Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) and the Jurisdoctor Degree (JD) is a four year graduate program designed to help students become lawyers.
There are eight major subjects included in the LL.B. curriculum: Civil, Political, Labor, Criminal, Commercial, International, Tax and Remedial laws. All these subjects are required by the Supreme Court of the Philippines for the completion of the Law program, plus a number of other subjects (Legal Research, Legal Ethics and Labor Standards). In addition, students are required to choose one elective subject out of the following subjects: Admiralty, Advanced Taxation, Agrarian Law and Social Legislation, Appellate Practice and Brief Making. These subjects are usually offered in the fourth year of law school.
The first two years of the Bachelor of Laws program are spent in rigorous classroom discussions, oral recitations, case study analysis and debates. During junior and senior years law students will undergo an extensive apprenticeship in a duly recognized law firm, a research court apprenticeship and an on the job training in a government agency or a public legal assistance agency (Public Attorneys Office).
A final requirement during the fourth year of law school and one of the highlights in the Law program is the thesis making. The topic may come from any subject of law or issues concerning legal matters. The thesis is done under the supervision of a faculty and culminates when the student faces a committee to defend his/her work.
Is Law a profession?
Law is a profession. A graduate of Bachelor of Laws who passes the Philippine Bar Examination is called an Attorney or a Lawyer. Depending on which field of specialization a Lawyer chooses, roles and responsibilities will significantly vary. Compared to other professions, Lawyers have a wide array of jobs. This includes explaining the law and giving general legal advice, representing a client and advising them on their legal situation, settling disputes and supervising any agreements, drafting contracts and other legal documents, analyzing legal documents, researching and gathering evidence, creating oral argument in the courts, attending court hearings to defend clients, conveyancing (making documents necessary for the transfer of properties such as deeds and mortgages) and prosecuting criminal suspects.
What are the admission requirements for Bachelor of Laws?
Requirements at each school may differ, but these are the common requirements:
What skills, traits and attitude will help you succeed in this course?
The following characteristics will help you survive Law school:
How difficult is Bachelor of Laws?
Bachelor of Laws is a difficult course. It requires a great amount of time and effort. You must have the passion to study law in order to graduate from the program. Consistency and diligence is very important. Expect that when you take up law you have to consistently study every night for the next four years. The most common mistake among many applicants is the thought that because they are able to articulate and read English proficiently, they are a good fit to take up Law. However, Law goes beyond pronouncing words well, it requires reading comprehension. It is a complicated subject with lots of differing rulings on various aspects of the law. Studying law also involves lots of writing on complex subjects.
Getting a law degree is nothing like getting a bachelors degree. Many law classrooms are run more like courts than like classrooms. Professors in law school are not your average professors. These professors do not at all behave like teachers in a classroom; they behave like lawyers in a court, trying to prove that each and every one of the students in the room did not do the required reading thoroughly enough.
In addition, the Philippine Bar Examination is one of the hardest board exams; only a small percentage of examinees are able to pass.
How long does it take to complete the L.L.B program in the Philippines?
Generally, the L.L.B. program takes four years to complete. However, there are certain schools that follow a five year curriculum. In schools that follow a trimestral curriculum, the program may be completed in less than four years.
After graduation, a six–month comprehensive review program prepares law students for the Philippine Bar Examination. The program features classes and lectures from members of the Law School's faculty as well as other legal scholars and practitioners.
Law schools who accept employed students do not require apprenticeships and on the job trainings. Instead, to supplement for the lack of hands on experience, they are required to attend seminars and selected court hearings. Most of these activities are scheduled on weekends or selected days of the week.
The apprenticeship program requires qualified attorneys who will assist the students in the actual practice of law. The supervising attorney evaluates the performance of the students and recommends to the Dean whether academic credits can be granted on the basis of such evaluation. Students must earn a total of four (4) academic credits from apprenticeship work to be eligible for graduation.
The most common fields of specializations in Law are as follows:
Philippine Bar Examination
To be a full–fledged lawyer in the Philippines and be eligible to use the title Attorney, a graduate of Bachelor of Laws needs to pass the Philippine Bar Examination. The examination is conducted by the Supreme Court of the Philippines under the Supreme Court Bar Examination Committee. It is scheduled once a year in the four Sundays of October.
There are eight sets of subjects included in the exam and each subject has its corresponding weight. Civil Law (15%), Labor Law and Social Legislation (10%), Mercantile Law (15%), Criminal Law (10%), Political and International Law (15%), Taxation (10%), Remedial Law (20%) and Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises (5%) are the eight main subjects included in the exam.
To pass the examination you should obtain a passing average of 75%, with no grade falling below 50% in any bar subject. Compared to other eligibility examinations, the Bar Exam can only be taken six times. Failure to pass in the first three examinations means disqualification of a candidate. However, he/she may take a fourth and fifth examination provided that he successfully completes a one (1) year refresher course for each examination. Once a candidate fails in his/her fourth and fifth attempt, he/she will be required to take another one year refresher course, after which, the candidate may again take the sixth and final bar examination.
The result of the board examination is usually released during March, 5 months after the exam.
Is the LL.B. degree different from the Juris Doctor degree?
Career opportunities for Bachelor of Laws graduates