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Philippine Legal Profession: History

This was one of my papers written during my Ll.M. studies at UST Manila in 1998-2000 as a FEU graduate studies
fellow.
In 1733, or 266 years ago, the University of Santo Tomas, which is older than Harvard University in the
United States, opened a Faculty of Civil Law and a Faculty of Canon Law. From 1734 to 1800 (66 years), out of
3,360 students, it graduated only 40 students in its various law programs, to wit: 29 in Bachelor of Civil Law, 8 in
Licentiate in Civil Law, and 3 in Doctor of Law, showing the rigid training in these courses.
In 1898 the Universidad Literia Filipinas was established in Malolos, Bulacan and offered courses in law
and notary public. It later moved to Tarlac.
In 1899 Don Felipe Calderon (author of the 1899 Malolos Constitution) founded the Escuela de Derecho de
Manila, which in 1924 was renamed the Manila Law School.
In 1910 the College of Law of the University of the Philippines opened with 50 Filipino and American
students. The first dean was Justice Sherman Moreland of the Philippine Supreme Court. He was replaced by
George A. Malcolm, who later became a Justice of the Philippine Supreme Court.
Other law schools followed: Philippine Law School, 1915; University of Manila College of Law, 1918; Far
Eastern University Institute of Law, 1934; Southern College of Law, 1935; Arellano Law College, 1938; and
Francisco Law School, 1940.

Under the First Philippine Commission (1899) and the Second Philippine Commission (1900), laws were
passed requiring the inspection of private schools, e.g. Act No. 74, which created the Department of Public
Instruction; Act No. 459, or the Corporation Law; Act No. 2706; Act No. 3075.
Under the Commonwealth Government, C.A. No. 180 was passed which created the Office of Private
Schools (later called the Bureau of Private Schools). After World War II,, R.A. No. 74 was passed providing
additional budget for the supervision of private schools.
The latest law on legal education is R.A. No. 7662, also known as the "Legal Education Act of 1993",
which, inter alia, created the Board of Legal Education.


Legal Education; history.

In 1911 the only educational requirements to be a lawyer were a high school degree (as pre-law degree)
and a 3-year law course. Later the pre-law requirement was raised to two years of college work (associate in arts
degree) in addition to a high school degree.
In 1960, Sec. 6 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court was amended by the Supreme Court increasing the pre-
law requirement to a 4-year bachelor's degree (Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science) and increasing the law
course to 4 years (Bachelor of Laws). This resulted in a dramatic decrease in law enrollment in 1960. For instance,
at the University of the Philippines, from an enrollment of 196 students in 1959, it dropped to 28 in 1960.
The University of the Philippines started the law aptitude test and interview by a screening committee as
requirements for entry into its College of Law.
In the 1960s to the 1980s the 4-year law course (Ll.B.)n was made up of 122 units which emphasize the
bar subjects listed in Sec. 6, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court: civil law, criminal law, remedial law, legal ethics and
legal forms, commercial law, political law, tax law, labor law, public corporation and public officers, and
international law. The course included non-bar subjects: legal history, legal bibliography, statutory construction,
jurisprudence, trial techniques, thesis and legal research, legal medicine, and practice court.

The sources of Philippine legal education are (a) Spain, which gave it the Roman civil law and the canon
law, (b) the United States, which gave it the English common law, and (c) Indonesia (thru the Majapahit Empire
and the Shri Visaya Empire), which gave it the Islamic law.
In 1988 the University of the Philippines launched a "core-elective curriculum" which allowed law students
to enroll up to 20 percent of elective subjects. It hope to lead to specialization in legal education.
In 1989 the Department of Education, Culture and Sports adopted a revised model law curriculum for the
4-year Bachelor of Laws degree composed of 51 subjects (124 units) which took effect in 1990. It offered more
subjects on the legal profession, legal ethics, legal counselling, legal research and legal writing.
From 1950 to 1960, 35 new law schools were opened. In 1972, there were 80 law schools in the country.
In 1982 the number decreased to 45 law schools, 35 percent of which were located in Metro Manila. In the same
year, there were 3 state-supported law schools: University of the Philippines College of Law, Mindanao State
University, and Don Mariano Marcos University College of Law.
The law schools accreditation system proposed by the Standing Committee on Legal Education and Bar
Administration of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) is still pending with the Supreme Court for final action.
In 1964 R.A. No. 3870 created the University of the Philippines Law Center to conduct continuing legal
education programs and legal research and publications.


Bar Exams; Performance Rate

Generally, between 20 to 30 percent of bar examinees pass the bar exams. A sample of the passing
percentage is as follows: 1946, 19.39%; 1957, 19.85%; 1962, 19.39%; 1969, 28.00%; 1974, 35.02%; 1979,
49.51%; 1984, 22.55%; 1989, 21,26%; and 1991, 17.85%. The number of bar examinees has been increasing:
1973, 1,631; 1978, 1,890; 1983, 2,455; 1988, 2,824; and 1991, 3,196. In 1954, there were 14,000 Filipino
lawyers; in 1977, 28, 000; and in 1992, 34,922. From 1946 to 1953, the passing percentage of most law schools
was below the 50% level of the national passing percentage.
The Philippine annual bar exams are administered every September by a committee created by the
Supreme Court composed of one justice as chair and 8 lawyers, with a term of office of one year. The bar
examinee must be at least 21 years of age, a Filipino citizen and a resident of the Philippines, of good moral
character, has completed the required 4-year law course (Ll.B.) in a law school recognized by the Department of
Education, Culture and Sports (now by the Commission on Higher Education and the Board of Legal Education).


Private Law Practice

In a 1976 survey among lawyers conducted by the UP Law Center, it was discovered that only 23.4
percent were engaged in active private practice and that the rest were either employed in the government (32.2
percent) or private sector (38.6 percent). In 1962, 25 percent of lawyers were in active private practice.
Law practice is complicated and it requires specialization. Under the martial law regime alone (1972-June 12,
1978), there were 1,473 presidential decrees, 708 letters of instructions, and 62 general orders. As of 1911, under
the regime of the Philippine Commission, there were 2,092 statutes. As of 1970, there were 10,078 statutes
(Republic Acts [Ras], Philippine Commission Acts [Acts], Commonwealth Acts [CAs]). The figures excluded local
ordinances and administrative rules and regulations.


