The Philippine bar exam is a beauty pageant. The presentation of a good answer is the key to hurdle it. Literally, the appearance of your answer matters. This also applies to law school. Good morning Pilipinas! I’m Bacon Palacio and lest us discuss how to answer essay type questions in Law School and the Philippine bar exams. Some practical tips Here are some practical tips on how to answer the Philippine bar exams. Read the question [aka “call”] before reading the facts of the problem of the Philippine bar exam. Do this for every call, but do it one at a time. To avoid confusion, answer the first call before reading the next call. So when you read the facts of the problem, you will be able to sort the facts you need to answer the problem. Second tip, use the active voice. Because of my old habits, I struggle with using the active voice myself I advice you to just make a conscious effort to use the active voice. Do not leave the scope of the subject. Do not use the Rules of Court to answer a Civil Law problem even if the Rules applies to it. Keep your answer short, simple, and direct to the point. The examiners are annoyed by long-winded answers. Don’t believe me? Go ask your review professor if what I said is true: That examiners are annoyed at long-winded answers to the Philippine bar exams. Hi, if you like my content please leave a like, share this video to your social media accounts, and subscribe to help my channel grow! Thank you very much! For more topnotch tips, click on the (i) card here. (presenter laughs) click on it once you are done watching this video. On handwriting… AGAIN! Ok, we are on handwriting again. However, I’ve already made a video about this Click on the (i) card here after you’ve watched this video. I’ll just add that when I was reviewing for the Philippine bar exams, I write three frequently asked codal provisions for the subject that I’m reviewing. If you have any questions, please leave a comment down below and I will answer it. The engagement really helps me a lot. Use the four paragraph method to PRESENT a GOOD answer. Why do we use the four paragraph method? The point of the four paragraph method is to help you present an organized and logical answer to essay type questions in the Philippine bar exams Do note that the four paragraph method is used only for essay type hypothetical questions I will first discuss the components of the four paragraph method then later on I will teach you how to apply everything we have discussed. In the first paragraph, categorically answer the question and re-state the call. For example: May Atty. X legally charge his client based on contingent fees? (2018 Bar Exam Question) Your first paragraph should read: (Yes / No), Atty. X (may/may not) charge his clients based on contingent fees. The reason for this paragraph construction: To clearly present your answer to the examiner. Put your legal basis in the second paragraph. But, don’t cite exact provisions of law, or case titles. For example: “The Law on Contract states that xxx.”; “According to the Rules on Evidence, xxx.”; “Jurisprudence has ruled that xxx.” Please note the coverage of the Rules of Court and the Civil Code is pretty extensive. You need to narrow down the topic These are unlike the Labor Code and the Revised Penal Code that have narrow scopes that you can cite as: “According to the Labor Code, xxx.” or “According to the Revised Penal Code, xxx.” In your thirds paragraph, apply your legal basis to the facts of the problem. Use terms like “Here, xxx”, or “In this case, xxx” for ease of writing. Then copy the key terms of your legal basis in your third paragraph. In your fourth paragraph, copy the second phrase of your first paragraph then state it as a conclusion Example: Thus, Atty. X (may/may not) charge his clients based on contingent fees Application of our discussion. For this example, we will use Question No. 4 of Legal and Judicial Ethics of the 2018 Philippine Bar Exams Atty. Cornelio Carbon, 36 years of age, had always dreamed of becoming a judge, and eventually, a justice, but his legal career took a different turn. Upon graduation, he joined a government-owned financial institution where he worked in the Loans and Claims Division. He also taught Negotiable Instruments Law in a nearby law school at night. He has been active in his IBP Chapter and other law organizations. However, in his 12 years of practice, he has never done trial or litigation work. (a) Is Atty. Carbon engaged in the “practice of law”? (2.5%) (b) Is Atty. Carbon qualified to become a Regional Trial Court Judge? (2.5%) I moved because of the to the noise! Please answer the question in the comments, and you are welcome to critic my answer. If you read the call before reading the [facts of the] problem, then you will ascertain that the problem itself said that he has a legal career but he is not engaged in litigation work. You are now tasked to look for the facts that fits the definition of the “practice of law”. It is advisable to use as basis that he teaches Negotiable Instruments Law in law school. Because it requires the application of legal knowledge, training, and experience. To avoid being overwhelmed, once you have answered sub-question (a), then read the call of sub-question (b). All in all, you only need a few facts in order to apply your legal basis. A lot of the facts in a Philippine bar exam problem are not relevant to the call. Remember to use plain English! This is how I will answer sub-question (a): Jurisprudence defined the practice of law as any activity which requires the APPLICATION OF LEGAL TRAINING AND KNOWLEDGE. (key terms) Here, he has been teaching Negotiable Instruments Law in a law school, an activity that requires the APPLICATION OF LEGAL TRAINING AND KNOWLEDGE. (repeat key terms) Thus, Atty. Carbon is engaged in the practice of law. You may have noticed that this question is only worth 2.5%. That is why I used only three paragraphs, and removed the first paragraph. So that you could save time. Note that the bar examiner does not expect a lengthy answer. Specially, if he gave it a low weight. If sub-question (a) is worth 5%. I will answer: Yes, Atty. Carbon is engaged in the practice of law. Jurisprudence defined the practice of law as any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of law, legal procedure, knowledge, training and experience. (note the key terms) Here, he has been teaching Negotiable Instruments Law in a law school, an activity that requires the application of law, legal training, knowledge, and experience. (repeat ket terms) Thus, Atty. Carbon is engaged in the practice of law. Sometimes, you will encounter a call in the Philippine bar exam with this tenor: For example: “Rule on the defense of XXX”, or “You are the judge, decide the case.” Those are open-ended essay questions. The examiner is testing your ability to spot the issues, (issue spotting) and your ability to answer the issue in an orderly and logical manner. What is an “issue”? In summary, it is anything being contested by the parties. A good indication of an issue in a Philippine bar exam problem is when the parties use the same set of facts but they are using different legal bases to justify their position. If they are using the same legal basis, they have different interpretations. Once you’ve spotted the issue, apply the four-paragraph method. Bacon, what is with sub-question (b)? Let us analyze the problem. The only activity of Atty. Carbon that qualifies as “practice of law” is that he teach Negotiable Instruments Law in a law school. The problem does not elaborate on Atty. Carbons specific tasks at the government financial institution. It also does not elaborate on his activities at his IBP chapter or the law organizations he is involved with. The last sentence of the problem only informs us that he has been in practice for twelve years. However, it does not specify the kind of practice he is engaged in. At most, all we can say is that he is not doing litigation or trial work. In my opinion, the last sentence is baiting you to answer the second call in the affirmative. Pro-tip of the day. for this video is used the book: “Bar Blues or everything you want to know about the new bar exams but are too busy to ask.” by Tanya Katrina A. Lat, Maria Gracia R. Gomez, and Marilyn S. Manait as reference for this video. I highly recommend this book if you plan to take the bar next year. Back to our program=) In preparation for this video, I did not read the suggested answers for the 2018 Philippine bar exam questions For this video, I used my stock knowledge as much as possible to simulate how a barrista would answer the Philippine bar exams If you like my content please leave a “like”, and share this video with your friends and on your social media wall. Please subscribe and hit the bell notification [icon] to keep up to date with my videos. Again, this is Bacon Palacio, and I will see YOU in the next video. Bye bye!