‘No lawyer hierarchy’: What Filipino attorneys are saying to critics of Bar retakers

April 5, 2022 - 1:25 PM
Image by succo via Pixabay

Some Filipino lawyers are defending retakers of Bar examinations from critics on social media.

These discussions came ahead of the announcement of the schedule of the release of the 2020/2021 Bar Exams results.

The historic Bar exams, which also had the biggest batch of candidates, were held on February 4 and 6.

It was the first digitalized and localized licensure test in the Philippines.

Amid the anticipation for the results, some online users posted remarks that belittled and poked fun at lawyers who failed on their first takes.

Lawyers did not let these criticisms pass and defended Bar-retakers online.

Gideon Peña, a lawyer and professor, pointed out that there’s no difference between lawyers who passed on their first try and those who did not.

“Is there a substantial distinction between a lawyer who passed the Bar exams during the first take and a lawyer who passed the Bar exams during the 2nd or 3rd take? If there is none, what’s the big fuzz?” Peña tweeted.

Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, also the former bar chairperson, responded to Peña’s tweet.

“There is none,” Leonen said as a reply to his tweet.

Others slammed those who shame retakers of licensure tests.

They reminded them that passing the exams is what matters.

“Still my pet peeve: lawyers who belittle bar retakers,” one Twitter user said.

“Big yuck sa mga tao shaming people for taking the exam more than once. Regardless kung bar, board or licensure exam pa yan. Ang pinakamahalaga, pumasa. Ang pinaka-importante, may lisensya. Pinaka-kahanga hanga, kung ginamit mo ito sa mas tama at para sa kapakanan ng iba,” another tweeted.

Some online users also shared that examinees go through a lot already just to take and pass their exams.

“Alam niyo not passing any licensure exam the first try doesn’t make you any less of a professional. Studying for the exams and the mental struggles lang before taking the exam is super challenging na,” a Twitter user said.

The vice president is also a Bar retaker

The talks on bar passers came after some users laughed at Vice President Leni Robredo, who is running for presidency, for not passing the bar exams on her first try.

Prior to her candidacy, Robredo has been vocal to the public about this failure.

She took her first bar exams in 1992. She successfully became a lawyer on her second attempt on May 7, 1997.

The presidential bet’s supporters defended her and reminded critics that there’s no “hierarchy of lawyers.”

A Facebook blog called Batas for Every Juan, was among those who posted about this on the platform.

“Sa kaso ni Leni, pinagsasabay niya ang pagiging ina, guro, at pag-aaral. At hindi dahil hindi siya pumasa sa first-take niya ay hindi na siya kasing galing ng ibang abogado na minsan lang kumuha ng bar,” the page said.

“Walang hierarchy ang pagiging abogado; lahat dumaan sa iisang proseso,” it added.

On bar exam results

Bar exam results normally take five to six months before they are released.

Given the digital nature of the recent tests, some candidates hoped that the results will come out earlier.

Leonen on April 4 advised them that the Supreme Court will be making an announcement “soon.”

RELATED: Leonen quells rumors on Bar exam results release, oath taking date 

On Tuesday, Leonen announced that the results of the Bar will be released on April 12 while the oath taking will take place on May 2.