SC starts accepting online applications for November bar examinations

Published July 15, 2021, 1:48 PM

by Rey Panaligan 

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court (SC) started on Thursday, July 15, accepting online applications for the 2020 and 2021 bar examinations which will be conducted, also online, in November in at least 16 testing centers nationwide.

Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen, chairman of the bar examinations, said the SC has launched the online application system through BAR PLUS, the Bar Personalized Login Unified System.

Leonen said the “BAR PLUS is a homegrown online application system through which prospective applicants for the Nov. 2021 Bar Examinations will submit their verified petition, other required documents and information including proof of payment of the bar application fee.”

He said: “BAR PLUS was created to facilitate a safe, equitable, and inclusive Bar Examinations. All potential examinees will submit their applications digitally and through mail. A potential examinee will be required to personally appear only when there are difficult issues in their applications which cannot be addressed in any other manner.”

“Before accessing the portal, bar applicants are required to read and strictly follow the instructions in the document referred to as Frequently Asked Questions located at,” he also said in Bar Bulletin No. 21.

Applications by law graduates will be accepted until Sept. 15.

Last July 8 in Baguio City during the signing of the first memorandum agreement with St. Louis University as a testing site, the SC announced there are 16 testing centers for the 2020 and 2021 bar examinations. The 2020 bar examinations had to be cancelled because of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

During the signing of the SC-SLU agreement, Leonen also said “the SC might have a total of 25 testing sites throughout the country, as the Court is still in the process of negotiating with several large schools to accommodate more bar examinees.”

Aside from SLU in Baguio City, the other testing centers are Ateneo de Manila University; Manila Adventist College; Saint Louis College – La Union; Saint Mary’s University; Cagayan State University; De La Salle Lipa in Lipa City; University of Nueva Caceres; University of St. La Salle – Bacolod; Central Philippine University; University of Cebu – Banilad; Mindanao State University – Iligan; Mindanao State University – General Santos City; Ateneo de Davao University; Xavier University – Cagayan de Oro; and Ateneo de Zamboanga University.

Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo said the reforms for bar examinations will continue beyond 2021, as he will ask the members of the SC “to look into the revision of Rule 138 (of the Rules of Court), particularly on the Bar Exam coverage.”

Gesmundo pointed out the provisions of Rule 138 have not changed since they were promulgated in 1964.

“Law courses have become varied; a lot of changes have happened in the field of law. And yet, we have not looked into these specific provisions of the Rules of Court,” he said.

“I would like the Court to continue looking at the course offerings of law schools along with the Revised Model Curriculum prepared by the the Legal Education Board,” he said, as he pointed out that the courses offered by law schools must be synchronized with the coverage of the bar examinations.

Gesmundo had served as chairperson of the Organizing Committee for the SC’s 2019 Legal Education Summit, a two-day conference organized by the SC to assess and improve the quality of legal education in the country.