Law is a system of rules created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior, with its precise definition a matter of longstanding debate. It has been variously described as a science and the art of justice. State-enforced laws can be made by a group legislature or by a single legislator, resulting in statutes; by the executive through decrees and regulations; or established by judges through precedent, usually in common law jurisdictions.
Law – or legal studies – refers to the ‘art of justice.’ It has been practiced since 3000 BC by the Ancient Egyptians. While the study has changed through time, one thing is for sure: you need to get a law degree to practice legally. In the following sections, we will list the best pre law schools in philippines.
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Best Law Schools In The Philippines
1. University of the Philippines
- Degrees offered: Juris Doctor, Masters of Law
The University of the Phillippines is one of the top-performing law schools in the country. It ranks 1st in the 2019 bar examinations with an overall passing rate of 82.46% (141 bar exam passers out of 171 examinees). The UP College of Law also produced notable alumni, seven of which are former Philippine Presidents and others are members of the senate.
The UP Juris Doctor Program is a four-year course involving the study of general principles and basic theories of law and the specific codes and statutory enactments in force in the Philippines. It is the minimum required degree for students who want to take the Philippine Bar Examination to pursue legal professions such as lawyers, counselors, etc. The UP Masters of Law Program offers two specialization tracks- cross-border and regional practice; and government, public advocacy, and judging. It also focuses on providing students the essential knowledge and training regarding ASEAN and international law.
UP Juris Doctor Program requires applicants to pass the UP Law Aptitude Exam and are graduates of a 4-year Bachelor’s degree in the arts or science (with majors in Political Science, Philosophy, English, History, or Economics). Meanwhile, UP Masters of Law requires students a law degree (LL.B., J.D., B.C.L., or equivalent) from any jurisdiction in the world.
2. Ateneo de Manila University
- Degrees offered: Juris Doctor, Masters of Law
The Ateneo de Manila University consistently is one of the best law schools in the Philippines. It has the most number of Top 10 bar exam placers among all law colleges in the country. In 2019, it has an 81.38% passing rate, the second-highest among other law schools.
Ateneo De Manila offers a four-year full-time study for the Juris Doctor program. It requires applicants to pass their entrance examination and undergo an interview. They should be Bachelor’s degree holders in Arts or Sciences (or higher) from authorized and state-recognized universities or colleges. The tuition fee ranges from PHP75,000-PHP98,000 per semester with an entrance exam fee of PHP2,500.
Ateneo’s Masters of Law offers specialized legal education allowing students to focus on areas of Intellectual Property, International Corporate and Business Law, International Economic Law, and/or International Human Rights Law. Applicants must submit a certificate of admission to the Bar, certified true copy of diplomas (obtained after secondary education), thesis proposal, recommendation letters, curriculum vitae, personal statement, application form, official transcripts, three 2×2 recent photos, and application fee certificate. International students must present equivalent qualifications to practice law, a test certificate of English Language Proficiency (or equivalent), and a student’s visa.
3. San Beda University
- Degrees offered: Bachelor of Laws, Master’s of Law, and Doctor of Juridical Science
In 1954, a magna cum laude graduate of San Beda College of Law got record-breaking examination marks of 96.70%. It is the highest mark in the history of the Philippine Bar Examinations to date. The San Beda College of Law produces globally competitive and top-performing graduates, many of which are from the field of law and politics. In 2019, 190 out of 245 students passed the bar examinations, earning the 3rd highest passing rate in the country.
Applicants for the Bachelor’s of Law must pass the Philippine Law School Admission Test (PHILSAT). They must have a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Philosophy, English, Economics, or History. For Masters of Law, students must pass the Graduate Admissions Test of the University. San Beda College of Law offers specialization subjects such as Civil Law, Commercial Law, Constitutional Law, International Law, and Canon Law. For Doctor of Juridical Science, applicants must have qualifications equivalent to Master of Law, Master of Comparative Law, or Doctor of Canon Law.
The tuition fee for the Law programs is approximately around PHP 60,000 per semester, with an entrance exam fee of PHP 1,200.
