MANILA – In order to improve the performance of law schools, Supreme Court Associate Justice Arturo Brion suggested that the Legal Education Board (LEB) publish the passing rates of said schools each bar exam. The challenge was made by Brion during the oath-taking of new lawyers on June 16.

According to Brion, it is to the best interest of the students and their parents to know which schools performed well so at least future lawyers know where to enroll. 

Supreme Court of the Philippines in Manila. Photo by Mike Gonzales from WikimediaSupreme Court of the Philippines in Manila. Photo by Mike Gonzales from Wikimedia

In an interview by the Philippine Star, Brion said “that law school passing rates should be given the widest publication so that the public can at least be informed that enrolling in a given law school poses an 80 percent, 90 percent even a 100 percent hazard of failing the Bar exams.”

‘Might cast stigma’

However, law school deans disagreed to the proposal of the Associate Justice. In an interview by, Amado Valdez, former dean of the University of the East College of Law disagreed to the proposal, stating that it might cast stigma to lawyers who did not come from better-performing institutions. He cited that failing the bar exam is just an episode in the life of a future lawyer, hinting that lawyers should not be judged according to the schools where they were educated.

Law Schools and Bar Performance

In a December 2015 disclosure by the LEB, a top 10 ranking, certified by the Office of the Bar Confidant, was released based on the cumulative performance of the law schools in the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Bar Examinations.

Among the schools listed in the rankings are:

1. University of the Philippines College of Law – 73.71%
2. Ateneo de Manila University Law School – 67.55%
3. San Beda College – Manila – 67.13%
4. University of San Carlos – 58.0%
5. Ateneo de Davao University – 53.02%
6. University of Santo Tomas – 43.98%
7. University of Cebu – 41.49%
8. San Beda College – Alabang – 39.10%
9. Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila – 35.80%
10. Xavier University – 32.20%
Only schools with at least 20 examinees were considered in the list.

Unlike other professional licensure examinations which were administered by the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC), the performance and passing rates of law schools are not publicized and are only disclosed to the schools. The bar exams and performance of law schools are under the auspices of the Legal Education Board (LEB) of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC). (Hector MJC Brizuela)

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