The College of Law was one of the first two colleges of the Lyceum of the Philippines when it opened in Intramuros in 1952. The founder, Jose P. Laurel envisioned an “academy for the ascertainment of truth: the ultimate object of intellectual exertion…for the search and promulgation of truth as an imperative and moral obligation”. This ideal seems to apply specifically to this college.
The initial enrollment was 628 students, a sizeable batch for a new school, even today. Very likely, the faculty of eminent legal luminaries was the attraction.
Senator Claro M. Recto was appointed Dean, and Senator Ambrosio Padilla, Vice-Dean. The teaching staff was the Who’s Who in Philippine Law at the time. Senator Pedro M. Sabido was head of Remedial and Mercantile Law; Vice-Dean Padilla, Civil and Criminal Law; and Dr. Jose P. Laurel, head of Political and International Law. Even minor subjects were taught by major figures: Senator Neptali Gonzales, Dean Marcos Herras and retired Supreme Court Justice Isagani Cruz. After Don Claro M. Recto, among the college’s next deans were Chief Justice Felix Makasiar, Supreme Court Associate Justice Cecilia Munoz Palma (also the presiding officer of the 1986 Constitutional Commission), Supreme Court Associate Justice Isagani Cruz and Justice Undersecretary Emilio de la Paz.
Doorsteps Away from the country’s Leading Law Firms
The campus of the Lyceum of the Philippines University College of Law is in the heart of the Makati Central Business District, three blocks away from Ayala Avenue, the prime Philippine business address. The country’s leading law firms are nearby.
The College’s premises reflect its environment: classrooms are bright, spacious, corporate in character: in fact, professional upwardly mobile, young would best describe it. This is the 21st century update on an institution with a venerable tradition.