Filipina Bar Exam 101
So, he recently graduated from law school and after a long debate with himself, decides to take the bar this year. What you need to know?
Actually, preparing for the bar exams starts from the moment you enroll in law school to the day you take it. Learning the basics is very important for any aspiring lawyer, and learning it by heart is very important, especially during the four years you will be in law school.
After graduating, what is the next step? Many tips are offered when preparing for the exam, but I have created 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 most important considerations when you are about to take the bar, especially if you are coming 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 expensive compared to the province, depending on where you rent, eat, and do your review. You have to allocate everything from lawyer exam fees, books, transportation, board and lodging, and miscellaneous fees for photocopies and other necessary expenses.
Study Schedule. Bar exams are like a war zone. It is better to be prepared for it than to end up regretting the fact that you are not. Create a study schedule that is comfortable for you. There are people who can study better at night than during the day. When you are a nocturnal person, make sure that when the bar exams approach, you will be able to reset your biological clock to the hours of the day, since the exams are given during the day.
Review center. I have heard some success stories about some law students who made it but did a self-assessment. However, I will not recommend it, as there is a small chance that you will pass without the help of a review center. There will be times when you will be too tired to read and just want to listen to lectures. The review centers also provide you with updates on new jurisprudence, amendments to laws, or new laws. What is 10k or more compared to what you will earn once you become a lawyer? There are many screening centers here in Manila, but if you are on a tight budget, look for screening centers located in your province.
Law books. Believe me, six months is not long enough to read all the law books that are available at the REX bookstore. You have to be very selective when it comes to the textbooks that you will use during the review. If you have good textbooks during your law school days, use them. Review centers will give you plenty of reviewers to read, so it’s really important that you know how to prioritize one law book from another. Stick with a legal author or luminary that you feel comfortable presenting with. Just make sure the law book is up to date because we all know that laws and case law change from time to time.
File the Petition to sit for the bar exams. Make sure you have everything ready from your birth certificate, testimonials from three attorneys, non-derogatory registration certificate, marriage certificate (for married women), transcript of records and other documents that the Supreme Court may require in the future. You must attach them as annexes to your request. Be sure to indicate all material and truthful facts in your petition, because false statements made in your petition are grounds for disqualification (if approved by the Bar Association) or denial from taking the bar exams.
Rest, eat and sleep. I have heard stories of some law graduates losing their marbles because not only are they pressured to pass (or even beat the bar) but they also fail to rest, eat, and sleep properly. I don’t care what anyone else says, but it is impossible to maintain the same pace and momentum throughout the six-month review. It is important to keep in mind that you have to be well rested before taking the bar. Please do me a favor: Eat guys! Don’t starve yourself because you could end up in the hospital during your bar exams. If you feel like you’re not absorbing anything, go see a movie, have a couple of beers with your friends, and even spend two to three hours playing online games. It won’t hurt and is a great way to de-stress.
Maintain the status quo. Now is the time to focus, not fall in love with your seatmate in review class! If they take you, stay as such. Now is not the time for breakups either. Stay single if you are single. It is very important that you control your emotions during these crucial moments, as it could affect your review and your chances of passing the bar exams, so leave all your emotional baggage behind and focus! Attention! Attention!
Support group. Have a group of friends or your family who will cheer you on and hold you high. Never listen to negative or evil people as this can make you depressed. Make sure they understand how important the bar exams are to you and don’t bother you during the review with petty matters and outbursts of jealousy!
Prayers. No matter how prepared you think you are, you will still need Divine Intervention to pass the bar exams. There will be times when you will experience mental blocks, nervousness, and other anxiety or panic attacks, especially if this is your first time taking the bar. In addition to studying and preparing for the bar exams, faith is also an important factor since after all we are nothing without God. With God nothing is impossible.
Study hard, prepare well, laugh and have faith. If you have these four factors, your chance of passing the bar exams is great and very possible.