Dean Joey's got magic to do

June 11, 2018
On June 16, 2018, the Ateneo Law School (ALS) will be welcoming a new Dean.
 
Atty. Jose Maria G. Hofileña—“Ooway” to his batch mates in Ateneo and Atty. Joey to his students of corporate law—will soon bid farewell to his snug corner office in ALS’ Fr. Bernas Center and move down a floor, taking with him years’ worth of experience in the field of law and in service to society and his alma mater. 
 
A true blue Atenean, Hofileña (GS ‘75, HS ‘79, AB Interdisciplinary Studies ‘83, and LL.B ‘87) joined SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan a year after his graduation from law school, retiring early in 2013. But in his years as an undergrad and a high school student, he was an active member of a multitude of student organizations and sports, including Dulaang Sibol, the theatre group of the Ateneo High School; the Ateneo Catechetical Instructional League (ACIL), of which he was the president; and track and field, where he was varsity.
 
He was taught by some of the greatest and most inspiring minds of Ateneo—Fr. James O’Brien, SJ, Dr. Leovino Ma. Garcia, and former ALS Dean Cesar Villanueva, to name just a few—but, he says: “If I were to select and single out only one from among those I mentioned, I would have to say Mr. Onofre Pagsanghan.” 
 
Atty. Jose Maria Hofileña will serve a term of three years, from 2018 to 2021.

He is no stranger, of course, to the world of law. His father is retired Associate Justice Hector L. Hofileña and his brother is the university’s Vice President for Social Development, Atty. Jaime G. Hofileña.
 
“Law was most definitely an interest for me,” he says, “and in no small part it was because of the exposure I had throughout my formative years to the legal profession that my father devoted himself to—he had been teaching at the school and was in active private law practice before his appointment to the Court of Appeals.”
 
Hofileña, who once took ALS by storm—he was the student council president and the Class Valedictorian, in addition to ranking tenth out of all successful examinees of the 1987 Bar Examinations—couldn’t be happier to be at its helm this time around. And what’s he most excited for? “To witness the students grow from fledgling freshmen to successful and mature graduates,” he says. “To witness them excel in the bar exams and to be held in high esteem by society in that they live out the fundamental values imbibed in school in their practice and in their leadership.”
 
The current political climate is a confusing time for many students learning about law, its repercussions, and how to carry them out. “There are accounts of a divergence between the respect and reverence for the ascendancy of the rule of law that the school preaches and the seeming subordination of the rule of law to the attainment of political objectives,” he says.
 
Hofileña (second from left) in the yearbook photo of the Sanggunian Central Board, in which he was a Council of the Organizations of the Ateneo (COA) representative. Photo courtesy of Aegis 1983/Ateneo University Archives

To the law students experiencing a dissonance in the way the law is taught to them versus the way it is practiced, Hofileña has this to say: “Stay true. Stay strong. And they should always know that they have a community—the Ateneo Law School community—where they can always come back to recharge their resolve.”
 
Being the Dean is no easy feat, of course. “As an administrator,” he says, “I will necessarily have to work on addressing administrative and organizational challenges in order to establish efficient and rational systems and structures that better enable us to deliver our services well, promptly and fairly.”
 
“At the academics level, perhaps the regular challenges would consist of those multifarious things and events that have the potential to hinder or distract the students from focusing on their studies—e.g., less than adequate instruction, overly demanding student activities; disciplinary issues. I would like to address these even before any of them occur and I favor continuing interaction with the students and faculty, whether formal or casual, during which constant reminding can be given.”
 
“At the institutional level,” he continues, “one challenge may be to maintain and further increase the preeminence of ALS in the face of competition, albeit healthy competition. Recent bar exam results show that other law schools, including provincial ones, are accomplishing that which once was dominated by the school. While I am pleased that the quality of legal education nationwide has apparently been moving forward, we should be proactive in taking steps to ensure that ALS maintains a leading role both in respect of the basic law degree as well as graduate programs and new areas where the school can take trailblazing initiatives.”
 
The professor & Dean in his office on the fourth floor of the Ateneo Professional Schools. Proud students leave their well-wishes  on the glass doors and windows of his office.

He wishes fondly for his alma mater, too.
 
“I would like to be able to achieve a deep and lasting sense of community among the administrators, the staff, the faculty, the students and the alumni wherein each one instinctively knows that the success of our Ateneo Law School community is dependent on our individual and collective contributions.”
 
He adds, “I dream of seeing each stakeholder proud of being forever associated with the Ateneo Law School—a pride that emanates not just from the academic achievements of our students but from the fact that because of our common Ateneo Law School experience, all of us alumni, as Ateneo lawyers, become genuine exemplars: practicing and protecting the law with excellence and integrity and for the greater glory of God.”
 
To a law school that had given him some of his most memorable experiences—including joining the ALS delegation at EDSA during the People Power Revolution and lecturing to urban poor communities on the then proposed 1987 Constitution—all Atty. Hofileña can hope for is to conjure up some magic and he invites the ALS community to join in the journey with him. 

