13/04/2024

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Philippine Bar Exam 101

Philippine Bar Exam 101

So, you have recently graduated from law school and after a very long debate with yourself you decide to take this year’s bar. What do you need to know?

Actually, preparation for the bar exams starts from the moment you enroll from law school until the day you take it. Learning the basics is very crucial for any aspiring lawyer, and learning it by heart is very important especially during the four years that you will be staying in the College of Law.

After graduating, what is the next step? There are a lot of advices offered when it comes to preparing for the exam, but I have come up with my own based on my personal experiences. Here are some tips when you are preparing for the bar exams:

Budget. Guys, this is one of the topmost considerations when you are about to take the bar, especially if you come from the provinces. Being worried about finances is the last thing you want to think about when you are about to take the bar. Everything in Manila is costly compared to the province, depending on where you rent, eat and conduct your review. You have to allocate everything from Bar Exam fees, books, transportation, board and lodging, and miscellaneous fees for photocopying and other necessary expenses.

Study Schedule. Bar exams is like a war zone. It is better to be prepared for it than end up regretting the fact that you were not. Come up with a study schedule that is comfortable for you. There are persons that can study better at night time rather than daytime. When you are a nocturnal person, just make sure that when the bar exams come nearer, you will be able to reset your body clock to daytimes since the exams are given during the day.

Review Center. I have heard some success stories regarding some law students who made it but conducting self-review. However, I will not recommend this since there is a little chance for you to pass without the aid of a review center. There will be times when you will be too tired to read and you simply want to listen to lectures. Review centers also give you updates regarding new jurisprudence, amendments to laws or new laws. What is 10k or more compared to what you will be earning once you become a lawyer? There are a lot of review centers here in Manila but if you are on a tight budget then look for review centers located in your province.

Law books. Believe me, six months is not enough for you to read all Law books there are available in REX Bookstore. You have to be very selective when it comes to the textbooks that you will be using during the review. If you have good textbooks during your law school days then use those. Review centers will be giving you loads of reviewers to read so it’s really important that you know how to prioritize a law book from another. Stick to an author or legal luminary that you are comfortable with as to its presentation. Just make sure that the law book is updated because we all know that laws and jurisprudential matters are changed every now and then.

Filing the Petition to take the Bar Exams. Make sure that you have everything prepared from your birth certificate, testimonials from three lawyers, certificate of non-derogatory record, marriage certificate (for married women), transcript of records, and other documents that the Supreme Court may require in the future. You will have to attach these as annexes to your petition. Make sure that you state all material and truthful facts in your petition, because untruthful statements made in your petition are grounds for disbarment (if you pass the Bar) or denial for you to take the Bar Examinations.

Rest, Eat and Sleep. I have heard stories of some law grads losing their marbles because not only are they pressured to pass (or even top the bar) but also they fail to rest, eat and sleep properly. I don’t care what others say, but it is impossible to keep the same pacing and momentum in the whole duration of six months review. It is important to note that you have to be well rested before taking the bar. Please do me a favor: Eat guys! Do not starve yourself for you might end up in the hospital during the bar examinations. If you feel that you are not absorbing anything then go and watch a movie, have a couple of beers with friends and even spend two to three hours playing online games. It won’t hurt you and it’s a great way to de-stress.

Maintain Status Quo. Now is the time to focus, not fall in love with your seatmate in review class! If you are taken then stay as such. Now is not the time for break-ups either. Stay single if you are single. It is very important for you to control your emotions during this crucial times for it might affect your review and your chances of passing the bar exams, so leave all your emotional baggage behind and Focus! Focus! Focus!

Support Group. Have a group of friends or your family that will encourage you and keep your spirits up. Never listen to negative people or ill wishers for this may depress you. Make sure that they understand the importance of the bar examinations for you and not to bother you during the review with petty matters and jealous outbursts!

Prayers. No matter how prepared you think you are you will still need Divine Intervention to pass the Bar Exams. There will be times that you will be experiencing mental blocks, nervousness and other anxiety or panic attacks, especially if its your first time to take the bar. Aside from studying and preparing for the bar examinations, faith is also an important factor since after all we are nothing without God. Nothing is impossible with God.

Study hard, prepare well, laugh and have faith. If you have these four factors then the possibility of passing the Bar Exams is great and very much possible.