Memo to ALS Community

April 14, 2020

 
TO                   :           Ateneo Law School Community
 
FROM             :           Jose Maria G. Hofileña
 
DATE              :           April 13, 2020
 
SUBJECT       :           Second Semester AY 2019-2020
 

REF. NO.        :           2020-14-G
 

 
 
Happy Easter!
 
In his April 8, 2020 Memorandum to the Ateneo de Manila Univeristy Community, Father President Jose Ramon T. Villarin, SJ directed the extension up to April 30, 2020 of the effectiveness of the online learning directives described in his March 17, 2020 Memorandum.  In addition, he has requested all units, including the Ateneo Law School (ALS), to “work out the details in concluding their respective academic terms.” This Memorandum sets out such details for this Second Semester of AY 2019-2020, as applicable to the ALS.
 
As a foreword to these specific details, however, allow me first to enunciate a couple of important premises.
 
The first is that the ALS acknowledges that more than merely conveying and obtaining information about, and knowledge of, the law, legal education involves a firmly held responsiblility and commitment on the part the ALS to ensure, as best as it can, that its students and graduates are adequately prepared to successfully pass the bar examinations required by the Supreme Court and become accountable officers of the court entrusted with the delicate duties to care for the legal rights of their clients, to administer justice, and to take part in ensuring that the legal system is one that genuinely observes a rule of law. Therefore, consistent with law,1 professional canons2 and Ignatian values, the legal education that the ALS embraces as its solemn mission is one that carries commitments to its students and faculty as well as to the larger society.
 
At the same time, the ALS acknowledges the very real and unprecedented challenges that the current pandemic has posed to our ability to deliver legal education in the manner that we have adopted for many years which has historically proven to have been responsive and appropriate to the mission of the ALS.  Indeed, the ALS is in full agreement with Fr. Villarin’s observation that the current times call for “flexibility and leniency while being reasonable and compassionate in the exercise of our responsibilities.
 
In light of the foregoing substantial considerations, the following rules shall apply to this Second Semeseter of Academic Year 2019-2020:
 
ACADEMIC INSTRUCTION:
 

  • The current asynchronous arrangements or online learning shall continue to be the mode of instruction for the rest of the Second Semester of AY 2019-2020, enabling the students to study at their own pace.

 

  • Professors will provide to their students all relevant materials, including online materials and recorded lectures, covering the entire syllabus.  Professors will also make themselves available for consultation.

 
ONLINE ASSESSMENT:
 

  • Online assessment activities/submissions may commence on May 1, 2020.

 

  • Professors may individually consider and decide upon reasonable assessment tools for their classes (e.g., papers or other submissions which provide a reasonable opportunity for submission and completion).

 

  • Professors should explain to their students the assessment tools for their class and ascertain any special problems or constraints for any student.

 
ACADEMIC YEAR EXTENSION:
 

  • The academic calendar will be extended by two weeks such that the first two weeks of June (i.e., June 1 to 13, 2020) will be earmarked for completion/integration lectures if needed (onsite and/or online, as permitted) followed by the final exam period commencing on June 15, 2020 (the “Final Exams Period”).

 
FINAL EXAMS:
 

  • Final exams will be administered during the Final Exam Period and shall be mandatory for the major core subjects listed in Annex A.  For subjects not listed in Annex A, final exams shall be optional at the discretion of the professor concerned.

 

  • Final exams will be conducted onsite.  However, in the event restrictions prevent the holding of onsite final exams, the final exams will be administered using alternative means such as online modes or platforms.  The final announcement as to whether or not the completion/integration lectures and the final exams will be conducted onsite will be made by mid-May.

 
FINAL GRADES:
 

  • Professors shall grade their students on the basis of (a) class standing prior to the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine on March 16, 2020, (b) performance on online assessment activities, and (c) the final exams, as applicable.  The weight of the various components shall be at the discretion of the professors who must communicate their grading policies in advance to their students.

 

  • Official final grades of students for each of their subjects will be reflected as either (i) “P” which is a passing mark or (ii) “NM” (which means “No Mark”) for students who do not pass. A grade of “P” will earn the corresponding number of academic credits for the relevant subject.  On the other hand, an “NM” is a non-pass, non-penalty grade which will not earn any academic credits.