4. University of Santo Tomas
- Degrees offered: Bachelor’s of Law
Founded in 1611, the University of Santo Tomas is the oldest university in the Philippines and Asia. In 1734, it established the First Law School of the country. This top law school in the Philippines offers one of the best and high-quality standards of legal education in the region, with many notable alumni including, Philippine’ revolutionary heroes, government officials, Supreme Court justices, and judges. In 2019, the university has a passing rate of 75.63% in the bar exams (90 passers out of 119 examinees). It consistently ranks in the top 10 with the most number of bar examinations passers every year.
Applicants must pass the entrance examination of UST Faculty of Law and have a Bachelor’s degree in Arts or Sciences with at least 18 units in English courses, 18 units of Social Science courses, and 6 units of Mathematics. They must also pass the Philippine Law Admission Test (PHILSAT).
UST Bachelors of Law has an approximate tuition fee of PHP 33,000-PHP36,000 per semester with a PHP1,100 of entrance examination fee.
5. University of San Carlos
- Degrees offered: Juris Doctor
The University of San Carlos is among the best law schools in the Philippines. It offers high and excellent standards of law study with an Award for Excellence in Legal Education from the Legal Education Board. It bar exam takers consistently rank in the top 10. In 2016, it had a 100% passing rate, with four of its graduates placing in the first, third, seventh, and eighth places. 64 out of 98 students passed the 2019 Bar Examinations, earning 5th place among other law universities. USC College of Law also has one of the largest law schools in the country.
Best Pre Law Schools In The Philippines
1. UP College of Law -Diliman
This is where the best of Filipino lawyers had come from, most of the senators that are working now in the country’s Senate offices and Congress. UP College of Law offers top notch courses and programs that can suit any student’s preferred legal degree completion, as well as an international touch of legal studies.
Their tuition fee costs P20,000-25,000 ($393.97- 984.93) per semester, but it will depend on a student’s family annual income. UP will then execute several tests such as Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and General Certificate of Education for enrollees, included foreign students. UP also will advise you to take their initial English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) test, if ever your native language or medium of instruction in your country is not English.
2. De La Salle University
DLSU (De La Salle University) offers a three (3) year Political Science course.
Unlike other universities, DLSU implements a trimester school program. The course will cost P68-75,000 per trimester (205-225,000 per year) tuition fee. This tuition fee for the following years in the university may change throughout the entire course. There are no initial tests to be taken during your first enroll in the university, however; they would advise you to present necessary requirements listed here.
To enlighten you, here is a testimonial of an AB Political Science graduate of De La Salle University:
“The tuition fee in DLSU is really expensive. Add the fact that we are in a trimester system which means parents will have to pay thrice per year. But seeing the good side of it, we are trained to war.”
Now that is a compelling, promising review.
3. Ateneo Law School
Ateneo caters the simplest yet comprehensive Political Science courses and programs. The university will ask you take ACET (Ateneo College Entrance Test) at their Office of Admission that would cover the subject areas of Mathematics, English, and General Intelligence.
To know more about their enrolling system, spare some worthy time and click here.
4. San Beda College- Recolestos
The university offers P86,000-100,000 ($1694.08- 1969.86) tuition fees per year for the Political Science course. San Sebastian will let you take a Personality or Psychological Test upon admission, yet aside from that—no tests would bug you from enrolling to their Pre-Law programs.
However, you would need to present them certain requirements such as proof of adequate financial support regarding your stay here and your Scholastic Records from your country of origin.
5. Lyceum of the Philippines University
Known to have produced most artistic individuals in Philippine’s entertainment today—Lyceums of the Philippines University also provides brilliant Pre-Law courses and programs. They offer P40,000-50,000 per semester tuition fee for the Political Science course and can change throughout the following years.
If you wish to enroll here, you will undergo an initial interview at their Registrar office regarding the necessary enrollment requirements. You will also have to provide a testing fee of $100.00.
6. Arellano University
I have many friends who have studied and is still studying Political Science at Arellano University. The school has been listed as one of the top 5 best schools for studying Law, and the latest bar exam results never lie. The good thing about Arellano is after you have pursued a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, you are always welcome to enroll into their elite Law School in Mabini, where most respectable attorneys in Manila came from. The university’s tuition fee is 50,000-60,00 (984.93- 118.19$) per year (for four years bachelor program). Should you wish to take it further—their Masteral Degree Studies costs around P400,000 (7879.44$) for the full program that would also run for four years duration.
