MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court en banc resolved to approve the Amendment to Section 11, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court. Examinations for admission to the bar of the Philippines shall take place annually in the City of Manila. They shall be held in four days to be designated by the chairman of the committee on bar examiners.
The subjects shall be distributed as follows:
First day: Political and International Law, and Labor and Social Legislation (morning) and Taxation (afternoon);
Second day: Civil Law (morning) and Mercantile Law (afternoon);
Third day: Remedial Law, and Legal Ethics and Forms (morning) and Criminal Law (afternoon);
Fourth day: Trial Memorandum (morning) and Legal Opinion (afternoon).
The Court resolved, upon the recommendation of the Office of the Bar Confidant, to approve the schedule of the filing of the Petition to take the Bar Examinations to July 1, 2011 up to August 15, 2011, considering that in the resolution of January 18, 2011 in Bar Matter No. 2265, the date of the 2011 Bar Examinations was moved from September to November 2011.
The 2011 Bar Committee decided to redefine the bar exams coverage by stating the specific topic and subtopics of each subject.
The current practice is to define the coverage of the bar exams by naming the laws that each subject will cover which is too general and does not really tell the examinees the topics they should focus on in their review. As a consequence, the examinees have been forced to memorize even trivial details lest these be asked in the bar exams.
The redefined scope covers only laws, doctrines, principles, and rulings that a new lawyer needs to know to begin his practice. Examinees can concentrate on the basics and stay away from the non-essentials.
Part of the bar examinations shall be of the essay-type, dedicated to measuring the candidate’s skills in writing in English, sorting out relevant facts in a legal dispute, identifying the issue or issues involved, organizing his thoughts, constructing his arguments, and persuading his readers to his point of view. The essays will not be bar subject specific.
One such essay examination shall require the candidate to prepare a trial memorandum or a decision based on a documented legal dispute. (60% of essays)
Another essay shall require him to prepare a written opinion sought by a client concerning a potential legal dispute facing him. (40% of essays)
Apart from preparing the MCQs for their respective subjects, the examiners in all eight bar subjects, shall be divided into two panels of four members each.
One panel will grade the memorandum or decision essay while the other will grade the legal opinion essay. Each member will grade the examination answer independently of the other members in his panel. The final grade of a candidate for each essay shall be the average of the grades given by the four members of the panel.
In the computation of the candidates’s final grade, the results of the MCQ and the essay-type shall be given 60% and 40% respectively (B.M. no. 2265).