 

  • No student will be dismissed on account of an NM mark.  However, students who receive one or more NMs will have to repeat the subject/s in which NM was obtained but, subject to the approval of the Legal Education Board, will not be affected by existing prerequisite rules other than as listed in Annex B.

 

  • Students who are not currently on probation but obtain an NM in any subject will not be placed on probationary status in the next succeeding semester. Students who are currently on probation who obtain a P in all their subjects will no longer be on probation in the next succeeding semester.  Students currently on probation who obtain an NM in any subject will not be dismissed but will continue to be on probationary status in the next succeeding semester.

 

  • No final numerical grades will appear on the official Transcript of Records for this semester.  There will be no semestral General Weighted Average nor academic honors for the Second Semester of AY 2019-2020.  Neither will the marks given for this semester be considered in the calculation of the cumulative General Weighted Average.

 
DROPPING OF SUBJECTS/LEAVES OF ABSENCE:
 

  • The deadline for regular dropping of subjects and applications for Leave of Absence is April 25, 2020 and may be applied for by submitting an email request to the Registrar. Dropping of subjects and Leave of Absence applications will be subject to the rules set out in the Student Handbook.

 
APPRENTICESHIP
 

  • Unless a directive to the contrary is subsequently issued, apprenticeship continues to remain as a requirement.  It would thus be advisable for students who are up for apprenticeship to maintain or pursue the necessary arrangements.

 
GRADUATION:
 

  • The intention, subject to regulatory and University directives, is for the graduation ceremonies to push through as scheduled.  In the event that we are unable to hold the same in July, the Commencement Exercises for the Class of 2020 shall be postponed to a later date.

 
REFUNDS OF FEES:
 

  • Each student will receive a refund of 50% of the amounts they have paid for this Second Semester of AY 2019-2020 for the following fees:

 
Energy Fee
Facilities Maintenance Fee
Internet Fee
Library Fee
 
Based on the applicable Fees Schedule, the range of such refunds for those who have fully paid for such fees would approximately be from P9,000 to P12,000 per student.
 

  • Arrangements for the actual refund will be communicated subsequently and separately when the mechanics are worked out with the University’s Central Accounting Office.

 
As we complete this semester in trying conditions, let us persist in our prayers for each other and keep the flames of hope burning in our hearts.  Let us continue, to the fullest extent of our abilities, to learn and to guide, for the greater good and the greater glory of God.  And may we all eventually emerge from this crisis with a heightened appreciation of our individual and collective humanity.
 
 




ANNEX A 
Core Subjects with Mandatory Final Exams
 
 
First Year
Constitutional Law II
Criminal Law II
Obligations and Contracts
 
Second Year
Administrative Law, Law on Public Officers, and Election Laws
Civil Procedure
Corporation Law
Legal Ethics
Public Corporations
Public International Law
Taxation I
 
Third Year
Conflict of Laws
Evidence
Labor Law II
Special Proceedings
Taxation II
 
Fourth Year
Civil Law Review II
Commercial Law Review
Labor Law Review
Remedial Law Review
 


 
 
 
ANNEX B
 
Truncated Prerequisite Rules that Will Continue to Apply to Students Who Obtain an “NM” in  the Second Semester of AY 2019-2020
 
 

Advanced Subject Retained Prerequisites from the 2nd Semester of AY 2019-2020
Agency, Trusts and Partnership Obligations and Contracts
Civil Law Review I Obligations and Contracts
Constitutional Law Review Constitutional Law II
Criminal Law Review Criminal Law II
Credit Transactions Obligations and Contracts
Insurance Obligations and Contracts
Property Obligations and Contracts
Sales Obligations and Contracts
Torts and Damages Obligations and Contracts

 
*For avoidance of doubt, the above Truncated Prerequisite Rules (a) will apply solely in relation to academic performance in the Second Semester of AY 2019-2020, and (b)  is subject to the approval of the Legal Education Board.
 
 
 
 
 


1 See, for instance, An Act Providing for Reforms in the Legal Education, Creating for the Purpose, a Legal Education Board and for other Purposes, Republic Act No. 7662 [1993], secs. 2-3.
2 See, for instance, Code of Professional Responsibility, Canon 7, Rule 7.02.
3  A request for approval by the Legal Education Board has already been put forward.

