The Board of Regents of the University of the Philippines formally approved the establishment of the College of Law on 21 January 1911. The College however, traces its beginnings to the law courses opened in 1910 by the Educational Department Committee of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), through the effort of George A. Malcolm who was later to become the first permanent dean of the College.
In June 1911, the College was formally opened with first and second year classes. There was a total of 125 students comprising freshmen and sophomores, the latter numbering fifty when they started the YMCA school. Of this first law class one became a President of the Philippines, another, a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, while several others became legislation and legal luminaries.