Popularizing the Law

This complex situation gave rise to the need to "popularize the law". In the 1980s the UP Law Center
launched a series of "programs in legal literacy, street law, or practical law" in cooperation with women's non-
governmental organizations (NGOs), student organizations, and the local barangays (barangay legal education
seminars).
Certain sectors of society began to urge the Filipinization of the law (curriculum, textbooks, laws, court
decisions). In other countries the popularization of their laws in their own native tongues was a normal rule of
society, such as, for instance, in Indonesia where its national language, Bahasa Indonesia, is the official medium of
instruction in law schools, and where "the enshrinement of customary law (is) part of the legal system".
In the words of former Supreme Court Justice Irene Cortez, who once served as the dean of the UP
College of Law: "xxx Where law is written and taught in a foreign language, it becomes more esoteric, its concepts
more difficult to assimilate and retain. If it is difficult for those who undergo the professional training for lawyers, it
would be even more difficult for the ordinary citizen. There are those of us in the Philippines who have begun to
give serious thought to using our own language in legal education. xxx."




Legal Education Act of 1993

Under R.A. No. 7662 (Legal Education Act of 1993), the focus of legal education are
[1]
: advocacy,
counselling, problem solving, decision making, ethics and nobility of the legal profession, bench-bar partnership,
and social commitment, selection of law students
[2]
, quality of law schools, the law faculty, and the law
curriculum
[3]
, mandatory legal apprenticeship
[4]
, and continuing legal education.


The Law Teacher

The average law teacher is 51-55 years of age, married, male, with Bachelor of Laws degree as his
highest degree, has bee teaching for less than 10 years, has a load of 10 to 12 hours a week, teaches Civil Law,
derives less than 5 percent of his income from law teaching, teaches in a private law school, and has not published.
More than 80 percent of the law faculty are part-time teachers. They are underpaid even in a highly
subsidized state university such as the University of the Philippines. "A person who embraces teaching as a career
takes the vow of poverty".
Despite the financial constraints he faces, he plays a noble and important role in the training of future
lawyers. And he has duties to comply with: "xxx The law teachers to be effective must endeavor for deeper
understanding of the law, thru research and reflection. Through critical study, they also identify emerging trends
and areas for reform and contribute towards making law an instrument of social development. Law teachers must
principally assume the critical and predictive functions in the legal profession xxx."

by


MANUEL J. LASERNA JR.
c. 1998
Philippine Legal Profession _ part 2
Continuation of the excerpts from my 2000 Ll.M. thesis.


x x x.

E. Legal Education of the Filipino Lawyer
1. Poor Pre-Law Education Assailed
It appears that there is so much to be desired in the quality of the high school and collegiate pre-law education of
the Filipino lawyer. An indication of the low quality of pre-law education in the Philippines is the fact that the annual
passing average in Philippine Bar Examinations is roughly 20 percent only (compared to about 70 percent in the
USA). In a recent editorial, the Philippine Daily Inquirer commented on the poor state of high school and college
education in the Philippines as follows:
A...But colleges and universities are hobbled by the uneven and even sub-par quality of graduates of basic
education. The problem has given rise to understandable calls for the restoration of Grade 7 and short of that, the
introduction of a pre-baccalaureate program either in high school or college that will winnow graduating high school
students and sort them out either for full college program or a vocational-technical course.
In some instances, the failure of the education department to come up with reforms to decisively address the
problem of quality has given rise to calls in higher education to increase the number of educational units required
for graduation, effectively adding another year to the regular four-year college program...@. (Editorial - AFatal
Truancy@, Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 18, 2002, page A8).
2. History of Philippine Legal Education

Since the introduction by Spain of legal education in the Philippines in 1733, or 266 years ago, when the University
of Santo Tomas opened its Faculty of Civil Law and a Faculty of Canon Law,
[1]
the professional education of the
Filipino lawyer has faced many challenges, questions and changes.
Filled with the nationalistic confidence that the Filipinos themselves were prepared to educate their own future
lawyers, the "Indios" of the ilustrado class, aspired to compete with the "Peninsulares" and the clergy from Spain,
by establishing in 1898 the Universidad Literia Filipinas in Malolos, Bulacan which offered courses in law and notary
public.
[2]
In 1899 Don Felipe Calderon (author of the 1899 Malolos Constitution) founded the Escuela de Derecho de
Manila, which in 1924 was renamed the Manila Law School.
[3]

The Americans who replaced the Spaniards in 1899, imbued with the so-called "divine mission" to enlighten the
"uneducated" Filipinos on the concepts of democracy and modern civilization, inspired the ilustrados to join them in
the intellectual enlightenment of the natives. Thus, in 1910 the College of Law of the University of the Philippines
opened with 50 Filipino and American students. The first dean was Justice Sherman Moreland of the Philippine
Supreme Court. He was replaced by George A. Malcolm, who later became a Justice of the Philippine Supreme
Court.
[4]

Other law schools followed: Philippine Law School, 1915; University of Manila College of Law, 1918; Far Eastern
University Institute of Law, 1934; Southern College of Law, 1935; Arellano Law College, 1938; and Francisco Law
School, 1940.
[5]

Under the First Philippine Commission (1899) and the Second Philippine Commission (1900), laws were passed
requiring the inspection of private schools, e.g. Act No. 74, which created the Department of Public Instruction; Act
No. 459, or the Corporation Law; Act No. 2706; Act No. 3075.
[6]


Under the Commonwealth Government, C.A. No. 180 was passed which created the Office of Private Schools (later
called the Bureau of Private Schools).
[7]
After World War II,, R.A. No. 74 was passed providing additional budget for
the supervision of private schools.
[8]

