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RULE 138

Attorneys and Admission to Bar

Section 1. Who may practice law. — Any person heretofore duly admitted as a member of the bar, or
hereafter admitted as such in accordance with the provisions of this rule, and who is in good and regular
standing, is entitled to practice law.

Section 2. Requirements for all applicants for admission to the bar. — Every applicant for admission as a
member of the bar must be a citizen of the Philippines, at least twenty-one years of age, of good moral
character, and resident of the Philippines; and must produce before the Supreme Court satisfactory
evidence of good moral character, and that no charges against him, involving moral turpitude, have
been filed or are pending in any court in the Philippines.

Section 3. Requirements for lawyers who are citizens of the United States of America. — Citizens of the
United States of America who, before July 4, 1946, were duly licensed members of the Philippine Bar, in
active practice in the courts of the Philippines and in good and regular standing as such may, upon
satisfactory proof of those facts before the Supreme Court, be allowed to continue such practice after
taking the following oath of office:

I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., having been permitted to continue in the practice of law in the


Philippines, do solemnly swear that I recognize the supreme authority of the Republic of the Philippines;
I will support its Constitution and obey the laws as well as the legal orders of the duly constituted
authorities therein; I will do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court; I will not wittingly or
willingly promote or sue any groundless, false or unlawful suit, nor give aid nor consent to the same; I
will delay no man for money or malice, and will conduct myself as a lawyer according to the best of may
knowledge and discretion with all good fidelity as well as to the courts as to my clients; and I impose
upon myself this voluntary obligation without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. So help me
God.

Section 4. Requirements for applicants from other jurisdictions. — Applicants for admission who, being
Filipino citizens, are enrolled attorneys in good standing in the Supreme Court of the United States or in
any circuit court of appeals or district court therein, or in the highest court of any State or Territory of
the United States, and who can show by satisfactory certificates that they have practiced at least five
years in any of said courts, that such practice began before July 4, 1946, and that they have never been
suspended or disbarred, may, in the discretion of the Court, be admitted without examination.

Section 5. Additional requirements for other applicants. — All applicants for admission other than those
referred to in the two preceding section shall, before being admitted to the examination, satisfactorily
show that they have regularly studied law for four years, and successfully completed all prescribed
courses, in a law school or university, officially approved and recognized by the Secretary of Education.
The affidavit of the candidate, accompanied by a certificate from the university or school of law, shall be
filed as evidence of such facts, and further evidence may be required by the court.

No applicant shall be admitted to the bar examinations unless he has satisfactorily completed the
following courses 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 6. Pre-Law. — No applicant for admission to the bar examination shall be admitted unless he
presents a certificate that he has satisfied the Secretary of Education that, before he began the study of
law, he 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 with any of the following subjects as major
or field of concentration: political science, logic, english, spanish, history and economics.

Section 7. Time for filing proof of qualifications. — All applicants for admission shall file with the clerk of
the Supreme Court the evidence required by section 2 of this rule at least fifteen (15) days before the
beginning of the examination. If not embraced within section 3 and 4 of this rule they shall also file
within the same period the affidavit and certificate required by section 5, and if embraced within
sections 3 and 4 they shall exhibit a license evidencing the fact of their admission to practice,
satisfactory evidence that the same has not been revoked, and certificates as to their professional
standing. Applicants shall also file at the same time their own affidavits as to their age, residence, and
citizenship.

Section 8. Notice of Applications. — Notice of applications for admission shall be published by the clerk
of the Supreme Court in newspapers published in Pilipino, English and Spanish, for at least ten (10) days
before the beginning of the examination.

Section 9. Examination; subjects. — Applicants, not otherwise provided for in sections 3 and 4 of this
rule, shall be subjected to examinations in the following subjects: Civil Law; Labor and Social Legislation;
Mercantile Law; Criminal Law; Political Law (Constitutional Law, Public Corporations, and Public
Officers); International Law (Private and Public); Taxation; Remedial Law (Civil Procedure, Criminal
Procedure, and Evidence); Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises (in Pleadings and Conveyancing).

