Commentary

Fr. Aquino and the bar examinations as a Festival of Fools

Fr. Aquino modified his earlier post, but he still calls the bar examinations a Festival of Fools. Unable to recognize that he has made a mistake simply by deleting his post with or without apologizing for it, he tries to tone down the severity of calling the bar examinations as “Festival of Fools” by trying to suggest that he says so because of the cost associated with the bar operations.

But the bar operations, although very useful to examinees of a school, is not required nor even suggested by the Supreme Court. Thus changing the bar examinations to a simple pass-fail system would not significantly change the view of most law schools regarding bar operations. Those who have them will continue to do so, and those who do not have them will organize their own sooner or later. While at least in the University of Cebu College of Law, where I graduated, topping the bar is a worthy goal (after all a brand new car and the reimbursement of all your school fees could very well give you a headstart in private practice), the purpose of the bar operations is to make sure that every examinee is given the most assistance to help him or her hurdle the examination, not to produce a topnotcher or even increase the passing percentage of the school. Otherwise, the bar ops might as well just focus on the most promising candidates or even leave alone those candidates who have very little chances of passing.

So no, Fr. Aquino, changing the bar exams to simple pass-fail with no topnotchers will not put an end to the bar operations, the costs of which you suggest to justify you in calling the exams themselves a Festival of Fools. Even with simple pass-fail, bar operations will still cost much, and, as you characterize it, the bar examinations will still be a Festival of Fools. You will still not take it then, because, unlike the thousands of lawyers and barristers you insulted with your post, you would still not be foolish enough to believe that you have the fortitude and the endurance to finish the four Sundays of the most grueling examinations as per public perception.

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