University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law

University of Santo Tomas
Faculty of Civil Law
Ust civil law logo.svg UST-FacultyOfCivilLaw.png
DeanAtty. Nilo T. Divina, LL.B.
RegentRev. Fr. Isidro Abano, O.P.
Students700+ (as of 2015)
Patron saintSaint Raymond of Peñafort
Colors     Red

The University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law or "UST Law" (as distinguished from the Faculty of Canon Law), is the law school of the University of Santo Tomas, the oldest and the largest Catholic university in Manila, Philippines.

Established in 1734, it is the first law school in the Philippines.[1] It is one of the Top Performing Law Schools in the Philippine Bar Examinations. The faculty has produced numerous alumni in government, public service and the academe.

Facade of the UST Main Building which houses the Faculty of Civil Law


Known as Facultad de Derecho Civil, the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law is the oldest lay college in the University as well in the Philippines.[1] It was established on September 2, 1734, the same year that the Faculty of Canon Law was founded, with a curriculum identical to that adopted during the time in leading universities in Europe.[2]

The number of subjects in the curriculum was later enriched and expanded. During the major part of the Spanish regime the course consisted of twelve semesters (six years), based upon a year of preparatory work.[2]

On several occasions during the American regime, the University of Santo Tomas modified the curriculum of the Faculty of Civil Law in order to meet the changing conditions. But firm in the resolve of turning out worthy members of the Bar and practical Catholic lawyers, the University adhered to its basic policy of retaining in its curriculum important subjects introduced during the Spanish regime in order to fully accomplish the aims and purposes of a sound Catholic legal education.[2]


The Faculty maintains a curriculum of mandatory law courses, focusing on the eight subjects covered in the Philippine Bar Examinations. Upon completing all law courses for the first three years in the program, the student is required to engage in an internship program of at least two-hundred hours before being admitted to the fourth and final year.[3]

As a final graduation requirement, a student undergoes a Revalida, an oral recitation covering the most important aspects of every subject in the Philippine Bar Examinations. He must pass the Revalida, Mid-term Examinations, Final Examinations, daily class recitations, quizzes, and special projects to graduate and be qualified to take the Philippine Bar Exam.[3]

The Faculty remains one of the top performing law schools in the national bar exams.[4]

Preparatory legal education[edit]

The Faculty requires applicants to hold at least a bachelor's degree in any field, provided they meet certain academic requisites. Majority of graduates have completed preparatory law degrees in Asian Studies, Sociology, Legal Management, Political Science, Accountancy, and Philosophy.[5]

Advanced legal education[edit]

The Faculty, through the Law Department of the University of Santo Tomas Graduate School, administers the program content and delivery of advanced courses in legal education. These postgraduate programs are made available only to holders of Bachelor of Laws and Juris Doctor degrees from accredited law schools in the Philippines and other countries.[6]

At present, the following postgraduate programs are offered:


The Faculty of Civil Law is administered by its current dean, Nilo T. Divina. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Science (Cum Laude) in 1985 and his Bachelor of Laws (Magna Cum Laude, Valedictorian, Rector’s Awardee for Academic Excellence) in 1989, both from the University of Santo Tomas.

A member of the Philippine Bar since 1990, Divina started his career in law as the clerk of court of the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City. In 1992, he moved on to become an associate attorney at the Misa Castro & Associates Law Offices. From there, he was appointed as Corporate Secretary of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), where he eventually became its youngest General Manager and Chief Legal Adviser. In 1993, he joined Equitable Bank as consultant and was later appointed as Vice President, the youngest to assume such office in the Bank's history. Upon the merger of Equitable Bank with the Philippine Commercial International Bank (PCIB), the Bank elevated him to the concurrent capacities of Executive Vice President, Corporate Secretary and General Counsel.

Divina is the Author of the “Handbook in Commercial Law”. He is a Bar Reviewer on Commercial Law at the Faculty of Civil Law, U.S.T. and the Lex Review Center. He is a longtime faculty member of the Faculty of Civil Law, University of Santo Tomas, where he teaches Corporation Law, Negotiable Instruments Law, Credit Transactions, Special Commercial Law and Commercial Law Review.

He is a recipient of various awards and citations as an outstanding student, corporate lawyer and law professor. He specializes in general counseling, banking and finance, corporate practice, corporate take-over, mergers and acquisitions, corporate re-organization and restructuring.

In recognition of Atty. Divina's trailblazing efforts in the legal profession and as Dean of the Faculty of Civil Law, he was elected twice as president of the Philippine Association of Law Schools[8] and later as chairman.[9]

The Faculty Regent is the former Secretary General of UST, Rev. Fr. Isidro Abano, O.P.[10]

The Graduate School of Law is headed by former RTC Judge Alicia B. Decano, She is an expert in public international law and has authored Legal Writing,[11] The Exclusionary Rule and its Rationale, and Notes on Torts and Damages.


This is a list of notable alumni of the school.[7][12][13]


The faculty has a pool of full-time law professors and part-time professorial lecturers from both the public and private sectors. Most have held high positions in the judiciary and other branches of the Philippine government.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Rufus Rodriguez. Slaying The Bar Exams Dragon. Rex Bookstore, 2002.
  2. ^ a b c Official Prospectus, University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law. 2006 Issue.
  3. ^ a b Official Law Curriculum, University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law, 2006.
  4. ^ Statistical Data of Bar Passing Rates, Office of the Bar Confidant, Supreme Court of the Philippines, 1997-2006.
  5. ^ Office of the Faculty Secretary, University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law. Records from 2000 to 2006.
  6. ^ a b c Official Prospectus, University of Santo Tomas Graduate School. 2006 Issue.
  7. ^ a b List of members, University of Santo Tomas Law Alumni Association, 2006.
  8. ^ "UST Law dean re-elected law schools group president |". Retrieved 2016-04-23.
  9. ^ "Civil Law dean elected chairman of law schools org". The Varsitarian. Retrieved 2016-04-23.
  10. ^ Official Directory, University of Santo Tomas Office of the Secretary-General, 2007.
  11. ^ Gonzalez-Decano, Alicia B. (2007-01-01). Legal writing. UST Pub. House. ISBN 9789715064286.
  12. ^ The Law School Monitor, official newsletter of University of Santo Tomas Legal Management Society. 2001 Issue.
  13. ^ "List of bar topnotchers at the Supreme Court of the Philippines Website. Last accessed 5/21/2007". Archived from the original on 2008-05-12. Retrieved 2008-05-12.
  14. ^ Faculty list, University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law, 2006.

External links[edit]