Under the present dispensation, the latest law on legal education is R.A. No. 7662, also known as the "Legal
Education Reform Act of 1993", which, inter alia, created the Board of Legal Education (BLE).
3. Legal Education Requirements
In 1911 the only educational requirements to be a lawyer were a high school degree (as pre-law degree) and a 3-
year law course. Later the pre-law requirement was raised to two years of college work (associate in arts degree)
in addition to a high school degree.
[9]

In 1960, Sec. 6 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court was amended by the Supreme Court increasing the pre-law
requirement to a 4-year bachelor's degree (Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science) and increasing the law course
to 4 years (Bachelor of Laws). This resulted in a dramatic decrease in law enrollment in 1960. For instance, at the
University of the Philippines, from an enrollment of 196 students in 1959, it dropped to 28 in 1960.
[10]

The University of the Philippines started the law aptitude test and interview by a screening committee as
requirements for entry into its College of Law.
[11]

In the 1960s to the 1980s the 4-year law course (Ll.B.) was made up of 122 units which emphasized the bar
subjects listed in Sec. 6, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court: civil law, criminal law, remedial law, legal ethics and legal
forms, commercial law, political law, tax law, labor law, public corporation and public officers, and international
law.
[12]
The course included non-bar subjects: legal history, legal bibliography, statutory construction,
jurisprudence, trial techniques, thesis and legal research, legal medicine, and practice court.
[13]


4. Sources of Philippine Legal Education
The sources of Philippine legal education are (a) Spain, which gave it the Roman civil law and the canon law, (b)
the United States, which gave it the English common law, and (c) Indonesia (thru the Majapahit Empire and the
Shri Visaya Empire), which gave it the Islamic law.
[14]

In 1988 the University of the Philippines launched a "core-elective curriculum" which allowed law students to enroll
up to 20 percent of elective subjects.
[15]
It hoped to lead to specialization in legal education.
In 1989 the Department of Education, Culture and Sports adopted a revised model law curriculum for the 4-year
Bachelor of Laws degree composed of 51 subjects (124 units) which took effect in 1990.
[16]
It offered more subjects
on the legal profession, legal ethics, legal counseling, legal research and legal writing.
[17]

5. Law Schools in the Philippines

From 1950 to 1960, 35 new law schools were opened.
[18]
In 1972, there were 80 law schools in the country.
[19]
In
1982 the number decreased to 45 law schools, 35 percent of which were located in Metro Manila.
[20]
In the same
year, there were 3 state-supported law schools: University of the Philippines College of Law, Mindanao State
University, and Don Mariano Marcos University College of Law.
[21]

The law schools accreditation system proposed by the Standing Committee on Legal Education and Bar
Administration of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) is still pending with the Supreme Court for final
action.
[22]

In 1964 R.A. No. 3870 created the University of the Philippines Law Center to conduct continuing legal education
programs and legal research and publications.
[23]

6. Legal Education Reform Act of 1993

Under R.A. No. 7662 (Legal Education Reform Act of 1993), the focus of legal education are
[24]
: advocacy,
counseling, problem solving, decision making, ethics and nobility of the legal profession, bench-bar partnership,
and social commitment, selection of law students
[25]
, quality of law schools, the law faculty, and the law
curriculum
[26]
, mandatory legal apprenticeship
[27]
, and continuing legal education
[28]
.
7. The Crucial Role of the Law Teacher
The average law teacher is 51-55 years of age, married, male, with Bachelor of Laws degree as his highest degree,
has been teaching for less than 10 years, has a load of 10 to 12 hours a week, teaches Civil Law, derives less than
5 percent of his income from law teaching, teaches in a private law school, and has not published.
[29]

More than 80 percent of the law faculty is made up of part-time law teachers. They are underpaid even in a highly
subsidized state university such as the University of the Philippines. "A person who embraces teaching as a career
takes the vow of poverty".
[30]

Despite the financial constraints that the law teacher faces, he plays a noble and important role in the training of
future lawyers. And he has fundamental professional and ethical duties to fulfill:
"xxx The law teachers to be effective must endeavor for deeper understanding of the law, thru research and
reflection. Through critical study, they also identify emerging trends and areas for reform and contribute towards
making law an instrument of social development. Law teachers must principally assume the critical and predictive
functions in the legal profession xxx."
[31]

8. British Legal Education

In the case of United Kingdom, according to Prof. Thomas G. Lund, the requisites for admission to the English Bar
are as follows: (a) "a test of general education (of approximately the same standard as that required for entry into
a university)"; (b) "fulfilled certain conditions of fitness and respectability"; (c) "keep a certain number of terms
(generally twelve, which now involves nothing more than dining in hall on a number of days in each term, 4 terms
in a year"; (d) "pass a qualifying examination of a largely theoretical nature" ("the examination approximates to
those for a university law degree, and Bar students frequently keep their terms while at the university"); (e) as to
citizenship, a barrister "may be of any nationality" while a solicitor "must be a British subject".
[32]

The official association of the solicitors is "The Law Society", organized in 1823 by Royal Charter. Membership in
the society is voluntary. In 1951, out of 22,000 solicitors, only 16,000 were members thereof.
[33]
The society has
been entrusted by the Parliament with many powers, obligations and duties with respect to the legal profession.
The required legal education for a solicitor is as follows: (a) "to serve a period under articles of clerkship (or
apprenticeship) with a solicitor engaged in the active practice of law" (the term is normally five years but is
reduced to three years for university graduates, whether in law or arts); (b) "to pass a preliminary examination on
general knowledge, an intermediate and a final examination in law and an examination in bookkeeping and trust
accounts"; (c) before he can "enter into articles he must obtain the consent of the Law Society and must satisfy the
Society of his character, suitability and fitness to do so".
[34]
The clerk pays his principal a fee for clerkship, which in
1952 was 300 pounds.
[35]

The management and control of examinations for solicitors were placed by the Parliament in the hands of the Law
Society which was "empowered to make regulations governing the syllabus, the appointments of examiners, and
other kindred matters. These regulations, however, must be approved by the Master of the Rolls, the Lord
Chancellor, and the Lord Chief Justice".
[36]

