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The University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP) is set to make quality legal education accessible to the public with the offering of the Juris Doctor (J.D.) Thesis Program in the Obrero Campus.

Last year, USeP announced its plans to open the School of Law in 2019 in response to the increasing demand for affordable legal education in the region. The Legal Education Board (LEB) visited USeP on April 23, 2019 and approved its proposal to offer the J.D. Thesis Program.

USeP, with its vision to become a Premier Research University in the ASEAN, commits to become a catalyst of change and development in the field of legal and social justice. With the success of the program evaluation, USeP becomes the first state university in Davao Region to offer legal education and the only university in Mindanao to offer thesis program for the J.D.

The LEB team, composed of its Chairman, Atty. Emerson B. Aquende; and members, Commissioners Zenaida Elepaño, Fe Añonuevo, and Abelardo T. Damondon; Atty. Marian Camille Chavez; Catherine R. De Castro; and Michiko Ito, evaluated the School of Law on the areas of Institutional Management and Governance, Academics (faculty, program, offering, and curriculum), and Facilities.

During the interview with the officials from USeP, LEB Commissioner Elepaño, a retired Court Administrator, described the J.D. program as unique and responsive to the local context.

The J.D. Thesis program in USeP, unlike other programs offered in universities in Mindanao, follows the Outcomes-based Education (OBE) model. Focusing on ASEAN integration, the program also specializes in the mainstreaming of conflict sensitivity and conflict transformation in its curriculum. The Human Resource Management Division (HRMD), in coordination with the Curriculum and Instruction Office (CIO), planned capacity building measures such as Measurement, Assessment, and Evaluation for the faculty members. These qualities were among the reasons why LEB greenlighted the proposal.

Commissioner Domondon expressed his delight upon learning that USeP had conducted capacity building for faculty members even before the School of Law started its operations.

Atty. Aquende said that although there are already four (4) law schools in Davao City, the J.D. Thesis Program will complement the programs offered in different universities.

“The purpose of opening the School of Law is to complement the other programs and not compete against other law schools in the region,” Atty. Aquende added. 

Atty. Jesus Agora Villardo III, an advocate of environmental rights as a basic human right, will serve as the USeP School of Law Dean.

The School of Law is temporarily located at the 3rd floor of the College of Education (CEd) building. Applicants who wish to enroll for SY 2019-2020 may visit the USeP Obrero campus to inquire. For more inquiries and other concerns, please email Mr. Darwin Divino at ddbdivino@usep.edu.ph.

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