COMMERCIAL law professor Nilo Divina is the new dean of the Faculty of Civil Law, starting his tenure as the youngest dean of the oldest law school in the country in the second semester.

Divina, 44, took over officer in charge Augusto Aligada, who replaced former dean Roberto Abad who was appointed to the Supreme Court last August 10.

Divina said his objective is to put UST in the top three law schools of the country during his three-year term.

“I know it’s a gargantuan task, but it can be done,” he said.

To do this, Divina has set a three-point agenda. “[These are]: improving the roster of faculty members, improving the Civil Law facilities, and recruiting the best students not just from UST, but also the best from all over the country,” he said.

In the recent listing of the Commission on Higher Education, UST was ranked 7th among law schools nationwide based on the bar exams passing rate. But Aligada, in an earlier interview, dismissed the listing as “inaccurate” since it lumped all law schools in one listing without taking into account the number of lawyers they produced.

Aligada cited the case of the newly established La Salle-Far Eastern University MBA Juris Doctor program. It placed fourth because of its 77 percent passing rate, with 24 bar takers passing the test. UST, meanwhile, had a lower passing rate of 51.81 percent, but was able to produce 100 new Thomasian lawyers.

Divina said his office would coordinate with the Office for Alumni Relations to attract “well-meaning” patrons and friends to raise funds.

Reporting the faith

“Coupled with a scholarship grant, it would be easier to attract the top students from all over the country to enroll in UST if you have the best faculty members and the best facilities,” Divina said.

Moves to establish the Center for Commercial Law started under Abad’s tenure will have to wait, he said.

“Bobby (Abad) had laid the groundwork for the establishment of a commercial law center. We will continue that. But first, my priorities are fixed on my three-point agenda,” Divina said.

Divina also plans to put a website for the faculty, which would serve as a legal search


  1. I was a freshman engineering student at UST and he was a law student. In Sarangani Study Center near UST, while he is so engrossed in his fat law books and I’m struggling with my college algebra textbook he suddenly asked my name and introduced himself and we chat about many things. He is a very interesting conversationalist and everyone will enjoy every minute of talking with him.

  2. I remembered Prof. Nilo Divina during my college of law years. He was my professor in negotiable instruments law and i hated the subject ’cause I associated it with banking, hence, numbers. I was never called for recitation during the first half of the semester but after the prelims (when I got only 78, among the lowest scores in class), he called me up almost every session (and not just once per session, huh) for recitation. My pride got hit, so all the more that I did not study for his subject. But he really persisted to call me up to recite. I got embarrassed several times a day. Until my ego could take it no more. I decided to show him I am not the idiot he thought I was. I started to read all my negotiable instruments books from page 1. I never left a page not understood. When I finally caught up with his lesson one day, I was prouder and more relaxed when he called me up again for the recitation. Then he asked a question which I was able to answer. He smiled. He called another student. Then he turned to me again and asked another question. When I made another right answer, he asked me a third question, something which is far ahead of the assigned readings. After I hit the third answer right, he smiled and cried, ” wow, nag aral na sya.” Then he never called me up again to recite . . . until the next semester in special commercial laws class. For the first 3 weeks since the start of classes, I was the favorite student for recitation again (believe ako sa pag shuffle ng cards namin, maski ano mangyari, pangalan ko ang nabubunot). On the third week (6th session), he asked a question, the answer of which could be found way beyond the assignment (kung first 50 pages ang assignment, the question could be found on the 150th page) . But knowing i would be called over and over, i was prepared. I hit the right answer and he exclaimed “hahaha, umabot na sya doon!” He never called me for recitation ever again after that. And he became my favorite professor. If you happen to read this, sir, would you know who I am??? Salute to you, sir. For bringing out the best in me. And congratulations, UST law is represented on the top ten again this year.


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