He began his schooling at the Centro Escolar de Señoritas when he was four years old. Because his father wanted him to experience a public school education he enrolled him in the Paco Elementary School (1935-36) and the Justo Lukban Elementary School (1936-37). In June 1937 he was admitted to the Ateneo de Manila Grade School. Four years later, on September 27, 1941, on the first year in high school, he received 2nd honors with a general average of 93.4. But on December 8, of the same year, his studies came to an abrupt halt with the sudden outbreak of World War II.
As World War II came to an end, the Japanese Supreme Council of War gave orders to have officials of the Philippine Government flown to Japan. The order was transmitted to President Jose P. Laurel through Japanese Ambassador Murata. President Laurel, however, decided to go alone and assume full responsibility so that his Cabinet members would not be separated from their families. His wife and sons volunteered to go with him. On Tuesday, March 21, 1945 the whole family began a long and dangerous journey by land to Tuguegarao where they would be flown to Japan. Along with them were Speaker Benigno Aquino, Sr., Minister of Education and Mrs. Camilo Osias and General Capinpin. The odyssey ended in Nara, Japan, where they were confined until November 10,1945
Back in Manila, Doy resumed his studies, this time at the De La Salle College where he graduated in March 1946. He was 17 years old.
In June of 1946 he enrolled at the University of the Philippines as a pre-med student where he obtained his AA (Pre-Medicine) and was admitted to Medicine proper but he decided to shift to Law. He was admitted to the Law school while working to complete his (AA Pre-Law). He Received his LLB (Bachelor of Laws), degrees in UP in March, 1952.
An active member of the campus he was College Scholar in 1946, in 1947 he became a member ofo the Upsilon Sigma Phi. That same year he was elected President of the English Club. and in 1948 President of the Ciculo Cervantino and the UP Debating and Oratorical Club (UPDOC) 1950-1951. He also won the gold medal in the Beta Sigma Inter-Fraternity-Sorority Oratorical contest in 1948 and the 1950 UP open Inter-Collegiate Oratorical contest.
He was acclaimed the University Champion Orator when, representing UP he won first prize in three consecutive inter-university oratorical contest: the Union (CLU); the Student Councils Association of the Philippines (SCAP) and the Inter-University Symposium on Japanese Peace Treaty in 1951.
After earning his Bachelor of Laws degree in UP in 1952, he went to the Yale University here he earned his Master of Laws degree (LLM) in 1953. In 1960 he received a Doctorate of Juridical Sciend, (J.S.D) in the same university.
Of his studies and scholastic endeavors at Yale University. Myres S. McDougal, a Starting Professor of Law, Emeritus of the Yale Law School, said:
“Salvador H. Laurel was a superb scholar at Yale. Like his father in an earlier day, he came to us in the vital formative years of his intellectual development, and remained to earn his master of laws degree (LLM) and Doctorate in juridical science (J.S.D) with highest standing.
“I have taught so many brilliant students from other countries at Yale Law School, Doy was one of the very best and has always been one of my favorites. His papers and comments were always informed, perceptive, wise, creative and deeply dedicated to the public and common interest. His deepest loyalty and devotion is to his own country, but he is aware of a larger, interdependent world.”