of Thesis Writing, and a Seminar on Comparative Studies.[12]

In each of the first and second semesters of the regular academic year, students enroll in at least 10 units of major elective courses under the LL.M. Program, following an area of specializations. There are five planned areas of specialization which are ASEAN Legal Practice, International Human Rights, International Corporate and Business Law, International Economic Law, and International Commercial Arbitration. The LLM Program culminates with the preparation and defense of a thesis.[12]

Master of Laws in Intellectual Property Law[edit]

The law school entered into an agreement with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines to offer a Masters of Laws Degree in Intellectual Property Law ("LLM in IPL"). The LLM in IPL will be offered in the law school starting June 2011. Upon satisfactory completion of the program, students will be awarded a “Masters of Laws Degree in Intellectual Property” by the Ateneo de Manila University and the Intellectual Property Office.[13]

Bar Review Program[edit]

The law school offers a six-month comprehensive review program to prepare law students for the Philippine Bar Examination. It is open to both Ateneo Law School graduates and to graduates of other law schools. The program features classes and lectures from members of the law school's faculty as well as other legal scholars and practitioners. The program also has as part of its services the preparation and filing of Ateneo Law School graduates' petitions to the Supreme Court to take and qualify for the bar examinations.[6][7]

Mandatory Continuing Legal Education[edit]

The law school also offers a Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) program for lawyers to comply with the MCLE requirements set by the Supreme Court. The program is administered by the Center for Continuing Legal Education and Research.[7]

Other initiatives[edit]

Aside from its curricular offerings, the law school also hosts conferences, talks, and symposia hosted by groups such as the Ateneo Human Rights Center and the Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee Center for the Rule of Law. that bring together members of academe, students, and political and business leaders. The various centers also publish studies, articles, and papers in numerous publications.[7]


Deans of the Ateneo Law School
Justice Manuel Lim, 1936 – 1941
Deogracias T. Reyes, 1948 -1958
Jeremias U. Montemayor, 1958 – 1967
Justice Pompeyo Diaz, 1967 – 1974
Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J., 1974 – 1976
Judge Jesus de Veyra, 1976 – 1981
Judge Simeon Ferrer, 1981 – 1984
Eduardo De Los Angeles, 1984 – 1990
Cynthia Roxas-Del Castillo, 1990 – 2000
Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J., 2000 – 2004
Cesar L. Villanueva, 2004 – 2012
Sedfrey M. Candelaria, 2012 – May 31, 2018
Jose Maria Hofileña, June 1, 2018 – May 31, 2021
Early Years

The Ateneo de Manila opened its law school on June 6, 1936, with Ateneo alumnus Manuel Lim as its first dean. Freshmen and sophomore classes, and eventually, junior and senior classes were opened. In 1939, the first Ateneo law graduates took the bar examinations. In 1940, the Ateneo Law School produced its first bar topnotcher, Claudio Teehankee, who would eventually become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines in 1986.[5][6][10]

The school closed in 1941 as a result of the outbreak of the Second World War. The destruction of its facilities caused by the battle for the liberation of Manila delayed the resumption of classes after the war. It reopened in Padre Faura in 1948, with classes held in quonset huts.[5][6]

The school remained at Padre Faura as other units of the Ateneo moved to Loyola Heights in Quezon City in January, 1952. A concrete building was constructed in the Padre Faura campus, where classes were held until 1977. In June 1977, the law school transferred to a new location at the Ateneo Professional Schools Building along H.V. de la Costa St. in Salcedo Village, Makati City.[5][6]

In October, 1986, the Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC) was established. It was formally integrated into the law school in 1996 and began to handle the Ateneo Legal Aid Program.[5][6][10]

In 1984 until 1990, the school began work on restructuring the law program under the supervision of Dean Eduardo delos Angeles, and applied for government approval to confer the degree of Juris Doctor. The development, implementation, and growth happened in the term of Dean Cynthia del Castillo, which began in 1990. In 1991, the school conferred the Juris Doctor degree.[5][6][10]

Transfer to Rockwell

In the latter part of 1998, the law school transferred to its present location at the Ateneo Professional Schools Building at the Rockwell Center in Makati City. That same year, the Center for Continuing Legal Education (CCLE) was created as a special unit to provide a venue for continuing legal education programs for the active Bench and Bar as required by the Supreme Court.[5][6][10]

