TABLE OF CONTENTS
Bar Operations Team .............................
Contact Details .....................................
Barrister’s Calendar ...............................
Hotel Operations FAQs ...........................
Distributions FAQs .................................
Sunday Operations FAQs .........................
VIII. Tips for Multiple Choice Questions .............
Topnotchers' Tips ..................................
Previous Topnotchers ......................
2010 Topnotchers ..........................
MESSAGES Dear Barristers 2012, This is the second year of experimentation on the Bar Examinations format. A slightly modified version of last year year’s examinations will be also in place this year. The Law School is preparing for an enhanced Bar Reviews by establishing a self-testing process for any enrolled reviewee. We hope that the system is going to be in place beginning June of this year. This is our way of catching up with the process of preparing every reviewee for a controlled Bar Examination environment. I thank in advance the Bar Operations Group this year for this pioneering project which could be a benchmark or a more effective preparation for the Bar. Tools for bar review are available through notes but I advise you to be discerning in the type of materials you will be using in the next few months. There is no substitute to familiarity with the materials you have been accustomed to in the past four years, including your own personal notes for every subject. I am confident that this second modified Bar Examination format will be well within your radar screen. I have seen you develop intellectually and emotionally. Have faith in your capacity. Pray hard and be generous to others as you have been blessed with the rare opportunity to acquire the Ateneo diploma. Good luck!
SEDFREY M. CANDELARIA DEAN, ATENEO LAW SCHOOL
The last lap begins. If you got this far, you have a lot to be proud about and to be thankful for. Every inch along the way, remember and believe what Isaiah said: “They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar with the eagle’s wings; they will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.”
FR. JOAQUIN G. BERNAS, S. J. DEAN EMERITUS, ATENEO LAW SCHOOL
Dear Barristers of 2012, As you begin the last leg of your preparations to realize your long cherished dream of becoming lawyers, rest assured that my prayers and support will accompany you. Trust the Good Lord Who begun this good work in you to bring it to fulfilment. At the same time, trust yourselves and your inherent talents and acquired self-discipline and time management. As always, given your realistic constraints, do the best you can, and leave the rest to God. God bless you all!
In Our Lord,
FR. LITO A. MANGULABNAN, S. J. APS CHAPLAIN AND COUNSELOR
DEAREST ATENEO BARRISTERS, It seems like only yesterday when you first saw the admission results and were overcome with the feeling of exhilaration at the thought of entering law school. You were clueless of how things worked and scared of whether you could meet the challenge. Do you still remember your reaction when you first saw the load of cases that you had to read? Will you ever forget the first time you were called for a recitation? Your heart would palpitate every time you saw your professor approaching the classroom. Every day was a constant struggle to keep your head above water. It was more difficult than what you imagined it would be. Stress became an everyday companion, as did sleepless nights and anxieties of whether you were adequately prepared for the days to come. Things only became worse when you realized that as difficult as it was to prepare for recitation, but getting ready for exams was even harder. But now, after all those trials, you are about to take the one last Final Exam before becoming a lawyer. When you look back at all the frustrations, disappointments, and failures, you can now tell yourself that it is all worth it. Everything you went through only served to make you a stronger person. The road ahead of you will never be easy. Passing the bar is like crossing a bridge towards even greater challenges. Those challenges are mere avenues for you to excel and live up to the 5
values instilled in you by the Ateneo. As you go out into the world, remember that Ateneo does not just want you to be successful, but to be significant in making a mark in our society. You were trained by the best legal minds of the country and you are groomed to be the best lawyers of your generation. Strive to do what is right and live the mission of becoming men and women for others. We wish you the best and may God bless you. Make this institution proud – The Legacy Continues, Batch 2012. FROM THE ATENEO CENTRAL BAR OPERATIONS 2012
Chairperson Pierre Martin Reyes
Chairperson Gian Carlo Miranda
Chairperson Gabrielle Mangahas
Deputy Chairperson Yla Paras
Understudy Mari Janine Evan Mesina
Deputy Chairperson Lira Fuster
Understudy Clariesse Jami Mari Chan Political Law Jake Rupert Tabora Jonathan Jo Labor Law Maiqui Laurel Enzo Castriciones Civil Law Hannah Stephanie Ang Francesco Anbochi Taxation Law Ellie Chris Navarra Shishi Lagrosas Commercial Law Nikki Bellosillo Allan Revote Criminal Law Dianna Louise Wilwayco Julianne Alberto
Distributions Marjorie Fulgueras Carlo Barrientos Cla Abacan Finance Patrick Jason Atilano Food & Nutrition Dianna Louise Wilwayco Marketing Grace Arboladura Logistics & Security Fermo Avila III Promotions Regine Andrei Alcantara Merchandise & Sunday Operations Maria Ilsea Salvador Liza Comafay
Remedial Law Christine Jean Chua Ethics and Forms Francis Fernando & Crisanta Chianpian 7
Understudy Megan Musni Kristia Caringal Hotel Academics Ana Olivia Lee Olivia Ana Atillo Aislyn Yao Hotel Logistics Nica Yan Krissel Alfonso Hotel Services Philip Dabao JM Segovia Raymond Sanchez Transportation Daryl Aldana John Santos
CONTACT DETAILS CONTACT PERSON AND CONTACT DETAILS For General/Admin Concerns
Gian Carlo Miranda 0927 796 0873 [email protected]
For Acads Concerns
Pierre Martin Reyes 0917 599 9934 [email protected]
For Hotel Concerns
Gabrielle Mangahas 0916 556 9390 [email protected]
Marjorie Fulgueras 0917 856 5472 [email protected]
Carlo Barrientos 0917 845 5775 [email protected]
For Distributions Concerns
Cla Abacan [email protected]
Sei Salvador 0922 830 5688 [email protected]
For Sunday Operations Concerns
FOR ACADEMICS CONCERNS DATE June 25, 2012
Distribution of Supplements and MCQ Reviewer
Monday Before Each Examination
Distribution of Pre-Week Reviewers
FOR HOTEL CONCERNS DATE April 23, 2012
Start of Hotel Signup and Submission Period
June 15, 2012
End of Hotel Signup and Submission Period
Last Fridays of June, July, August and September (depending on room type)
Saturdays of October 2012, at 2:00 PM
Start of Hotel Check-in Period
HOTEL OPERATIONS FAQS Who can avail of the hotel accommodations? All Ateneo Law Barristers can avail of the accommodations, provided that they sign up and pay all the necessary fees. Non-Ateneo Law Barristers can also avail of the accommodations, provided that they are related to an Ateneo Law Barrister up to the 4th civil degree, sign up and pay all the necessary fees. The Ateneo Law Barrister involved in this case should vouch for the good conduct of the non-Ateneo Law Barrister and sign appropriate documents. Admission of the non-Ateneo Law Barrister will still be subject to review by the Ateneo Central BarOps Committee. How do we sign up? An e-mail will be sent to your Yahoogroups and Facebook Group with the link to the HotelOps database where you can sign up. Aside from this, you will also need to submit the Barrister Info Sheet, which will be sent through the Batch 2012 Yahoogroups and Facebook Group. Sign-up and submission period will start on April 23, 2012 and end on June 15, 2012. You may submit your Barrister Info Sheet through the brown envelope which will be placed at the BarOps Bulletin Board or through e-mail at [email protected]
with the subject "Barrister Info Sheet--[Surname]."
What hotel are we staying in? This year, the HotelOps will be held in Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, CCP Complex, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City, which the Ateneo Central BarOps has been using for the past 7 years. What is included in the hotel accommodations? The HotelOps will provide your needs during your stay with the following committees:
Secretariat The Secretariat is in charge of your reservations with the hotel, collection of payment for hotel accommodations, check-in and check-out of the hotel, holding of your luggages and mobile phones and over-all in charge of the hotel operations. A photocopying machine is also available at the designated function room for your use.
Hotel Academics The Hotel Acads Committee provides for your research needs during your stay at the hotel for your convenience. You may call them at a designated hotline for any academic questions and they will provide you with your requested case digests, statutes and other necessary materials.
Services The Services Committee gladly takes and orders for your dinner requests for Saturday night, usually upon check-in. You may choose from a list of restaurants within the vicinity of the hotel, which will be made available for your convenience. Payment should be made upon ordering, inclusive of delivery charges (from the restaurant) and appropriate taxes. They also have a mini store where you can buy your essentials--sodas and other drinks, chocolates, cigarettes, among other things. Complimentary items are also be available such as coffee, candies, chips, etc. Dinner orders and other requests from the Services Committee will be delivered to your hotel room.
Logistics The Logistics Committee wakes you up at the time you indicated upon check-in, which will be at the intervals of 30 minutes. To wake you up, you can choose from the following--operator call, knock or a combination of both-to ensure that you will not miss the exams. If you choose packed breakfast over a buffet breakfast, the Logistics Committee will deliver them to your hotel room, as well as the AM Blue Tips (c) upon arrival at the hotel.
Transportation The Transportation Committee assists you in going to the examination venue from the hotel and back, making sure that each barrister arrives at the venue on time.
The following amenities are also provided for by the hotel:
Breakfast (packed or buffet) Two buses to bring you to the examination venue and back to the hotel Complimentary use of the swimming pool Complimentary access to the gym and spa Complimentary valet parking for in-house guests Complimentary cocktails after the last Sunday exams Complimentary shuttle services to SM Mall of Asia for your guests with the following schedule (subject to change)
DROP OFF SHUTTLE AT HOTEL MAIN DRIVEWAY
PICK UP SHUTTLE AT MALL MAIN DRIVEWAY
10:00 AM 11:30 AM
How much will the accommodations cost? Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila has extended special rates for the Ateneo Central BarOps, as shown below. To avail of these special rates, please coordinate and reserve your rooms with the HotelOps and NOT with Sofitel. This year, Luxury Rooms (formerly Superior Rooms) will be available for the barristers. PER PERSON, PER NIGHT
PER PERSON, FOR 4 WEEKS
TRIPLE Php 3,167.00 Php 12,668.00 * Inclusive of 10% service charge, 12% VAT and 0.825% government tax When do we pay for the hotel accommodations? Payments either in CASH or CHECK should be paid on the following dates to the Hotel Secretariat and NOT to Sofitel. You may opt to pay in full, in 2 installments or in 4 installments. Payment
Jun 29, 2012
Jun 29, 2012
Jun 29, 2012
Aug 31, 2012
Jul 27, 2012
Aug 31, 2012
Sep 28, 2012 * All due dates are the last Fridays of the month
Please note of the following reminders: CHECK payments should made payable to SOFITEL PHILIPPINE PLAZA MANILA. HotelOps receipts will be issued upon payment; should you need an official receipt from Sofitel, please inform the Secretariat upon payment. Non-payment on these dates will incur a 10% penalty. When do we check in at the hotel? Check-in begins on Saturdays of October (or November) 2012 at 2:00 PM with the Secretariat at the designated function room. Should you choose to check-in in the morning of Saturday or stay over a night before (Friday), please inform the Secretariat. When do we check out from the hotel? After breakfast, you can check out with the Secretariat at the designated function room by returning your key cards to the person in charge. If you incurred expenses during your stay, i.e. availing of room service, mini-bar in the hotel room, Internet use or placing outgoing calls, please be sure to settle your accounts at the front desk. Upon check-out, you may leave your baggages at the designated function room for secure storage, and deposit your mobile phones, mp3 players or other gadgets with the Secretariat for safekeeping. Rest assured that all your belongings are safe since the function room will be locked once the barristers have left for the exams. It will only be opened in the afternoon for you to get your belongings back. Should you wish that your representative/s (family members, loved ones, etc...) get your baggages, please inform the Secretariat upon check-out.
What should we expect on Saturday nights and Sunday early mornings? For Saturday nights, a mass to be officiated either by Fr. Bernas, Fr. Mangulabnan or Fr. Ferrer will be held in the designated function room. For Sunday early mornings, wake up calls and knocks will be conducted, AM Blue Tips (c) will be distributed and a blessing from either Fr. Bernas, Fr. Mangulabnan or Fr. Ferrer will be given. Where can we study in the hotel? If you choose to study, instead of resting the day before or hours before the exam, you can study in the designated function room for Secretariat, in the hotel lobby, by the pool area or in your hotel room. However, the lights in the hotel room are not conducive for studying; so it is advisable that you bring your own lamps. How do we get the AM Blue Tips (c)? If you have a personal runner, then s/he can get the tips from the designated function room and bring it to you. Since the hotel has a strict policy on access to room floors, barristers must provide their personal runners with a duplicate of their room key, by requesting for such from the front desk. If you do NOT have a personal runner, the HotelOps commits to provide you with one, who will deliver the tips to your hotel rooms once they have arrived at the hotel.
If you do not prefer to have the tips delivered to you, you may opt to pick it up yourself from the Secretariat at the designated function room.
How do we get the PM Blue Tips (c)? Your PM Blue Tips (c) will be given to you by the Sunday Operations Committee during your lunch break. How do we get to the examination place? Two (2) buses will be provided by the hotel, which will depart from Sofitel in the morning to take you to the exam venue. These buses will likewise pick you up in the afternoon after your exams to bring you back to the hotel to get your belongings. How do we get to Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila? If you are coming from Rockwell Center, you may either traverse EDSA or GIL PUYAT AVE. (formerly Buendia Ave.), since both roads lead to Roxas Boulevard. If you opted for EDSA, take the south-bound lane, go straight and make a right turn at Macapagal Boulevard (with Petron and Blue Wave Commercial Building on the right). Go down this road and turn left at the street (unnamed street) where Home Depot and Jollibee are located on your left, then turn right at the road just where the Film Center is located. Sofitel is just beside the Film Center. If you took Gil Puyat Ave., just go straight crossing Taft Ave., Roxas Boulevard and Macapagal Boulevard until you see the Home Depot and Jollibee on your left (as described above) and along the unnamed street. Enter this unnamed street and turn left at the road just where the Film Center is located. Sofitel is just beside the Film Center.
