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SC mulls computerization of bar exams

/ 07:33 PM June 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — After administering the online mass oath-taking of new lawyers for the first time, the Supreme Court is now mulling the possibility of computerizing the bar examination, with Associate Justice Marvic Leonen at the helm.

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Speaking during the online oath-taking of the 2019 bar passers, Leonen said he has been authorized by the high court to study the digitization of the exam for would-be lawyers.

“I have also been given the go signal to drive a project that will examine the various digital platforms for a pilot test in computerizing the bar, including how the applicants answer the exam questions,” Leonen said.

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“This will be a relief to those who come after you, with handwriting as bad as many of the justices of this court,” he added in jest.

Leonen is the chairperson of the 2020 bar examination which was moved to next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We will attempt to remove more inequities that are inherent in the modality of the bar examinations,” he further said, noting that he already received unanimous support from his fellow magistrates.

For starters, the high court has already approved a regional site in Cebu for the next bar examination.

Leonen further said that he hopes to “trigger a conversation” on the “real nature of the bar examination and make its practices more reasonable.”

“The bar is merely a qualifying examination, not a determinant of how good you will be as a lawyer,” he said.

“It is the intention of the current bar chair to take a hard look at the various rituals that add unnecessary pressure on the applicants, including the utility of midnight and last-minute tips from well-meaning supporters and the way we evaluate the answers to the examinations and present the results,” he added.

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Soon, he said he will make the proper proposal for consideration of the high court’s en banc.

He said his colleagues Associate Justices Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, Alexander Gesmundo and Ramon Paul Hernando have already “been generous in their advice.”

There is still no definite date when the 2020 Bar examination will be conducted.

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TAGS: 2020 Bar Examination, Computerization, Lawyer, mass oath taking, Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen
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