On July 1, 2000, the Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee Center for the Rule of Law (TCRL) was inaugurated. In the same year, constitutionalist and former Ateneo de Manila University President Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J. reassumed the position of dean, which he previously held from 1974–1976.[5][6][10]

In 2004, the school formally launched the Ateneo Legal Services Center.[5][6][10]


Ateneo Human Rights Center[edit]

The Ateneo Human Rights Center works on the Ateneo's advocacy work for victims of human rights violations and for causes of women and children. Its range of human rights concerns is handled by its Migrants' Desk, Women's Desk, Katutubo (Indigenous Peoples) Desk, and initiatives such as the Adhikain para sa Karapatang Pambata (AKAP), the Working Group for n Asean Human Rights Mechanism, Paralegal Training and Education, and its Summer Internship Program (SIP). It is an active member of the Alternative Law Group, Inc., and the Makati Integrated Jail Group, among others. The center assigns law students work with human rights organizations in the Philippines, conducts training seminars for the benefit of government and non-government organizations and grass-root communities through its internship programs. It also publishes a monthly newsletter.[6][14][15]

Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee Center for the Rule of Law[edit]

The Teehankee Center is a student-based research and policy organization of the Ateneo Law School, supported by the Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee foundation. It is devoted to the study of the rule of law, a legal philosophy that seeks to address the question of how to build a society and country governed by stable and reasoned laws and policies, and where the needs of economic development and individual freedoms are balanced. The center arranges fora for scholars, members of academe, and political and business leaders. Its lectures and fora focus on rule of law issues involving ethics and the legal profession, economic development and constitutional principles, judicial history, and legal theory. It also holds the collection of legal and private papers of Chief Justice Teehankee. The center seeks to build on the collection through the contribution of leading lawyers and academicians as ably assisted by various research volunteers in fields such as the Rule of Law and Legal Theory, Constitutional Law, E-commerce, International Law, Development Law, and other legal issues.[6].[16] On its walls are inscribed a quotation from the Supreme Court Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee. –

The fundamental principles of justice necessiraly connote a rule of law and not of men and acceptance of the concept of human rights inhering in man by virtue of his very humanity and not granted to him by the State and fearless and committed lawyers to seek their enforcement by free and independent judiciary sworn to protect and enforce the law without fear of favor

Ateneo Law School Legal Services Center[edit]

Formerly the Legal Aid Office of the Ateneo Human Rights Center, the ALS Legal Services Center (ALSC) was set up to expand the opportunity of Ateneo law students to take part in the school's legal aid and related programs, rendering service to indigent clients and children, as well as to expose Ateneo law students to alternative lawyering.[6][17]

Center for Continuing Legal Education and Research[edit]

The center provides lawyers complied with the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education regulations of the Supreme Court, as well as seminars and courses covering contemporaneous developments in the legal field.[18]

Campus life[edit]


The law school is housed in the Ateneo Professional Schools Building located at the Rockwell Center in Makati City. The APS Building is a modern, fully wired four-storey building with three-level basement parking, equipped with facilities and features designed to maximize learning, research, and teaching.[6][19]

The ground floor features an atrium, an outdoor quadrangle, the APS chapel, a cafeteria, and some administration offices. Also located on the ground floor are the Law Thesis Office, Ateneo Human Rights Center, and Law Students Activity Center.[6][19]

Housed on the third floor are the law school's administration offices, Law School Center for Continuing Legal Education, the Ateneo Legal Services Center, Law School Publications Center, Law School. There are also two small bridgeways connecting the two wings of the building, which allow small discussion groups to assemble.[6][19]

On the north wing of the fourth floor are the Teehankee Special Collection, the Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee Center for the Rule of Law Reading Room, the 102-seat Veritas Amphitheater, the 125-seat Justitia Moot Court, and a roofdeck.[6][19]

The Ateneo Law Library collections are located in the Ateneo Professional Schools Library at the building's first basement level. The APS Auditorium is also located on the first basement level, while the rest of the basement floors are parking facilities for the exclusive use of the Ateneo community.[6][19]


The Ateneo Law Library collection forms part of the Ateneo Professional Schools Library, located on the first basement level. The Law Library contains one of the most comprehensive collections of law books in the Philippines. Among the holdings are complete sets of Philippine Statutes, law reports, digests and treaties, and also published and unpublished Ateneo J.D. theses. Also in the library are copies the leading law encyclopedias, reports, digests, references, and treatises of the United States and Spain, as well as an extensive collection of books and treatises on Constitutional Law and Government. The multi-volume Philippine Reports, Supreme Court Reports Annotated, and other materials, and the Ateneo Graduate School of Business Theses are also available. The library's collection of books on human rights, local and foreign legal periodicals, including loose-leaf services from the Commercial Clearing House (CCH) and Bureau of National Affairs (BNA), is one of the largest in the country.[6][19]