If you do not wish to pass by the Film Center, instead of taking the unnamed street, go straight further (if you took EDSA) or turn right at Macapagal Boulevard (if you too Gil Puyat Ave.), and turn left at the Vicente Sotto St. You should then be able to see Sofitel. Should you have other questions and clarifications, please contact Gab Mangahas at 0916 556 9390 or send the HotelOps an email at [email protected]
A FRIENDLY CHECKLIST FOR YOUR OVERNIGHT STAY
Clothes, swimsuits Shoes Toiletries Reviewers Codals Money Mobile Phone and other gadgets Lamp Food Bar exam permits, etc. __________________ __________________ __________________ __________________ __________________
DISTRIBUTIONS FAQS THE SUMMER REVIEWERS This set of reviewers is a summary of bar subjects and focuses on the most important details of the subject matter. PRE-WEEK REVIEWERS Before a Bar Exam weekend, Pre-week Reviewers are released for the relevant bar subjects. The reviewers contain the most recent jurisprudence and the most frequently asked Bar Exam questions for the past ten (10) years. The pre-week reviewers are usually released on the Monday before the weekend of each Bar Exam. Distribution hours will be posted at the Bulletin Boards. THE BLUETIPS© The BlueTips© contain possible bar exam questions for the year. The last minute tips are compiled by the Academics Committee of the Ateneo Central Bar Operations and formulated by different professors of the Ateneo Law School. The AM Tips are usually released between 4 to 5 AM of the examination day proper. Barristers listed under the Ateneo Central Bar Operations will get their tips at the hotel where we are billeted. For barristers with personal runners, the personal runner must claim the AM Tips for their respective barrister in the APS Library Lobby.
The PM Tips will be distributed during the break after the first (1st) exam, i.e. from 10AM to 2PM. Those under the Ateneo Central Bar Operations will receive their PM Tips at the Sunday Operations Headquarters. The exact location of the PM Tips distribution will be announced one (1) week before the Bar Exams. Personal runners may also claim the PM Tips at the Sunday Operations Headquarters. THE RUNNER The names of the personal runners must be submitted to the Distribution Committee before November. A sign-up sheet will be posted on the Ateneo Central BarOps Bulletin Board at the B1 lobby. The barristers are requested to clearly write the name of your designated “runner” in the appropriate column. The designation of an alternative runner is subject to approval by the Committee. In case of substitution of runners, the name of the new runner should be personally relayed to any of the Committee heads for approval and proper registration to avoid any confusion. The runner will be your duly authorized agent when claiming your BlueTips©. The runner can claim the AM Tips at the APS Library Lobby and the PM Tips at the Sunday Operations Headquarters. Remember: Your runners have to be people you really, really trust. For organizations with designated personal runners, please submit a list of your organization’s runners for each of the Sundays of November, together with a list of your memberbarristers. Organizations may have a maximum of two (2) registered personal runners who are authorized to claim AM and PM BlueTips©.
IDENTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS When claiming your reviewers and other review materials, proper identification cards like your Barrister’s ID (to be given by the Ateneo Law School Administration) or your Ateneo Law School ID are necessary. If your personal runner claims your reviewers and other review materials, your runner must bring proper identification cards/documents to ensure that your reviewers are released to the person actually designated. The personal runner must also bring with him/her your Barrister’s ID.
SUNDAY OPERATIONS FAQS The Sunday Operations Heads are tasked to establish and maintain an on-site headquarters in the area of the bar examinations and to provide logistical support to bar examinees of the Ateneo Law School during the four Sundays of November. Their functions include assisting in the distribution of the Blue Tips for the afternoon of the examination, providing a depository of personal items of the barristers and ensuring that the barristers are charged and ready for their next exam. REGISTRATION PROCEDURE A list of the possible food selections, as well as the prices, shall be distributed and posted by the Central Bar Operations. Starting the week after that, the Sunday Ops heads shall have a booth near the entrance of the Ateneo Law School Auditorium at the B1 lobby where food orders may be made and payments will be accepted. Payments and orders may be done in lump sum or on a weekly basis. Actual Sunday Operations The Sunday Operations will have a distribution area, accessible to the barristers for the speedy distribution of their food and the Blue Tips. Barristers or personal runners who did not avail of the food service may also go to the distribution area to claim their tips.
TIPS FOR MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS Here is a compilation of tips for answering the MCQ Bar Examination, sourced from the talk of Justice Abad & Atty. Abad: 1. In answering a question, look first at the question and answering it yourself before looking at the choices. 2. In case of doubt, look at the intent of the examiner. You can also use the process of elimination. 3. If you have to, guess. But guess intelligently. 4. In guessing, stick to one letter if you cannot arrive at an intelligent guess. 5. The MCQ will only have one answer that experts will generally agree on, so do not worry about outlier answers. 6. Since it is choose the “CORRECT” not the “BEST” answer, pick the answer that provides a correct response to the question. 7. Do not leave anything blank, it is not a right minus wrong exam. 8. Do not dwell on one number too long, if necessary, skip it. You need to budget your time. 9. Mark unsure answers so you can review them before time is up.
10. Make sure you are shading the correct number. 11. Keep in mind the purpose of the questions: a. Examinees knowledge of law and basic principles and ability to recall them (KNOW and RECALL) 20% b. Ability to understand the meaning and significance of the law and its basic principles (UNDERSTANDING) 40% c. Ability of the examinee to analyze legal problems and provide solutions to them (ANALYSIS and SOLUTION) 40%
TIPS FROM THE PREVIOUS BAR TOPNOTCHERS ATTY. PJ BERNARDO TOP 8, 2005 BAR EXAMINATIONS Review Tips Studying on Sundays is often necessary to keep pace with the three-reading schedule. While it is advisable to scale-down study on Sundays, it is good to put in a few hours of study in order to keep the pace going. A completely study-free Sunday can mean difficulty starting-up again on Monday, resulting in wasted time. But do take breaks. Perhaps you can schedule them in between each reading (i.e. after finishing your first reading of all the subjects). Go to the Beach, drive to Tagaytay, indulge in the spa. Taking breaks especially come August is a good way to relieve stress. Choose the Bar Lectures which you will be attending. Nothing is better than actually sitting down to read for yourself; lectures can only serve to point to you important point which you should already know (i.e. sitting at the lectures, you’re attitude should be: ah, okay, alam ko na ‘yan!) I suggest, however, that you absolutely attend: Domondon’s Tax Lectures (and get a copy of his cut-and-paste, especially in tax), Jack’s Political Law PreWeek Political Law and Commercial Law lectures, and the lectures on Legal Forms and Land Titles. Stick to a book, and read that throughout.
The Bar is not a depth exam, but a breadth exam. Reading too many books on the same subject can often clutter your understanding and leave you confused. Do not rely on reviewers; often, the books you read in law school are the best review material. Read past Bar exams. While there is no guarantee that the Bar will repeat previous questions, it is always good to have a feel of what the Bar questions are like. The UP Law Center publishes a compendium of past Bar exams in every subject, and having a copy of these compendia would be good preparation in knowing the style of questions which are asked. Sometimes (as in Tax), there are several central principles which are often asked, and while questions may vary from year to year, the concepts are the same. If you are sharp, you will see the same pattern in other subjects. So, try to read through the last ten years’ bar exams. Do it gradually, over your four or five month review, perhaps before going to bed (You’re going to dream about the Bar, anyway, trust me). Focus on Criminal Law, Taxation, and Ethics. Ateneans are generally known to excel in Political Law, Commercial Law, and Remedial Law. However, our waterloo is often Criminal Law, Tax Law, and Ethics. Thus, pay extra-care to these subjects, which are often the tricky ones in the Bar. In fact, during our 2005 Bar, only 19% passed the Criminal Law Exam! It would be heartbreaking for a bar candidate to flunk it because he/she gets disqualified in Ethics (and mind you, this has happened many times). For Ethics, know the Canons.
Do well in the afternoon subjects. The afternoon subjects are often more compact that the morning subjects whose breadth is often wider. Afternoon subjects tends to be more to the point and more manageable to answer. Thus, strive to do well in the afternoon subjects because they can serve as buffers for the often more difficult morning subjects. Know the Codal. You can never go wrong with the code. Even if, for example, the examiner has a specific case in mind which you do not know, remember that these cases are merely interpretations of a specific provision of law. Thus, spend time knowing the codal, if possible, knowing it by heart. In fact, I suggest that you do not read commentaries on your pre-week; rather, focus on Codal provisions. Take a rest the day Monday after each exam. Actually, you really have no choice, because your brain will simply refuse to work on Monday, following each exam. After the Bar exams, you will probably be too exhausted to indulge in any strenuous activities. Most of you will just want to plop into bed and sleep: this isn’t a bad idea. Sleep in. Upon waking up the next day, see a movie. Start studying again in the late afternoon, if at all. Most importantly, forget about the previous Sunday’s exam. Not only will it make you nervous about the exams in general, it will just distract you from studying for the next Sunday’s test.
Good luck! Know that for someone who’s been there, I can honestly say that Ateneo Law School has given you what it takes to pass the Bar with flying colors. Again, it’s only a question of focus and discipline on your part. Study to top, not merely to pass. Magis requires nothing less.
TIPS FROM THE PREVIOUS BAR TOPNOTCHERS ATTY. MENCHIE ONA TOP 1, 2007 BAR EXAMINATIONS Review Tips Read this manual (at least thrice). That was the first thing I did to prepare for the Bar. Psyche yourself. Understand the nature of the Bar Exam. Nothing comes close to the Bar. It, therefore, should not be surprising that preparing for the Bar will require every barrister’s 101%. Bar Review is synonymous to SACRIFICE. Understand that you have to forego things you love when you prepare for the bar. The earlier you say bye-bye to your happy days, the better. The bar exam requires serious, systematic and smart preparation. Choose your review materials wisely. It is so time-consuming to shift to another material and start all over again. a. Be partial to those books/materials you have already read during your law school days, provided, of course, they are bar review materials (i.e. reasonable in length). One, reading them will take less time, as you don’t have to highlight or mark them. Two, it contains your notes. Three, even by just looking at the material, you’ll know where the important parts/concepts are. b. It’s better to have a copy of a reviewer/handout and then decide not to read it than to have no copy of it and then decide you need it. It’s best to have options.
c. Tables and diagrams in reviewers (Ateneo, Beda) are useful. Organize your review materials. Time is of the essence during bar review. You cannot afford to waste time by looking for misplaced review materials. I maintained eight drawers for each of the subject. This is also a good way to store all the reviewers you’ll get. Make a schedule and follow it. Count the number of days from the start of your review until the last day before pre-week Anticipate and exclude all those dates when you can’t study. (You’ll realize you don’t have much time!) Divide these days per subject (and per book) according to your preference. Subjects which are longer or which you have weak foundation in should be given priority. Be flexible, though. Adjustments are inevitable. Still, a schedule is a must to provide a guide as to how many days you can allot for every reading. (I misplaced the notebook which contains my sched. Sorry. Anyway, you’re the best person to know what suits you – this applies not only in making a sched but for the entire bar preparation as well.) Don’t procrastinate. You can’t buy time. There is not enough time! (I can’t stress this enough.) There is no way to stretch your review period – you can only reduce time allotted for one subject to make up for another. This is the best time to bribe your friends (who are not preparing for the Bar), family and loved ones to do tasks for you (like buying your pens, books, getting review materials, preparing meals, etc.)
Still, be kind to yourself. Set aside some time to relax and breathe. Sometimes your brain just can’t absorb anymore. You’ll be more effective if you stop reading. Watch a movie, go out, have dinner with your loved ones, whatever. (But not too long, just enough to recharge you.) I went out during Saturdays. When I feel tired or when I feel my brain cannot absorb more info, I stop - watch t.v., sleep, mangulit sa mga kapatid ko esp. Kenneth, Udy, Mae. Monitor your progress. I logged both the number of hours spent reading and the number of pages I covered. This helped me paced myself. This may not work for everyone though. April and early May, I was so slow – I think 50 pages a day. I started logging my hours end of May. Come August (siguro dahil sobrang takot na ko), I averaged 150 to 200 pages and 9 hours a day. Study smartly. Do not read too many stuff. Streamline. Codal provisions, a good reviewer for each subject and updates on jurisprudence should suffice. (note that I did not read all the review materials I listed 3x) Master the basics. Knowing what is important and relevant makes a big difference. Understand the substance of the law and know how to apply the law. Force yourself to absorb what you have reviewed. Recall legal provisions during your spare time. Listen to audio codals when you travel. Take care of your health. Try to get regular exercise, even 30 minutes a day. (This I failed to do, so during the exam days, I had difficulty breathing. My sister told me it may be because I gained a lot of weight and failed to exercise for a loooong period). Nutritious food. Vitamins. Vaccines. And get enough sleep everyday! (at least 9 hours for me) Your brain processes info while sleeping. Manage your stress.
