BAR-READY. Associate Justice John Lee of the Court of Appeals gives advice to law graduates of Liceo de Cagayan University during a sendoff ceremony for Bar Examination reviewers at the Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon campus on Saturday (Aug. 6, 2022). Lee said they must be prepared physically, mentally and spiritually. (PNA photo by Nef Luczon)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Court of Appeals Associate Justice John Lee advised aspiring lawyers to do leg exercises and organize their study habits as they review for the 2022 Bar Examinations, which will be back to its November schedule.

During Saturday's sendoff ceremony for law graduates of Liceo de Cagayan University (LDCU) in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, Lee said there are three areas to strengthen in preparation for the exams: physical, mental, and spiritual.

"Recent studies have shown strength of the leg muscles is directly connected with brain power. If there's anything you need to exercise, that must be your legs," he said in his pep talk.

Lee said taking care of one's health includes avoiding activities that may infect them with Covid-19. Some Bar examinees this year failed to take the exam because they tested positive for the virus.

On mental preparation, Lee said graduates must take at least a day off each week while reviewing and during the month of the Bar Exam itself, allot relaxation time after each Sunday.

"If you doubt yourself or if you want to quit, just don't. Go back to thinking that you are already a law graduate. Teachers have already helped you possess the basic knowledge of the laws," Lee said.

He said Bar Exams are the physical manifestation and actual confirmation of the basic legal knowledge they already have.

The Supreme Court (SC) has extended the application period for the 2022 Bar Exams until August 15, from the original July 15 deadline, “in order to give all interested law graduates ample time to prepare and submit their documentary requirements” and ensure enough time to process and verify applications.

Applicants must use the SC online platform Bar Personalized Login Unified System (Bar PLUS). 

A total of 8,241 examinees passed the 2020-2021 Bar Exams held February 4 and 6, equivalent to 72.28 percent of the 11,402 law graduates who took the grueling test.

It was the first to be held digitally and in multiple sites across the country, the same formats to be used this year.

Lawyer Manuel Cabrera, dean of LDCU's College of Law, said they will support their graduates who will take the Bar, like research and compilations to create a reviewer in video and soft copy document formats.

"You follow the syllabus [given by the SC] and go to the basic codal provision of the law, and of course, the doctrines and the decided cases of the Supreme Court because the questions in the Bar Exams are really grounded on jurisprudence," said Cabrera, who is also the vice president for Mindanao of the Philippine Association of Law Schools.

Leading LDCU's College of Law Class 2022 is Lt. Col. Michelle Olaivar, who graduated first honor and is also the spokesperson of the Police Regional Office-10.

She said law school was never easy, especially with the nature of her work and her obligations as a mother.

"As a working student and a mother, it was hard to pass the subjects. I made it (graduating with honors) because I really planned ahead and studied the style of my professors, how they formulate their questions and how they want them answered," she said in an interview

She acknowledged the help of her friends and fellow graduates who boosted her morale and motivated her.

She is now preparing for another mountain to climb and just like other challenges she faced, is determined to pass the Bar. (PNA)