Before taking the final examination, "the articled clerk must have attended a course of legal education at a school
of law provided or approved by the Law Society". The required course of legal education is of one year's duration,
either part-time at the approved law schools or full-time at the Law Society's School of Law.
[37]


The license of the solicitor is renewed yearly by the Law Society.
[38]

9. Performance in the Bar Exams
Generally, between 20 to 25 percent of bar examinees pass the bar exams annually.
[39]
A sample of the passing
percentage is as follows: 1946, 19.39%; 1957, 19.85%; 1962, 19.39%; 1969, 28.00%; 1974, 35.02%; 1979,
49.51%; 1984, 22.55%; 1989, 21,26%; and 1991, 17.85%.
[40]
The number of bar examinees has been increasing:
1973, 1,631; 1978, 1,890; 1983, 2,455; 1988, 2,824; and 1991, 3,196.
[41]
In 1954, there were 14,000 Filipino
lawyers; in 1977, 28, 000; and in 1992, 34,922.
[42]
From 1946 to 1953, the passing percentage of most law
schools was below the 50% level of the national passing percentage.
[43]

The Philippine annual bar exams are administered every September by a committee created by the Supreme Court
composed of one justice as chair and 8 lawyers, with a term of office of one year. The bar examinee must be at
least 21 years of age, a Filipino citizen and a resident of the Philippines, of good moral character, has completed
the required 4-year law course (Ll.B.) in a law school recognized by the Department of Education, Culture and
Sports (now by the Commission on Higher Education and the Board of Legal Education).
[44]

It seems that the 1960 rule imposed by the Supreme Court which required a 4-year pre-law AB or BS degree as a
prerequisite for enrolling in the degree of Bachelor of Laws (Ll. B.) did not have a dramatic effect in increasing the
passing rate of the annual bar examinations. For many decades up to the present, the average passing rate has
ranged from 20 to 30 percent. (Coquia, Jose R. The Legal Profession. Manila: Rex Book Store, 1993, pp. 3, 81-82,
231-232). And it appears that the passing rate of a great majority of law schools in the Philippines is below 50
percent of the total number of their respective student-examinees. (id., p. 13).

A Philippine jurist, Ernani Cruz Pano, has commented that Aalthough the bar examination is far from being a
precise and accurate gauge of the effectiveness of legal education, the figures on bar examination results suggest
an urgent need for reforms in legal education@. (Ernani Cruz Pano, Judiciary and the Bar, Manila: Rex Book Store,
1995, p. 111).
Of the 42 bar examinations conducted by the Supreme Court from 1946 to 1986, Ait was only in eleven bar
examinations that more than one-half of the candidates passed@. In 31 bar examinations, the mortality rate was
Amore than 50 percent@. From 1982 to 1986 the passing rate ranged from 18.8 percent (1986) to 26.69 percent
(1985). (id.).
In the 1986 bar examination, 60 law schools sent 2,600 candidates. Sixteen of the law schools failed to have any
of their candidates pass the bar exam. Of the 2,600 candidates, 491 passed the bar exam (18.8 percent national
passing rate). Of this number, 41 percent were from Ateneo de Manila University, University of the Philippines, and
San Beda College of Law. The rest of the successful candidates were from 41 other law schools whose passing rate
ranged from 2.63 percent to 28 percent. (id., p. 112).
Pano recommends a review of the contents and coverage of the bar exams. He proposes the exclusion of taxation
law and labor law from the exams and the increase of the number of units allotted for these subjects in the law
curriculum. He recommends the appointment of bar examiners for a longer term, rather than the present ad hoc
arrangement, to allow for much preparation. He proposes a consideration of the idea of establishing a quota
system in the law profession, that is, the fixing of a limit on the number of candidates that a law school should
send to the bar exams, proportionate to the number of successful examinees graduating from these schools. (id.,
p. 118).
It is noteworthy to quote the comments of Justice Pano on the what the real purpose of the bar exams should be:
AThere are sectors which doubt any connection between the results of bar examinations and the level of formal
education; they question the effectiveness of bar examinations as an instrument to test professional competence
and success in law practice. But everyone agrees that until a more effective method of law school supervision is
devised, the bar examination provides stimulus to these schools to do their best in legal education. It is for the
moment the only means by which the Supreme Court may check on the performance of these law schools.
xxxx.
One may then view the bar examination either as a necessary evil or an inevitable compromise, but it is here
definitely to stay for a while. It would then be useless to argue that legal education should not be >bar oriented=.
The law student must be able to pass the scrutiny of the examiner appointed by the Supreme Court to test the
proficiency and capacity of the law student aspiring for admission to the bar.

Legal educators agree that the bar examinations should not merely be conducted for the purpose of testing
information, memory or experience. The computer would be better lawyers if the gauge of admission would be the
capacity to store information and the possession of a photographic memory. The law student is also without any
experience to be tested.
Rather, the bar examination should test the candidate=s ability to reason logically, to analyze accurately the
problems presented to him and to exhibit a thorough knowledge of the fundamental principles of law and their
application.
xxx.
Is this task being performed by our law schools? Judging on the results of the bar examinations, it would appear
that except for perhaps three or even five law schools, the rest have failed miserably in developing among its
students the needed orientation, language capacity, analytical proficiency and the capacity to pass judgments
which would enable the students to pass the bar examination and be professionally competent in law practice@.
(Id., pp. 112-114).
The relevant provisions of Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court on bar examinations and admission to the Bar are
reproduced below:
ASec. 2. Requirements for all applicants for admission to the bar. C Every applicant for admission as a member of
the bar must be a citizen of the Philippines, at least twenty-one years of age, of good moral character, and resident
of the Philippines; and must produce before the Supreme Court satisfactory evidence of good moral character, and
that no charges against him, involving moral turpitude, have been filed or are pending in any court in the
Philippines.
Sec. 3. Requirements for lawyers who are citizens of the United States of America. C Citizens of the United States
of America who, before July 4, 1946, were duly licensed members of the Philippine Bar, in active practice in the
courts of the Philippines and in good and regular standing as such may, upon satisfactory proof of those facts
before the Supreme Court, be allowed to continue such practice after taking the following oath of office:

