ArchivesDecember 2013Scholarships for poor students offered at SU Law

Scholarships for poor students offered at SU Law


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Commencement is one of the best times to think about bright beginnings. Some fresh graduates may want to work and earn a living while others may want to earn another degree.{{more}}

For college graduates thinking of pursuing Law studies, the Silliman University College of Law is offering at least one or two full scholarships (including books and photocopying expenses) to complete the law degree in four years.

This was announced by lawyer M. Mikhail Lee L. Maxino, dean of the SU College of Law, who said the scholarship policies have been established primarily for economically-challenged but outstanding academic achievers.

What sets this scholarship apart from the rest is that the funds, coming from SU Law alumnus Dr. Rolando del Carmen and his wife Josie, will be utilized along the “pay it forward” scheme. (Mrs. Josie del Carmen died about two weeks ago in the US.)

The concept “pay it forward” was popularized in a 2000 American movie with the same title which espoused a charitable pyramid scheme wherein a recipient of a favor (alumnus) does a favor for a third party (first year Law student he doesn’t necessarily know) rather than paying the favor back (to a previous benefactor).

The strategy is to “help break the cycle of poverty”, emphasized Maxino, vowing that “even a poor person who is academically-qualified can go to law school at Silliman starting June 2011 to March 2015.”

Normally, about 30 to 40 first year students begin their journey in SU law school, but only about 10 to 20 eventually graduate. Many of them stop schooling mainly due to financial reasons, Maxino said.

Although there are other scholarships available at SU Law — from Atty. Isagani Villanueva, and the family of Dean Felix Gaudiel — these only offer tuition assistance.

The search for recipients of full scholarships has been one of the flagship programs of Maxino since he assumed the deanship of SU Law in June 2010. His other main focus include an honors program called The Eagles’ Nest (TEN), a mentoring program, the sustainable publication of the Purple Map, the continued invitation of legal scholars into the campus, and a serious participation the International Moot Court competition.

The TEN was established to enable exceptionally-talented students showing high academic achievement to be equipped for the Philippine Bar. In the long term, the program hopes to move such students beyond traditional formal education and into a stimulating world of scholarship, critical thinking, and creativity in an advanced and accelerated environment.

On the other hand, SU Law has a mentoring program that offers academic assistance and enhancement to law students who might feel the need to augment their learning.

“I have observed that although we have very strict faculty members, the mentoring program tends to ‘neutralize’ the strictness, and strengthen the teacher-student bond during these intellectual pursuits,” Maxino noted. He explained that when a student fails in a Bar subject, he is given the option to enroll in tutorial. They used to do this on voluntary basis but now it’s required of the faculty.

The Purple Map is a quarterly magazine of the College launched in August 2010 where the law students discuss legal issues and current legal controversies. “It’s an easy-to-read platform that veers away from too much legalese that we lawyers are usually accused of, that we can not be understood by the laypeople,” Dean Maxino said.

He added that the SU Law has committed to continue with the tradition of inviting legal scholars “to remind ourselves that we are actually part of a community”. Thus far, the College has invited SC Chief Justice Reynato Puno, Supreme Court Justice Renato Corona, SC Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, and then-Sen. Noynoy Aquino.

For the past four years, SU Law has been joining the International Moot Court competition but this school year was the first time that Silliman Law won the Best Brief and Best Oralist Awards both in the eliminations and the finals. This was also the first time the College was fortunate enough to get mentoring support from Atty. Marcelino Maxino, former lead attorney of the California Court of Appeals, who pounded on the mooters that “Facts is everything.”

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