Best pre law schools in the world
#1: Harvard College
A traditional feeder school, a Harvard education will undoubtedly give you an advantage in your law school applications, especially with the right grades and LSAT scores. Harvard also has several organizations for pre-law students, including the Harvard Law Society and the Harvard College Black Pre-Law Association. You’ll also be able to take advantage of Harvard’s alumni network at top schools and law firms.
#2: Yale University
Yale is considered the top law school in the country, and is the 4th best university overall according to US News and World Report. Though Yale does not have a pre-law major, the school does offer an interdisciplinary track that allows students to create their own major that can give them the skills that law schools seek. The Yale Law School Admission Council also provides undergraduates with pre-law counseling and events throughout the year.
#3: Northwestern University
Northwestern is known for academic rigor, and a big school means lots of resources, including their own law school. Northwestern’s Legal Studies track can be completed as a major or a minor, and differs from pre-law programs in that it has an interdisciplinary focus and aims to teach students to think critically about the relationship between law and society, and includes everything from psychology to literature to religious studies. It’s a well-rounded degree, and the added advantage of being in Chicago means more opportunities for internships.
#4: University of Maryland
The University of Maryland has a department dedicated to advising pre-law students, which also connects students with resources and mentors, and works closely with the university’s law school. Maryland also has a three year arts/law degree program, in which a student can apply to law school in their third year of undergrad, and be awarded their baccalaureate degree in their first year of law school. College Park is also close to Washington D.C., which can help you with landing an internship.
#5: Georgetown University
Georgetown’s pre-law advising center offers resources on all things law school, including one-on-one advising, help with applications, and workshops. Additionally, Georgetown’s record of academics in the humanities make it a great place to learn the skills necessary to excel in law school, and its Washington D.C. location means opportunities to have internships and make connections with those working in the legal field or in politics.
#6: New York University
NYU is in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the world, and certainly offers a ton of opportunities for internships both in the legal industry and beyond. NYU also offers the Lawyer Alumni Mentoring Program, or LAMP, for pre-law students. The school’s academics are rigorous overall, and has a strong record in the humanities, particularly English.
#7: Michigan State University
Michigan State offers a pre-law major that is also considered a liberal arts degree. The pre-law major aims to introduce students to legal studies while also teaching critical thinking and analytical skills so that pre-law majors are prepared to work in law enforcement, become paralegals, or go into a career in government.
#8: University of Texas at Austin
UT Austin’s career center hosts one of the largest Law Fairs in the country every year, which allows students to interact with over 100 law school admissions professionals. The career center also hosts panels and workshops, law school application coaching, and more. If you’re stuck between majors, these resources can help you decide what is best for you, and what will help you stand out on an application. UT Austin offers many majors in both sciences and humanities, and UT students go onto to law school with degrees in numerous fields.
#9: Florida State University
In addition to one of the country’s top Criminal Justice programs, FSU has a pre-law advising center that helps students magnify their achievements within their majors, and works closely with the law school. FSU hosts the Donald J. Weidner Summer Program for Legal Studies, a four-week program taught by law professors. Even better: 70% of program attendees have gone on to law school. The program is open to undergraduates from all schools and is competitive.
#10: George Washington University
George Washington University encourages pre-law students to establish themselves as pre-law early on, and take advantage of the many groups, societies, and panels dedicated to that goal. Advisers at GW help you find the law schools that are the best fit for your background and goals, and they tailor your undergrad education to those schools. Additionally, the Washington D.C. location makes for a great spot to score internships.
#11: Nova Southeastern University
Nova Southeastern is a little different than the other schools on this list because of its thorough pre-law (legal studies) major that offers an undergraduate law degree. Nova Southeastern is dedicated to helping students prepare for law school by offering a challenging program and a dedicated interest in the humanities. The school’s B.S. in Legal Studies major also allows students to take classes in philosophy, history, and more as they work toward their degree.