Chief Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, upon his assumption into the top Supreme Court post, bared his four-point agenda which consists of the updating of the Rules of Court, purging the Bench of misfits and scalawags, initiation of Bar reforms, and the adoption of legal clinics to enhance access to justice.
Championing the improvement of the quality of legal education, an integral part of the four-point agenda of Chief Justice Bersamin, the High Court has created an organizing committee for the 2019 Legal Education Summit.
In a two-page Memorandum Order No. 21-2019 signed on April 1, 2019, the Court designated SC Associate Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo as Chairperson of the said committee. Assisting Justice Gesmundo in the Committee will be University of the Philippines College of Law Dean Fides Cordero-Tan, who was designated Vice-Chairperson. SC Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen, retired SC Associate Justice Arturo D. Brion, and Atty. Carolyn Mercado of the The Asia Foundation were designated consultants.
Also lending support are committee members Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) Research and Development Division Head Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria, former dean of the Ateneo de Manila University College of Law; Philippine Association of Law Schools (PALS) President Dean Joan S. Largo; former Ateneo de Manila University Dean Cynthia R. Del Castillo; and Father Saturnino Urios University College of Law Dean Josefe Somera-Ty; Attorneys Charisma I. Nolasco, Rigor R. Pascual, and Jeffrey G. Gallardo of the Office of the Chief Justice; and Association of Law Students of the Philippines Executive Vice President Karizza Kamille M. Cruz. Secretariat are Attorneys Nashmyleen A. Marohomsalic and Gracielle Tejada-Mendoza of the Office of Justice Gesmundo.
The Organizing Committee, among others, will be tasked “to consult the stakeholders in different regions of the country to determine the problems encountered in legal education, and to formulate the proposed solutions to address them.” The same will “consolidate these inputs during the regional consultations, identify the common problems encountered, and consider the solutions (including updating the basic law curriculum for purposes of admission to the bar, and adopting the best practices to develop students to become practice-ready lawyers.”
Regional consultations will be conducted preparatory to the proposed two-day Legal Education Summit to be conducted sometime in July. The first leg of the regional consultation will be on April 29, 2019 at the Angeles University Foundation in Angeles City, Pampanga. Other regional consultations are tentatively set on May 16, 2019 in Baguio City; May 21, 2019 in Cagayan de Oro City; May 23, 2019 in Davao City; May 28, 2019 in Naga City; May 30, 2019 in Cebu City; and June 3, 2019 in Manila.
Details of the 2019 Legal Education Summit may be viewed through its microsite at http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/2019-legal-education-summit/.