In a significant step towards fostering partnerships between academic institutions and government organizations, officials from Manuel L. Quezon University (MLQU) and the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) recently met to discuss potential areas of collaboration. The meeting, which took place on July 6, 2023, brought together key representatives from both MLQU and PAO to explore avenues for cooperation.
Leading the MLQU delegation were Atty. Ria Corazon Golez-Cabrera, Vice Dean of the School of Law, and Dr. Jaime G. Ang, Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. They were joined by PAO Chief Persida Rueda Acosta and other PAO Officials. The primary focus of the discussion revolved around MLQU’s offer to provide tailored learning opportunities for PAO employees interested in pursuing legal or graduate studies.
During the meeting, Atty. Golez-Cabrera highlighted the various academic programs offered by the MLQU School of Law (SOL), including four-year, five-year, and six-year programs. These flexible options cater to the needs of individuals who wish to study law while continuing their professional careers. She emphasized that pursuing legal education while working is entirely feasible and shared a proud achievement of one of MLQU’s working students who ranked in the top 30 in the 2022 Bar examinations.
The MLQU representatives expressed their belief that this collaboration would greatly contribute to the career advancement of PAO employees, offering them the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills while serving the public. By enrolling in MLQU programs, PAO professionals can broaden their horizons, develop a deeper understanding of legal principles, and contribute even more effectively to the pursuit of justice.
PAO Chief Acosta warmly welcomed MLQU’s initiative and the university’s commitment to accommodating professionals who aspire to pursue further studies in law or other graduate disciplines. This collaboration aligns with PAO’s goals of continually empowering its employees through continuous learning and development opportunities.
I addition to exploring academic collaboration, MLQU and PAO also discussed how the two organizations could work together to provide practical learning opportunities for law students. Recognizing the importance of hands-on experience in the legal profession, the meeting delved into the possibility of MLQU students engaging in practical training at PAO.
The representatives from MLQU emphasized the value of experiential learning, wherein students can apply their theoretical knowledge to real-world legal scenarios. By immersing themselves in the daily operations of PAO, law students would gain valuable insights into the practical aspects of providing legal assistance to the underprivileged.
PAO Chief Acosta expressed enthusiasm for the idea, highlighting the potential benefits for both organizations. She recognized that MLQU students would not only contribute their skills and enthusiasm to PAO’s casework but would also gain invaluable exposure to the challenges faced by public attorneys.
Through this collaborative arrangement, MLQU students would have the opportunity to work closely with experienced PAO lawyers, witnessing first hand the intricacies of handling cases and providing legal aid to those in need. Such practical exposure would enhance their understanding of the legal system and enable them to develop essential skills, such as client interaction, legal research, and courtroom advocacy.
Furthermore, collaboration between MLQU and PAO in terms of practical training would foster a sense of social responsibility among law students. By actively engaging in public service and assisting disadvantaged individuals, students would gain a deeper appreciation for the role of law in promoting justice and equality.
The meeting concluded with both parties expressing enthusiasm about the potential collaboration and recognizing the mutual benefits it would bring. MLQU’s reputation for academic excellence, coupled with PAO’s commitment to public service, creates a strong foundation for a fruitful partnership. Together, they can work towards nurturing the next generation of legal professionals who possess the necessary expertise and dedication to serve the Filipino people.
As MLQU and PAO embark on this collaborative journey, it sets a positive precedent for other academic institutions and government organizations to explore similar partnerships. By leveraging each other’s strengths and resources, such collaborations have potential to drive positive change, enhance the capabilities of public servants, and contribute to the overall progress of the nation.