Despite not having any alumnus in the top 10 of the 2004 bar exams, Faculty of Civil Law Dean Augusto Aligada, Jr. is happy about UST’s improved passing rate.

“I am more interested in a high passing rate for UST,” Aligada told the Varsitarian.

Based on the Faculty’s estimate, some 128 out of 178 Thomasian examinees who took the bar exams for the first time passed for a 71.91 per cent passing rate. In the 2003 bar exams, UST posted a 56.63 per cent passing rate.

The official passing rate and list of UST examinees are yet to be released by the Supreme Court as of press time.

Atty. Lowell Culling, Civil Law faculty secretary, said it was the first time in five years that UST had more than 100 students passing the bar examinations.

Culling said the Faculty has no immediate plan to make any changes in preparation for the 2005 bar exams.

“There is nothing wrong with the curriculum. Passing the bar exam would depend on the students,” Culling said.

Of the 5,249 examinees from 75 law schools nationwide, 1,659 passed, for a 31.61 per cent passing rate. In 2003 the passing rate was 20.71 per cent.

Meanwhile, two former Varsitarian writers, Maynard Panela from the UST Faculty of Civil Law and Leah Vistro from the Ateneo de Manila University School of Law, passed the exam.

Panela, a Journalism graduate, wrote for the Sports section, while Vistro, a Legal Management alumna, was a news reporter.

According to the Rules of Court, a candidate’s score in every subject should not fall below 50 per cent and his general average should be at least 75 per cent to pass. The subject scope consists of Political and International Law, Labor and Social Legislation, Civil Law, Taxation, Mercantile Law, Criminal Law, Remedial Law, and Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises.

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A University of the Philippines-Diliman graduate topped the 2004 bar examinations with a score of 87.45 per cent.

The bar exam, taken during the four Sundays of September 2004, is the first to be covered by the Bar Matter 1611, which took effect last July 15.

The new resolution allows examinees only five chances to pass the bar exam, provided they take a one-year refresher course after their third unsuccessful attempt. Failing on the fifth take would permanently prohibit them from taking the examination.

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