Ask for understanding and support of your family, friends, esp. boyfriend/girlfriend/wife/husband. Let them know what you’re going through to prepare for the Bar Exam. The last thing you need is additional source of stress when the Bar is draining enough. Avoid distractions. Avoid conflicts in your personal relationships with others. Choose the review classes you’ll attend wisely. I did not attend too many review classes (I recommend – Domondon on Tax Remedies and Balane on updates on jurisprudence). I realized that I would cover more topics by reading. Note that a lot of your time will be wasted by preparing, going to school, the useless talks, etc. (This may not apply if you plan to study in school.) If there are handouts for a given lecture, I suggest that you don’t attend the class anymore. Most probably, the lecturer will only repeat what’s already in the handout. This also applies if the lecturer was your professor. Weigh the pros and cons of attending a review class. (But make your assessment quick, you can’t spend much of your time assessing whether to attend or not.) Strive for 3 readings, excluding pre-week. I did 3 readings. Don’t memorize on your first reading. Just familiarize yourself. 1st reading was the lightest for me (I just highlighted my materials and made marginal notes). Second reading: force yourself to absorb what you are reading. Thus, this will take a longer time. (I think, I started making short notes on my second reading for some subjects. Late ko narealize I need these notes pala). Third reading: I reviewed the short reviewers, some codal provisions, and my short notes. Don’t compare yourself with others. It will only add up to the pressure. That’s why you have a schedule. Bar preparation is an individual task. 33
Handwriting a. Practice writing legibly and FAST. I don’t have good handwriting. And my hands tire easily. (I remember my Persons exam; I wanted to cry because my hand was already twitching, I can’t control it. A friend commented that my Oblicon bluebook is dirty) With these, I knew practising my handwriting is a must. If the examiner can’t understand my handwriting, all my preparation will be put to waste. I didn’t maintain a regular schedule for this though. I think I set aside 30minutes to 1 hour on some Saturdays (it was not really regular). I used grade 3 pads. Pero, on the exam day itself, I reverted to my usual a’s and s’s. Pero at least better kahit papano ang handwriting ko. Practice really helped. The Bar exam is long you need to develop stamina. b. Learn to write really big! Your letters should at least be readable with proper spacing. Don’t forget the margins. c. Choose your pen now. I used Rotring pigmented ink 0.4. Try to read the past Bar exams once I a while. A least be familiar with the style in answering questions. Don’t worry about your physical appearance. Don’t worry if you’re getting fat. Remember you’ll have all the time to get slim again after the Bar. Pray. Whenever you feel tired, scared, bothered, pause and talk to God. Submit everything to Him. Have faith. You can’t conquer the Bar by yourself alone. Do your best, let God do the rest.
Decisions. Decisions. In your review, you will have to make a lot of decisions. Whether to shift from one book to another, whether to read a new handout, whether to attend a review class. There are no easy answers for these questions. I only suggest one approach – pause, reflect, assess yourself, ask for God’s guidance, decide. After making your decision, abandon all worries and move on (yes this is difficult. But who said Bar preparation is easy?
TIPS FROM THE PREVIOUS BAR TOPNOTCHERS ATTY. JOHN PAUL LIM TOP 3, 2009 BAR EXAMINATIONS General Tips Prepare to top, not to pass. You ARE ATENEANS, after all. Memorize important case titles and codal provisions. It’ll make your job and the examiner’s job easier. Cite case law and codal provisions directly, if you are sure. Study hard. Pray harder. Study Day I wake up at around 7am. I reach school by 730-8am. I study at LSAC together with my girlfriend (crucial for me, at least) and a few “study buddies.” I was the police of the group, so to speak. I made sure that I clocked-in at least 8-12 hours of pure studying a day (meaning, minus bathroom, lunch, chat, mass, walk-in-themall breaks). I bought a stopwatch for this purpose. I usually went home about 9-11pm, after meeting my daily quota.
Review Schedule April to June, I had my weekends free, meaning minimal to no studying during weekends. I did the mirror method and went toand-fro until about a week before the first week of the exams. By then, I started to read Poli and Labor again so that by the first exam week, I would’ve read the two subjects at least twice. (The first exam week is CRUCIAL. It will determine your mood for the whole month.) July to August, I started clocking-in 10-12 hours a day. I also started studying on weekends during these months. Holidays, included. 36
Materials Used Leave nothing to chance. If you come by something and you doubt whether to read it or not, just read it anyways. I read almost everything that was thrown my way, but I stuck with the following texts throughout the review: Subject Political Law
Taxation Law Commercial Law
Remedial Law Legal Ethics and Forms
Materials Justice Nachura’s outline, Fr. Bernas’s Primer, Atty. Jimenez’s Notes on Administrative Law, Election Law, and recent jurisprudence, Magallona (thin version) for PIL. Codal. Atty. Azucena’s Everyone’s Labor Code, Atty. Manuel’s lecture and 100 notes, Alcantara and Atty. Disini’s notes for Social Legislation. Codal. Atty. Balane’s outline for the preliminary chapters of the Civil Code, Persons, Property, Obligations and Contracts, and his Succession Book, Atty. Zuniga’s notes for Security Transactions, Aquino’s book for Land Titles, Jurado’s Civil Law Reviewer, Sempio-Diy for Persons and Conflict of Laws. Codal. Mamalateo and Sababan’s Tax Review books, Atty. Montero’s and Atty. Abella’s notes. Codal. Dean Villanueva’s Commercial Law Review, Sundiang/Aquino’s Book Reviewer, Perez’s books on Insurance, Corporation Law, and Transportation, Catindig’s book on Special Commercial Laws, Dean Abad’s Negotiable Instruments Law. Gregorio’s Criminal Law Reviewer, Boado’s Notes and Cases on Criminal Law, Justice Sandoval’s Criminal Law Reviewer, and Justice Peralta’s lecture notes. Codal. Riano for Evidence and Civil Procedure, Justice Regalado for everything else, San Beda’s Reviewer, and Justice Aquino’s notes and recent jurisprudence. Aguirre’s book on ethics, Dean Abad’s notes for Legal Forms. Codal.
As to whether to use reviewers or books, for me, I think it’s best to stick to one thick book reviewer, one small book reviewer, and the codal provisions. If you’re not comfortable with this set-up, do whatever works for you. Study Period 37
I started studying during the Holy Week of last year, which was about the second week of April. By graduation, I had already finished Taxation (I did two readings for my “first” reading of this subject), Political Law, Labor Law, and was half-way through Criminal Law. About two weeks after graduation, I had already finished my first reading. Number of Readings Before pre-week, I was able to do 5 readings of Political Law, Labor Law, Tax Law, and Civil Law, 4 readings of Commercial Law, Criminal Law, and Remedial Law, and had memorized all the canons for judicial and legal ethics. All-in-all, pre-week included, I was able to do 5-6 readings of all the subjects, excluding ethics and forms (of which I did two readings plus memorization). Feedback on Ateneo Review Classes I attended the following lectures at the Law School:
Domondon’s tax review Justice Hofileña’s lecture on Property Justice Aquino’s lecture on ethics Professor Quimson’s lecture on Corporation Law and Securities Regulation (essential!) Atty. Candelaria’s PIL lecture Atty. Jack Jimenez’s and Justice Agra’s lecture on the Admin/Public Officers/Local Government/Election Law Atty. Balane’s Succession lecture (just because I revere him) Atty. Zuniga’s Security Transaction lecture (essential!)
Atty. Bernas’s lecture of Conflict of Laws
Atty. Sta. Maria’s last-minute lecture on Persons (essential!) All the recent jurisprudence lectures
Atty. Diaz and Dean Villanueva’s lectures on how to prepare for the bar are very, very crucial. They present different styles of studying. Pick one and start from there. Also, do try to attend ALL of the pre-week lectures. Atty. Jimenez (Poli and Comm), Atty. Manuel (Labor), Atty. Montero (Tax), Atty. Balane and Dean delos Angeles (Civ), Atty. Salvador (Rem), and Justice Hofileña’s (Ethics and forms) last-minute tips are VERY, VERY helpful. Hardest Subject Interestingly, I found Civil Law to be the hardest subject. The coverage is simply too long. Suffice it to state, it was probably the only subject I was not able to re-read entirely during the preweek. Easiest Subject Political law. Atty. Jimenez was able to predict at least fifty percent (50%) of the questions, after all. Night before the Test I attended mass at the hotel every week, after which my roommate and I discussed a few points. We tried to sleep by 10pm but on some weeks, we ended up sleeping at around 11. Pray before you sleep and first thing when you wake up.
Things to Avoid Procrastinating. You are entitled to give yourself a break, once in a while. After all, you need your sanity for the bar. However, keep in mind that you are, at this moment, a bar reviewee. Your primary task, therefore, is to review and to prepare for the bar. There are, nevertheless, exceptional circumstances when some of your batchmates/co-reviewees/others will need you. Go out of your way and help them, if you can. Remember that being a barreviewee does not make you any less of a human being. Best Kind of Help a. Taking all of my four years of law school seriously; b. Re-studying and preparing like there’s no tomorrow; and c. Leading up to the exam days, Fr. Mangulabnan and Atty. Mel Sta. Maria’s pep-talks every Saturday morning (gave me the confidence I needed week after week in September).
TIPS FROM THE PREVIOUS BAR TOPNOTCHERS ATTY. ERIC DAVID TAN TOP 5, 2009 BAR EXAMINATIONS General Tips Healthy in mind, body, and spirit. Study Day I sometimes studied alone. But I didn't mind studying with a group as long as I get along with them. Review Schedule Two subjects per day. 100 pages for each subject. Materials Used Review books are still the best materials. I only resorted to reviewers if I had no other choice. Study Period No, I didn't study right after graduation. I took a short vacation. I started studying on the third week of April. Number of Readings I was able to do at the least 4 readings including the pre-week for most subjects. However, for the other subjects, like Remedial Law (because of typhoon Ondoy), I was able to do 5 readings. For Legal Forms and Ethics, I was able to do only two readings.
Feedback on Ateneo Review Classes I didn't attend most of the review classes in Ateneo except for certain pre-week classes such as: (1) Labor Law Review of Atty. Manuel; (2) Commercial Law Review of Atty. Jack Jimenez; and (3) Tax Law Review of Atty. Domondon. Hardest Subject Criminal Law Easiest Subject Taxation and Remedial Law Night before the Test I used every time I had to read in order to make sure I didn't miss anything important. I had to make sure I had at least 6 hours of sleep. But because of anxiety, it was usually shorter. So, I just listened to my iPod and jumped around my bed until I became so tired that I had to sleep. Things to Avoid Avoid being too scared. I guess being afraid of what to expect is normal, but you shouldn't let that overwhelm you. Best Kind of Help Mental preparation. My family, The Aquila Legis Fraternity, and my friends gave me my needed morale boost. Going through the ordeal knowing that the people who mattered to you are behind you every step of the way really helped.
TIPS FROM THE PREVIOUS BAR TOPNOTCHERS ATTY. YVES RANDOLF GONZALEZ TOP 6, 2009 BAR EXAMINATIONS General Tips a. Take a big long vacation before you start studying. This will give you good memories to look back to during the time you are already studying. This will also remind you that life is good. You need to believe this to keep your motivation and focus intact. b. Take short mini-vacations every two weeks or so. Same ratio as No.1 c. Start on the subjects you are weakest with, so that you can get rid of your fear of these subjects. Postponing them till later will only give you an anxious feeling while you're studying other subjects. You want to minimize all forms of negativity during this time and this is one of the ways you can do so. d. Listen to audio lectures whenever you get the chance. Instead of wasting time playing music during your daily commute, listen to audio lectures instead. You will learn a lot of things that you will never encounter in books. While taking the bar, the things you heard in the lectures will come back to you and will greatly help you remember the right answer. But do not listen to audio lectures while reading a book. That's just crazy.
e. Read as much materials as you can. In connection with this, avoid repeating the same material unless its a critical material (like Nachura's book for me was a critical material). Knowing that you will no longer re-read the same book will also train your mind to retain the info you read already, instead of your mind telling yourself to not retain it yet ("babalikan ko pa naman ito" mentality). In relation to this, there will be no more need to highlight since you know you will not re-read it again anyway. Take notes if you want, but this is generally not needed as well. Once you eliminate highlighting and taking down notes, then you have more time to actually study and absorb what you are reading. f. Regarding bad handwriting. I have awful handwriting and my profs would always write on my bluebooks: "Please improve your handwriting". I improved this by practice. Practice writing during the time you study Forms so you can hit two birds with one stone. On examination day, bring a ruler that will serve as your left margin. Use that ruler to strike out your mistakes. Don't forget the right margin as well. Write in big non-script letters. Doing so will consume more time but will assure you that the examiner will understand your answer. But do find the right balance between writing slow and legibly vis-a-vis answering all the questions. Both are equally important and you should do both. g. Minimize unnecessary stress. Don't let little things get to you. Have a positive attitude while studying and while taking the exams. Don't fight with your girlfriend, your family, or anyone. You already have a lot on your plate, don't add anything unnecessary to it. Live a simple steady life during the review period, you can always go all out later on after you pass. Don't read negative stuff like phone and credit card bills.
h. Outsource chores to other people; keep your own focus on studying and learning as much as you can. e.g. ask your girlfriend to handle your accounting and bills payment so you don't have to think about those, ask your auxie to do photocopying instead of doing it yourself. Remember to thank them always. i. Have a concrete goal. If you want to top the bar, then aim for it. If you want to just pass, then aim for that as well. Have a concrete goal and set your plans accordingly around such goal. Don't let fear of the uncertain, anxieties, or despair cause you to deviate from this goal. You will have moments of despair and panic, but if you have a goal, you will eventually get over these negativities as you realize that they will not help you attain that goal. j. Be prepared. Anything worth doing takes time. Boxers train months before a fight, so that they can be confident of being able to defeat their opponent on fight day. Do the same. Arm yourself with all the knowledge and information that you can get; you will use this to overcome the Bar. Being prepared will give you confidence, and that is critical on exam day proper. Your confidence in yourself that you are ready to take on this task is probably one of the most important, if not the most important factor that will spell the difference between victory and defeat. If you don't believe you can defeat your opponent, then you probably won't.
Study Day Wake up at 2-3pm, drive to study place (Starbucks Julia Vargas or Starbucks jungle). Listen to audio lectures during the drive so as not to waste that time. Study for 3-4 hours before having dinner. After dinner, I take a short break, surf the web, chat with study buddies, before resuming studying. Study for another 3-4 hours. I usually end studying around 3-4AM. Go home, sleep around 6AM. Repeat the next day. I studied with an informal group, the ones who also studied in my study place. But I studied in my own table, far from everyone else, to avoid unnecessary chit chat and time wasting. You can always talk to your study buddies during your short breaks. Keep study time, study time. Review Schedule I started with the subjects I'm weakest in (Poli, Crim, Rem). In between each I would study a subject I am more comfortable with. I studied at least 5 days a week, with the remainder reserved for short vacations and other stress relieving activities. Started May 8, ended first round of reading July 8 (one week late from my target). I did not have a fixed daily, weekly, monthly sched; only target dates. On certain "in the zone" days, I would study for 10-12 hours to make up for the days when I wasn't able to reach my daily average of 8 hours.
