Trashing the bar exams…

Major Tom made an excellent blog on the issue of abolishing the bar exams.

At first, my reaction to this was a selfish one. What? After all the I’ve been through to pass that darn exam, they want to abolish it.

To that blog, I made the following comments:

1. That vocal lady of the Senate may have some personal agenda when she made her comments. Remember her son failed to get through the law school system and even the game of life itself by putting a bullet through his head.

2. While it is true that passing the bar is 50% luck, that luck may be intepreted at Divine Providence (I can’t say will of God for ecumenical reasons) so I think there is some reason for these passers to be called rightly lawyers. You can never underestimate what these “young ones” went through to get this far. Believe me, they truly and justly deserve the title conferred upon them.

3. The way the legal system here is set up, anyone can practice law in the Philippines, if you know how. The only difference is, an underbar cannot appear in courts. With that case of Cayateno vs. Monsod, the definition of “practice of law” has been swung open to include just about anything. We ofter hear of “fake” lawyers going about fooling people. The last case I heard about was that of a former Court of Appeals employee. He did not even go through law school. And yet, by being around lawyers he somehow managed to fake it and probably made more than I do (because I still factor emotions when I charge, heheheheh). But I think, apart from estafa, the penalty for illegal practice of law is a little more than a slap on the wrist.

4. For these reasons, I am more inclined for those in the bar to policing their ranks more strictly or increasing penalties for illegal practice than tinkering with tradition or even thinking of money-making schemes like conducting useless continuing legal education seminars.

To add, if the main complaint against the bar is that it has be come a test of rote memory, then change it. The exam is essay type and presumably, as essay-type exam should not be limited to merely a recitation of the law.

What about…shudder….an oral exam? Barring the logistical nightmare this will entail, I think this will be a better test of a candidate’s worthiness to become a lawyer. Given my relatively short stint as a lawyer, even I can spot a rotten lawyer-candidate kilometers away. Takes one to know one. Heheheheh!

Well one thing is for sure. There has to be some changes. Let the debates begin!




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3 responses to “Trashing the bar exams…

  1. Hi Punzi…I actually failed in my first only take at the bar in 2002 but still I feel that the examination is such a significant hurdle in order to test whether the students had that proper discipline in order to seek more and more legal knowledge. Oral examinations is at one point a logistical nightmare but if it can be done, then why not? Thanks for the mention in this blog entry.

  2. Take heart! Fail once and you’re always entitled to at least a rematch.

    I’ve read your blogs and you write well. I think blogging is a good exercise for those who’ll take the bar. For me, it’s not too much if you’re right or wrong but how you reason and communicate such reasoning to the examiner.

    So it’s probably one of three things: (1) your handwriting, (2) sheer luck or (3) [and this is the most prevalent]some other personal problem.

    This gives me an idea for a future post: How to pass the bar exams.

    Regards 🙂

  3. Thanks for the encouraging words. You are as eloquent as your friend Marvin.

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