I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., having been permitted to continue in the practice of law in the Philippines,
do solemnly swear that I recognize the supreme authority of the Republic of the Philippines; I will support its
Constitution and obey the laws as well as the legal orders of the duly constituted authorities therein; I will do no
falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court; I will not wittingly or willingly promote or sue any groundless,
false or unlawful suit, nor give aid nor consent to the same; I will delay no man for money or malice, and will
conduct myself as a lawyer according to the best of may knowledge and discretion with all good fidelity as well as
to the courts as to my clients; and I impose upon myself this voluntary obligation without any mental reservation
or purpose of evasion. So help me God.
Sec. 4. Requirements for applicants from other jurisdictions. C Applicants for admission who, being Filipino citizens,
are enrolled attorneys in good standing in the Supreme Court of the United States or in any circuit court of appeals
or district court therein, or in the highest court of any State or Territory of the United States, and who can show by
satisfactory certificates that they have practiced at least five years in any of said courts, that such practice began
before July 4, 1946, and that they have never been suspended or disbarred, may, in the discretion of the Court, be
admitted without examination.
Sec. 5. Additional requirements for other applicants. C All applicants for admission other than those referred to in
the two preceding section shall, before being admitted to the examination, satisfactorily show that they have
regularly studied law for four years, and successfully completed all prescribed courses, in a law school or
university, officially approved and recognized by the Secretary of Education. The affidavit of the candidate,
accompanied by a certificate from the university or school of law, shall be filed as evidence of such facts, and
further evidence may be required by the court.

No applicant shall be admitted to the bar examinations unless he has satisfactorily completed the following courses
in a law school or university duly recognized by the government: civil law, commercial law, remedial law, criminal
law, public and private international law, political law, labor and social legislation, medical jurisprudence, taxation
and legal ethics.
Sec. 6. Pre-Law. C No applicant for admission to the bar examination shall be admitted unless he presents a
certificate that he has satisfied the Secretary of Education that, before he began the study of law, he had pursued
and satisfactorily completed in an authorized and recognized university or college, requiring for admission thereto
the completion of a four-year high school course, the course of study prescribed therein for a bachelor's degree in
arts or sciences with any of the following subjects as major or field of concentration: political science, logic,
english, spanish, history and economics.
Sec. 7. Time for filing proof of qualifications. C All applicants for admission shall file with the clerk of the Supreme
Court the evidence required by section 2 of this rule at least fifteen (15) days before the beginning of the
examination. If not embraced within section 3 and 4 of this rule they shall also file within the same period the
affidavit and certificate required by section 5, and if embraced within sections 3 and 4 they shall exhibit a license
evidencing the fact of their admission to practice, satisfactory evidence that the same has not been revoked, and
certificates as to their professional standing. Applicants shall also file at the same time their own affidavits as to
their age, residence, and citizenship.
Sec. 8. Notice of Applications. C Notice of applications for admission shall be published by the clerk of the Supreme
Court in newspapers published in Pilipino, English and Spanish, for at least ten (10) days before the beginning of
the examination.
Sec. 9. Examination; subjects. C Applicants, not otherwise provided for in sections 3 and 4 of this rule, shall be
subjected to examinations in the following subjects: Civil Law; Labor and Social Legislation; Mercantile Law;
Criminal Law; Political Law (Constitutional Law, Public Corporations, and Public Officers); International Law (Private
and Public); Taxation; Remedial Law (Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, and Evidence); Legal Ethics and Practical
Exercises (in Pleadings and Conveyancing).

Sec. 10. Bar examination, by questions and answers, and in writing. C Persons taking the examination shall not
bring papers, books or notes into the examination rooms. The questions shall be the same for all examinees and a
copy thereof, in English or Spanish, shall be given to each examinee. Examinees shall answer the questions
personally without help from anyone.
Upon verified application made by an examinee stating that his penmanship is so poor that it will be difficult to
read his answers without much loss of time., the Supreme Court may allow such examinee to use a typewriter in
answering the questions. Only noiseless typewriters shall be allowed to be used.
The committee of bar examiner shall take such precautions as are necessary to prevent the substitution of papers
or commission of other frauds. Examinees shall not place their names on the examination papers. No oral
examination shall be given.
Sec. 11. Annual examination. C Examinations for admission to the bar of the Philippines shall take place annually in
the City of Manila. They shall be held in four days to be disignated by the chairman of the committee on bar
examiners. The subjects shall be distributed as follows: First day: Political and International Law (morning) and
Labor and Social Legislation (afternoon); Second day: Civil Law (morning) and Taxation (afternoon); Third day:
Mercantile Law (morning) and Criminal Law (afternoon); Fourth day: Remedial Law (morning) and legal Ethics and
Practical Exercises (afternoon).
Sec. 12. Committee of examiners. C Examinations shall be conducted by a committee of bar examiners to be
appointed by the Supreme Court. This committee shall be composed of a Justice of the Supreme Court, who shall
act as chairman, and who shall be designated by the court to serve for one year, and eight members of the bar of
the Philippines, who shall hold office for a period of one year. The names of the members of this committee shall be
published in each volume of the official reports.