News Archive

  • Dean Joey's got magic to do
    Monday, June 11, 2018
    On June 16, 2018, the Ateneo Law School (ALS) will be welcoming a new Dean.
     
    Atty. Jose Maria G. Hofileña—“Ooway” to his batch mates in Ateneo and Atty. Joey to his students of corporate law—will soon bid farewell to his snug corner office in ALS’ Fr. Bernas Center and move down a floor, taking with him years’ worth of experience in the field of law and in service to society and his alma mater. 
     
    A true blue Atenean, Hofileña (GS ‘75, HS ‘79, AB Interdisciplinary Studies ‘83, and LL.B ‘87) joined SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan a year after his graduation from law school, retiring early in 2013. But in his years as an undergrad and a high school student, he was an active member of a multitude of student organizations and sports, including Dulaang Sibol, the theatre group of the Ateneo High School; the Ateneo Catechetical Instructional League (ACIL), of which he was the president; and track and field, where he was varsity.
     
    He was taught by some of the greatest and most inspiring minds of Ateneo—Fr. James O’Brien, SJ, Dr. Leovino Ma. Garcia, and former ALS Dean Cesar Villanueva, to name just a few—but, he says: “If I were to select and single out only one from among those I mentioned, I would have to say Mr. Onofre Pagsanghan.” 
     
    Atty. Jose Maria Hofileña will serve a term of three years, from 2018 to 2021.

    He is no stranger, of course, to the world of law. His father is retired Associate Justice Hector L. Hofileña and his brother is the university’s Vice President for Social Development, Atty. Jaime G. Hofileña.
     
    “Law was most definitely an interest for me,” he says, “and in no small part it was because of the exposure I had throughout my formative years to the legal profession that my father devoted himself to—he had been teaching at the school and was in active private law practice before his appointment to the Court of Appeals.”
     
    Hofileña, who once took ALS by storm—he was the student council president and the Class Valedictorian, in addition to ranking tenth out of all successful examinees of the 1987 Bar Examinations—couldn’t be happier to be at its helm this time around. And what’s he most excited for? “To witness the students grow from fledgling freshmen to successful and mature graduates,” he says. “To witness them excel in the bar exams and to be held in high esteem by society in that they live out the fundamental values imbibed in school in their practice and in their leadership.”
     
    The current political climate is a confusing time for many students learning about law, its repercussions, and how to carry them out. “There are accounts of a divergence between the respect and reverence for the ascendancy of the rule of law that the school preaches and the seeming subordination of the rule of law to the attainment of political objectives,” he says.
     
    Hofileña (second from left) in the yearbook photo of the Sanggunian Central Board, in which he was a Council of the Organizations of the Ateneo (COA) representative. Photo courtesy of Aegis 1983/Ateneo University Archives

    To the law students experiencing a dissonance in the way the law is taught to them versus the way it is practiced, Hofileña has this to say: “Stay true. Stay strong. And they should always know that they have a community—the Ateneo Law School community—where they can always come back to recharge their resolve.”
     
    Being the Dean is no easy feat, of course. “As an administrator,” he says, “I will necessarily have to work on addressing administrative and organizational challenges in order to establish efficient and rational systems and structures that better enable us to deliver our services well, promptly and fairly.”
     
    “At the academics level, perhaps the regular challenges would consist of those multifarious things and events that have the potential to hinder or distract the students from focusing on their studies—e.g., less than adequate instruction, overly demanding student activities; disciplinary issues. I would like to address these even before any of them occur and I favor continuing interaction with the students and faculty, whether formal or casual, during which constant reminding can be given.”
     
    “At the institutional level,” he continues, “one challenge may be to maintain and further increase the preeminence of ALS in the face of competition, albeit healthy competition. Recent bar exam results show that other law schools, including provincial ones, are accomplishing that which once was dominated by the school. While I am pleased that the quality of legal education nationwide has apparently been moving forward, we should be proactive in taking steps to ensure that ALS maintains a leading role both in respect of the basic law degree as well as graduate programs and new areas where the school can take trailblazing initiatives.”
     
    The professor & Dean in his office on the fourth floor of the Ateneo Professional Schools. Proud students leave their well-wishes  on the glass doors and windows of his office.

    He wishes fondly for his alma mater, too.
     
    “I would like to be able to achieve a deep and lasting sense of community among the administrators, the staff, the faculty, the students and the alumni wherein each one instinctively knows that the success of our Ateneo Law School community is dependent on our individual and collective contributions.”
     
    He adds, “I dream of seeing each stakeholder proud of being forever associated with the Ateneo Law School—a pride that emanates not just from the academic achievements of our students but from the fact that because of our common Ateneo Law School experience, all of us alumni, as Ateneo lawyers, become genuine exemplars: practicing and protecting the law with excellence and integrity and for the greater glory of God.”
     
    To a law school that had given him some of his most memorable experiences—including joining the ALS delegation at EDSA during the People Power Revolution and lecturing to urban poor communities on the then proposed 1987 Constitution—all Atty. Hofileña can hope for is to conjure up some magic and he invites the ALS community to join in the journey with him.