Materials Used Do not tell yourself that you will re-read a book. Read it once, absorb it, then find another book on the subject. Reviewers are godsend, they will usually teach you more than full text books. Read all reviewers you can get from ATENEO, Beda, and other sources. Since you will not re-read, then there will be no need to highlight; since you are not highlighting, then you will finish reading faster. 1. PRIMUS Notes for ALL subjects. These are very educational, well written, and direct to the point 2. Mamalateo Book - Tax . short and direct to the point. You can finish this in one day. 3. Azucena Everyone's Labor Code - same as #2, easy to read, direct, and can be finished in a day or two 4. Domondon's book for tax 5. Nachura's book for poli - I read this twice just because Nachura is the chairman of the exams 6. Father Bernas Consti Primer - you can't go wrong with this one 7. Sempio Dy for Civ 8. Sta. Maria for Family Code. But skip most long discussions; alot of them are for law school recits, not needed for Bar. 9. CLV book for Corp - same as #8, skip those that are for recits. 10. All ATENEO and Beda reviewers you can get your hands on. But I did not read the long Beda ones. 11. Every pre-week you can get your hands on. Mine included: AQUILA, ATENEO, Beda, Arellano, Regina, PRIMUS, and scattered pre-week tips from various profs. 12. Audio lectures - there's a lot of tips in these. Listen during commutes to maximize your time. Do not listen to these
going to bed, you will not be able to sleep on time. Do not listen while reading a book. 13. Past bar exams from 2000-2008. Only read this after you have studied to test your ability to answer them. After 1st reading you will find that you still can't answer some of them. After 2nd reading / round, you should be able to answer at least 90%. For the 10% you still can't answer, read and reread the provided answers so they will stick. 14. Family Code, RPC, CIV, Consti, and COMM codals. One good full reading of these will make sure your mind has read the full law itself, useful for random questions that make their way into the bar Study Period Started May 8. Finished round 1 July 8. Finished round 2 just before pre-week. I didn't study after graduation; I took a long vacation. Number of Readings Two full rounds plus pre-week. 1st round was mostly books, 2nd round was mostly long reviewers, then pre-week read pre-week stuff. Feedback on Ateneo Review Classes Attended very few of the lectures. I asked someone to record them instead so I can listen to them during transit from house to study place and back. During pre-week, attended Jack, Azucena, and Sta. Maria. It’s ok to miss most of the lectures if you can get audio recordings. Hardest Subject 48
Poli Law. 1st exam and it was very tricky. Ethics is next because it was long.
Easiest Subject Commercial Law, then Tax. Night before the Test Friday: Check in at hotel at noon, study pre-weeks nonstop till around 7. Have dinner, study again till 12midnight, then do relaxing stuff after. Sleep at around 3-4AM. Saturday: Wake up at noon. Lunch. Study till 6PM. Hear mass. Go back to room for dinner and some last minute reviewing. In bed by 10PM. Attempt to sleep. Fail. Continue attempting. Succeed around 1-2AM. Sunday: Wake up 4:30. Breakfast, read Tips. Exercise. Game on. Things to Avoid Unnecessary stresses, doubting yourself, alcohol, negativities, and wasting time. During exam day proper: Don't let any question overwhelm you. If you don't know the answer, skip it. Go back later when you've answered the rest. Make sure you answer every question even the ones you don't really have a good answer to. Remember to leave room in the booklet for the questions you skipped. Don't take the bar on an empty stomach, it will be the longest 4/3 hours of your life repeated 8 times. Poop during the period between the two exams, and do freshen up by brushing your teeth and washing your face during lunch break. Best Kind of Help The AQUILA LEGIS FRATERNITY. I also had two amazing auxies (Laura Noel and Mark Encarnacion).
TIPS FROM THE PREVIOUS BAR TOPNOTCHERS ATTY. JOAN MAE TO TOP 7, 2009 BAR EXAMINATIONS General Tips Pray. Be patient. Relax. Don’t force yourself to study if you’re sleepy or lazy. Try to love what you’re doing. If you don’t feel like studying a particular subject, then try another subject. Get at least 8 hours of sleep! During the exam, don’t panic. Make sure your answers make sense. Be brief and concise, except of course if the question is alien to you. Study smart. Know what to study. It is impossible to read and remember everything. Study Day I study alone - Starbucks or at home. I easily get distracted so it’s hard for me to study in groups. Do whatever works for you.I would normally read 100 - 150 pages a day. Review Schedule I have no fixed schedule (like the number of days I should finish a subject). My only goal was to finish at least two readings. My 2nd reading took longer than expected because I made notes for some subjects. I was not able to review my notes during preweek, but some say that taking down notes helps. I rest on Saturdays.
Materials Used Reviewers, generally, don’t work for me, but Ateneo’s pre-week reviewers were helpful. Subject Political Law Labor Law
Taxation Law Commercial Law Criminal Law Remedial Law Legal Ethics
Materials Nachura Everyone’s Labor Code; for SSS and GSIS, look for Atty. Disini’s tables. Jurado for Property Balane for Succession Balane notes for Oblicon Sempio Dy for Persons Jurado for Credit transactions, Torts, etc. Mamalateo and parts of Sababan CLV’s book (Although I think reading Sundiang alone will do) Gregorio but be careful of typos Riano for Civpro – I highly recommend this Regalado for Crimpro, Evidence and Specpro Aguirre (note: there’s a new Code of Judicial ethics! I only discovered this during pre-week! Shameful.)
Don’t forget the Codal! If you think there’s no more time for you to finish the book or reviewer, just read the codal.
Pre-week – Poli and Labor – 2nd reading of Nachura and Everyone’s Civ and Tax – codal for both (selective. It’s impossible to read everything) Commercial – Sundiang Crim – I think I read Sandoval (around 200 pages long) and Rose Rayco’s tables Rem and Ethics – Codal. Forms – Justice Abad’s handout (Tapcapsa, Tapwacsa, etc)
It will be very hard to study on the day after an exam. I think it’s okay to rest. Study Period I started reading a bit of Crim before grad. I am not a fast reader so I had to start early. I finished my first reading end of June, and finished my second reading on the day before the first exam. Number of Readings Two. For Land titles, special penal laws, forms and other subjects where there’s not much stock knowledge – I think one reading is enough, but make sure you read them right before September or the day before the exam. Feedback on Ateneo Review Classes I attended Atty. Domondon’s tax lecture, Atty. Jack’s lecture on public officers, admin and election, and all lectures on recent cases. Pre-week – I wasn’t able to attend any lecture during the first week Two days of Atty. Montero’s lecture on tax, his notes on recent cases were helpful Dean Cynthia Del Castillo’s lecture on oblicon Atty. Salvador’s lecture on rem (three days) Note: I heard Atty. Manuel’s pre-week lecture on labor was very helpful, and Atty. Jack’s lecture on poli, too. 53
Hardest Subject Tax (Pinawisan ako kahit ang lamig sa LaSalle!) Also, there were a couple of ridiculous true or false questions. If you don’t know the answer, just write true and repeat/paraphrase the statement. Easiest Subject (Not because they’re very easy, but because they’re the most manageable) Poli only because I was lucky that I just finished my second reading of Justice Nachura’s book the day before the exam so everything was still fresh. Civ, except for the conflicts questions Night before the Test Attended the mass officiated by Fr. M at Sofitel, where we also got Divine tips Dinner Studied right before going to sleep (normally 11 pm to 12 mn, except for the last week – 1 am because my roommate (Shelly) and I practiced making basic forms (complaint and information):P I’m glad we did!) Things to Avoid While reviewing - Quality over quantity. Make sure you absorb and understand the things you read. Stop comparing. It’ll drive you crazy. (It is unavoidable, but please try to avoid it. I’m guilty of this, and it caused me unnecessary panic attacks.) While taking the exam/day of the exam - Don’t panic. Eat breakfast and lunch. Read the tips.
Best Kind of Help Don’t change your study habits, especially if it worked for you in law school. Some people absorb more while cramming, while others don’t. Rest and Sleep! We are not machines. Know what to study. It is impossible to read everything so you have to choose what to read or where to focus, especially during pre-week.
TIPS FROM THE PREVIOUS BAR TOPNOTCHERS ATTY. TIMOTHY JOSEPH LUMAUIG TOP 9, 2009 BAR EXAMINATIONS General Tips First, don’t compare yourself to others. Stick to your own style and don’t be pressured by what or how other people study. Listen to the suggestions, but be smart enough to follow what you know works best for you. Second, I heard a quote from my favorite videogame that sums up my review: “it’s not how many hours you put in, but what you put in the hours.” Study Day To get myself going for the day, I’d go to the gym in the mornings. After that, I’d usually study by myself, or at most, with only one or two of my closest friends. I’ve always tried to avoid studying around other law students, since I read a lot slower than most people. That way I could keep my own pace without feeling too pressured. Then I’d end the day by just relaxing. I never studied into the wee hours of the morning. Doing that would’ve just burnt me out by September.
Review Schedule I wanted to stick to how I studied back in law school. All I used to do was set aside my chosen material, pick it up and go until I finish. So I didn’t make a strict review schedule in terms of number of pages per day or subjects per week or month. Rather, I set the order of subjects to study, read as much as I could in a day and just kept tabs on my progress, making sure I’d finish each subject once before pre-week. Each week, I took Sundays off and always tried to get at least one night out with my longtime barkada – people who kept me sane. Again, that was my way to avoid burning myself out before September. Materials Used Generally I used the books I used in law school, especially those I already had notes in. But for subjects I think I slacked off in, I used new materials. Also, I made it a point to stick to only one author or one material per topic under each subject, to avoid overloading myself with information. Subject Political Law Labor Law
Materials I used Fr. B’s primer for Constitutional Law, and Justice Nachura’s book for everything else. Then I used Atty. Jac Jimenez’ recent jurisprudence for pre-week. I used Prof. Azucena’s Everyone’s, but focused a lot during Atty. Manuel’s pre-week lecture. I used my notes and materials from Prof. Balane’s Civil Law Review II in fourth year. Conflicts, I got Sempio-Dy’s book. For everything else I used Jurado. Pre-week I just used our preweek reviewer. I used Mamalateo. I later heard there were shorter books, but I didn’t want to stop midway through just to change books. I also put a lot of focus in Atty. Mike Montero’s pre-week lecture.
Remedial Law Legal Ethics
I used Dean CLV’s book for everything except Dean Abad’s Negotiable Instruments Made Easy, which is what I used in second year. Then I used Atty. Jac Jiminez’ recent jurisprudence during pre-week. I used Gregorio for book one and a reviewer for book two. I think there was a shorter book by Boado that I wish I had read instead to save me a little bit more time. Then I just used our pre-week reviewer. I used Riano for Civil Procedure, and just a summer reviewer for everything else. Of course, you have to go straight codal as well. I did that during pre-week, along with Tranquil’s lecture. I just used the Ateneo reviewer, and Dean Abad’s three or four page memory aid in forms.
Study Period I tried to start in May and June, but I found myself way too bored and distracted thinking that the bar exams were still three or four months away at that time. Most days I’d barely make 10 pages. Some days I didn’t read at all. So I figured if my mind really didn’t want to absorb any information yet, then I shouldn’t force it. Again, that’s the style I got used to in school. Thankfully, I finally felt the need to really get going around July. So early that month, I finished my first subject and kept going strong from there. To steal a few words from Freddie Roach, maybe starting at the right time allowed me to peak at the right time. So I think starting in July was just right for me. Number of Readings One good one.
Feedback on Ateneo Review Classes I didn’t attend any review classes over the summer. But I went to a number of pre-week lectures that helped a whole lot – namely , Labor by Atty. Manuel, Succession by Prof. Balane, Tax by Atty. Mike Montero, Commercial Law by Atty. Jac Jimenez (and I wish I attended his Political Law as well), and Remedial Law by Atty. Tranquil Salvador. I would even say that I owe just passing the bar exams to those professors. Hardest Subject Political Law, hands down. I think I got hit by what my friends and I call, “gulpe de gulat.” After that test, I even told those close to me that I thought I was going to get DQ’d for it. But thankfully I realized that more than anything, I was just psyching myself out. I was just initially shocked by the whole bar exam atmosphere. Easiest Subject Civ or Comm, but I’d rather call them the “least difficult.” Night before the Test Ate well and rested well. Sleep was more important than cramming. And September means UAAP Final Four, so we’d always catch the Saturday games on TV just for a get loose… and for added inspiration too, as we watched the Eagles draw closer to another title.
Things to Avoid Avoid adding unnecessary pressure on yourself. During the review, don’t get pressured by what books or how many readings others have already gone through. We all graduated using our own styles of studying. Stick to what you know. Trust that what got you through school will get you through the bar exams. During the tests, do not panic. If you do, it’ll be like quicksand. Even if there’s one question – or two or three even – that you think you don’t know the answer to, just shake it off, move on to the next and come back for it later. Each test may seem like the longest and toughest one you’ve ever taken, but you’ve gone through those same feelings in school before. Remember, you made it through all of those. You can make it through this. Best Kind of Help I ran into two of my former teachers during the bar review – one from law school, one from college. One told me the bar is about “kompyansa.” The other said “yabang lang yan.” I understood both to mean “confidence.” That was the best advice I ever got. I did every little thing I could to help me go into each Sunday feeling good about myself. I played with my PS3, watched UAAP games, chose rooms that had my favorite number, wore the same clothes every Sunday, listened to the same playlist every Sunday morning and drank with my barkada the last two weeks of August just to get loose. I did all the things that made me confident enough to take the bar exams and pass. I believe that everyone who graduates from the Ateneo Law School is smart enough to pass. It’s just a matter of each person knowing it.
