Bar exam flops = failure of law profs? - J. Brion

SOURCE: JUSTICE ART D. BRION (RET.). An outsider’s view: Goodbye, PhilSAT, goodbye! THE LEGAL FRONT. Published December 11, 2019, 12:36 AM. artbrion916.legalfront.mb@gmail.com. news.mb.com.ph.

Bar failures take place not only due to deficient knowledge of law, but largely due to the examinees’ failure to express themselves in English (the language of the law) and their underdeveloped reasoning capability.

Any Bar examiner will readily confirm these realities and I can speak from experience as I had been both Bar examiner and Bar chairman.

These results happened because the students had poor potentials to start with, and should have been screened, as the PhiLSAT had been doing. Pre-law education, too, has not at all prepared them for law school, while the law schools likewise dismally failed.

The worst cases happened because of an unfortunate pairing: students with hardly any aptitude for law studies, paired with educators ill-prepared to teach law. Disaster, under this formula, is inevitable – then, now, and in the future.

Consider, too, that legal knowledge and skills are mostly imparted by part-time law school teachers, i.e., those who teach law on the side, a situation that raises questions of focus. Questions of qualification likewise exist, together with the availability of qualified law teachers outside the law practice centers.Isn’t teaching a separate discipline that requires a different set of skills from lawyering? Otherwise stated, does passing the Bar already qualify lawyers to teach law? I think not, and I say this because I have practiced law and have been a law school teacher.

Shouldn’t the court recognize these ground realities and that the LEB only responded to an extremely adverse legal education situation? In fact, the more relevant question for the LEB should have been: what more should or could it have done, given the Bar exam situation and the dismal performance of many law schools.

Why hasn’t the Legal Education Board (LEB) closed down the non-performing law schools? Was it because of the academic freedom of these law schools and their students?

A “yes” to this question really makes no sense; academic freedom cannot rise higher than police power and the general welfare of this nation.

SOURCE: JUSTICE ART D. BRION (RET.). An outsider’s view: Goodbye, PhilSAT, goodbye! THE LEGAL FRONT. Published December 11, 2019, 12:36 AM. artbrion916.legalfront.mb@gmail.com. news.mb.com.ph.

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