bar exams

In Photos: First day of the Bar

LeAnne Jazul

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They came from all over the country – from 22 to 62 years old. 6,344 hopefulls will spend the next four Sundays of October at the University of Santo Tomas for the 2014 Bar Examinations

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MANILA, Philippines — “Nalusutan nga namin si Yolanda (Typhoon Haiyan) ito pa!” a confident Eugene Bandos from Alangalang, Leyte, tells Rappler about his chances of passing the 2014 Bar Examinations. 

(We slipped past Yolanda – we’ll also slip past this one!)

Bandos is among the 22 law students from the St. Paul School of Business and Law in Palo, Leyte who will be spending four Sundays of October in Manila for the Bar Exams. “Mahirap, kailangan namin ng pera para pampaayos ng bahay pero sayang din naman, nakatapos tayo ng abogasiya kaya ituloy na natin.” Bondos adds.

(It’s hard. We need money to repair our homes, but it will be a waste [not to take the exam]. We finished our law degree, so we’ll push through [with the Bar Examination].)

Some 6,344 aspiring lawyers trooped to the University of Santo Tomas campus in Manila today for the fist day of exams. The examinees tackle Political Law and Public International Law in the morning and Labor and Social Legislation in the afternoon. Civil law, Taxation, Mercantile Law, Criminal Law, Remedial Law, and Legal and Judicial Ethics will be taken on the next three Sundays. The examination will be 80% essay questions and 20% multiple choice questions. 

A bar examinee is “deemed to have passed his examinations successfully if he has obtained a general average of 75%” according to the Rules of Court. The Supreme Court, under its discretion, can lower the passing grade “after considering the structure of grades obtained by those who took the tests, the difficulty of the questions on multiple-choice, and precedents during previous bar examinations.” 

In 2013, only 1,174 or 22.18% of the 5,293 examinees passed the exams. The passing grade then was 73%, with University of the Philippines’ Nielson G. Pangan topping with the highest over-all rating of 85.80%.

As usual, the first day isn’t much different from the previous Bar Examinations—added security measures, traffic rerouting, pedestrian lanes, and a liquor ban in the area. Here is what Rappler saw: 

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LeAnne Jazul

LeAnne has had 25 years of experience in the media industry. He joined Rappler for the 2013 elections and has stayed on. He is currently Rappler's photo editor.