News Archive

  • Memo to ALS Community
    Tuesday, April 14, 2020

     
    TO                   :           Ateneo Law School Community
     
    FROM             :           Jose Maria G. Hofileña
     
    DATE              :           April 13, 2020
     
    SUBJECT       :           Second Semester AY 2019-2020
     

    REF. NO.        :           2020-14-G
     

     
     
    Happy Easter!
     
    In his April 8, 2020 Memorandum to the Ateneo de Manila Univeristy Community, Father President Jose Ramon T. Villarin, SJ directed the extension up to April 30, 2020 of the effectiveness of the online learning directives described in his March 17, 2020 Memorandum.  In addition, he has requested all units, including the Ateneo Law School (ALS), to “work out the details in concluding their respective academic terms.” This Memorandum sets out such details for this Second Semester of AY 2019-2020, as applicable to the ALS.
     
    As a foreword to these specific details, however, allow me first to enunciate a couple of important premises.
     
    The first is that the ALS acknowledges that more than merely conveying and obtaining information about, and knowledge of, the law, legal education involves a firmly held responsiblility and commitment on the part the ALS to ensure, as best as it can, that its students and graduates are adequately prepared to successfully pass the bar examinations required by the Supreme Court and become accountable officers of the court entrusted with the delicate duties to care for the legal rights of their clients, to administer justice, and to take part in ensuring that the legal system is one that genuinely observes a rule of law. Therefore, consistent with law,1 professional canons2 and Ignatian values, the legal education that the ALS embraces as its solemn mission is one that carries commitments to its students and faculty as well as to the larger society.
     
    At the same time, the ALS acknowledges the very real and unprecedented challenges that the current pandemic has posed to our ability to deliver legal education in the manner that we have adopted for many years which has historically proven to have been responsive and appropriate to the mission of the ALS.  Indeed, the ALS is in full agreement with Fr. Villarin’s observation that the current times call for “flexibility and leniency while being reasonable and compassionate in the exercise of our responsibilities.
     
    In light of the foregoing substantial considerations, the following rules shall apply to this Second Semeseter of Academic Year 2019-2020:
     
    ACADEMIC INSTRUCTION:
     

    • The current asynchronous arrangements or online learning shall continue to be the mode of instruction for the rest of the Second Semester of AY 2019-2020, enabling the students to study at their own pace.

     

    • Professors will provide to their students all relevant materials, including online materials and recorded lectures, covering the entire syllabus.  Professors will also make themselves available for consultation.

     
    ONLINE ASSESSMENT:
     

    • Online assessment activities/submissions may commence on May 1, 2020.

     

    • Professors may individually consider and decide upon reasonable assessment tools for their classes (e.g., papers or other submissions which provide a reasonable opportunity for submission and completion).

     

    • Professors should explain to their students the assessment tools for their class and ascertain any special problems or constraints for any student.

     
    ACADEMIC YEAR EXTENSION:
     

    • The academic calendar will be extended by two weeks such that the first two weeks of June (i.e., June 1 to 13, 2020) will be earmarked for completion/integration lectures if needed (onsite and/or online, as permitted) followed by the final exam period commencing on June 15, 2020 (the “Final Exams Period”).

     
    FINAL EXAMS:
     

    • Final exams will be administered during the Final Exam Period and shall be mandatory for the major core subjects listed in Annex A.  For subjects not listed in Annex A, final exams shall be optional at the discretion of the professor concerned.

     

    • Final exams will be conducted onsite.  However, in the event restrictions prevent the holding of onsite final exams, the final exams will be administered using alternative means such as online modes or platforms.  The final announcement as to whether or not the completion/integration lectures and the final exams will be conducted onsite will be made by mid-May.

     
    FINAL GRADES:
     

    • Professors shall grade their students on the basis of (a) class standing prior to the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine on March 16, 2020, (b) performance on online assessment activities, and (c) the final exams, as applicable.  The weight of the various components shall be at the discretion of the professors who must communicate their grading policies in advance to their students.

     

    • Official final grades of students for each of their subjects will be reflected as either (i) “P” which is a passing mark or (ii) “NM” (which means “No Mark”) for students who do not pass. A grade of “P” will earn the corresponding number of academic credits for the relevant subject.  On the other hand, an “NM” is a non-pass, non-penalty grade which will not earn any academic credits.

