Malacañang on Wednesday congratulated the country’s new lawyers and urged them to consider a career in government.
Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the government has a “big need” for good lawyers and expressed hope the bar topnotchers will choose working in the public sector.
“Normally, there are those who enter (government) but the first impulse in the Philippines is to work in big law firms,” Lacierda said in a Palace press briefing.
“Certainly, we would hope that topnotchers should also join government. There is a very big need also for very good lawyers as we have now very good crop of lawyers,” he added.
Ignatius Ingles of Ateneo law school topped the 2012 Bar exams with a score of 85.640 percent. Reports said only 949 or 17 percent of the 5,686 total number of law graduates who took the examination passed.
Lacierda congratulated Ingles as well as other bar examinees who passed the exams. The Palace official was particularly excited that most of the top 10 bar passers come from his alma mater, Ateneo law school.
Lacierda also said the Palace was no longer surprised by the low percentage of bar passers this year. He explained that the bar examiners are expected to conduct rigorous examinations for law graduates to ensure only the “best of the best” will get their licenses.
“It is one of the most difficult government exams that you will see,” he said. “That’s also important for the bar community to be able to regulate properly those who will be sent out to be representing the interests, advocacies of clients, corporations and different concerns. It’s one way of sifting and making sure the best of the best pass the bar exams,” he added.
The battle for the best law school, meantime, became a friendly debate between Lacierda and Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen.
Lacierda claimed that Ateneo is the better law school compared to the University of the Philippines, citing that its students have topped the bar exams in recent years.
But Leonen, former law dean of UP, however, told Lacierda that the state university is “not bar-oriented”
“He threatened and told me that, ‘By the way, the Chief Justice and four division chairs are all from UP so in fairness to Justice Leonen, we will grant you that,” Lacierda said.
“But since the Jesuit community has a banner year, we’ve got the first Jesuit Pope, we have an Ateneo graduate as president, and now we have Ateneo bar topnotchers. Go Ateneo,” he added in jest.