An Open Letter to the 5,686 Candidates for the 2012 Bar Exams

Oct. 08, 2012

7 October 2012

Dear bar candidate,

Four years (or more) of law school has prepared you to take this year’s bar exams.  Endless days and nights of toil in the grueling months of bar review are a test of perseverance, resources and also sanity.  It is also a testament of your family, friends and loved ones’ patience and love, who endured your tantrums, accommodated your requests to be left alone while catering to your every needs and whims.

As you walk towards your exam room, with your exam permit, sign pen and pencils, reviewers, lucky charms and goody bags ready, after the prayers and novenas, and after the din of the gung-ho pep talks have faded, we ask you to pause for a moment and reflect: what is this all for?

And on the fourth Sunday, after you leave the examination rooms, after the showers of congratulations, flowers, cheers, tears and perhaps beer have greeted you, we invite you once again to pause for a moment and ponder on the reality waiting for you outside.

The legitimized circus of clowns, comedians and characters in elections is in town again, ready to play the musical chairs of political and economic power through sheer progeny and popularity; perpetrators of  human rights violations remain at large and unpunished and basic freedoms continue to be threatened and violated with impunity; the farmers still do not own the land they till; the workers’ wages remain insufficient to meet the cost of decent life; millions of migrants are forced to leave the country to put food on the table and send their kids to school; violent demolitions hound the urban poor communities; children live in hovels under flyovers and beg in the streets; environmental degradation is at its worst; and those who have less in life still have lesser in law.

Indeed, hurdling the bar exams is not the final challenge for you; rather, it is to make your legal education and practice meaningful, relevant and noble.  It is in taking the cause of the poor and the oppressed, the majority of the Filipino people, and fighting their legal battle; it is in ensuring that the poor have access to justice and competent lawyers; it is in demanding that the government remain faithful and accountable to the people.  Simply put, the challenge is to use the law as a tool to make society a better place for the majority.

There are just too many lawyers in the country.  You can either be just another one among the 50,000.  Or you can take a choice to heed the clarion call to serve the people, or at least contribute in your own little way towards this end.  You can take the road less travelled by.

We want you.  No, the people need you.

We shall await you.  The people are waiting.

We wish you all the best in the bar exams and look forward to welcoming you as our panyeros and panyeras!

National Secretariat
National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers(NUPL)
3F Erythrina Bldg., Maaralin corner Matatag Sts. Central District,Quezon City, Philippines
Tel.No.920-6660,Telefax No. 927- 2812
Email and
“Visit the NUPL  at

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