The Ateneo de Manila University is a vibrant community of scholars and leaders. More than 150 years after the Jesuits returned to the Philippines the Ateneo de Manila has grown into a major Jesuit university, whose schools include a college and a graduate school, four professional schools, two basic education units, and an array of research and development centers. The Ateneo began in1859 when the City of Manila asked the Jesuits to take over the Escuela Municipal de Manila in Intramuros. The Jesuits renamed it the Ateneo de Municipal de Manila, after the Athenaeum of Ancient Rome, which embodied the spirit of academic excellence.
Throughout its history, the University has provided its students with a liberal education that is distinctly Filipino, Catholic, and Jesuit. Today, the Ateneo de Manila is a highly respected university with a commitment to academic excellence and service to God, country and the global community.
The Ateneo de Manila University opened its Law School on June 6, 1936 with Manuel Lim serving as its first Dean, and in 1939 produced its first crop of graduates led by Eduardo P. Caguioa as class valedictorian.  In the following year, Claudio Teehankee, who would eventually become the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 1986, became the first Ateneo Law School graduate to have placed first in the Bar Examinations.
The outbreak of the Second World War in 1941 caused the closure of the Ateneo Law School and the destruction of its buildings during the battle for the liberation of Manila delayed the resumption of classes after the war had ended. In 1948, the Ateneo Law School reopened with classes held in quonset huts that were erected on the ruins of the old Ateneo at Padre Faura in Manila.
The Law School remained at Padre Faura even as the other units of the Ateneo de Manila University transferred to a new, expansive campus at Loyola Heights, Quezon City in January 1952. A concrete edifice was constructed in the Padre Faura campus and classes were held there until 1977.
In June 1977, the Law School relocated to the first Ateneo Professional Schools Building at 130 H.V. de la Costa, S.J. Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City. During the latter part of 1998, a new Ateneo Professional Schools building was constructed in Rockwell Center, Makati City, to house the University’s School of Government, Business School and the Law School made possible by a donation to the university of the land on which the building stands. 
Beyond the mere changes in physical location, the decidedly more salient aspect of the history of the Ateneo Law School is that of the decades of ministering an all-inclusive quality education. 
The Ateneo Law School then and now continues to pursue a liberal Jesuit educational program that seeks the harmonious development of moral virtues and intellectual excellence, aimed at developing lawyers knowledgeable in the law and its rightful interpretation and who are good and committed Catholics in the mold of St. Thomas More who was “the king's good servant, but God's first.”
It is this holistic human development, coupled with a tradition of excellence, that has produced a legion of bar topnotchers, jurists, legislators, academicians, and noted legal practitioners, and that has and will continue to define the Ateneo Law School.