UP College of Law

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The University of the Philippines College of Law is one of the premiere law schools in the Philippines and it is “acknowledged for its continued commitment to academic excellence and service to the public.” [1]

In 1910, law courses were already opened by the Educational Department Committee of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) through the efforts of George A. Malcolm, who was later to become the first permanent dean of the College. It was formally established on January 12, 1911 upon the approval of the Board of Regents of the University of the Philippines. The first law class remarkably produced a President, a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and several legislators and legal luminaries. [2]

Jorge C. Bocobo was the first Filipino dean of the College and he was succeeded by the Dean Jose A. Espiritu in 1934. Several years later, the College had to close because of the outbreak of war in 1941. In resuming its operations 1945, Dean Espiritu had a huge responsibility of commencing the rehabilitation of the College. [2]

In the early years of the College, law classes were held at the Palma Hall of the Padre Faura Campus in Manila but in December 1948, the main campus transferred to the University of the Philippines – Diliman in Quezon City. An army hut was initially assigned to them but they eventually moved in to a three-story building called the Malcolm Hall, which was named after its founder and first permanent dean.

In 1970, Dr. Irene R. Cortes was appointed as Dean and was the first woman to hold the position.

The College celebrated its centennial year last 2011 and nine decades since its founding year, the College of Law can point to its alumni in the highest positions of the government namely: [2]

President of the Philippines:

  • Jose P. Laurel Sr.
  • Manuel A. Roxas
  • Elpidio R. Quirino
  • Ferdinand E. Marcos

Some of the appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court:

  • Ricardo M. Paras
  • Jose Y. Yulo
  • Cesar C. Bengzon
  • Querube C. Makalintal
  • Fred Ruiz Castro
  • Enrique M. Fernando
  • Felix V. Makasiar
  • Ramon C. Aquino
  • Pedro L. Yap
  • Marcelo B. Fernan
  • Hilario G. Davide, Jr.
  • Reynato S. Puno
  • Maria Lourdes Sereno

College of Law alumni who became President of the University of the Philippines:

  • Vicente G. Sinco
  • Edgardo J. Angara


  1. UP College of Law Website, https://law.upd.edu.ph/about-up-law/. Accessed on January 06, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 “A Brief History of the Law School.” Iskomunidad, https://iskwiki.upd.edu.ph/index.php/UP_College_of_Law. Accessed on January 06, 2021.



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