Indigenous Peoples

Legal Aid in the Eyes of a Novice

Posted on 2015/11/06

I’ve been hearing about it. The idea is thrilling, indeed. Nice clothes…court appearances…rubbing elbows with the who’s who in the legal community…fame and recognition…Who wouldn’t want those? No law student wouldn’t I suppose.

From the moment I entered law school, my unwavering goal has always been to study hard and pass the bar. Engaging in extra-curricular activities and joining organizations do not interest me as they would considerably eat my precious hours. Actually, the Legal Aid Workshop was the only event I have attended so far aside of course from the Freshmen Orientation. And that was not a half-hearted decision because my expectations were high.

Were my expectations of the workshop, as it is termed, met? No. I didn’t learn the formalities and all the nitty-gritties of providing legal aid but I must say that I learned something far more important. I can sum it in three words: Expertise, Service, and Compassion
Expertise. Being a lawyer is a glamorous profession. And law students enjoy their share of such glamour quite early. We are the smart men and women, aren’t we? That’s how people generally perceive us to be. And all the knowledge that we have infused in our heads need not wait for the bar exam to be put into actual and good use. It can start now. But extending legal aid begins not at the halls of justice but in our respective neck of the woods.

Service. Being a lawyer is a lucrative profession. Without the influx of cases, a litigation lawyer’s practice is close to being miserable. As legal aid volunteers, our mindset has to be redirected not on handling cases but on preventing disputes from translating into cases. We are not only agents of law but we can also consider ourselves as agents of peace.

Compassion. This isn’t one of those “for compliance only” undertakings we accomplish. One needs to have the “heart” to appreciate the beauty of this endeavor and feel fulfilled. We won’t be remunerated in monetary terms but we get the inimitable satisfaction of being able to understand the predicament of the penurious people that our society tends to either ignore or exploit and to help educate them with their rights and the law. Needless to say, sublimity and the prima donna attitude must go south because we really need to selflessly reach out.

So having said all these, where do I stand now? My community needs me, that’s for sure. With that I commit myself to the very purpose of the constitution of the Bulacan State University’s Legal Aid Center, now and up to the foreseeable future where I’ll be a novice no more.


Is an Non-Government Organization Catering Youth Services


Liceo Legal Aid Center (LiLAC) doing business under the name and style of Center for Alternative Lawyering of Liceo is the legal aid center of Liceo de Cagayan University, a privately owned university based in Cagayan de oro City. The group is composed of law students, alumni of the College of Law of the University, and lawyers who are passionate in the practice of alternative lawyering. LiLAC is guided by its vision of a holistic formation of law students committed to the transformation of society by promoting justice, empowerment, unity and peace, through helping the marginalized sector of the depressed areas here in Mindanao, in the Philippines and in the world. While the group was registered only this year with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it has been providing services to marginalized communities in partnership with NGOs for more than 8 years now. LiLAC has more than 50 members, 15 of whom are taking the active role of running the group’s activities.


The Mindanao State University Legal Aid Clinic or Mindanao SULAC for brevity, is the Legal Aid Clinic of Mindanao State University College of law. It is the first and currently the only one of its kind to be established in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). It strives to cater the legal needs of the underprivileged and/or indigent clients of the Region and to help promote the proper administration of justice as a key to lasting peace in the region and in the country as a whole.

Office Address: 1F MSU College of Law Bldg.,
MSU Main Campus, Marawi City 9700 Philippines
Contact details:
Mobile No.: (+63) 907 336 7762



The Notre Dame university is a Catholic Institution in Cotabato City run by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and member of the Notre Dame Educational Association Philippines.The Notre Dame University Legal Aid Center started sometime in 2009. Its members are the officially enrolled students of NDU-College of Law.

The following are the official pages and e-mail address of the group:


The Palawan Cradle of Rights is a unified composition of law students from Palawan State university school of Law, established last August 26, 2013 after the culminating activity of the Basic Orientation Seminar by the US Embassy in partnership with the MYVC.

Through our linkages and with the help of the different Government and Non-government organizations we aim to provide free access to people who need legal assistance.


The University of Mindanao Legal Aid Network (ULAN) is a non-stock, non-profit, and service institution of the University of Mindanao. As a service institution, it provides legal assistance, advocates human rights and social justice, and facilitates the formation of law students for alternative lawyering. It consists of law students and alumni of the College of Legal Education of the University of Mindanao committed to provide an adequate and greater access to justice of the community through its programs.


The CENTRO ADVOCACIA LEGAL is organized exclusively for charitable, socio-cultural and educational purposes, more specifically to serve the needs of the marginalized communities specifically children and youth and the minorities in Zamboanga City through Legal Aid Assistance and Human Rights Based Advocacies.