Section 10. Bar examination, by questions and answers, and in writing. — Persons taking the
examination shall not bring papers, books or notes into the examination rooms. The questions shall be
the same for all examinees and a copy thereof, in English or Spanish, shall be given to each examinee.
Examinees shall answer the questions personally without help from anyone.

Upon verified application made by an examinee stating that his penmanship is so poor that it will be
difficult to read his answers without much loss of time., the Supreme Court may allow such examinee to
use a typewriter in answering the questions. Only noiseless typewriters shall be allowed to be used.
The committee of bar examiner shall take such precautions as are necessary to prevent the substitution
of papers or commission of other frauds. Examinees shall not place their names on the examination
papers. No oral examination shall be given.

Section 11. Annual examination. — Examinations for admission to the bar of the Philippines shall take
place annually in the City of Manila. They shall be held in four days to be disignated by the chairman of
the committee on bar examiners. The subjects shall be distributed as follows: First day: Political and
International Law (morning) and Labor and Social Legislation (afternoon); Second day: Civil Law
(morning) and Taxation (afternoon); Third day: Mercantile Law (morning) and Criminal Law (afternoon);
Fourth day: Remedial Law (morning) and legal Ethics and Practical Exercises (afternoon).

Section 12. Committee of examiners. — Examinations shall be conducted by a committee of bar


examiners to be appointed by the Supreme Court. This committee shall be composed of a Justice of the
Supreme Court, who shall act as chairman, and who shall be designated by the court to serve for one
year, and eight members of the bar of the Philippines, who shall hold office for a period of one year. The
names of the members of this committee shall be published in each volume of the official reports.

Section 13. Disciplinary measures. — No candidate shall endeavor to influence any member of the
committee, and during examination the candidates shall not communicate with each other nor shall
they give or receive any assistance. The candidate who violates this provisions, or any other provision of
this rule, shall be barred from the examination, and the same to count as a failure against him, and
further disciplinary action, including permanent disqualification, may be taken in the discretion of the
court.

Section 14. Passing average. — In order that a candidate may be deemed to have passed his
examinations successfully, he must have obtained a general average of 75 per cent in all subjects,
without falling below 50 per cent in any subjects. In determining the average, the subjects in the
examination shall be given the following relative weights: Civil Law, 15 per cent; Labor and Social
Legislation, 10 per cent; Mercantile Law, 15 per cent; Criminal Law; 10 per cent: Political and
International Law, 15 per cent; Taxation, 10 per cent; Remedial Law, 20 per cent; Legal Ethics and
Practical Exercises, 5 per cent.

Section 15. Report of the committee; filing of examination papers. — Not later than February 15th after
the examination, or as soon thereafter as may be practicable, the committee shall file its report on the
result of such examination. The examination papers and notes of the committee shall be filed with the
clerk and may there be examined by the parties in interest, after the court has approved the report.

Section 16. Failing candidates to take review course. — Candidates who have failed the bar
examinations for three times shall be disqualified from taking another examination unless they show the
satisfaction of the court that they have enrolled in and passed regular fourth year review classes as well
as attended a pre-bar review course in a recognized law school.
The professors of the individual review subjects attended by the candidates under this rule shall certify
under oath that the candidates have regularly attended classes and passed the subjects under the same
conditions as ordinary students and the ratings obtained by them in the particular subject.

Section 17. Admission and oath of successful applicants. — An applicant who has passed the required
examination, or has been otherwise found to be entitled to admission to the bar, shall take and
subscribe before the Supreme Court the corresponding oath of office.

Section 18. Certificate. — The supreme Court shall thereupon admit the applicant as a member of the
bar for all the courts of the Philippines, and shall direct an order to be entered to that effect upon its
records, and that a certificate of such record be given to him by the clerk of court, which certificate shall
be his authority to practice.