SC adds requirements for bar exams for Filipino graduates of foreign schools

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Starting on 2023, Filipino law graduates who have graduated from a foreign school may be admitted to take the bar examination only upon submission to the Supreme Court (SC) of certain certifications.

This was among the latest provisions adopted by the Supreme Court when it issued on July 23, 2019 A.M. No. 19-03-24-SC Amendment of Rule 138 Section 5 in Relation to the Revision of Rule 138-A of the Rules of Court (Revision).

In the latest issuance, the SC added a provision stating that ”a Filipino citizen who graduated from a foreign law school shall be admitted to the bar examination only upon submission to the Supreme Court certifications showing: (a) completion of all courses leading to the degree of Bachelor of Laws or its equivalent degree; (b) recognition or accreditation of the law school by the proper authority; and (c) completion of all the fourth year subjects in the Bachelor of Laws academic program in a law school duly recognized by the Philippine Government.” This Revision is based on the amendment in B.M. No. 1153 issued on March 9, 2010.

The July 23, 2019 issuance is the latest revision to the SC en banc Resolution dated June 25, 2019 also entitled A.M. No. 19-03-24-SC Amendment of Rule 138 Section 5 in Relation to the Revision of Rule 138-A of the Rules of Court, which only added “clinical legal education program” on the list of courses an applicant must satisfactorily complete before being admitted to the bar examinations.

The SC, on June 25, 2019, adopted and promulgated A.M. No. 19-03-24-SC Rule 138-A Law Student Practice, otherwise known as the Revised Law Student Practice Rule (Revised Rule). The Revised Rule is an amendment to the existing provisions of Rule 138-A of the Rules of Court. A salient feature of the Revised Rule is that a law student must now be certified to be able to engage in the limited practice of law.

The amendment shall apply to the bar examination applications commencing the 2023 bar examinations.

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