Issue of November 5, 2017
     
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It’s Bar exam time again

U.S. Pres. Donald Trump has declared a national public emergency in America because of the opioid (opium/drug) crisis. He has created a drug commission to combat the menace. He has also vowed a nationwide crackdown against the drug “Fentanyl.”

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions also asserted that “Fentanyl people are really killers.” Authorities are agreed that most of the Fentanyl supply comes from China.

Now we think we know why someone we know does not want to go to the U.S. and would rather go to China.

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Today, Nov. 5 is the first day of the 2017 Bar examinations. For Bar candidates, this marks the culmination of four years (some spent more) spent in hard labor at the coalmines known as the law schools.

This year’s Bar exams will serve as some sort of a defining test, considering the astounding results of last year’s examinations. Many were shocked and surprised at the results last year. Not a few eyebrows were raised when not a single candidate from Manila law schools topped the list of bar passers, and at the same time candidates from provincial law schools passed at a rate that was beyond the usual average.

This year will be the test whether the results last year was merely a freak, or that the quality of law schools and graduates in the provinces are now at par with and even better than the premier Manila-based law schools. Will there be a repeat?

That is a challenge to all Bar candidates from the provinces. It is also a bigger challenge for candidates coming from the Manila law schools. May the best candidates emerge.

Good luck to all those who will take the Bar!

Today and for the next three Sundays of November, your dedication and commitment to your ambition and desire of joining the ranks of Filipino lawyers shall be tested to its utmost limits. Don’t give up, stay the course. No one can predict what destiny holds.

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Irene Mae Alcobilla (San Beda), the 2014 Bar exam topnother, has this to say about those who wish to become lawyers: “Payo ko sa mga gusto maging abogado pero sumusuporta sa war on drugs, ‘wag niyo na ituloy kasi sayang lang din ang pag-aaral niyo ng batas kung ayaw niyo rin naman maniwala sa ‘rule of law’ and ‘due process.’ ‘Wag na tayo maglokohan. Iba na lang!”

Of course, another San Beda lawyer, who was not a Bar topnotcher, but who is now the head of the executive department, while speaking on July 15, 2016 before his fellow alumni, had this to say: “What due process? Due process ulol (fool). It is given once you are in the court. It is not given by the president. I am not the court. Why should I give you due process?”

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It may come a little late for those who will take the Bar today, but then maybe they can still use it in the next three Sundays. Our good friend Teddy Te, the spokesman for the Supreme Court and was once a bar examiner himself, gives the following advice to Bar candidates. He says that the following is what Bar examiners do not like:

1. Unreadable handwriting and also good handwriting that’s too tiny to read (thus, unreadable).

2. Unclear answers.

3. Long and/or long-winded answers (particularly those that don’t land) and those that use jargon and Latin maxims.

4. Blank spaces.

5. Confused numbering.

6. Sucking up to the Chair of the Committee on Bar Exams.

7. Bovine drippings being passed off as answers.

And according to Teddy, the following are what examiners like:

1. Clear, concise, categorical, and confident answers.

2. Readable penmanship.

3. Short, substantive sentences.

4. Good grammar.

5. Proof of comprehension not memorization.

6. Sticking to the facts.

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