TIPS FROM THE PREVIOUS BAR TOPNOTCHERS ATTY. NAELLA ROSE BAINTO TOP 10, 2009 BAR EXAMINATIONS General Tips
List down your materials, and start gathering them before you start your review. Make a study schedule to follow, but be open to changes. Take breaks when you feel like it. If your study style in law school worked for you, follow the same style for your review. Do not forget to pray. Recent jurisprudence is very important. Do not forget to answer past exams. You’ll often find yourself staring at nothing or daydreaming, that’s normal!
I reviewed alone, but I’d occasionally consult with some batchmates the issues I can’t resolve on my own. My typical study day looks like this: 10:00 am – Wake up 11:00 am – Start studying 2:00 pm – Lunch break 2:30 pm – Back to studying 5:00 pm – Merienda break 5:15 pm – Study again 7:00 pm – Dinner break or movie 10:00 pm – Back to studying 2:00 am – Go to sleep
My daily schedule includes many short washroom, phonecall , stretching, etc. breaks (This will work if you, like me, have a short attention span.) I am not really a morning person. My peak hours would be during the evening up to 1 or 2 am. I did not adjust my sleep cycle, unlike what most people have done. The earliest I was able to get up during the review was at 8 a.m., but I gave up after like 2-3 days of waking up this early. My Dinner break became shorter as it neared September.
I started my review in May. I only finished two readings. I was able to finish my first reading in mid-July. I do not study on Sundays, except in the month of August.
Materials Used Subject Political Law Labor Law Civil Law Taxation Law Commercial Law Criminal Law
Materials Primer, Nachura, Beda and Ateneo latest jurisprudence, Agra Notes, Codal Everyone’s Labor Code, Manuel Notes, Ateneo Summer Reviewer, Latest jurisprudence, Codal Jurado, Balane Succession, Sempio-Diy Persons, ObliCon Balane Outline, PIL by Sempio-Diy, Pre-bar Outline by Candelaria, Ateneo and Beda latest jurisprudence, Codal Mamalateo, Reyes 1&2, Co-untian, Domondon, Ateneo and Beda latest jurisprudence, Codal CLV Commercial Law Review, Commercial Law Review by Sundiang and Aquino, Jac Jimenez Notes, Ateneo and Beda latest jurisprudence, Codal Ortega Notes, Boado, latest jurisprudence, Codal
Remedial Law Legal Ethics and Forms
Beda Memory Aid, Feria Noche and Sabio for reference, latest jurisprudence, Codal Aguirre, Pano, Hofilena, Beda Memory Aid, Codal, Forms Reviewer by (Dean) Justice Abad
Study Period I started my review on May 4, 2009. Number of Readings 2 readings only, but very slow and thorough. This was really my study style even back in law school. Feedback on Ateneo Review Classes I did enroll in the Ateneo review classes, but did not attend except for the very first - How to study for the Bar. I felt that preparing to go to school and travelling to school would take up so much of my time. And I am able to absorb better, the things I read rather than the things I hear. It will really depend on what your style is. Some people, unlike me, absorb better the things they hear Hardest Subject Tax Law, Criminal Law, and Ethics and Forms (because it was long) Easiest Subject No easy subject, but there were familiar and answerable questions in every subject.
Night before the Test
Study – cramming mode! Hear mass Accept friends and family visits in hotel room Pray Try to get some sleep (During the night before the first Sunday, I was still up at around 2 a.m. as I couldn’t sleep!)
Things to Avoid
Read as much as you can Try not to discuss answers specially after the morning exam because you need as much time you can get to prepare for the next exam. Avoid unnecessary stress.
Best Kind of Help
Study more than how I did during law school Pray hard everyday Don’t lose time for family and loved ones
TIPS FROM THE PREVIOUS BAR TOPNOTCHERS ATTY. SHIELA ABIGAIL GO TOP 10, 2009 BAR EXAMINATIONS General Tips a. Read books you’ve used. Hopefully, it’s the latest edition. b. Pace yourself. c. Read recent jurisprudence (beyond the cut-off date) d. Prepare good materials for Pre-Week (these are things you want to remember) e. Write legibly. f. Pray, pray, pray. Study Day I would just stay in my apartment so that I can concentrate more. Find a place where you can study and focus. I timed myself at first, but after a while, I stopped it. Well, if you're talkative (like me), then I suggest you study alone because you'll never get anything done, plus, you wouldn't want to be the reason why someone else did not get to study for that day. Anything and everything is more exciting than having to read your books all over again. Review Schedule
I made a schedule. It was on a daily basis. But I lagged behind. Three readings became two readings. I would allocate a number of days for each book.
Materials Used I'm a book person so I read books. I only read reviewers when I don't have a book for it. Subject
Materials Nachura (for obvious reasons..) – 2 readings, preweek Jack Notes on Election and his Recent Jurisprudence (because you need to read the recent ones, esp those beyond the cut-off) -1 Candelaria's Poli Notes (I didn't want to read thick materials already but I heard Magallona is good) - 1 Fr. B's Consti Primer and the Supplement -1 Agra Notes – preweek Azucena (well, they said that it's comprehensive and short) -2 Summer Reviewer of Ateneo (this was actually good) If you can, find recent jurisprudence because our exam was full of it. preweek Manuel’s 100 Notes -1 I read Jurado, if I couldn't find another book for it. Persons-Sempio Diy -2 Succession - Balane (Champ or Book, I think either is okay. Choose which you are more comfortable with) – first reading was the Book, 2nd was champ Balane - Property Notes – for my 2nd reading The Codal is a must! It’s the only thing I read for Pre-Week. here's the thing. Don't get frantic if you don't finish the codal during the pre-week. A lot of us did not. So if you're the type who gets paranoid, I think you should start marking things you want to read and things you think you can forego reading because you've mastered it. I didn't even read Succession, just the table on legitimes and intestate. I was banking on my 2 sems with Balane. Domondon's star notes- 2nd reading Mamalateo – 1st reading Sababan – 2nd reading, Pre-Week Montero Notes – Pre-Week NIRC Codal and other laws I also got a copy of the Summer Reviewer because it was reviewed by Montero (mainly for comfort).
CLV's Corp, transpo, IP, insurance – 1st reading Nego, I read Abad – 1st reading Sundiang – 2nd reading and pre-week Jack's recent jurisprudence. (make sure to read this. We had two or three questions from recent jurisprudence, not sure) (I read a lot because I don't understand Crim that well) Gregorio for 1st reading and the Book 1 for 2nd reading Boado Book 2 for 2nd reading – I actually like Boado’s book more. I recommend it Dean Ortega's Notes for Book 2 Some read Peralta. Okay din daw. I got a copy but didn't have time to read it. I read the Crim Codal and SPL codal (and made notes there) and tried my best to differentiate one crime from another. I didn't even attempt to memorize elements. It's not my thing. I read Sandoval and Codal for Pre-Week. If I could do it again, I would have read my Dean Ortega Notes. There were things in Arellano (Pre-Week) or was it Beda (PreWeek Notes) that were helpful during the exam. They said Arturo de Castro made good guesses. Regalado's Crim Pro and SpecPro- 1 reading Riano's Civ Pro and Evidence. Beda for Special LAws. I also read recent jurisprudence of Justice Aquino The Codal is a must! Beda and Aguirre Memorize Lawyer’s Oath I guessed a lot in Ethics. Abad's Handout Scanned Beda Forms but I suggest do Abad and practice making forms
Study Period I studied I think for a week though and then I stopped. All I remember is I finished the Mamalateo Book before Domondon's lecture.
Number of Readings Two readings, excluding pre-week. But this does not mean that I used the same materials for my two readings. For example, my first reading of Tax was Mamalateo. My second reading was Sababan. Crim was Gregorio then my second reading was Boado. This was because I was lagging behind. Feedback on Ateneo Review Classes Yup, I did but not for all subjects. I went to classes which I thought were my weak areas. Hardest Subject Commercial. Easiest Subject Caveat: I don't know my grade (so I could be wrong) but I was okay when I left the room after the Civ Exam. Night before the Test I went to mass and after that, I studied. I slept sometimes at 10, sometimes 11, sometimes 12. Things to Avoid You cannot get sick! It's going to destroy your schedule. I always prayed that I wouldn't get sick (especially getting a stomachahce). You don't want that. Pace yourself well. Don't give your "all" in your first reading because you'll be tired by preweek. I was so tired by pre-week. On your second reading, read as if it's your last reading. 69
Best Kind of Help Prayer, Luck and Great Support System (friends, family, professors, BarOps)! And we got good tips from the BarOps and the professors. If lumabas yung mga inaral mo, swerte ka. If hindi, well, law school life will flash before you.
TIPS FROM THE PREVIOUS BAR TOPNOTCHERS ATTY. CESAREO ANTONIO S. SINGZON, JR. TOP 1, 2010 BAR EXAMINATIONS Study Habits Stick to your studying habits that worked for you in law school. I would personally find it difficult to suddenly change studying styles for the bar. Some of my personal study habits that have always worked for me are (1) using red pens instead of highlighters; (2) studying at starbucks and/or my room; (3) reading on soft couches; (4) listening to music while studying; (5) drinking my favorite coffee drink in the morning; (6) reading the newspaper everyday; (7) going to bed early everyday. Study Schedule My original study schedule initially included the whole of May until September (four months). I was supposed to do three readings following the old schedule of the bar exams. ((1) poli>rem, (2) poli->rem, ethics, (3) rem->poli) However, I was only able to start studying about a day or two after the May 2010 National Elections. After several delays along the way, I conceded that I could only do two readings. So I read poliàrem, ethics, remàpoli. I finished my first reading around the end of June or first week of July. During the early part of my review, I studied from Monday to Friday, starting at around 8 to 9 am and ending around 9 to 10 pm. I would usually set aside anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 ½ hours for each meal (depending if I was way behind schedule or not). 71
Because of unforeseen delays, you might have to study on Saturdays, and even Sundays. By around July, I was studying on Saturdays. Sundays were usually reserved for relaxing, going out with the family, etc., but I sometimes sneaked in a couple hours worth of reading especially during the last two months. My girlfriend and I always made it a point to hear mass on Sunday. Don’t worry if you’re behind schedule. Set aside contingency/buffer days to make sure that you have space for error and unforeseen delays. During my bar review, I attended the class on updated jurisprudence in remedial law, and several pre week classes. Things to Do
Eat properly and on time during your bar review. Take vitamins (Vitamin C, Multivitamins) and make sure you drink lots of water. Prepare your study materials before you go to bed, so you don’t have to do it in the morning. Brush your teeth to avoid toothaches. Get organized, set aside a box for each subject. Always get enough sleep especially before the exam day. Try to stick to your schedule. Don’t take shortcuts. Read codal. Pace yourself. If you think something you read is important, write it down on a sticky note and stick it to your books/reviewer.
Favorite Materials My favorite materials were the books and reviewers I read in law school (Regalado, Jurado, Mamalateo, Peralta Notes, Ortega Notes). I also made sure I covered all the codal provisions required. I read both Ateneo and San Beda Reviewers. My girlfriend also made a nice list of books and reviewers by including all the common books/reviewers of past Ateneo bar placers (you can check this in the barristers’ handbook issued for the 2010 bar exam). We used this list, and prioritized the books/reviewers we used in law school.
TIPS FROM THE PREVIOUS BAR TOPNOTCHERS ATTY. FILEMON RAY L. JAVIER TOP 2, 2010 BAR EXAMINATIONS General Tips The first thing that you should do is to cultivate composure and confidence with the thought that you are a graduate of the Ateneo Law School. It is not by mere luck or chance that in recent years, Ateneans dominate the bar exams. Believe in The Ateneo Law education. Then PLAN. The planning stage is the most comforting part of the bar exam experience. Why? Because this is the only stage where you will have a control of everything. It’s your own game plan after all. Unfortunately, this stage should not take more than one (1) day of your schedule. Note that your plan/strategy is very crucial. Such will be your guide in the coming months of your bar preparation. Next, plot your study schedule. You may not be able to follow your schedule strictly, but at least try. I also failed to follow my schedule as there were days spent in: attending family gatherings, accompanying a pregnant wife to her check – ups, playing Plants vs. Zombies, watching movies, etc. Just always try to go back on track and catch up for the lost time. Punish yourself by studying more! Be physically fit. Exercise at least twice a week. Take vitamins. Eat nourishing food. Be kind to yourself and Pray. I went to church almost every day during my review (I live near one). Enjoy. The bar experience is a wonderful experience. 74
Enjoy every single day of it. Focus. My father died during the first month of my review. I took good care of my pregnant wife during the entire review period. Those factors could have easily distracted me. I was still able to focus. You can also. Study Schedule Hereunder is my bar review schedule (Note that you have extra 2 months! Use it wisely): First Reading: Overdrive/Assessment My first reading was quick and crazy. It was intended put me in an overdrive early. I gave myself only 24 days to finish everything. My plan was to make myself believe (which was not an easy thing to do) that ‘there are only 24 days left to review and that my bar exam is scheduled on the 25th day’. Hence, on April 19 (April 18 was our graduation) I took ‘my bar exam’. I checked my own paper. I passed that exam (why would I fail myself), but I knew that the quality of my answers therein will not be enough to give me a slot in the top 10. Assessment: I may have a good chance of passing the bar, but if I want to top it, then I must study harder. And so I did.
Second Reading: Cover to cover My second reading was slow and deliberate. I read every page (from preface to the last page). In this reading, I encircled the page numbers (sometimes the entire chapter) of my book that I felt I don’t need to read again. This strategy helped me weed-out unimportant pages/chapters or those which I already mastered during my four years in law school and/or during my first reading. My subsequent readings became manageable because of this approach. Subject
Number of days allotted
April 20 - 22
April 23 – May 4
May 4 - 9
May 10 - 21
May 22 – 27
May 28 – June 9
June 10 – June 17
June 18 - 27
Third Reading: Studying more Only because I did not waste the first three months of my review, by the end of July, I was already confident that I will pass the bar. I encourage you to do the same. Take your first months of review VERY seriously.
