Recently, the decision of the Commission of Higher Education (CHEd) to close down (6) six of the 107 law schools across the country has alarmed several law disciples as well as the community of law practitioners since most of law students flunk the Bar Examinations (equivalent to the national licensure exam for admission to the practice of law) administered by the Supreme Court (SC) in the last 10 years (1999-2009) while some law schools post a performance percentile rank of “zero”.
However, it is argued that the Philippine Bar Examinations is one of the hardest bar exams in the world, given its weight as one of the requisites to succeed in the practice of law, in the country. However, this noble profession needs to train more and harness the skills of law students in a right law school or college of law to equip future bar members with its very high standards.
Because of media attention and accolades given to the top 10 bar passers, several law colleges compete to be named as the top law school in the country. More so, competition breeds quality and indeed we need noble lawyers in the end.
While some top law schools attribute their success to its post-graduate law degree-programs (Ll.B, J.D., J.D.-M.B.A.), on the other hand, few law schools implement stringent entrance or admission examinations yet setting very high mortality rates in retaining their students. Thusly, considering the expensive tuition fees paid and law books bought by these future lawyers.
Today the playing field in legal studies has been leveled off, with overflowing data of knowledge and electronic legal materials, via the information superhighway and technology.
Hence, other law students take pride of the traditions each law school has mustered over the years inculcating in them the number of bar topnotchers and Supreme Court Chief Justices they have produced. However, little-known law colleges from the province and in the metro are now emerging, making a name for itself, leveling off the playing field, and pissing off the arrogance of top law schools and producers of topnotch lawyers.
In view of the standards set for law schools in the country which must be complied with, CHEd Chairman Emmanuel Angeles refutes that his commission made a thorough and careful study of the performance of higher education institutions on how law graduates fair in the Bar Exams in terms of quantity of successful examinees for the past ten years.
However, in most of the websites and blogs that I have surfed, there are two prevailing views which law schools are rated top. The first view is based on the passing rate the law schools have achieved over the last 10 years. On the other hand, the second view considers the number of bar topnotchers a college of law produces since the inception of the bar exams.
Which ever views you believe in, at the end of the day, if you believe in yourself and in your own schools, you and the school you represent is the best of them all and strive to always be on top! Opinion of the Author (chester b cabalza).
A. Based on Passing Rate (1999-2009)
1. Ateneo de Manila University- 91.24 percent
2. San Beda College – 88.4 percent
3. University of the Philippines – 82.85 percent
4. Far Eastern University-De La Salle University (Juris Doctor MBA) – 77.42 percent
5. Ateneo de Davao University – 75.92 percent
6. University of San Carlos – 68.2 percent
7. University of Santo Tomas – 67.64 percent
8. University of Cebu – 52.81 percent
9. University of Perpetual Help-Rizal – 50.81 percent
10. Arellano University School of Law – 49.3 percent
B. Based on Number of Topnotchers (1901-2009)
1. University of the Philippines College of Law, 49
2. Ateneo de Manila Law School, 19
3. Philippine Law School – 7
4. University of Manila – 6
San Beda College of Law – 6
5. Far Eastern University Institute of Law – 3
University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law – 3
6. University of the Cordilleras (then Baguio Colleges Foundation) College of Law – 2
7. Manila Law College Foundation (formerly Escuela de Derecho de Manila) – 1
Manuel L. Quezon University College of Law, 1
Divine Word College, 1
University of the East College of Law , 1
San Sebastian College Institute of Law, 1