‘Claim the dot’: What this phrase means to legal community

April 12, 2022 - 4:34 PM
Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

The phrase “claim the dot” was used online as supporters of the historic 2020/2021 Bar exams shared their well-wishes to the takers before and after the release of the results.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday released the list of passers to the first-ever digitized and localized Bar done during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It yielded a passing rate of 72.28%, which translates to 8,241 new lawyers.

For this batch, the exam coverage was reduced amid the uptick in COVID-19 infections due to the Omicron variant at that time.

Typhoon “Odette” similarly ravaged parts of the country last year, which prompted deans of various law schools to call for the Bar’s postponement in their areas.

This year’s Bar also scrapped the traditional Bar topnotchers list and instead, highlighted those who scored 85% and above through the “exemplary” list.

14 Bar passers were similarly recognized for their “excellent” performance as they were able to score 90% and above.

The move was lauded by some law-related social media accounts and online users, including 2019 Bar topnotcher Kenneth Manuel.

Meanwhile, the phrase “claim the dot” was used by online users as Bar examinees received well-wishes from fellow lawyers and supporters, especially prior to the release of the exam results.

“Tomorrow, the results for the #BestBarEver2020_21 will be announced. Keep the faith. We all know that you did your best in order to stand where you are today. Just trust the process and believe in yourself. Tomorrow, destiny awaits. Tomorrow, you will claim the ‘dot,'” a law student-oriented account said.

“In full swing! Claim the dot, future attorneys! #AtoKaNDU
#BestBarEver20_21,” a Twitter user wrote the day before the release of the list.

“I pray for everyone who took the #BestBarEver20_21, you are all worthy to claim the dot of the title ‘ATTY.’ Abogado na ‘tomorrow,’ manifest that!” another online user wrote.

“Akap sa lahat ng BBE (Best Bar Ever) takers!! So so proud of (you), mga ates and kuyas. Time to claim the dot!!” a different Filipino exclaimed, referencing how Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, the Bar chair, referred to the exam.

According to lawyer and educator Gideon Peña, the phrase “claim the dot” is related to the initials of attorney, the title of someone who can represent people in legal proceedings and provide counsel.

“Why do we say #ClaimTheDot? It is said that a law student earns a letter of the title ‘ATTY.’ whenever one completes a year in law school,” he tweeted.

‘”A’ on the 1st; ‘T’ for the 2nd; another ‘T’ on the 3rd; and ‘Y’ on the 4th. Then earns the ‘dot’ upon passing the bar,” Peña added.

The same meaning was mentioned by Rosalio Torrentira, a graduate of Adamson Law School, in a 2015 think piece titled “Putting the dot where it matters.”

“I remember how our professors before would say that each year in law school you gain a letter – A-T-T and Y. But it is only after the bar that you gain the dot (.). If you pass,” he wrote.

“To those who will pass: Congratulations! You earned your dot (.),” Torrentira added.