UE Remembers Former Law Dean Riano on His First Death Anniversary

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The UE community remembers Atty. Willard B. Riano, the former Dean of the UE College of Law, on his recent first death anniversary. Dean Riano, who passed away on February 22, 2019, at age 68, was the UE CLaw Dean from 2015 to 2017.

Upon the news of his passing on February 22 of last year, various individuals in the legal community paid tribute to the man who has made his mark in Philippine legal education through his lectures and his writings. Countless legal professionals reminisced on how Dean Riano was instrumental in their achieving their dream of becoming lawyers. Law students and reviewees also recall Dean Riano’s lectures in Commercial, Remedial and Civil Law.

Dean Riano was touted as Philippine legal education’s “Remedial Law Rockstar.” Atty. Harry Roque, the former Presidential Spokesperson, notes that Dean Riano has the “ability to communicate even the most complex procedures in simple ways” (https://tribune.net.ph/index.php/2019/02/26/remembering-dean-willard-b-riano/).

For his part, Atty. Sigfred B. Mison, former UE Legal Counsel and CLaw Professor, describes Dean Riano as the “mailman,” both in the basketball court and in the legal court as he always “delivers” what is needed of him (https://businessmirror.com.ph/2016/06/22/the-mailman/).

Dean Riano began teaching in his postgraduate alma mater, the San Sebastian College-Recoletos (SSC-R) College of Law, in 1982, after placing 20th in the 1981 Bar exams. He likewise began teaching at the Philippine College of Commerce (now Polytechnic University of the Philippines) in the same year. He also ventured into private practice, serving as a trial lawyer for the Paredes Law Offices from 1982 to 1989, and briefly as a legal adviser of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines in 1984.

After a brief stint in the USA, Dean Riano returned to the Philippines in 1998 and resumed teaching at SSC-R. At the same time, he also ventured across C. M. Recto Avenue and taught at the UE College of Law until 2006.

Dean Riano was also instrumental in establishing the PUP College of Law, and was one of its pioneering professors in 2001. He also taught at the University of Santo Tomas in 2013, and at San Beda College (now San Beda University) in 2015.

In addition, Dean Riano was an admired and well-respected bar reviewer in Remedial, Civil and Commercial Law in 13 different Bar review centers nationwide. He was also the author of eight publications used in law studies.

He was appointed as Dean of the SSC-R College of Law in 2003, making his mark and landing feats for that college for 11 years before his two-year stint as UE College of Law Dean.

From 2008 to 2013, he was a member-lecturer of the Corps of Professors of the Philippine Judicial Academy (PhilJA) of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.

After his stint with the UE College of Law, Dean Riano served as Bar Examiner in Remedial Law for the 2017 Bar Exams. It was to be one of his last stints as legal educator.

In a talk, Dean Riano once shared that he believes law graduates are considered “sui generis” or a class of their own. He said that there are certain circumstances or situations experienced by law students and law graduates that doctorate or graduate degree holders do not go through. The term “sui generis” itself best describes Dean Riano. His selfless attitude and dedication to the study of law has made him irreplaceable to the countless of law professionals’ and law students’ lives that he touched.

Thank you for your service, Warrior Dean and Lawyer Willard B. Riano. You are missed, Sir.

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