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How to file an application to take the Philippine Bar Exam

March 8, 2017
How to file an application to take the Philippine Bar Exam

The bar exam month in the Philippines usually falls around the month of October or November every year. For the last two to three years though, the bar examinations were scheduled on the month of November at the University of Santo Thomas, Manila. The application to take the exams starts early to accommodate thousands of bar hopefuls. The Office of the Bar Confidant usually starts to accept applications around May or June every year. The application to take the Bar is not hard at all. You just have to ready your smart phone or your pen and paper to list things down and take note of the things listed below. This article aims to help and disseminate information on how to file an application to take the Philippine Bar Exam as smoothly as possible (especially to those coming from the province to file an application).

Who may take the Philippine Bar Exams:

Not anyone can just simply take the Bar Exams when they like to because the Philippine laws restrict who can take the exams. One must be able to complete all the four or five years requirement in law school. Some schools have a four-year requirement while the others, five. In the Philippines, lawyers become lawyers by taking the exams for all the eight law subjects (Political and International Law, Labor Law, Civil Law, Taxation, Mercantile, Criminal Law, Remedial Law and Legal Ethics). So the Bar Exams is a month-long exam for all the eight subjects. However, fear not because the exams only happen on Sundays and it will take four Sundays only. Meaning, two subjects per Sunday.

The Philippines is strict as to who can only take the “most difficult exams” in the country.
Rule 138 – Rules of Court – Attorneys and Admission to Bar provides:
Sec. 2. Requirements for all applicants for admission to the bar. – Every applicant for admission as a member of the bar must be a citizen of the Philippines, at least twenty-one years of age, of good moral character, and a resident of the Philippines; and must produce before the Supreme Court satisfactory evidence of good moral character, and that no charges against him, involving moral turpitude, have been filed or are pending in any court in the Philippines.

How to file an application to take the Bar Exams in the Office of the Bar Confidant

  • Make sure to ready your requirements. Remember: there are different requirements if you are a first taker, repeater or refresher. (Below this article is a list of what you have to prepare). Ready your brown long envelope to store/keep safe it all.
  • Go to the office of the Bar Confidant (OBC). It is located at the Ground Floor of the Old Supreme Court Building in Padre Faura Street, Manila.
  • Be sure to bring with you a valid ID because as you enter the gate of the Supreme Court, you will be asked to log in into the log book and to deposit your ID in exchange for a security ID or a pass sticker.
  • You may ask the guard for directions as to the specific location of the OBC. They will tell you to just walk towards the stairs (straight from the security inspection). Turn left and you will reach somewhere where there are cars being parked. You will also notice that there is a Landbank branch and a canteen. You are in the right track.
  • Go to the elevator (across landbank). This should be on your left side if Landbank is on your right. Sometimes, the guards would tell you to take the stairs instead. If you are taking the stairs, go to the third floor.
    If you are on the elevator, Press for the 3rd floor.
  • There will be a sign that says “Bar Application Here”. It is where you will submit your application.
    After the initial check on your application and the payment of 20Php for the stamp, you wil be asked to go to the cashier to pay the bar exams fee.
  • Going to the cashier entails “hiking” (Just a little bit) because you have to go down via the elevator and proceed to the Supreme Court Centennial building (meaning the other building and not the building where the OBC sits). You have to go out from the Supreme Court old building compound. Walk passed the UP campus. The next block is the SC Centennial Building.
  • When at the gates of the Centennial Building, you just have to walk straight towards that building right opposing your direction. This is how the Cashier’s Office looks like They also have a lunch break around 12:00After payment, you will be given your receipt. Keep the receipt and go back to the Supreme Court Old Building where the OBC is located.
  • Show the receipt to the OBC Bar Application In-Charge and you will be given a piece of paper reflecting when you should return to get your exam permit. Usually, you will be asked to return a month before the Bar Exams e.g. October something. So, be ready.
Requirements to take the bar exams:

Applicants for the Bar Examinations must file a verified petition in the form prescribed by the
Supreme Court [available at the Office of the Bar Confidant for free]. To know of the latest requirements in taking the Philippine Bar Exams, please visit the Supreme Court website here: http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph and click on the Bar Admissions tab.

My post will be until here. Let me know how your application goes and share your experience!

Good luck and God bless!

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