The Graduate School of Law has added the Master of Legal Studies (M.L.S.) program to its present offerings. Under the Master of Legal Studies program, a graduate of law, whether possessing an Ll.B. or a J.D. degree is, after enrolling in two academic semesters at the Graduate School of Law, awarded a Master of Legal Studies degree. This provides with law graduates the opportunity to convert their post-baccalaureate Ll.B. or J.D. degrees into a master’s degree that should enable them to teach in higher education institutions. Under present CHED rules, only those who possess Master’s degrees can teach in college and university levels. This program has already received the approval of the Legal Education Board.
The following degree programs have been approved by the Legal Education Board, and our Graduate School of Law has been authorized to award them to those who qualify themselves academically:
- Master of Laws
- Master of Legal Studies, major in Criminal Justice Administration
- Master of Legal Studies (Ll.B. – J.D. combo program)
- Doctor of Juridical Science (J.S.D.)
One feature of our Graduate School of Law is the offering of an Ll.M. track in American law that provides graduates with the academic units that enable them to sit for the Multi-State Bar of the United States.
The Faculty has agreed to retain the present thesis and non-thesis tracks for the Ll.M. degree, requiring for the non-thesis track 45 units, while the thesis track requires 30, and the submission of three major research papers, each not less than 25 pages.
The theses submitted last year were outstanding: one is in fact a proposal that has been submitted to the Department of Justice and to the Supreme Court on a joint project for the revision of the present Revised Penal Code. It proposed the adoption of community service as an alternative to imprisonment for certain categories of offenses.
Our Graduate School of Law holds two distinctions: first, it is the only Graduate School of Law with which the Philippine Judicial Academy of the Supreme Court has a consortium; second, it is the Graduate School of Law with the highest population while maintaining the rigid standards that have allowed us to enjoy credibility and respect nationwide.
Our Academic Policies have been submitted for review and have been approved by the Legal Education Board. The Graduate School of Law is subject to the regulatory authority only of the Legal Education Board.
What has made our Graduate School survive and flourish is the fact that we have aggressively pursued a policy of establishing provincial nodes of delivery for graduate education in law. At present these include:
- The University of San Carlos, Cebu
- Ateneo de Davao, Davao City
- University of Central Philippines, Iloilo
- University of the Cordilleras, Baguio City
Only last week, the Office of the President of St. Louis University, Baguio, requested me to establish SLU as a node for the delivery of graduate education by San Beda College. The documents are in the drafting stage.
Under the present linkage scheme, all students enrolled in the different nodes are students of the Graduate School of Law of San Beda College alone. The different schools serve only as venues for delivery. Their faculty members are the principal enrollees of the program. After subtracting administrative costs, fixed fees are paid San Beda College (except for Cebu and Iloilo, these are the faculty development funds awarded by CHED, before the activation of the Legal Education Board, to certain meritorious law schools). It is our Graduate School of Law that sends professors.