In fulfillment of the University’s mission to make Lasallian education more accessible to young professionals and aspiring lawyers, DLSU officially launched the Rufino Campus at the financial community of Bonifacio Global City (BGC), Taguig as its newest College of Law building last February 18.
Carlos Rufino, a member of DLSU’s Board of Trustees and project head of the construction of the Rufino campus, shares that the completion of the building took two years, including the planning and architectural arrangements. The bid for the land was offered last 2013 while the groundbreaking ceremony took place in 2014.
Currently, the 1,395 square-meter building houses more than 600 law students that are utilizing 17 classrooms, an auditorium, a prayer room, a moot court, and a law library. Rufino says that they had difficulties in the construction of the campus, as the area where it was established is “narrow” and not the “usual [and] typical” land found in BGC.
In order to carry out the original plan for the facilities, the team had to maximize space by “[putting] containers on top of each other to cover the area.” Additionally, given the relatively small land, Rufino admits that they “had a hard time interconnecting the power and the water,” but claims that they eventually found their way through it.
When asked regarding the allocation of the expenses, Rufino estimates that the target for the project amounted to around P400 million, which he claims came from both donations and from the school itself.
The seven-story green building also aims to get a five-star rating from the Philippine Green Building Council’s Berde Rating System.
Looking into centralized systems
Meanwhile, DLSU Law Student Government Vice President for Internal Affairs Karen Delfin clarifies that the College of Law constitutes a “certain independence”, but that they are still very much connected to the main campus. “The physical detachment–that doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re not connected to the offices anymore, because we have our satellite offices here. The Hub, Registrar, and the like,” she adds in a mixture of English and Filipino.
In light of campus accessibility, Delfin explains that the College of Law is definitely open to all members of the Lasallian community. She also suggests using the Arrows Express, which is the University’s shuttle service that links the BGC Campus to Taft, and that also runs several times in a day.
“You can go here and make use of the library, whatever you will need. I think we also have law books [at the] main campus, 12th floor, [at the] Filipiniana section. The only difference is that the Rufino campus library is centered on law needs. But you know, you could go here and also make use of the auditorium,” she adds in a mixture of English and Filipino.
Regarding the academic calendar shift, Delfin shares that the second semester started last February 6. She highlighted the COL’s transition from a trimestral to a semestral system, so that the college’s curriculum format is patterned to that of other law schools.
“When we were in a trimestral system, [there was a] smaller load, but it’s faster. For this one, more load, more units, so it’s slower. The study of law–reading it–is not only once or twice or thrice. It’s really a long [process]. I think adapting from [trimester] to semester was hard, but now I think it’s better because you have more time to study cases, commentaries, and prepare for recitations. It’s like you’re arguing everyday; you get to appreciate the law better as well,” she shares in English and Filipino.
On the other hand, Atty. Jose Manuel Diokno, the Dean for the College of Law, shares that the administration upholds a vision of a law school that values human rights and communal justice. Moreover, he emphasizes the country’s need for “lawyers who are leaders, have a vision for change, and a heart for people.”