SC launches online application site for 2020-2021 bar exams

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court on Thursday launched its online platform for candidates for the historic 2020-2021 bar exams, the first digital and localized licensing test for Filipino lawyers.

Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, President of the Bar 2020-2021, announced in Bar Bulletin No. 21 that the Bar’s Unified Personalized Login System (BAR PLUS) is now available and accessible here.

“BAR PLUS is an in-house developed online application system through which potential candidates for the November 2021 Bar Examinations will submit their verified application, other required documents and information, including proof of payment of the Bar Application Fee “, added Leonen.

Candidates will submit their applications electronically and by post, and will only be required to appear in person if there is a problem with their applications. Instructions and requirements for applicants can be read here.

As noted in the SC FAQs, document submissions to the Law Society Confidant’s Office should be by registered mail or any courier service. Drop boxes will also be set up at the Supreme Court’s main Padre Faura gate.

The application is deemed complete after payment of the fees. The Office of the Bar Confidant will publish a list of bar candidates admitted, including those admitted conditionally, by the SC en banc.

Major Changes to Bar Exams

Bar exams have always been held at one location – at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila in previous years – on the four Sundays in November, but the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the SC to postpone its conduct in 2020.

Bar president Leonen then pushed for major changes in the upcoming bar exams, such as digitizing his conduct and setting up several local testing sites across the country for candidates. So far, at least 16 local testing sites across the country have signed an agreement with the SC for upcoming bar exams.

In the FAQs, the High Court said that all candidates, as a rule, will sit the bar exams digitally, but “for justifiable reasons, the [SC en banc]may grant a formal written request to take a hand-written examination at a court-appointed location in Metro Manila. »

Leonen in February explained that the bar exams would also be numerically scored by examiners, allowing subject matter experts outside the capital region to be tapped to make the assessment of exams “even more inclusive”.

Taking inclusivity a step further, the registration page on the BAR Plus website allows applicants to indicate their preferred pronouns, if any.

Applications can be submitted from July 15 to September 15, but Leonen advised candidates to submit theirs as soon as possible.

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