A collection of non-print materials also forms the bulk of resources of the Library.[6][19]

The library also offers materials on microfiche, a computerized catalogue of books and reported cases, video-format instructional materials, and photocopying and computer facilities.[6][19]

The resources and facilities of the University Library system, which include the Rizal Library in the Ateneo de Manila's Loyola Heights campus, are likewise available to Ateneo Law students.[6][19]

Student organizations[edit]

The law school is home to numerous student organizations, aside from the Student Council. These organizations span a number of interests and activities. They include:

  • Ateneo Central Bar Operations – The student arm in charge of mobilizing student activities to help Ateneo Law School alumni when they take the annual Bar Examinations. Its activities include providing study materials, organizing hotel accommodations, and other support activities exclusively for Ateneo bar examinees. The organization has been instrumental in the Ateneo's consistent standing in the annual Bar Examinations.[20]
  • Ateneo Human Rights Center
  • Ateneo Law Journal – The Ateneo de Manila University's official law journal, the ALJ publishes quarterly issues featuring research, reviews of jurisprudence, commentaries, and selected student writings.[20]
  • Ateneo Law School Choir – Members of the Choir sing at the regular Saturday masses at the APS chapel, and participate in other student activities.[20]
  • Ateneo Society of International Law – The Society is the official administrator of moot court competitions of the Ateneo School of Law. It takes charge of training and sending teams to various international competitions on public international law, international humanitarian law, and international commercial arbitration. The Society has repeatedly reaped awards for Best Memorial, Best Oralist, and Best Team in various competitions, most notably the Philip Jessup Moot Court Competition and Asia Cup Moot.[20]
  • Campus Ministry Office Volunteers – The Campus Ministry Volunteers help foster prayer life among the members of the community. Its members serve during the regular celebrations of the Mass and during retreats.[20]
  • Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee Center for the Rule of Law
  • Environmental Law Society of the Ateneo – ELSA is a student advocacy group working with other NGO’s such as ULAN, WWF, Greenpeace, and other groups to develop ways by which the student body can expose itself to environmental issues and the treasures of the environment.
  • Salsa – A dance organization at the law school.[20]
  • St. Thomas More Debate Society – A debate society at the law school. It also vies with the Ateneo Society of International Law for the chance to represent the Ateneo at the Jessup moot court competition.[20]
  • The Forum – The official yearbook of the law school.[20]
  • The Palladium – The Palladium is the official student publication of the Ateneo School of Law. It currently publishes a regular news magazine. In the past, it published its material in Berliner form.[20]
  • Forte – Ateneo Law School Music Ensemble[20]

Performance in the bar examinations[edit]

The school has been successful in its education of lawyers since its foundation, as measured by the performance of Ateneo graduates in the bar examinations. Ever since the institution of the JD program, the Ateneo has managed to produce most of the examinees who make it to the top 10. It has also managed to maintain the highest average passing percentage in this period.[9][10][21]

In 2004, 112 out of 117 Ateneo law graduates passed the Bar Exam with the school attaining a passing average of 95.72%. The national passing average is 31.61%, with the reported passing rates of the next best two law schools are 90.8% of San Beda College and 86% of University of the Philippines respectively.[9][21] In 2006, the law school achieved a 93.22% passing percentage for first timers, and an overall passing percentage of 90.16% for the entire ALS contingent, with 3 of the top 10 exam takers coming from the law school.[22] In 2010, the law school achieved a passing rate of 88% for first timers, and 86.63% overall, the highest among all Philippine law schools and beyond the 20.26% national passing rate, aside from clinching 4 out of the top 10 spots among the examinees including the first and second places.[23]

In the 2011 Bar Examinations, three Ateneo graduates topped the exam: Raoul Angelo Atadero, who also graduated as valedictorian of his batch, placed 1st, Luz Danielle Bolong placed 2nd, and Irene Marie Qua, who placed 8th.[24] Ateneo had the second-highest passing rate next to the University of Philippines, with 92.73% of its examinees passing the bar.[25]

