A ticket to practice law in one country does not guarantee an open door in other nations. In the Philippines, the Supreme Court regulates the admission to the practice of law through its Bar Examination Committee. Only Filipino citizens can take the national bar exam, and then only after obtaining a law degree from a government-approved law school in the Philippines. The bar exam has traditionally been held over four Sundays in September, but, beginning in 2011, applicants sit the bar in November.
Confirm that you meet the citizenship, age and residency requirements. You must be at least 21 years old, a Filipino national and a resident to be a lawyer in the Philippines.
Obtain a bachelor's degree in any field from an accredited college. Select the government-approved law school in the Philippines you wish to attend from the myriad legitimate schools in the country. Determine what undergraduate courses that school requires for law school admission and take those classes. Apply for admission to the school of your choice. Some schools offer applications on the Internet.
Complete all units necessary to obtain one of the two accepted professional degrees: a Bachelor of Laws (Ll.B.) or a Juris Doctor (J.D.) The former is the degree most commonly offered by Philippine law schools and requires attendance at a four-year law program covering only bar-exam subjects. The J.D. program also requires four years of study, but includes elective subjects.
Take the national bar exam offered in November. In spring the following year, look at the Philippine Supreme Court's Official List of Successful Bar Examinees when it is released to see if you obtained a passing score. If you did, take the Oath of Office in May at the Philippine International Convention Center.
- Many candidates for the Philippine Bar Exam take special preparation courses after graduating from law school. Law schools and universities offer these review classes from April to September.
- The Philippine bar exam is not easy to pass. In 2007, fewer than 23 percent of persons taking the exam passed.
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