THE COUNTRY’S oldest law school plans to open a center for Commercial Law next year in a bid to specialize in legal developments affecting businesses.

The center will conduct research and offer courses on business and commerce laws, Faculty of Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina told the Varsitarian.

“If there are recent developments in commercial law, UST will be the first to publicize it,” Divina said.

With the establishment of the center, UST law graduates will be sought after by top employers, and it will be easier to acquire grants for scholarships and other projects, he added.

Only the University of the Philippines College of Law has a law center, focusing on Political Law, he noted.

“UP has its own law center which dwells mostly on political issues [affecting] the country or the government,” said Divina. “A commercial law center concentrates on laws affecting businesses, commerce and trade.”

Established in 1989, the UP Law Center performs the UP College of Law’s research and outreach programs. It is composed of four institutes—Government and Law Reform, Human Rights, International Legal Studies, and Administration of Justice.

Divina said the planned Commercial Law Center should become relevant to law practitioners three to four years after its establishment.

Commercial Law, also known as Philippine Mercantile Law, covers the Corporation Code, Negotiable Instruments Law, and the Insurance Code.

Pre-bar, new recruits

Meanwhile, Civil Law is set to offer pre-bar reviews to students at all levels as part of a strategy to improve UST’s standing in the bar examinations.

Divina said the pre-bar review, which will be held during semestral and summer breaks, will not yet be compulsory and will be free.

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“If a student is serious in passing the bar, I can see no reason why he should not attend the pre-bar course, especially if it’s for free,” he said.

The review will run for one to two weeks, covering all courses taken up in the previous term, and will be followed by a mock exam.

Civil Law has also increased the Quotient Point Index (QPI) or the maintaining average grade for freshmen to 79 percent from last year’s 78 percent.

Divina said he had recruited 14 legal luminaries specializing in different fields of law since his appointment as law dean in 2009. Added to the faculty roster were former lecturers of other top law schools such as Ateneo de Manila, University of the Philippines, and San Beda College.

“We have very good faculty members in UST but we also recognize quality professors from other schools. I did a survey on who’s the best in different fields and eventually persuaded them to join Civil Law,” Divina told the Varsitarian.

From 52 professors in 2009, Civil Law now boasts of 66 professors.

Divina also said the faculty has been receiving donations from alumni, with the latest grant coming from Amado Dimayuga, dean emeritus of the Faculty of Civil Law, who donated P2 million. NIKKA LAVINIA G. VALENZUELA

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