The Supreme Court En Banc has recently approved the proposed amendments to Sections 5 and 6 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, allowing Filipino graduates of foreign law schools to take the Philippine Bar, subject to certain conditions.

Section 5 of the Rule now provides that before being admitted to the examination, all applicants for admission to the bar shall satisfactorily show that they have successfully completed all the prescribed courses for the degree of Bachelor of Laws or its equivalent degree in a law school or university officially recognized by the Philippine Government or by the proper authority in the foreign jurisdiction where the degree has been granted.

Section 5 now also provides that a Filipino citizen “who graduated from a foreign law school shall be admitted to the bar examination only upon submission to the Supreme Court of certifications showing: (a) completion of all courses leading to the degree of Bachelor of Laws or its equivalent degree; (b) recognition or accreditation of the law school by the proper authority; and (c) completion of all fourth year subjects in the Bachelor of Laws academic program in a law school duly recognized by the Philippine Government.”

A Filipino citizen who completed and obtained his or her degree in Bachelor of Laws or its equivalent in a foreign law school must also present proof of completion of a separate bachelor’s degree.

The Supreme Court has directed the Clerk of Court, through the Office of the Bar Confidant, to circularize its resolution approving the said amendments among all law schools in the country. (Bar Matter No. 1153, Re: Letter of Atty. Estelito P. Mendoza Proposing Reforms in the Bar Examinations through Amendments to Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, March 9, 2010)

From an article written by Anna Katrina M. Martinez.