     

    • No student will be dismissed on account of an NM mark.  However, students who receive one or more NMs will have to repeat the subject/s in which NM was obtained but, subject to the approval of the Legal Education Board, will not be affected by existing prerequisite rules other than as listed in Annex B.

     

    • Students who are not currently on probation but obtain an NM in any subject will not be placed on probationary status in the next succeeding semester. Students who are currently on probation who obtain a P in all their subjects will no longer be on probation in the next succeeding semester.  Students currently on probation who obtain an NM in any subject will not be dismissed but will continue to be on probationary status in the next succeeding semester.

     

    • No final numerical grades will appear on the official Transcript of Records for this semester.  There will be no semestral General Weighted Average nor academic honors for the Second Semester of AY 2019-2020.  Neither will the marks given for this semester be considered in the calculation of the cumulative General Weighted Average.

     
    DROPPING OF SUBJECTS/LEAVES OF ABSENCE:
     

    • The deadline for regular dropping of subjects and applications for Leave of Absence is April 25, 2020 and may be applied for by submitting an email request to the Registrar. Dropping of subjects and Leave of Absence applications will be subject to the rules set out in the Student Handbook.

     
    APPRENTICESHIP
     

    • Unless a directive to the contrary is subsequently issued, apprenticeship continues to remain as a requirement.  It would thus be advisable for students who are up for apprenticeship to maintain or pursue the necessary arrangements.

     
    GRADUATION:
     

    • The intention, subject to regulatory and University directives, is for the graduation ceremonies to push through as scheduled.  In the event that we are unable to hold the same in July, the Commencement Exercises for the Class of 2020 shall be postponed to a later date.

     
    REFUNDS OF FEES:
     

    • Each student will receive a refund of 50% of the amounts they have paid for this Second Semester of AY 2019-2020 for the following fees:

     
    Energy Fee
    Facilities Maintenance Fee
    Internet Fee
    Library Fee
     
    Based on the applicable Fees Schedule, the range of such refunds for those who have fully paid for such fees would approximately be from P9,000 to P12,000 per student.
     

    • Arrangements for the actual refund will be communicated subsequently and separately when the mechanics are worked out with the University’s Central Accounting Office.

     
    As we complete this semester in trying conditions, let us persist in our prayers for each other and keep the flames of hope burning in our hearts.  Let us continue, to the fullest extent of our abilities, to learn and to guide, for the greater good and the greater glory of God.  And may we all eventually emerge from this crisis with a heightened appreciation of our individual and collective humanity.
     
     




    ANNEX A 
    Core Subjects with Mandatory Final Exams
     
     
    First Year
    Constitutional Law II
    Criminal Law II
    Obligations and Contracts
     
    Second Year
    Administrative Law, Law on Public Officers, and Election Laws
    Civil Procedure
    Corporation Law
    Legal Ethics
    Public Corporations
    Public International Law
    Taxation I
     
    Third Year
    Conflict of Laws
    Evidence
    Labor Law II
    Special Proceedings
    Taxation II
     
    Fourth Year
    Civil Law Review II
    Commercial Law Review
    Labor Law Review
    Remedial Law Review
     


     
     
     
    ANNEX B
     
    Truncated Prerequisite Rules that Will Continue to Apply to Students Who Obtain an “NM” in  the Second Semester of AY 2019-2020
     
     

    Advanced Subject Retained Prerequisites from the 2nd Semester of AY 2019-2020
    Agency, Trusts and Partnership Obligations and Contracts
    Civil Law Review I Obligations and Contracts
    Constitutional Law Review Constitutional Law II
    Criminal Law Review Criminal Law II
    Credit Transactions Obligations and Contracts
    Insurance Obligations and Contracts
    Property Obligations and Contracts
    Sales Obligations and Contracts
    Torts and Damages Obligations and Contracts

     
    *For avoidance of doubt, the above Truncated Prerequisite Rules (a) will apply solely in relation to academic performance in the Second Semester of AY 2019-2020, and (b)  is subject to the approval of the Legal Education Board.
     
     
     
     
     


    1 See, for instance, An Act Providing for Reforms in the Legal Education, Creating for the Purpose, a Legal Education Board and for other Purposes, Republic Act No. 7662 [1993], secs. 2-3.
    2 See, for instance, Code of Professional Responsibility, Canon 7, Rule 7.02.
    3  A request for approval by the Legal Education Board has already been put forward.