Number of Days Allotted
June 28 – July 2
July 3 – 6
July 7 – 11
July 12 – 15
July 16 – 20
July 21 – 24
July 25 – 31
August 1 – 2
Practice bar exam (2001 – 2008 bar exams)
Fourth Reading: Studying to top the bar An officemate (who ranked 3rd in 2009 bar exams) once said that one should prepare to top, not just to pass. In my fourth reading, I memorized case titles and important provisions of law. Subject
Number of days allotted
August 4 – 7
August 8 – 10
August 11 – 14
August 15 – 17
August 18 – 21
August 22 – 24
August 25 - 28
Materials/books used in each subject Subject Political Law
Materials Bernas, Primer (3 readings) Nachura (1 reading) Jack updates (4 readings) Bernas updates (4 readings) Azucena, Everyones (4 readings) Manuel notes/updates (4 readings)
Paras, Obligation and Contracts (2 readings) Balane, Succession (2 readings) Sempio dy, Persons and Family (2 readings) Sta. Maria, Family (1 reading) De Leon, SecTrans (1 reading) Jurado, ALL (cover to cover; 2 readings)
Mamalateo, Tax Law Reviewer (2 readings) Mamalateo, Income tax (1 reading) Co untian, Tax law reviewer (1 reading)
Perez, Commercial Law Reviewers (3 readings each) Commercial Law Villanueva, Commercial Law Reviewer (1 reading) Catindig, Commercial Law Reviewer (1 reading) Criminal Law
Reyes, Volumes 1 and 2 (1 reading) Boado, Reviewer and Special Penal Laws (2 readings) Memorize important RPC provisions
Regalado, Volumes 1 and 2 (3 readings) Codal (memorize; at least try)
Pano (1 reading) Aguirre (1 reading) Memorize code! Forms – Atty. Nava’s hand-outs San beda notes
There is no shortcut to passing (or topping) the bar. If you want to pass on your first take, then you will have to work for it. But if you want to top it, then you must be willing to sacrifice more. You will not top the bar just because you are brilliant. There will be hundreds of equally brilliant law graduates who will be taking the bar with you; you can out shine them by being better prepared. Do not waste time. STUDY NOW
TIPS FROM THE PREVIOUS BAR TOPNOTCHERS ATTY. JOHANA T. SUNGA TOP 5, 2010 BAR EXAMINATIONS Study Habits Early on, I knew that I had to prepare SMART (you don't have to read everything or lose sleep; you just need to read the right material, master them, then sleep).
I assessed myself and tried to understand the kind of exam that I was taking (long, essay type). That being said, you should develop your own habits considering yourself and the type of exam. This is important because this year's exam is different. In any case; the following are my notable habits: 1. STUDY ALONE. Being with friends is nice, but sometimes you discuss more than necessary. It would be better if you study alone, note down the confusing points, then ask a reliable person (for me it was Alphie, Andrei, Tin, Shean, Denise, Candice, and Buena) to save time. 2. SIMULATE THE BAR.
I studied 2 subjects each day to train my mind. (but for pre-week I studied 1 subject a day). The style is doable. Though I had a hard time studying for civil law and tax at the same time because both subjects were long. I studied my weak subjects in the morning and then the "easier" subject in the afternoon. Example, I studied tax from 8:00am to 3 pm (7 hours) and civil law from 3:30pm to 9 pm (5 1/2 hours). I did the same thing for poli/comm (7 hours in the morning) and labor/crim (5 1/2 hours in the afternoon). For Rem, I studied rem for (9-10 hours) and ethics for (2 to 4 hours before I sleep).
3. I didn’t have a regular/schedules break on a daily basis. Even while I’m eating, I read. While walking, I read. I stop reading whenever I want basta not more than 30 minutes at a time. So I have a lot of 10, 15, 20, 30 minute breaks (which I spend talking to someone, watching tv for a few minutes, photocopying material, fixing my stuff, talk to Mang Nats etc.). This is my style because I’m a slow reader. I have to maximize my time.
4. I didn't have a scheduled day off. I study everyday, Monday to Sunday the entire day. I rest whenever I want, I watch a movie, hear mass, and sleep in the afternoon (a lot). I avoided taking whole day or half day off or even hours long breaks since I feel like I would be losing momentum. So, whenever I felt tired or burned out, I push myself to study until around 6 to 7 pm then I watch a movie, watch tv, eat out, etc.
5. EXERCISE. I tried to exercise as often as I could. Like in law school, I didn't ride the elevator. I used the stairs. Remember the bar is not only a mental and emotional test, you also need to be physically prepared.
6. STUDY DURING YOUR PEAK HOURS. I didn't study much at night. I slept early. Make sure that you get 8 hours of sleep. Things to Do 1. Take your 1st to 4th year seriously. Most of the things I answered were stock knowledge!
2. ASSESS YOURSELF. Know your weak and strong subjects. This is important especially when you don't have time. For instance, in my 3rd reading and pre-week i didn't read succession and persons anymore and focused on tax instead. Same with crim and comm, I have good crim background, so I alloted more time to comm since the subject was voluminous. In short, strategize. 3. HEALTH. Be healthy. Bar is about being physically prepared also. If your body is weak, your mind will be too. Load on vitamins. You don't want to be sick and then not be able to study for days! Trust me! 4. SCHEDULE. Make a schedule but don't let it dictate your study. A schedule is there to guide you. Try to follow your schedule but if you can't strictly follow it, don't let that ruin your mood! Chances are you will always be behind schedule. Adjust your schedule. 5. BE ORGANIZED. Fix your materials. It took me 3 or 4 days to fix everything. 6. USE OLD BOOKS AND HANDOUTS. I didn’t read a lot of books or reviewers. Use old books (provided of course that their length is manageable) and tried to master them. Once I do, I move on to the next material. For instance, for all my readings, I read Fr. Bernas' primer for consti, boado for crim, and sundiang for comm.
I only used new books for tax ( i read mamalateo, countian, and domondon for the first time), some civil law subjects (i read sempio-dy and jurado for the first time), some comm subjects (catindig and villanueva), and some rem subjects (regalado book I) because I didn't use any books for those subjects during 4th year.
7. MASTER YOUR MATERIAL. REPETITION IS KEY! Try to read the same material over and over again. Master them then read other materials to supplement/update what you already know. I don't see the point of reading everything when you can't understand or remember the BASIC CONCEPTS. 8. LECTURES. I didn't attend the lectures during summer. But I attended almost all of the pre-week lectures. I also tried to attend all recent jurisprudence lectures. Try to focus on Jack's lecture. It really helped me in poli and comm. The things he says during lectures are super swak. He also gives good tips. I think for this bar, considering that the exam format is new, attending the lectures (summer, pre-week, etc.) is super important because the professors might have an idea of what to expect. 9. KEEP TRACK OF YOUR PROGRESS. Some people time themselves, i.e. they need to input at least 8 hours of pure studying daily. I did this for a week. Nahirapan ako kasi I wasn’t able to monitor my time properly kasi nakakalimutan ko mag stop or mag start ng timer. So what I did was I gave myself page quotas. I would read at least 80 to 120 pages PER SUBJECT everyday or total of 160 to 240 pages for the 2 subjects. Sometimes I have topic quotas,example: I have to finish book I of Boado criminal law in 2 days OR I have to read persons, succession, and oblicon in 1 and ½ days OR I have to finish labor codal in 2 days. Choose what works best for you. Don’t force yourself to use a particular style if it really doesn’t work for you.
Things to Avoid 1. Stop ranting. Everyone knows that preparing for the bar is hard. But please stop ranting. It's time consuming and a waste of energy. 2. Stop talking. Don't disturb other people. If you have questions, list them down, then ask a reliable person. 3. Don't over analyze! Stop thinking of weird situations that no one can answer and stop asking everyone about it. The examiner won't ask that, plus, you'll waste time and energy trying to figure out something that even the SC hasn't resolved. 4. STOP STUDYING UNNECESSARY THINGS. For instance, stop memorizing the officials of U.N., ICJ, etc. If they get asked, chances are marami sa inyo ang hindi may alam non. Waste of time trying to remember their names and other unnecessary information. 5. DON'T HIGHLIGHT THAT MUCH. During review unlike law school, I rarely highlighted my new books or reviewers to save time. Highlighting and underlining is time consuming. Favorite Materials 1. CODAL. I always read the codal after I finish the books for a subject. I’ve always been a codal person (super kawawa mga codals ko). In your bar, I think codal is key since MCQ is objective.
It's hard to finish the codal especially CIVIL LAW and TAX (lalo na dahil pinagsabay ko sila, ang haba haba!). What I did is, I read as much codal as I can then I stop and move to the next subject following my schedule. Example: I allotted 14 days first reading for civil law. If I finish reading the commentaries for civil law on the 10th day, I still have 4 days to finish the codal. If I don’t finish the codal on the 14th day, I stop and move on to the next subject. On my next reading of civil law codal, I continue reading from where I left. 2. CHOOSE YOUR REVIEWERS. I am partial to books but there are some essential reviewers. POLI- Jack recent jurisprudence, agra notes on pubcorp and election law, ateneo summer reviewer, beda reviewer (for recent jurisprudence only, ateneo barops still has the best poli reviewer), LABOR – disini notes on social legislation, manuel notes (transcript, 100 notes), ateneo summer CIV – zuniga notes on sectrans, delos santos notes on titles, balane notes on oblicon (we used in 4th year) TAX – Montero notes (yung 2009), Montero’s recent jurisprudence notes, domondon starnotes, COMM- jack transcript we used in 4th year, jack’s recent jurisprudence, CRIM- beda summer reviewer ( I didn’t use the most recent reviewer. I used the beda reviewer that I used during 4th year because they contained my notes from Callejo’s class), REM- I read a reviewer/handout of one lecturer (I forgot the name basta judge siya and his forte is specpro), ETHICS- beda summer reviewer FORMS- beda summer reviewer and the reviewer with all the acronyms of forms basta maiksi lang siya (sorry I forgot the name of the reviewer).
3. These are the books/material I used: Subject
Primer- Consti (3 readings) Nachura – Everything except PIL Magallona primer- PIL, 1 reading Ateneo/Beda Reviewer- PIL (Beda reviewer is Nachura based plus more; Ateneo I heard is Sarmiento based) Beda Reviewer- Election Law, 1 reading Beda Reviwer- I browsed recent jurisprudence on Consti and Election Law (they have a lot of it) Jack Jurisprudence- This is important kasi there were 2 or 3 swak na swak questions that came out Codal- nag sisi ako na hindi ko dinibdib yung codal during pre-week, specifically consti.
Azucena Everyone's Labor- Everything (4 readings) Alcantara- Social Legislation Disini Notes- Social Legislation Codal- nag sisi ulit ako kasi for my pre-week reading hindi ako nag focus sa social legislation codal kasi maraming social legislation na lumabas. Also try to read RA 9042 on migrant workers kahit hindi kasama sa coverage, kasi there were 4 or 5 questions na lumabas.
Jurado- everthing except succession, oblicon, family code, sectrans, and land titles; mukhang pangit si Jurado pero it’s nd actually good. During 2 reading ma-appreciate mo na siya. Pareho kaming feedback ni Denise.(3 readings or 2) Balane- succession and oblicon reviewer Sempio-Diy- Family Code (2 readings) Zuniga notes- Sectrans (including the supplements) Land Titles- De los santos and I browsed (stress on the browse) through our old book Aquino. Alam ko marami pakong binasa for Civ, nakalimutan ko lang yung iba. Codal- eto natuto nako, I focused on codal for pre-week. That was a good thing. 86
Mamalateo- a must Domondon- to supplement Co-Untian- to digest what you know and you learn other stuff there like contents of some IRRs Montero, yung 30+ or 50+ pages ata na reviewer that he Taxation Law made for batch 2009- I think there were 3 questions that came out regarding LGU (na nakalimutan ko because I thought not important) Montero recent jurisprudence- many questions came out Codal- I focused on codal for pre-week (crucial) Boado I scanned the Beda reviewer we used for Callejo Sandoval De Castro on SPL Criminal Law I also read some reviewers from law school on SPL. I forgot the names of the teachers. De Castro predictions Ateneo pre-week reviewer Codal
Regalado- Crimpro and Specpro Riano - Evidence and Crimpro Beda reviewer - to supplement and for the other remedial law special laws like electronic evidence, DNA evidence, etc.) I read a handout for Spec Pro, again, sorry I forgot the name of the lecturer. Basta yung hand out nung specpro lecturer sa ateneo na justice.
Ethics Pano Aguirre Codal Beda Reviewerhics
Favorite Study Place At first, I studied at home since I was recuperating from surgery. When i was well enough, I studied in school. I was all over the place. I would walk the hallways of ateneo. I would be in sc room, an empty classroom, caf, teehankee center, library, starbucks, stairways, etc. That was my style back in law school. basta do whatever you're comfortable with.
Also, it doesn't matter where you study or whether it's quiet or hindi nakaka stress, etc. the main thing is FOCUS. There will always be distraction/flaws in your study place, try to look past that and just focus.
TIPS FROM THE PREVIOUS BAR TOPNOTCHERS ATTY. WILLIAM BENSON S. GAN TOP 9, 2010 BAR EXAMINATIONS Study Habits Follow your usual studying habits in law school. Find a place where you can concentrate and stay for very long hours. It can be a coffee shop, the library, your home, etc. Also, try to find time to relax. You can set aside a day (or half day) during the week to go watch a movie or have dinner with your friends. Things that a Barrister should do You should allot a space in your room for your bar review materials and segregate it per subject. During the review period, you do not want to waste your time going through your things just to look for a particular reviewer. Also make sure to read recent jurisprudence even if it is beyond the cut-off date (in the bar exams, there is no such thing as a cut-off). Try to be aware of current events because there is a big possibility that it will be asked during the bar exams. Things to Avoid Try not to compare your studying pace with your batchmates. Do not force yourself to do 4 or 5 readings just because your other batchmates are doing it. In the end, its quality over quantity.
