Before the start of the extended four-month summer vacation in 2014–the year when several universities in the country began adjusting their academic calendars to conform with those in neighboring Southeast Asian countries–a group consisting of incoming sophomores at the UST Faculty of Civil Law and their friends came up with an idea: what if they study the law, but without the pressures of law school?

Every law student in the Philippines is familiar with the jitters and anxiety that accompany almost every day of their law school adventure–struggling to read the entire coverage for the next class and failing due to many constraints, the fear of being called for recitation and having to face terrorizing professors unprepared, not to mention the uncertainties of waiting for the release of exam results and final grades.

In this kind of environment, where students are forced to focus on getting the right grade in order to make the QPI, the value of learning the law, and its deeper and broader dimensions, are often set aside.

This was the problem that prompted Kris Valencia, Bino Socrates, Neil Nabuab, and Universitas’ President & CEO Oliver Tuazon to come up with Inquies Pro Lege (IPL).

Inquies (“Restlessness”), after which Inquies Pro Lege (“Restlessness for the Law”) had been modeled, was a summer course that was organized by Universitas, seeking to deepen the youth’s understanding of relevant social and academic issues. It was inspired by the group of renowned literary giants from Oxford called The Inklings (having for its members the likes of JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis), which group changed the world of literature. In organizing the Inquies summer course, Universitas hoped to change the world affecting the youth, and consequently, society.

Similarly, the idea behind Inquies Pro Lege was to organize a summer course–but one that is tailor-fit for law students and those planning to enter law school. Although the course mostly comprised review lectures on law subjects, the classes were not limited to the study of the law, but also involved discussions on related topics such as philosophy, ethical & social foundations of law, talks on Christian and human formation, tips on improving one’s leadership and communication skills, and even Latin.

In addition, there were also sports sessions, film-showings, excursions, and get-togethers with practicing lawyers, public servants, and other persons who could relate inspiring stories and experiences to the participants. In other words, IPL aimed to provide a holistic approach to the study of law, and its intimate connection with the pursuit of truth, virtue and service–values which the course aims to foster among its participants.

Inquies pro lege is capped by a graduation ceremony whose guests of honor and speaker had been key figures in Philippine society such as Constitutional Commissioners Atty. Rene Sarmiento and Dr. Bernardo Villegas, Former Finance Secretary Dr. Jesus Estanislao, renowned election lawyer Atty. Romulo Macalintal, celebrity lawyer Atty. Romulo Fortun and book author Atty. Alex Lacson.

Among its faculty members were Judge Roberto Buenaventura, Judge Ed Bellosillo, Judge Joel Lopena, Prosecutor Eduardo Seña, Dean Joaquin San Diego of UA&P, former MTRC Chairman Atty. Eugenio Villareal, intellectual property lawyer Atty. Ferdinand Fider, former university president Dr. Jose Maria Mariano, and tax whiz Raymond Abrea.

Dr. Jose Maria Mariano, former UA&P President, during one of the formative talks.

IPL also includes visits to law firms and government offices to for some informal get-togethers such as ACCRA, Divina Law, EMSAVVIL, the House of Representatives, MTRCB and the Supreme Court.

A tour of the ACCRA LAW office through the generous assistance of its Senior Partner, Atty. Ferdinand Fider (6th from the left), who also teaches Intellectual Property Law in IPL.

IPL 2014 staff and participants pose for a photo with the Dean of the UST Faculty of Civil Law and Managing Partner of Divina Law, Atty. Nilo Divina, after he shared with them the inspiring story of his life and how his law firm became a success within a short span of time from its date of creation.

IPL 2014 staff & participants enjoying their dinner get-together with Atty. Diosdado Marasigan, Managing Partner of EMSAVVIL Law.

A get-together with Congressmen Dakila Carlo Cua and Karlo Nograles at the House of Representatives

Aside from the classes and get-togethers, IPL also emphasizes among its participants the importance of rest and recreation.  

During a hike in Zambales.

In the succeeding years, IPL continued to conduct summer courses, with its participants growing in number and newer activities being planned by its staff.

IPL 2014 graduation, with Guest Speaker Atty. Romulo Macalintal, and Dr. Nicomedes Alviar, Director of Banahaw Cultural Center.

IPL 2015 Graduation, with Constitutional Commissioners Atty. Rene Sarmiento and Dr. Bernardo Villegas

IPL 2016 graduation, with guest speakers Atty. Alex Lacson, and Dr.Jesus Estanislao.

IPL 2017 graduation with Guest Speaker Atty. Raymund Fortun.

This coming July 2018, Inquies Pro Lege will be holding its 5th summer course. The thrust of the IPL this year is integrated with Universitas’ mission-vision of forming future leaders who are competent, with the stable moral character, and well-formed conscience, as a foundation for nation-building.

For more details, get updates from this website, write, or call this year’s project manager, Isaac Tambunting, at 0917-898-4425.

NOTA BENE: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and the speakers mentioned in the article, and not necessarily to the Foundation.

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