Scholarships, dissertation contest for law students | Inquirer Opinion
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Scholarships, dissertation contest for law students

Good news for law schools and law students. The Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity (FLP), in cooperation with the Philippine Association of Law Schools (PALS), is sponsoring full scholarships and a dissertation writing contest for the coming school year.

Scholarship program.  Cosponsored by the Tan Yan Kee Foundation, the scholarship program will start with 10 awardees for the coming school year and will add 10 more each year, for a total of 40 in four years. The scholarships cover tuition, a book allowance and a monthly stipend, as well as bar review expenses.


This program is open to those entering their third year as law students in all law schools that have obtained a percentage of passing above the overall percentage of passing for the 2014 bar exams based on the statistical data from the Office of the Bar Confidant of the Supreme Court. For a list of these schools, please visit the FLP website,

The scholarship program’s primary goal is to look for the best and the brightest students who believe in the vision, mission, values and legal philosophy of FLP.


Dissertation contest.  Cosponsored by the Ayala Group for five consecutive school years, the dissertation contest aims to input the fresh insights and unique perspectives of law students into FLP’s programs.

In this way, FLP also hopes to imbibe novel and innovative avenues to achieve its vision and values. The dissertations should engender a deeper understanding of FLP’s core philosophy and contribute to its evolution, development and enrichment.

The contest is open to all junior and senior law students nationwide. FLP will choose the thesis/dissertation (or its equivalent in law schools not offering the juris doctor program) that best explains and espouses its vision, mission, values and philosophy.

From all the entries, an FLP committee will choose a maximum of 20 entries, each of which will receive P20,000. A panel of judges shall thereafter prune the list to 10. The 10 shortlisted authors shall then submit new entries from which five winners will be chosen by the judges: The first place will receive P300,000; the second place, P200,000; and three honorable mentions, P100,000 each.

Professorial chairs. FLP was founded in 2011 to promote the legal philosophy of “liberty and prosperity under the rule of law.” Its ongoing flagship program, the Chief Justice Panganiban Professorial Chairs on Liberty and Prosperity, is cosponsored by the Metrobank Foundation.

Through this program, FLP encourages educational institutions and law schools to undertake research on and to propagate its philosophy at the academic level.

The holders of these professorial chairs are Chancellor Adolfo S. Azcuna of the Philippine Judicial Academy, Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria (Ateneo de Manila), Dean Danilo L. Concepcion (University of the Philippines), Dean Jose Manuel I. Diokno (De La Salle University), Dean Andres D. Bautista (Far Eastern University, now chair of the Commission on Elections), Dean Mikhail Lee L. Maxino (Silliman University), Dean Joan Sarausos-Largo (University of San Carlos), Dean Nilo T. Divina (University of Santo Tomas), Dean Reynaldo U. Agranzamendez (University of the Cordilleras) and new Dean Melencio S. Sta. Maria (FEU).


Additionally, FLP is working with PALS to improve the law curriculum and the bar examinations.

Vision, values, philosophy. FLP envisions a society that understands and embraces the basic interdependence and mutual inclusiveness of the twin concepts of liberty and prosperity. It upholds both justice and jobs, freedom and food, ethics and economics, democracy and development, liberty and prosperity. For FLP, these twin beacons always go together; one is useless without the other. Further, it believes that:

  • In litigations involving liberty, the scales of justice should weigh heavily against the government and in favor of the people, but in cases involving the economy and prosperity, courts—absent grave abuse of discretion—must defer to the legislative and executive branches pursuant to the principle of deferential interpretation of laws and executive issuances.
  • The best way to conquer poverty, to create wealth and to share prosperity is to unleash the entrepreneurial genius of the people by granting them the freedom and the tools to help themselves and society.
  • Political leaders, working closely with the private sector, are primarily responsible for developing the economy. Should they fail, the people can change them during periodic elections.
  • Private enterprise is the engine of economic growth. Hence, government must promote and defend private entrepreneurship, encourage private investments and level the playing field.
  • Government must oversee the fair and equitable distribution of wealth to all our people, especially the poor and the disadvantaged.
  • Integrity, meritocracy, probity, creativity and industry are treasured values. Education is the key to success and fulfillment.
  • Transparency, accountability and responsibility must characterize the work of the government and publicly-listed companies.
  • Properly understood and enforced, discipline is not inconsistent with liberty, prosperity, or the rule of law. In fact, discipline, especially in government, is necessary to safeguard liberty, nurture prosperity and promote the rule of law.

For further information and application/entry forms, visit FLP’s website,, or write the [email protected]

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TAGS: dissertation, Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity, law school, law students, Philippine Association of Law Schools, scholarships
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