Rise in number of 2021 Bar examinees seen

Published October 10, 2020, 1:38 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

The Supreme Court (SC) is expecting an increase in the number of examinees in the 2021 Bar examinations due to the cancellation of this year’s exams.

SC Justice and 2020 Bar examinations chairman Marvic Leonen announced in his Oct. 9 Bar bulletin that the High Tribunal approved three examiners for every subject in next year’s Bar examinations.

“This is to maximize efficiency in the evaluation of answers, in light of the projected increase in examinees due to the postponement of the 2020 Bar examinations,” Leonen said.

Leonen revealed that in the next few months, two mock Bar examinations will be held in several law schools in the country to determine the viability of holding online Bar examinations which the SC is exploring.

“This would do away with the traditional hadnwritten examinations, which have long been deemed to affect the evaluation of answers and distorted the playing field,” said the magistrate about the possibility of holding online Bar exams.

“This would also facilitate the expeditious evaluation of the answers of Bar candidates and the early release of the Bar Examination results,” he added.

Following the conduct of the mock Bar exams, Leonen said his office “can assess early on the most apt modality for the Bar examinations proper.”

“Thus, an announcement shall be made in the first quarter of 2021 as to the modality of the 2020/21 Bar examinations in order to give ample time for Bar candidates to adjust,” Leonen said.

Not just a “leap toward a more inclusive and fair admission to the practice of law,” Leonen said the measures are “necessary” and “inescapable consequences of our current demands.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic ignited the resolve to effect much-needed reforms in a system long pervaded with inequities,” he said.

“Ultimately, they ensure more reliable and equitable Bar Examinations,” he added.