THE P250,000 jackpot remains elusive for UST bar takers.

Another year and the drought continues as the University failed to land the top spot during the bar examinations last Sept.

However, the University improved on its passing rate as 56 out of 67 alumni passed, which means an 83 percent passing rate. Last year, UST registered a 73 percent passing rate with 41 out of 56 examinees passing.

The national passing rate was 32.81 percent.

To motivate graduates to perform better in the bar exams, former Civil Law Dean Amado Dimayuga devised two years back a reward scheme that would give graduates P250,000, P150,000, and P100,000 for placing first, second, and third, respectively. The money would come from the law alumni association.

Despite not landing a place in the top 10, UST Faculty of Civil Law Dean Justice Jaime Lantin said he is pleased with the results.

“We prefer to have a higher passing percentage than having topnotchers. (Topping the bar exams) is a matter of luck,” Lantin said.

Lantin explained the improved performance was the result of Dimayuga’s program to upgrade the standards of the faculty.

According to Lantin, the faculty is now reaping the fruits of Dimayuga’s program centered on the hiring of respected faculty members, admission of qualified applicants, enhancement of academic standards, and improvement of facilities.

“The faculty members are recognized authorities in the field of specialization,” Lantin said. Included in the faculty roster are Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Alfredo Benipayo and former Comelec chairman Harriett Demetriou.

Moreover, Lantin said the faculty only accepts students who qualify and meet the faculty’s high standards for admission.

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“Applicants have been carefully screened through aptitude tests, examination of academic records together with references, and interviews to determine their academic preparedness, capabilities, personality, and potentiality,” Lantin said.

He added the faculty does not accept kick-outs and drop-outs from other law schools.

Lantin also said his predecessor revised the curriculum to strengthen the basics of legal education.

He added the faculty implements the Quotient Point Index (QPI) system. With this system, a student should at least reach the average corresponding to his or her year level to avoid debarment.

First year students are required to maintain a QPI of 78 percent while sophomores, juniors, and seniors must reach an average of 79 percent. Failure to attain the quota for two consecutive semesters would constitute debarment.

“There is also the revalida, which is the final comprehensive examination required of the candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Laws. It is a meaningful exercise that will test to a considerable degree whether the candidate is prepared to handle the bar exams,” he said. Teodoro Lorenzo A. Fernandez

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