What's University of San Carlos' secret? Law school dean speaks up

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 03 2017 09:44 PM

Quality education, hard work, faith in God and in self, says Dean Largo 

MANILA - The dean of the College of Law of the University of San Carlos (USC) in Cebu said the results of the 2016 Bar exams show that provincial law schools also deserve to be noticed.

Speaking to ANC, Dean Joan Largo said it is about time for law schools outside the National Capital Region (NCR) to "shine."

"I really think it's about time that schools outside NCR shine as well because the quality of legal education that we are able to provide are really worthy of a place at the top," she said.

Four students from the USC are in the top 10, while the rest of the topnotchers came from schools outside Metro Manila.

For the first time, no student from any Metro Manila school made it to the top 10. 

Historically, law schools of University of the Philippines, San Beda College, and Ateneo de Manila University in Metro Manila always had students in the top 10. 

So far, UP has a total of 46 topnotchers, Ateneo has 21, and San Beda has 8 topnotchers.

According to Largo, they focused on providing the best for their students.

"We focused really well on the quality of legal education we are able to give. We subscribed to the latest educational materials, and then, of course, the constant has always been the passion and dedication of our faculty members. Students rise up to the challenge that we give them. They expect no less than the very best every time the faculty members meet them in their classrooms," she said.

"We tell them that we have what it takes, that we are in USC, that we are in Cebu City, and we have what it takes," Largo added.

Largo said she took the "hardest Bar examination in the history of the Bar examinations in 1999" where only 16 percent of examinees passed.

This year, 59 percent of examinees passed.

For Largo, an increased attention given to the conduct of the Bar examinations may have helped increase the passing rate.

"I would like to believe that the questions had been maybe reasonable, but there has been an increased attention that has been given to the conduct of the Bar examinations, unlike in the past, there is now constant communication between the Bar chairperson and the deans of the law schools so we somehow know or at least can appropriate how best to prepare our students," she said.

She also believes that law students should prepare for the Bar exams as soon as they enter law school.

"The preparation in the Bar is really the four years in law school," Largo said.

"It's always just two things: hard work and faith in God and in oneself," she added.

USC has a 100 percent passing rate the 2016 Bar exams.

San Beda, meanwhile, has a passing rate of 96.27 percent. UP has an overall passing rate of 97.89 percent, and Ateneo has a passing rate of 97.36 percent. 

Rodrigo Duterte, who won the 2016 presidential elections, is the country's first president from Mindanao. However, he is a graduate of San Beda College of Law in Manila. -- with reports from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News