Sec. 13. Disciplinary measures. C No candidate shall endeavor to influence any member of the committee, and
during examination the candidates shall not communicate with each other nor shall they give or receive any
assistance. The candidate who violates this provisions, or any other provision of this rule, shall be barred from the
examination, and the same to count as a failure against him, and further disciplinary action, including permanent
disqualification, may be taken in the discretion of the court.
Sec. 14. Passing average. C In order that a candidate may be deemed to have passed his examinations
successfully, he must have obtained a general average of 75 per cent in all subjects, without falling below 50 per
cent in any subjects. In determining the average, the subjects in the examination shall be given the following
relative weights: Civil Law, 15 per cent; Labor and Social Legislation, 10 per cent; Mercantile Law, 15 per cent;
Criminal Law; 10 per cent: Political and International Law, 15 per cent; Taxation, 10 per cent; Remedial Law, 20
per cent; Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises, 5 per cent.
Sec. 15. Report of the committee; filing of examination papers. C Not later than February 15th after the
examination, or as soon thereafter as may be practicable, the committee shall file its report on the result of such
examination. The examination papers and notes of the committee shall be filed with the clerk and may there be
examined by the parties in interest, after the court has approved the report.
Sec. 16. Failing candidates to take review course. C Candidates who have failed the bar examinations for three
times shall be disqualified from taking another examination unless they show the satisfaction of the court that they
have enrolled in and passed regular fourth year review classes as well as attended a pre-bar review course in a
recognized law school.
The professors of the individual review subjects attended by the candidates under this rule shall certify under oath
that the candidates have regularly attended classes and passed the subjects under the same conditions as ordinary
students and the ratings obtained by them in the particular subject@. (Rule 138, Rev. Rules of Court).
10. 1989 Survey by the Bureau of Higher Education

In 1988-1989 the Bureau of Higher Education (which was replaced by the Commission on Higher
Education) conducted a survey of law schools in the Philippines to evaluate the quality and state of legal
education in the country. It was funded by the Asia Foundation. (Bureau of Higher Education, State of Legal
Education in the Philippines, 1989. Manila: Department of Education, Culture and Sports, 111 pp.). The survey
had influenced the adoption of the Legal Education Reform Act of 1993 (R.A. No. 7662).
The respondents included 57 law deans, 360 law faculty members, 3,036 students, and 365 law
graduates. It concluded that Athe quality of instruction given by the law schools leaves much to be desired.@ It
proposed future analytical study of the law students, the law faculty, the validity and reliability of the bar
examinations, and a comparative study of law schools.
In 1989 there were almost 20,000 law students.
There were 40 law schools distributed as follows: Metro Manila, 16; Central Visayas, 8; West Visayas, 4;
East Visayas, 4; Bicol, 4; Southern Mindanao, 4. (at p. 3). Almost one-half of all law schools were situated in
Metro Manila and Cebu.
The survey found that 70.28 percent of the law faculty members were practicing lawyers; that 51.67
percent of the faculty had four to six years of teaching experience; that 50.83 percent had no formal training in
teaching methods; that the number one teaching method used was the recitation method, followed by lecture
method; that 54.72 percent did not give out written course syllabi to students; that 69.17 percent were not
revising/updating their syllabi; that 85 percent of the faculty were males; that 49.72 percent was between 45 to
49 years old; that 89.72 percent took their Ll. B. degree in private law schools; and that the pre-law degree of
65.28 percent faculty was in the field of social sciences.
The survey studied the admission policies of law schools. It discovered that 29.6 percent of law schools
based their admission solely on interviews of the students and that 17.58 percent considered the pre-law grades
of the students.
The survey described the profile of a law student as follows: that 55.77 percent of law students were
between the ages 25 and 29; that 62.91 percent were male; that 59.29 percent were single; that 44.56 percent
finished a degree in social sciences and 30.73 percent in business; that 86.63 percent took their pre-law in
private schools; that 62.25 percent were working; that 43.05 percent owned textbooks in all subjects; that 94
percent of law students were enrolled in private law schools; that 50 percent of the students were enrolled in
Metro Manila; that the national survival rate at law schools was 36 percent and 50.82 percent in Metro Manila;
that 40.70 percent of law graduates were from Metro Manila;

The survey established that from 1978 to 1987 the average passing rate in the bar examinations was
31.15 percent; that the average passing rate of the University of the Philippines for the period was 77.32
percent; that the average passing rate of private law schools for the period was 27.13 percent; and that the
common reasons given by respondents for failure in the bar examinations were English language deficiency, poor
preparation, inadequate pre-bar review, lack of pre-bar review materials, poor teaching methods, absenteeism of
faculty, extensive coverage of the bar exams, and the grading system of the bar exams.
The survey commented on the law schools and the law faculty as follows:
ALawyers are not professionally trained to be teachers and most likely, are not imbued with the mission for
teaching. In all probability, they have diverse motivations for joining the ranks of teachers, ranging from the
materialistic to the idealistic. Law deans seem to have supervisory problems with faculty who regard teaching not
as a mission but merely as a additional source of income.
It is a fact that almost all law schools are staffed by part-time faculty, who are either active in practicing the law
profession or are employed on a full-time basis in private or government agencies. They cannot devote much time
to their responsibilities as teachers, such as syllabi preparation, conferences with students having academic
problems, and other duties which they leave to the administration to handle. Because of their tight schedule, the
part-time faculty excuse themselves from faculty meetings and the usual assignments given to full-time faculty.
In view of the part-time status of most law faculty, as well as their apparent independence from certain
administrative expectations and requirements, law school deans are constrained from undertaking a program of
faculty development. Considering the type of law faculty and their heavy schedules in their regular jobs it does not
seem possible to have law faculty participate in faculty development programs, except in short in-service training
programs to enhance their teaching competencies.
Due to time constraints, administrators and law faculty do not have enough opportunities for developing ideal
relationships between them. Contacts are few and often are confined to general faculty assemblies and big
university functions which do not allow for close interaction@. (id., pp. 78-79).

F. Continuing Legal Education
1. Few are Active Practitioners
In a 1976 survey among lawyers conducted by the UP Law Center, it was discovered that only 23.4
percent were engaged in active private practice and that the rest were either employed in the government (32.2
percent) or private sector (38.6 percent).
[45]
In 1962, 25 percent of lawyers were in active private practice.
[46]
It
appears that only one out of every five Filipino lawyers is actively engaged in private law practice and that the
rest are employed either in the government or in the private sector or an engaged in private business. Most of
the practitioners are located in the cities and are mostly solo practitioners or belong to small to medium law
firms.
In a 1982 survey conducted by the UP Law Center, it was established that 55 percent of Filipino lawyers
were employed with the government. Of those in private practice, 78 percent were based in Metro Manila; all in all,
89 percent of lawyers were based in major cities throughout the Philippines; and 18 percent of the respondents
was made up of independent (solo) practitioners, 7 percent were employed in law firms, and 7 percent was
employed in private companies. (Manuel Bonifacio and Merlin M. Magallona, "Survey Of the Legal Profession", in
Coquia, supra, pp. 308-353). Sixty-eight (68) percent of the respondent-lawyers felt that their legal training in law
school was Anot adequate@. Ninety-seven (97) percent recommended continuing legal education (CLE) for all law
practitioners. But the subject of legal ethics occupied only the fifth rank among the various subjects that the
respondents recommended for inclusion in the CLE programs. The top ranks for the CLE subjects the respondents
recommended pertained to pragmatic, trial-oriented, and business-related subjects. (id.).
2. Law is Complex

