Problem bigger than law school: Reforming Philippine legal education through an institutional approach

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Juris Doctor


College of Law




Honorable mention, 2014/1st batch

Thesis Adviser

Jocelyn P. Cruz

Defense Panel Chair

James Keith C. Heffron

Defense Panel Member

Anuncacion G. Ayo
Jose Manuel I. Diokno


The legal profession is simply but a by-product of the activities of the legal community in any society. It is interplay of what law schools are teaching, what law students are learning, what lawyers are doing, and what courts are accomplishing. Although the Supreme Court has the constitutional mandate to supervise the latter two elements, these are harder to regulate since man’s individuality and his circumstances will definitely influence in. What are easier to regulate are the first two elements. In fact, it can be said that these greatly affect the quality of the agents of justice any society have. These two elements are the centerpiece of legal education. This paper examines Philippine legal education, from its antecedents to its components and phases. It traced the development of our legal education system dating back to several ancient civilizations, especially the Roman Empire, which influenced the legal education system of Spain as part of Continental Europe. Likewise, it explored the English legal education system that greatly influenced the American brand of legal education. It determines the problems besetting our legal education system after thoroughly analyzing the current state of its different components. Using a multidisciplinary approach, the paper found out that the main problem is the legal education system and the society’s fixation with the Bar Examination. Consequently, the paper identifies and evaluates the different proposals to reform it – from the radical proposals to the more palatable ones – considering the changing landscape in the practice of law brought about by globalization and technological advances. Using an Institutional Approach, the paper conceptualizes an ideal legal education system and enumerated several recommendations on how to best achieve this vision. With the aid of principles from different disciplines such as Psychology, Sociology, Education and Pedagogy, the zeal for innovation of St. John Baptist De La Salle, the Universal Patron Saint of Teachers, and citing different trends in modern education, the paper calls on the Supreme Court to start the discussion on reforming Philippine legal education. Heeding the call of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno in providing the Supreme Court with studies that will back-up different proposals, the Researcher hopes that this paper will jumpstart the much-needed discussion on legal education reform, considering the impending ASEAN Economic Integration in 2015 and the evident globalization of the different aspects of the Filipino culture and society.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

1 computer optical disc 4 3/4 in.

This document is currently not available here.