As of 2015, the Ateneo Law School is ranked the second-best law school in the country (first among private institutions), according to the Legal Education Board. The rankings are based on the passing rates from the three most recent Bar examinations, 2012,2013, and 2014 with ALS garnering a cumulative passing rate of 67.55%.[26]

In the 2016 Bar Examinations, the Ateneo Law School had a 97.36% overall passing rate, or 221 passers out of 227 bar takers, and a 99.44% passing rate or 177 passers out of 178 first-time takers.←[2]

When it comes to the historical average passing rate of the Bar Exams, Ateneo Law School is ranked #1, in terms of passing. From 1996–2005, the Ateneo Law School held a passing average of 89.19%. While in 2009, the Commission on Higher Education released the top 10 law schools, wherein the Ateneo Law School held a passing average of 91.24%. In both times, the Ateneo Law School was #1, with the #2 spot trailing by 3% to 4%.[27]



The law school's administration is led by Dean Jose Ma. Hofilena. Sitting as dean emeritus is former dean Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J.. Atty. Giovanni Vallente holds the position of associate dean for student affairs, and Atty. Lily K. Gruba holds the position of associate dean for continuing education. Its registrar is Cesar A. Mansibang, and its chaplain is Fr. Ismael Jose Chan Gonzaga, S.J., J.D.[28]


The Ateneo Law School faculty includes private, public, and corporate legal practitioners, government officials, jurists, professionals who have worked with the United Nations and the government, Jesuits, and teachers who have had experience teaching in foreign academic institutions.[7] A number of professors are mediators of the Court of Appeals, as well as key officers and professors of the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA), which handles the training of judges and justices and assists in the pursuit of reforms in the judiciary.[7]

Among those who have taught at the Ateneo Law School are Cesario A. Azucena Jr. and Andres D. Bautista.[29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Punay, Edu (December 4, 2015). "UP College of Law still best law school in Philippines – LEB". The Philippine Star. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Andres, Eric. "Ateneo Law School Soars with 97.36% Over-All Passing Rate". The Palladium. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
  3. ^ Brion, Arturo (2016-06-26). "Bar exam statistics and law school entrance examinations". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 2019-02-28. For example, Ateneo de Manila overall passing rate of...83.44% for both first timers and repeaters
  4. ^ [1] Ateneo Law School Website.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j [2] Ateneo Law School History
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab Ateneo Law School Catalogue, 2006 edition, Ateneo de Manila Law School. Rockwell Center, Makati City, Philippines.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Beyond Borders: 2005 Ateneo de Manila University President's Report. Published 2006 by the Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City.
  8. ^ a b c d e [3] Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine Ateneo Law Program Information
  9. ^ a b c Francis Acero and Maria Abad."A Brief History of Ateneo Law". Palladium. July 18, 2006.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Cesar Villanueva. "ALS at 70 and the Atenean Lawyer". Palladium. July 18, 2006
  11. ^ Cesar Villanueva. "The Ateneo Move Towards Internationalization." 6 March 2007. Last accessed 20 June 2007.
  12. ^ a b LLM Curriculum
  13. ^ "IPOPHL launches Masters of Law in IP program with Ateneo Law School". Archived from the original on 2011-09-03.
  14. ^ [4] Ateneo Human Rights Center Information
  15. ^ [5] Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine Ateneo Human Rights Center
  16. ^ [6] Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee Center for the Rule of Law Information
  17. ^ [7] Ateneo Law School Legal Services Center Information
  18. ^ [8] Center for Continuing Legal Education and Research
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i [9] Ateneo Law School Facilities
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i j [10] Ateneo Law School organizations
  21. ^ a b "Comparative Bar Passing Rates Since 1991". Palladium. July 18, 2006
  22. ^ 2006 Bar Examinations Statistical Data, Office of the Bar Confidant, Supreme Court of the Philippines
  23. ^ "- Ateneo de Manila University". 29 September 2015.
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Ateneo Law School grads lead 1,913 Bar exam 2011 passers". GMA News Online. Retrieved Apr 19, 2020.
  26. ^ Punay, Edu. "UP College of Law still best law school in Philippines – LEB".
  27. ^ "Philippine Bar Exam: Law school passing rates". Retrieved July 24, 2017.
  28. ^ List of Ateneo Law School administrators. Last accessed 20 June 2007.
  29. ^ List of Faculty Members, Ateneo de Manila University School of Law. Taken from Ateneo Law Journal, Vol. 51, No. 3, and online faculty list.

External links[edit]