Ateneo Law School
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.
As a Catholic school it is committed to making in an institutional manner a Christian presence in the legal world by fidelity to the Christian message as it comes through the Church and by service to others, especially to the underprivileged.
As a Jesuit institution it shares in the core mission of all Jesuit institutions as delineated by the 34th General Congregation, the most recent (1995) and the highest legislative assembly of the Jesuit Order. The 34th General Congregation placed all Jesuit institutions within the framework of the Church's overall mission of evangelization understood not only as proclamation of the Christian faith but also as life witness especially to a faith that accomplishes justice.
As a School of Law, the Ateneo Law School's immediate mission is the formation of men and women not only skilled in the science and art of the law but also imbued with a burning passion for justice and the desire to serve.
Towards the accomplishment of its mission as a school of law, 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.
Towards the accomplishment of its Catholic and Jesuit mission, 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.
The Ateneo de Manila opened its Law School on June 6, l936, with alumnus Manuel Lim as the first Dean. The School started with Freshmen and Sophomore classes, and eventually, junior and senior classes were opened. In 1939, the first graduates took the Bar Examinations. In 1940, the Ateneo Law School produced its first bar topnotcher in the person of Claudio M. Teehankee, who would eventually become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines in 1986.
The Ateneo Law School was closed in 1941 as a result of the outbreak of the Second World War. The destruction of its buildings during the battle for the liberation of Manila delayed the resumption of classes after the war. In 1948, the Ateneo Law School reopened. Classes were held in quonset huts erected on the ruins of the old Ateneo at Padre Faura Street in Manila.
The Law School remained at Padre Faura even as the other units of the Ateneo moved to Loyola Heights, Quezon City in January, 1952. A concrete edifice 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 at 130 H.V. de la Costa, S.J. Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City.
In 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.
The Law School, since its re-opening in 1948, has produced several bar topnotchers, jurists, legislators, academicians and noted legal practitioners.
In October, 1986, the Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC), one of the first university-based institutions engaged in the promotion and protection of human rights in the Philippines, was established. It was formally integrated into the Law School in 1996 and began to handle the Ateneo Legal Aid Program.
In 1998, the Center for Continuing Legal Education (CCLE) was established as a special unit of the Ateneo Law School to provide a venue for continuing legal education programs for the active Bench and Bar.
On July 1, 2000, the Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee Center for the Rule of Law (TCRL) was inaugurated. The Center serves as a research and conference center. It houses a collection, of books and research materials on Philippine Legal History, the Martial Law Period and pre-Martial Law Period, the United States Civil Rights Movement, the Sabah issue, Rizaliana and International Law.
Graduates of the Ateneo Law School until 1990 were conferred the degree of Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.). Starting in 1991, the degree of Juris Doctor (J.D.) was conferred on all its graduates. The J.D. program is a rigid and enriched law curriculum which requires students to take both core or Bar subjects, and later to take elective subjects offered to complement their knowledge of the law thereby allowing them to specialize; to undergo summer apprenticeship in law firms, courts or other government offices or agencies exercising quasi-judicial functions. and to sharpen their appreciation of the practical and ethical aspects of law. Before graduation, they must prepare and defend a thesis.