Choose the review classes that you will attend. You don't need to attend all review classes because it may be more productive to just read the review materials. Attend only the subjects where you think you are weak or where the lecturer is very good. Also, choose the books and reviewers to read. During the bar review period (usually after your first or second reading), you will be presented with different books and reviewers of rumored examiners. You may want to photocopy them just to feel safe, but read them only if you have enough time. Favorite Materials I find the following books helpful for the bar because they more or less cover the subject matter, but are not too lengthy: a. Everyone's Labor Code by Azucena. b. Civil Law Reviewer by Jurado (but I suggest you find another book for the Persons part) c. Consti Law Reviewer by Fr. Bernas d. Commercial Law Reviewer by Sundiang e. Criminal Law (Book 1 and 2) - Boado f. Civil Procedure by Riano Favorite Study Place The APS library.
TIPS FROM THE 2011 TOPNOTCHERS ATTY. RAOUL ANGELO D. ATADERO TOP 1 – 85.536% MATERIALS 1. Cast as wide a net as possible for your 1st reading. Try to read or at least browse through as many books as you can for your first reading. This allows you to whittle down your reading list for your 2nd and succeeding readings to those materials that you think are useful and those you are comfortable with. Further, by reading a range of materials, you’ll get at the very least a vague familiarity of many different things – vague as this may be, you can never tell when such stock knowledge at the back of your mind might be needed. 2. Stick to the Beaten Path. Index your chosen study materials with those recommended by people who have taken and passed the Bar Exams before you. The materials chosen by the majority should be sufficient. Now is not the time to be eccentric! 3. Stick to Review Books or Reviewers. Resist the temptation to re-read your law school textbooks for Bar Review when there are review books or reviewers that will suffice. You do not have time to read all your law textbooks again if you plan to do more than one reading. If you feel that the available review materials for a particular topic don’t quite meet your standards, then make exceptions. Make these exceptions few and far between, however. 4. Organize your materials properly. Boxes, folders, bags, it doesn’t matter – organize your materials in such a way that you can keep track of what you have and find them easily. I personally wasted a lot of money photocopying 91
or buying materials I forgot I already had because my things were in a sad state of disarray. 5. Bring your reading materials to Bar Review Lectures. Your Bar Review professors might have updates to the law or jurisprudence that have not been incorporated into your books and review materials. Bring them along to lectures so you can make marginal notes on them to reflect these updates. SCHEDULING 1. Number of Readings. Be realistic with the number of readings you set out to do. It’s better to have fewer quality readings than a lot done in a hurried, haphazard fashion. Your number of readings will of course depend on your own style and speed of reading. I aimed to complete three readings of my materials with a time limit of 2 months per reading. You don’t have as much time, this time, so you may want to change this a bit. 2. Subject Chronology. Don’t feel the need to be organized during your first reading. Use it to feel the lay of the land and survey the materials out there, then use what you’ve learned from your 1st reading to plan an excellent 2nd reading and beyond. For 1st reading, I took the subjects in the order I wanted. I took the subjects which I felt I was weakest at first, then worked my way from there. For my 2nd & 3rd readings, I took the subjects in the reverse of the order their exams were scheduled [i.e. Criminal to Political Law+ that way, I’ll end my last reading reviewing for the immediately coming exam. 3. Daily Hours. Aim to log at least 8 hours of study every day. Ramp this up to 9, 10, even 12 hours as the exams approach. While I personally didn’t have the organization to use a stopwatch, it might be helpful for you. 92
4. Take Breaks. Breaks are necessary and highly encouraged. So long as you’re able to meet your quota of study hours, be generous with study breaks and breaks for meals. My library study buddies will attest to my frequent internet breaks, runs to the mall for milk tea, or just taking time to walk around. 5. Vacations. Allow yourself vacations. If well-timed, they break the monotony and can recharge your spirits. I gave myself 2 during bar review season, though take note we had 7 months to review. 6. Study Goal Fails. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you fail to meet the study goals you’ve set for the day, week, or month. I fell short on a lot of days. OTHER GENERAL TIPS 1. Exercise & Eat Healthy. Apart from not overindulging on comfort food, try to put in some exercise to keep yourself fit. You cannot afford to get sick, so exercise, eat well, and take vitamins if necessary. If you’re a stress eater, this will offset the Bar Review weight gain. Remember though, that your first priority at this point is to pass the Bar Exams – while you should put in some exercise, don’t spend all your time at the gym getting yourself bikiniready. 2. Talk it Out. It helped me to take breaks to talk to the people I was studying with. Apart from gossip (an excellent way to relax), we discussed things in our study materials we were confused with – this was an excellent learning exercise. 3. Nap. When you need to, nap. There’s no point studying when you’re sleepy. I usually couldn’t help myself – I was always dozing off at the library (usually around 15-30 minutes).
4. Don’t Force It. If by the end of the day you’re very tired and sleepy, don’t force yourself to study when you can’t process or retain what you’re reading anyway. Sleep and continue the next day. 5. Pray. When you’ve studied harder than you’ve ever done before, there’s nothing else to do but trust in some higher power.
TYPICAL STUDY DAY [This is ideal because I tended to be liberal with my days]:
Wake up at around 6:30 to go to the gym. [Going to the gym was discontinued a month before the exams.] Grab coffee and be at the library around 9-9:30. Study until around 11:30 [most likely doze off somewhere in between]. Head to the mall for lunch [as the exams approached, the mall was replaced with the cafeteria]. Study until around 5:30 [almost definitely doze off several times in between]. Head to the cafeteria for dinner. Study until the library closes. Goof off at home. *As exams approached, I’d continue studying at the AGSB study area at the 2nd floor or at home] Sleep at around 11pm.
MY READING LIST Subject
Notes & Reviewers
Materials, which: 1) on hindsight, I wish I stuck to from the very start; 2) I believe will suffice when push comes to shove; or 3) I stuck to even for Pre-week. 94
Bernas – Primer Nachura – Reviewer
Azucena – Everybody’s Labor Code [aka Green Book] Alcantara – Labor Law Reviewer [Just Social Legislation] Codal
Mamalateo – Tax Reviewer [1st Reading Only] Co-untian – Tax Digest Codal o Casasol a– Annotat ed NIRC o LGC [Local Taxatio n and Real Propert
Jimene z– Recent Jurispr udence Manue l – 100 Notes Ateneo Bar Ops Review er Disini – Social Legislat ion Tables Person al Notes from Tax 1 & Tax 2 Primus (Domo ndon) Star Notes
Bernas – Primer Nachura – All non-Consti portions. Azucena – Everybody’s Labor Code Ateneo Bar Ops Reviewer
Co-untian – Tax Digest Primus (Domondon) Star Notes
y Taxatio n] Tariff & Custom s Code
Codal Sempio-Diy – Family Code Balane – Succession [1st Reading Only, then switch to Champ Reyno’s Notes] Jurado – Civil Law Reviewer [1st Reading Only, excluding Family Code & Succession] Aquino – Land Titles [1st Reading Only, only those parts in the Syllabus]
Balane’ s Notes – Proper ty & ObliCo n Del Castillo – Class Notes for Proper ty San Beda Red Notes – Sales, Partner ship & Agency , Lease, Torts & Damag es Reyno – Notes
Mercant ile Law
Catindig – Notes on Selected Commercial Laws [And the 2007 Supplement/Up date] Sundiang – Commercial Law Reviewer Villanueva – Commercial Law Reviewer [1st Reading Only, only Corporation Law & 97
on Atty. Balane’ s Book Zuñiga – Notes on Credit Transa ctions Delos Angele s– Notes on Land Titles Jimene z– Recent Jurispr udence
Sundiang – Commercial Law Reviewer Catindig – Notes on Selected Commercial Laws [And the 2007 Supplement/ Update]
Remedia l Law
Insurance] Abad – Negotiable Instruments Made Easy [1st Reading Only] Codal Riano – Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, Evidence [1st & 2nd Readings only] Codal Aguirre – Legal Ethics Reviewer Paño – Legal Ethics Reviewer Philippine Judicial Academy – Annotated Code of Judicial Conduct Gregorio – Criminal Law Review [1st Reading Only] De Castro – Special Penal Laws [1st Reading Only] Sandoval – Special Penal 98
San Beda Red Notes
San Beda Red Notes
San Beda Red Notes
San Beda Red Notes
San Beda Red Notes
San Beda Red Notes
Laws [1st Reading Only] Boado – Criminal Law Notes & Cases
TIPS FROM THE 2011 TOPNOTCHERS ATTY. LUZ DANIELLE O. BOLONG TOP 2 – 84.556% 2011 BAR REVIEW MATERIALS Subject Materials Used (no. of Recommended readings) Materials Political and Codal Codal International Bernas Primer (2) Bernas Primer Law Nachura, except Consti Nachura, except (2) Consti Ateneo BarOps (2) San Beda BarOps San Beda BarOps (2) Jack Jimenez recent Jack Jimenez recent jurisprudence jurisprudence (1) Agra notes on election Agra notes on election law and local law and local government government (1) Labor and Codal Codal Social Azucena Everyone’s Azucena Everyone’s Legislation Labor (2) Labor Manuel lecture Manuel lecture transcript and notes (2) transcript and notes Abad Compendium (1) Alcantara Social Ateneo BarOps (3) Legislation Ateneo BarOps Taxation Codal Codal Mamalateo (this is a test Mamalateo of your knowledge. You Domondon star notes have to spot and correct Tables prepared by 100
outdated information.) (1) Sababan (browsed through it to get the big picture) (1) Domondon star notes and in parts I don’t understand his books (2) Co-untian (this is what I used for Tax Law Review so I was able to read it fast during pre-week) (1) Tables prepared by Atty. Cabreros Ateneo BarOps (3) San Beda BarOps (1) Codal Balane- succession & oblicon (2) Sempio Diy- persons (2) Zuñiga- sec trans (2) De los Angeles- land titles (2) Jurado- others (2) Ateneo BarOps –selected (2) San Beda BarOps – selected (2) Sundiang (2) Catindig (2) CLV comm. rev- corp (1) 101
Atty. Cabreros Co-untian San Beda BarOps
Codal Jurado Balane- succession & oblicon Sempio Diy- persons Zuñiga- sec trans De los Angeles- land titles San Beda BarOps
Sundiang Catindig Ateneo BarOps
Legal Ethics & Forms
Abad- nego (2) Perez- transpo (1) Arevalo Crammerinsurance (1) Ateneo BarOps (3) Jack Jimenez recent jurisprudence (1) Codal Boado (1) Peralta Book II transcript lecture (browsed for frequently asked crimes) (1) San Beda BarOps (3) (Own notes for Book II transferred to Beda during 1st reading) Codal especially Lawyer’s Oath Commentary on New Code of Judicial Ethics (in the internet) (1) Paño (1) Aguirre (1) Agpalo (1) Nava reviewer (1) Ateneo BarOps (1) San Beda BarOps (2) Codal Riano- civpro (1) and crimpro (2) 102
Jack Jimenez recent jurisprudence
Codal Boado San Beda BarOps
Codal Commentary on New Code of Judicial Ethics (in the internet) San Beda BarOps
Codal Riano- civpro and crimpro
Regalado- specpro (2) and evidence (2) San Beda BarOps (2)
Regalado- specpro and evidence San Beda BarOps
TIPS: 1. Just to be sure, always use the most recent edition of the book you’re using. I remember, during first year, I used an old Reyes criminal law book and ended up with a laughable answer in my final exams. Because of that experience, I made sure my entire bar reference materials were updated. Even if I read the old Bernas Primer for my first reading, I still bought the new Bernas Primer and used it for my second reading. For labor, even if I used an old Everyone’s Labor for labor law review, I bought a new one for bar review. My friends know how thrifty I can be, but the bar was an exception. 2. Talk to Topnotchers and other bar passers. Whenever I needed pep talks, I contacted Atty. Oliver Baclay Jr. (3rd place, 2008 Bar Exam) and Atty. Johanna Sunga (5th place, 2010 Bar Exam). I also talked to Attys. Ryan Quan and Jared Amoroso. Moreover, I relied heavily on the 2011 Bar Manual. I don’t know Atty. Filemon Ray Javier (2nd place, 2010 Bar Exam) personally but I was inspired by his story- during bar review, his father died and his wife was pregnant yet instead of being distracted he got motivated. So when I got sick for a month, I told myself I wasn’t gonna give up. My sister can attest how hard I tried to make sure the weeks I spent on my bed were productive. Even if I fell asleep within 15 minutes from listening to audio recordings, I still kept trying. Kahit five to ten pages of San Beda Crim/Rem lang nababasa ko a day, masayang masaya na ako. I was really really 103
frustrated that I couldn’t study so I kept calling lawyer friends for reassurance. 3. Pray . I can honestly say I have deeper faith now because of my bar experience. Every morning, after I pray, I recite this: “As you start your day, realize how blessed you are to be alive. Refuse to let trials rob you of your joy to live! Yours is a good life, no matter how challenging they may be at the moment. Live it with joy and be a blessing.” When you get sad that you wake up to study, think of other people who want to study but can’t or better yet those who don’t wake up to live another day. Fridays of August to mid October I went to UST for therapy. While waiting for my turn, I’d see the other patients of my neurologist and I’d feel ashamed for worrying too much about my situation. So instead of complaining about having to study, pray and be grateful for the blessings God has given you. 4. Attend pre-week lectures. I didn’t attend Jack’s poli preweek lecture and I regretted it because next to comm, I found poli the hardest. And, those who attended said they found the exam easier because around fifteen questions came from his list of MCQ questions! So I suggest you really find time to attend important, if not all, pre-week lectures. I attended the comm (Jimenez), labor (Manuel), and ethics (Hofileña) pre-week lectures and I found all of them helpful. 5. Pace yourself. I started April 25- right after Easter Sunday. But the week before, I (1) made a list of what materials to read, (2) bought 8 boxes for all my references, (3) bought a stopwatch (which I used during the bar exam itself), (4) prepared a calendar where I can monitor my progress, (5) consolidated the bar schedule 104
