The Bar

The release of the result of the bar examinations held last year will be announced towards the end of the month, reports say. Considered to be the toughest examination in the country, only a few make it and last year’s high passing rate was considered “miraculous”. The high number of examinees is an indicator of the lingering allure of the law profession in our country.

Whenever this time of the year comes, I am always reminded of my own struggle to make it to that illusive list of attorneys. Becoming a lawyer was childhood dream but perhaps it seemed to be very remote possibility at that time. When I graduated from college, I did not think I had the right abilities, skills, or mind to go through the college of law and take the bar examination. So I worked for a year but the call of a childhood dream was difficult to resist. I eventually enrolled and soon realized that I needed to sharpen my often unreliable memory in order to pass my subjects. I failed in two subjects and needed additional English units so I was only able to graduate after five years. The preparation for the bar examinations was not easy. Before I could begin my review, I made sure all my documents were in order so I will not suffer the fate of some examinees who were not allowed to take the examinations because they failed to submit a required document. There were tips and reminders from several persons but I just had to follow my own rhythm and pace. While others buried themselves with many books and reviewers from law schools in Manila, I dusted my notebooks from the college of law and relied upon the books I used. I believed that review for the bar was not the time to learn new things but a time to refresh what has already been studied in class. I did not force my self to read beyond 12 midnight. I made sure I got 6-8 hours of sleep and made sure I avoided things that might cause additional stress. I discovered that the bar was a psychological battle as much as mental.

During the examination at De La Salle University, there were examinees who hyperventilated, fainted, and I heard of one who had mental collapse or breakdown. That was what I was afraid of. Luckily I was calm during the entire examinations even after I committed a blunder while answering the questions in Taxation- of all subjects. Everybody was scared of this subject an I was trying to make sure I did not make any markings or errors on my examination notebook but it happened. I was at the end of the examination when I realized that I inadvertently skipped question number 5! All kinds of thoughts were spinning in my head. I will surely fail. I will be disqualified. I will have to take the examinations again next year. My head was aching and I knew it was not over. I approached the proctor and asked what I can do. He kindly instructed me on what to do. I was able to answer all the questions within the time allotted but the thought of failing haunted me until the result came the following year. If I panicked at that time, I could not have made it. The experience during the bar examinations cannot be sufficiently described and it is an experience I would not want to go through again. Good luck to all examinees last year!

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