Bar exams may soon be given online –Leonen

Published September 24, 2020, 10:25 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice and 2020 bar examination chairman Marvic Leonen said the bar examinations could be done online soon.

Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice and 2020 bar examination chairman Marvic Leonen

“I confirm that the team of the bar chair has been studying the possibility of conducting online but proctored bar exams or a mix of online and written exams in more than two places as part of bar reform,” said Leonen on Thursday, Sept. 24.
“Accessibility to the bar exams and therefore geographic equity has always been one of the more important principles that has moved bar reforms,” he pointed out.
The SC had earlier announced that it has approved the proposal of Leonen to hold the next bar examinations in Manila and Cebu City. The venue of the annual bar examinations had always been held only in Manila.
Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta on Thursday also revealed that a venue in Mindanao could also be arranged.
“Definitely, the bar examinations will not be conducted as it was before,” the justice stressed.
“We have to embrace a better normal that is safe, effective and equitable taking advantage of the best digital formats while at the same time acknowledging issues of security and accessibility for some bar applicants,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Leonen said he has already “provided general briefings to the Court en banc but have not yet made a firm proposal until we have worked out all the logistical and security issues.”
“I am also in constant consultation with members of the Court and the bar chairs that will succeed me in 2022, 2023 and 2024,” he added.
Leonen also said “essential coordination with law schools represented by the Philippine Association of Law Schools will be made at the appropriate time.”
“In the coming months, pilot tests will be done to see the viability of various proposals,” he noted.  
“Critical to the timeline is to provide the bar applicants with information way ahead of the scheduled examination so that they can be prepared to use the new modalities if any,” he added.
On the other hand, the magistrate had earlier announced that because of the ongoing pandemic, this year’s bar examinations have been canceled.
“In the meantime, I urge our bar applicants to study well, address the security and safety not only of themselves but also their loved ones. The quality of your study will determine the quality of your results. Find inspiration in the possibility that you can be of greater service to our people,” the magistrate advised.