Law practice is complex and it requires specialization. Under the martial law regime alone (1972-June 12,
1978), there were 1,473 presidential decrees, 708 letters of instructions, and 62 general orders.
[47]
As of the end of
1911, under the regime of the Philippine Commission, there were 2,092 statutes. As of the end of 1970, there were
10,078 statutes (Republic Acts [RAs], Philippine Commission Acts [Acts], Commonwealth Acts [CAS]).
[48]
The
figures excluded local ordinances and administrative rules and regulations.
[49]

3. Mandatory Continuing Legal Education
Bar Matter No. 850, promulgated by the Supreme Court on August 22, 2000 and amended on October 2, 2001,
contains the Rules on the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) for members of the Integrated Bar of
the Philippines (IBP). The rules were recommended by the IBP, endorsed by the Philippine Judicial Academy, and
reviewed and passed upon by the Supreme Court Committee on Legal Education. The rules took effect on
September 15, 2000, following its publication in two newspapers of general circulation. The MCLE Committee of
the Supreme Court, assisted by the IBP national office, implements and evaluates this national activity. (Bar
Matter No. 850, Sec. 2, Rule 2).
Continuing legal education is now required of all Filipino lawyers (IBP members) to ensure that
throughout their career, they keep abreast with law and jurisprudence, maintain the ethics of the profession and
enhance the standards of the practice of law. (Id., Sec. 1, Rule 1).
Members of the IBP not exempt under Rule 7 of the Rules shall complete every three (3) years at least
thirty-six (36) hours or credit units of continuing legal education activities approved by the MCLE Committee. Of
the 36 hours:
(a) At least six (6) hours shall be devoted to legal ethics equivalent to six (6) credit units.
(b) At least four (4) hours shall be devoted to trial and pretrial skills equivalent to four (4) credit units.
(c) At least five (5) hours shall be devoted to alternative dispute resolution equivalent to five (5) credit
units.
(d) At least nine (9) hours shall be devoted to updates on substantive and procedural laws, and
jurisprudence equivalent to nine (9) credit units.
(e) At least four (4) hours shall be devoted to legal writing and oral advocacy equivalent to four (4) credit
units.
(f) At least two (2) hours shall be devoted to international law and international conventions equivalent to
two (2) credit units.

(g) The remaining six (6) hours shall be devoted to such subjects as may be prescribed by the MCLE
Committee equivalent to six (6) credit units. (Id., Sec. 2, Rule 2).
Members may participate in any legal education activity wherever it may be available to earn credit unit
toward compliance with the MCLE requirement. (Id., Sec. 2, Rule 3). Please see Figure 2, infra, for the list
of the accredited MCLE service providers as of March 2002 (cf. www.ibp.org.ph, website of the IBP
national office).
Credit units are either participatory or non-participatory. (Bar Matter No. 850, Sec. 1, Rule 5).
Participatory credit units may be claimed for:
(a) Attending approved education activities like seminars, conferences, conventions, symposia, in-house
education programs, workshops, dialogues or round table discussion.
(b) Speaking or lecturing, or acting as assigned panelist, reactor, commentator, resource speaker,
moderator, coordinator or facilitator in approved education activities.
(c) Teaching in a law school or lecturing in a bar review class. (Id., Sec. 2, Rule 5).
Non-participatory credit units may be claimed per compliance period for:
(a) Preparing, as an author or co-author, written materials published or accepted for publication, e.g., in
the form of an article, chapter, book, or book review which contribute to the legal education of the author
member, which were not prepared in the ordinary course of the member=s practice or employment.
(b) Editing a law book, law journal or legal newsletter. (Id., Sec. 3, Rule 5).
The following members of the Bar are exempt from the MCLE requirement:
(a) The President and the Vice President of the Philippines, and the Secretaries and Undersecretaries of
Executive Departments;
(b) Senators and Members of the House of Representatives;
(c) The Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, incumbent and retired members of the
judiciary, incumbent members of the Judicial and Bar Council and incumbent court lawyers covered by the
Philippine Judicial Academy program of continuing judicial education;

(d) The Chief State Counsel, Chief State Prosecutor and Assistant Secretaries of the Department of
Justice;
(e) The Solicitor General and the Assistant Solicitors General;
(f) The Government Corporate Counsel, Deputy and Assistant Government Corporate Counsel;
(g) The Chairmen and Members of the Constitutional Commissions;
(h) The Ombudsman, the Overall Deputy Ombudsman, the Deputy Ombudsman and the Special
Prosecutor of the Office of the Ombudsman;
(i) Heads of government agencies exercising quasi-judicial functions;
(j) Incumbent deans, bar reviewers and professors of law who have teaching experience for at least ten
(10) years in accredited law schools;
(k) The Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and members of the Corps of Professors and Professorial Lecturers of
the Philippine Judicial Academy; and
(l) Governors and Mayors. (Id., Sec. 1, Rule 7).
The following Members of the Bar are likewise exempt:
(a) Those who are not in law practice, private or public.
(b) Those who have retired from law practice with the approval of the IBP Board of Governors. (Id., Sec.
2, Rule 7).
A member may file a verified request setting forth good cause for exemption (such as physical disability, illness,
post graduate study abroad, proven expertise in law, etc.) from compliance with or modification of any of the
requirements, including an extension of time for compliance, in accordance with a procedure to be established by
the MCLE Committee. (Id., Sec. 3, Rule 7).
Subject to the implementing regulations that may be adopted by the MCLE Committee, continuing legal education
program may be granted approval in either of two (2) ways: (1) the provider of the activity is an accredited
provider and certifies that the activity meets the criteria of Section 2 of this Rule; and (2) the provider is
specifically mandated by law to provide continuing legal education. (Id., Sec. 1, Rule 8).
All continuing legal education activities must meet the following standards:
(a) The activity shall have significant current intellectual or practical content.
(b) The activity shall constitute an organized program of learning related to legal subjects and the legal profession,
including cross profession activities (e.g., accounting-tax or medical-legal) that enhance legal skills or the ability to
practice law, as well as subjects in legal writing and oral advocacy.

