Changes in the College of Law: Semestral shift, BGC campus

In 2009, the DLSU College of Law (COL) program was approved by the Commission on Higher Education, The young program will now have their second batch of graduates set to take the bar examination this month.

In its relatively few years of operations, the COL has undergone significant changes, particularly during this academic year and next. This year, it shifted from a trimestral calendar to a semestral one, making way for longer terms and time frames for its students and professors. Secondly, the college is set to move to the Bonifacio Global City (BGC)Campus next year.


Shifting from trimestral to semestral calendar

In May this year, the COL announced that it will be shifting back to the semestral system beginning academic year 2015-2016. The COL shifted to a semestral system to accommodate the scheduling needs of its professors and students. The announcement from the Law Student Government (LSG) read, “This shift reinforces the comprehensive study of law, which involves voluminous readings, the mastery and application of abstract idea, and various internships that aim to hone a student’s acumen in the legal field.”

Under this calendar, Term 1 began on August 17 with finals set to be held from December 14 to19, while Term 2 shall begin on January 11, with finals to be held between from May 16 to 21.

COL Dean Atty. Jose Manuel Diokno explains the shift was done because students had a difficult time absorbing material with the trimestral system. “The trimestral, as you know it, is much shorter than a semestral format,” he shares. “Almost all law schools are on a semestral basis,” he adds.

He mentions that the trimestral system had also been problematic for professors, who had to compress their material to fit the short timespan of the trimester. According to Atty. Diokno, because the material is very heavy, students and professors alike need plenty of time to digest the workload. He also states that during the trimestral system, it was difficult to make up for classes called off due to weather disturbances or holidays.

Prior to the implementation of the shift, consultations were made between students and professors. Meetings were held with professors, the council of chairs, and students from the LSG. Diokno shares that most, if not all, of the COL students had been very receptive to the semestral shift.

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Delayed transfer to the BGC Campus

“I understand that the reason was [the Brother President] wanted a separate place for the professional schools,” Atty. Diokno shares about the shift, citing that the campus in BGC’s University Parkway is eyed not just for COL alone. In November 2014, during the DLSU Rufino Campus Launch, it was announced that the facility will house COL and the graduate programs of the Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business.

In September this year, it was announced that the planned transfer of the COL to DLSU’s BGC campus had been rescheduled from the earlier January 2016 target date. The announcement also stated that the transfer will instead take place in August 2016, in time for the start of academic year 2016-2017.

In December 2013, the news about the transfer was reported by The LaSallian, where it was revealed that the project is managed by a team headed by Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Management, Engr. Ronaldo S. Gallardo.

The 350-million, 7-story Rufino Campus will have 18 classrooms, an auditorium, a library, a moot court, and discussion rooms. The project began on July 18, 2014 and was scheduled to finish by September 2015. However, because of a delay in the construction of the building’s interiors, the COL will instead transfer by August next year.

When asked if there has been any opposition regarding the move to BGC campus, Diokno answers that he has not heard anyone voicing any opposition against the matter.

Currently, the COL transfer to the BGC campus is set to happen during the upcoming summer months. Regular school operations at the new campus are targeted to resume by August.

By Bianca Suarez

By Josemaria Rustia

One reply on “Changes in the College of Law: Semestral shift, BGC campus”

I would have preferred that the post-baccalaureate courses transferred to the BGC campus instead, seeing as there are plenty of working individuals (and more to come) also getting transferred to BGC from Makati/Libis.
Considering the issues with transportation in Metro Manila, it would have been a big plus if DLSU admin considered this change as well.

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