of previous bar topnotchers. I attempted to read on trial memorandum and legal opinion (Abad’s book) but my brain was still in vacation mode. But I told myself no excuses I was gonna start April 25. That week, April 25May 1, I read the subjects I felt insecure with: Oblicon, Sales, Election, Ethics and Forms. 6. Mirror schedule of the 4 sundays. I consider the one week I mentioned above my first reading because after that I felt that my knowledge of all subjects were equal. I also consider the pre-week as one reading because I read codal (except comm.) and barops reviewer for each subject. So when people ask I say 5 readings cos that’s my initial target and I guess I just feel better knowing I somehow achieved that goal even if people might disagree with my manner of counting number of readings. So my schedule was: April 25-May 1, 1st reading, May to mid July 2nd reading (Poli/Labor/Tax/Ethics; Civ/Comm; Rem/Crim), mid July to mid September 3rd reading (Poli/Labor/Tax/Ethics; Civ/Comm; Rem/Crim), mid September to -3rd week October 4th reading (Rem/Crim/Ethics; Civ/Comm; Poli/Labor/Tax), pre-week 5th reading. 7. Make a schedule but be flexible. For the first two months, I studied in La Union. Weekdays, I’d wake up at 515, jog with my siblings to the parish church which was about 2 kilometers from our house, be back at home at around 630, eat breakfast and take a bath, start at around 830, snack at 1000, eat lunch with family at 12, nap for 30 minutes, start again at 1330, break at 1530, study again, rosary at 1730, dinner at 1900, study, sleep at 2100. Weekends, if I didn’t have visiting friends from Manila or me and my family didn’t go to Baguio, I’d study for half a day. I made sure that whatever backlog I had, I 105
used my weekends to compensate. When I got sick on August 16 (I was already in Manila), I was about to start rem and crim. I got out of the hospital, August 20 and fully recovered the week of September 18-24. Since I didn’t have enough time and rem/crim were my favorites (thanks to Justice Gesmundo I’ve read Riano Civpro for remedial review more than 3 times; to Sir Vannie because I felt that my crim book II notes were more than sufficient), I stretched my schedule and made it seem that I did 2nd and 3rd reading of crim from August 23September 23 when in truth I only did 1 reading. So that I won’t panic, I psyched myself that I was very prepared in rem and crim. 8. 888. For me, 8 hours sleep was non-negotiable. I felt that my brain worked better when it was well rested. Except during the month that I was sick, I devoted 8 hours of pure studying each day. I spent the last 8 hours eating, exercising, praying, watching TV/DVDs, talking with friends... 9. Practice answering MCQ questions and drafting trial memorandum and legal opinion. When I got bored/tired reading, I practiced my handwriting. Comparing the before and after, I can say practicing really paid off. As for the MCQs, answering the PALS and Ateneo BarOps compilation made me feel grounded because my scores averaged 70. 10. Know/ guess who the examiners are. The earlier you find out who the examiners are, the better you can prepare your strategy (i.e. what book to read). Had I known Pineda was the Civ examiner months before I would have tried reading her books. 106
Special Thanks: My family and friends especially my Kuya; Aquila Legis Fraternity especially Fidel Nograles; Kristel Bejar; Ateneo Human Rights Center especially Attys. Marlon Manuel and Ryan Quan, Marino 22, and the BarOps team; Campus Ministry Office especially Ate Michelle; Ateneo Society of International Law especially Attys. Oliver Baclay, Patrick Perillo, Tien Demaisip, Jared Amoroso, and Jomi Legaspi and the BarOps team; Ateneo Central BarOps especially Nikki Hipolito, Marvin Llamas, Austin Alcantara, Nico Bernardo and Miko Dimaculangan; Puno & Puno Law Office especially Attys. Joey Sunga, Vince Bayhon and Sarge Sarmiento.
TIPS FROM THE 2011 TOPNOTCHERS ATTY. IRENE MARIE P. QUA TOP 8 – 84.057% 1. Stick to what works for you. Don’t force yourself to change your study habits radically. Chances are you will get frustrated and waste your time. Throughout law school, my routine consisted of studying for an hour or so upon waking up, going to the gym, cooking something, then going to school to study until classes start. During review, my daily routine was more or less like that except that I cut back on the time I spend cooking. I didn’t see any point in changing something that worked so well for me. Plus, I knew that if I skipped my workouts and stopped cooking, I would be bothered all day and I won’t be able to concentrate. Stick to what works for you. You know yourself better than anyone else. 2. Learn to compromise. Although I did not deviate so much from my law school routine, I had to compromise on a few points. The pressure in reviewing for and taking the Bar is at least seven-fold the pressure in law school. While I recommend sticking to what works for you, there will always be times when you will have to re-assess your priorities and compromise. As I mentioned, I cut back on the time I spend cooking. Towards the last month of the review, I also cut back on my yoga practice. These are things I am passionate about. But, I did not eliminate any of these; I just compromised: Instead of going to gym 5 times a week, I lessened it to 3 times a week; I just made sure that I maximized the time I spend there. As one previous topnotcher said, things worth having are worth sacrificing for. 108
3. Pace yourself. I started reviewing in May; I had 6 months to review until November. I did not retain much from my first reading. At times, I felt frustrated especially when I just read a material and I can’t answer a simple question about it. Also, trying to stick with the schedule I made was not easy considering that my brain was still on vacation mode. I calmed myself by keeping in mind that (1) it was the first time I was reading some of the materials I used (e.g., Mamalateo, Alcantara, Boado, Sundiang), and (2) I was just familiarizing myself with the review materials. During my second reading, I took more time and exerted more effort to understand what I was reading. But, after the second reading, my mind still drew blanks when asked questions, so I decided to do a 3rd reading. On my 3rd reading, I mostly skimmed through the main texts I used and supplemented it with Beda Reviewers. I was stricter with myself on this “round” and I find that this was the “crucial” part of the review. 4. Choose your review materials wisely. I find that the most useful materials I used during review were the materials I already used in law school or at least works of authors whose writing styles I was already comfortable with. I wasted time reading materials just because they were on the lists of previous barristers. With those materials, aside from understanding the contents, you also have to adjust yourself with the writing style. For example, I read Alcantara (Labor), Co Untian (Tax), Sempio Dy (Persons), Regalado (CrimPro and SpecPro) because they were on previous’ topnotchers’ lists. But I did not retain any significant information after reading them. So, I set them aside and went back to the texts I used in 4th year .But, I 109
made sure that the authors are truly experts on the subject and can be “trusted,” e.g. Nachura, CLV, Azucena, Riano. I also made sure to supplement them with updates on the subjects. 5. Rest. But, earn it. During my first two readings, I did not study on Sundays. But, as November drew closer, I spent Sundays studying although not as intense or as lengthy as I would on weekdays. I needed to feel that once a week, there is rest. On weekdays, I would start studying for 2 to 3 hours continuously before taking a break. I looked forward to walks to Power Plant, reading the newspaper, browsing through a magazine, or being able to have a leisurely cup of coffee even if it’s just 3-in-1. These were my breaks from studying but before I took them, I made sure I covered a sensible number of pages and that I understood their contents. That way, I appreciated my breaks even more because I knew I earned it, did not worry about whether I understood the contents correctly, and the “cut off” was not “alanganin.” 6. Know when to recharge. In the middle of my third reading, I was nearing a burn-out. In September, on impulse, my boyfriend and I took a break from Bar Review and joined friends on a 5-day trip down south. While we were worried that we were on vacation mode so close to November, it somehow motivated us on the last stretch of the review because we had to make up for days not spent studying. In a way, it was the push we needed during the last stretch of the review. 7. Build your confidence.
I only planned to do 2 readings. But, after my 2nd reading, I still drew blanks when asked questions. So, I rushed a third reading. That was the only way I would feel confident. Even during preweek, I still used the main texts for each subject except for Civil Law and Tax. I browsed through them and supplemented that with the Beda Reviewers. That way, I felt that I read the main texts another time and did not miss any important point. As for the topics I did not take up in law school, e.g. writ of kalikasan and habeas corpus for minors, I made sure I covered the important points – I did not go further because I thought that if it wasn’t taken up in school or it’s just a new rule or law, it would be in bad faith if complicated questions were asked; chances are, only basic questions will be asked. 8. Be prepared for the 4 weekends. Don’t forget to prepare for THE DAY itself. Earplugs, Kitkat Dark, Smint, water, and something from Breadtalk or French Baker. These were my staples during the 4 Sundays. The earplugs came handy during the Commercial Law exam and the Legal Memorandum making portion. During the Commercial Law exam, the person sitting next to me kept on fidgeting which I found distracting. The earplugs helped me focus. On the last Sunday, I almost fell asleep while reading the problem given for the legal memo; the chocolate provided the needed kick. I took my lunch inside the exam room and used the spare time to read the tips and do some last-minute reviewing. 9. Read the tips. I found Blue tips for Political Law and Commercial Law very helpful. These consist more of recent jurisprudence and while the Bar questions may not be spot on, the tips “hit” a lot of the topics 111
asked during the exam and I was able to deduce answers from the tips and stock knowledge. 10. Move on. After each Sunday, I avoided discussions about the possible correct answers for the past exams. Each exam is only a part of the big picture. If you think you did not do so well on one exam, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will fail. Don’t dwell on your mistakes which you can no longer correct. Move on, prepare for the next Sunday and try your best “bumawi.” Special thanks to: Atty. JC Lerit, Migui Beltran, Alex Noble, BJ Cruz, Juris Uy, , the Aquila Legis Fraternity, Blessings Ateneo (especially Ate Anna & Kuya Don), Starbucks Jungle, Atty. Yves Gonzalez, Ateneo Central BarOps especially Nikki Hipolito and Christian Rillera, Atty. Anton Zablan, Atty. Grai Escosia, Poblador Bautista & Reyes Law Offices especially Atty. Dino A. Tamayo. Below is a list of the materials I used with their corresponding usefulness to me. I went codal on all subjects, especially for Civ and Comm. As Dean Bautista told us, “you cannot understand unless you remember.
*** Highly recommended ** Very useful * Useful
Subject Political and Int’l
Materials *** Nachura (3 readings plus pre-week) *** Beda Reviewer (2 readings plus pre-week) 112
Labor and Social Legislation
*** Jack’s recent jurisprudence lectures – I did not attend his lectures but I was able to get hold of audio recordings. This was very useful. During the exam, it was as if I was listening to Jack’s lectures. *** Jack’s recent jurisprudence (printout; preweek) * New Bernas Primer (1 reading) *** Azucena (3 readings plus pre-week) *** Beda Reviewer (2 readings plus pre-week) *** Manuel transcript (2 readings plus pre-week) *** Recent jurisprudence lecture ** Manuel’s pre-week lecture – I only attended the first day. I was already on panic mode and I felt that his Labor Review Class and the transcripts & notes already covered sufficient bases. Alcantara (1 reading) *** Beda Reviewer (2 readings plus pre-week) *** Mamalateo (3 readings) – After 2 readings, I almost threw this away. Some of the illustrations are quite complicated and some of the rules are already outdated so you have to be careful when reading this one. But, I had no alternative material so I read it very carefully for the 3rd time, took note of the outdated portions and ignored the illustrations which I felt were too much for the standard “first year lawyer.” *** Domondon Primus (pre-week) *** Domondon transcript (pre-week) 113
Co-Untian (1 reading) Civil Law
*** Beda Reviewer (2 readings plus pre-week) *** Sta. Maria, Persons (1 reading plus pre-week) recent jurisprudence part *** De Los Angeles Land Titles (exam day) ** Zuniga – Sectrans (1 reading plus pre-week) * Jurado (2 readings) Sempio-Dy Persons (1 reading)
*** Villanueva (3 readings plus pre-week) *** Beda Reviewer (2 readings plus pre-week) *** Abad Nego book and transcript (2 readings, transcript for pre-week) *** *** Atty. Dy’s outlines (2 readings plus pre-week; eve of exam) *** Jack’s recent jurisprudence (printout; preweek) *** Sundiang (1 reading)
*** Boado (3 readings plus pre-week) *** Beda Summer Reviewer (2010) (3 readings plus pre-week) – I used the Beda Reviewer I used in my Criminal Law Review class in 4th year because I felt that the notes I scribbled all over it were important. Plus, my memory is somewhat photographic so I recall that a topic is on a specific portion of the reviewer; reading the 2011 version confused me. 114
*** Riano CivPro (3 readings plus pre-week) *** Riano Evidence (3 readings plus pre-week) *** Riano CrimPro (3 readings plus pre-week) *** Beda 2010 and 2011 (2 readings plus preweek) – I used the old reviewer which I used in 4th year and had my notes in it. The 2010 reviewer was my main text for SpecPro because I could not find a text that I was comfortable with. For the special rules part, i.e. writ of kalikasan, etc., I used the 2011 reviewer. Regalado Crimpro (1/2 reading) – I read about 50 pages but I stopped because I was not comfortable with the format and writing style. *** Beda Summer Reviewer (1.5 reading plus preweek) – Halfway through the first reading, I felt that I won’t remember the rules anyway so I stopped and moved on. I read this in whole only during the 3rd round for the other subjects and during pre-weekA * Aguirre (1 reading) – I studied for ethics only after the second reading for the other subjects. I read this once and did not read it again. I relied on Beda’s Forms and on Atty. Ceballos’s forms