New lawyers of coronavirus era: 2019 Bar results out online April 29

MANILA, Philippines – It will be an entirely different Bar results experience on April 29, 2020 as the Supreme Court has decided to upload the list of 2019 Bar passers online, given the pandemic threat.

"The results of the 2019 Bar Examinations will be uploaded in the Supreme Court website on April 29, 2020, after the En Banc session," Senior Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe, the 2019 Bar Chairperson, said in a notice on Thursday, April 23.

Unlike the traditional D-Day, list of passers will not be displayed at the Supreme Court premises in Padre Faura in Manila, as bar takers are prohibited from doing so.

"In light of the government's call for social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, everyone is advised to stay in their respective homes and check the results online," said Bernabe.

Bernabe added: "No visitors shall be allowed to enter the Supreme Court compound on said date and the list of bar passers will not be displayed in the premises."

JUST IN: Bar Exams 2019 results out on April 29 online. Bar takers encouraged to stay at home. @rapplerdotcom — Lian Buan (@lianbuan) April 23, 2020 

A total of 7,699 law graduates completed the 2019 Bar Examinations held at the University of Santo Tomas in November 2019.

The usual Bar Chair message, this year from Bernabe, will be uploaded on the website as opposed to the traditional opening message at the SC premises before the passers list is rolled out.

For the Bar passers, the SC said to wait for further announcements on how the next steps would be conducted, such as clearance procedures, oath–taking, and roll–signing.

Following procedure, the Supreme Court will hold an en banc session on April 29 before the release but Spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka was unsure if the session will be held in person or online.

Asked whether there will be a Top 10 or a Top 20 list, Hosaka said: "I was not informed of any changes from past practices except those contained in the just released notice."

Ateneo produced the two topnotchers, with class valedictorian Sean James Borja scoring the top passing grade of 89.306%. 

The passing rate for Bar Examinations 2018 was 22.07%, or lower than 2017 which was at 25.55%.

The highest in recent years – also one of the highest in history  – was the 59.06% passing rate in 2016 attributed by law schools to the "reasonable" Bar chairman then, retired Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco.

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email or tweet @lianbuan.