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2. Qualifications

a. Who may practice law

Any person heretofore duly admitted as a member of the bar and who is in good and regular standing, is entitled to practice law. (Section 1, Rule 138, Rules of Court, as amended by Bar Matter No. 1153)

b. Requirements for all applicants for admission to the bar

Every applicant for admission as a member of the bar must be:

1) A citizen of the Philippines;

2) At least twenty-one (21) years of age;

3) Of good moral character and must produce satisfactory evidence thereof  before the Supreme Court;

4) A resident of the Philippines;

5) That no charges against him/her, involving moral turpitude, have been filed or are pending in any court in the Philippines; and

6) That s/he 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. (Sections 2 and 5, Rule 138, Ibid.)

NB: Juris doctor is included in definion of “equivalent degree.”

1) Pre-Law degree

An applicant for admission to the bar examination shall present a certificate issued by the proper government agency that, before commencing the study of law, he or she had pursued and satisfactorily completed in an authorized and recognized university or college, requiring for admission thereto the completion of a four-year high school course, the course of study prescribed therein for a bachelor’s degree in arts or sciences. (Section 6, Ibid.)

2) Law degree

No applicant who obtained the Bachelor of Laws degree in this jurisdiction shall be admitted to the bar examination unless he or she has satisfactorily completed the following course in a law school or university duly recognized by the government: civil law, commercial law, remedial law, criminal law, public and private international law, political law, labor and social legislation, medical jurisprudence, taxation and legal ethics. (Section 5, Ibid.)

2) Graduate from foreign law school

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:

1) Completion of all courses leading to the degree of Bachelor of Laws or its equivalent degree;

2) Recognition or accreditation of the law school by the proper authority; and

3) Completion of all the fourth year subjects in the Bachelor of Laws academic program in a law school duly recognized by the Philippine Government. (Ibid.)

a) Proof of pre-law degree

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

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