(c) The activity shall be conducted by a provider with adequate professional experience.
(d) Where the activity is more than one (1) hour in length, substantive written materials must be distributed to all
participants. Such materials must be distributed at or before the time the activity is offered.
(e) In-house education activities must be scheduled at a time and location so as to be free from interruption like
telephone calls and other distractions. (Id., Sec. 2, Rule 8).
Accreditation of providers shall be done by the MCLE Committee. (Id., Sec. 1, Rule 9).
Any person or group may be accredited as a provider for a term of two (2) years, which may be renewed, upon
written application. All providers of continuing legal education activities, including in-house providers, are eligible to
be accredited providers. (Id., Sec. 2, Rule 9).
Each IBP member shall secure from the MCLE Committee a Compliance Card before the end of his compliance
period. He shall complete the card by attesting under oath that he has complied with the education requirement or
that he is exempt, specifying the nature of the exemption. Such Compliance Card must be returned to the
Committee not later than the day after the end of the member=s compliance period. (Id., Sec. 1, Rule 11).
Each member shall maintain sufficient record of compliance or exemption, copy furnished the MCLE Committee.
The record required to be provided to the members by the provider pursuant to Section 38 of Rule 9 should be a
sufficient record of attendance at a participatory activity. A record of non-participatory activity shall also be
maintained by the member, as referred to in Section 3 of Rule 5. (Id., Sec. 2, Rule 11).
The following shall constitute non-compliance by the IBP members:
(a) Failure to complete the education requirement within the compliance period;
(b) Failure to provide attestation of compliance or exemption;
(c) Failure to provide satisfactory evidence of compliance (including evidence of exempt status) within the
prescribed period;
(d) Failure to satisfy the education requirement and furnish evidence of such compliance within sixty (60) days
from receipt of non-compliance notice;
(e) Failure to pay non-compliance fee within the prescribed period;

(f) Any other act or omission analogous to any of the foregoing or intended to circumvent or evade compliance with
the MCLE requirements. (Id., Sec. 1, Rule 12).
Members failing to comply will receive a Non-Compliance Notice stating the specific deficiency and will be given
sixty (60) days from the date of notification to file a response clarifying the deficiency or otherwise showing
compliance with the requirements. Such notice shall contain the following language near the beginning of the
notice in capital letters:
IF YOU FAIL TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE PROOF OF COMPLIANCE WITH THE MCLE REQUIREMENT BY (INSERT
DATE 60 DAYS FROM DATE OF NOTICE), YOU SHALL BE LISTED AS A DELINQUENT MEMBER AND SHALL
NOT BE PERMITTED TO PRACTICE LAW UNTIL SUCH TIME AS ADEQUATE PROOF OF COMPLIANCE IS
RECEIVED BY THE MCLE COMMITTEE.
Members are given sixty (60) days to respond to a Non-Compliance Notice may use this period to attain the
adequate number of credit units for compliance. Credit units earned during this period may only be counted toward
compliance with the prior compliance period requirement unless units in excess of the requirement are earned, in
which case the excess may be counted toward meeting the current compliance period requirement. (Id., Sec. 2,
Rule 12)
A member who, for whatever reason, is in non-compliance at the end of the compliance period shall pay a non-
compliance fee. (Id., Sec. 1, Rule 13)
A member who fails to comply with the requirements after the sixty (60) day period for compliance has expired,
shall be listed as a delinquent member of the IBP upon the recommendation of the MCLE Committee. The
investigation of a member for non-compliance shall be conducted by the IBP=s Commission on Bar Discipline as a
fact-finding arm of the MCLE Committee. (Id., Sec. 2, Rule 13).
Membership fees shall continue to accrue at the active rate against a member during the period he/she is listed as
a delinquent member. (Id., Sec. 3, Rule 13).
The involuntary listing as a delinquent member shall be terminated when the member provides proof of compliance
with the MCLE requirement, including payment of non-compliance fee. A member may attain the necessary credit
units to meet the requirement for the period of non-compliance during the period the member is on inactive status.
These credit units may not be counted toward meeting the current compliance period requirement. Credit units
earned during the period of non-compliance in excess of the number needed to satisfy the prior compliance period
requirement may be counted toward meeting the current compliance period requirement. (Id., Sec. 1, Rule 14).

The termination of listing as a delinquent member is administrative in nature AND it shall be made by the MCLE
Committee. (Id., Sec. 2, Rule 14).
Figure 2
Philippine Legal Profession _ Part 3

Final excerpts from my 2000 Ll.M. thesis, for research purposes of the readers.




x x x.




2. Rules 138, Rules of Court


a. Duties of Attorneys


Section 20, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court enumerates the duties of attorneys, thus:

(a) To maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and to support the Constitution and obey the laws of
the Philippines.
(b) To observe and maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and judicial officers;
(c) To counsel or maintain such actions or proceedings only as appear to him to be just, and such defenses only as
he believes to be honestly debatable under the law.
(d) To employ, for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided to him, such means only as are consistent with
truth and honor, and never seek to mislead the judge or any judicial officer by an artifice or false statement of fact
or law;
(e) To maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to himself, to preserve the secrets of his client, and to
accept no compensation in connection with his client's business except from him or with his knowledge and
approval;
(f) To abstain from all offensive personality and to advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party
or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause with which he is charged;
(g) Not to encourage either the commencement or the continuance of an action or proceeding, or delay any man's
cause, from any corrupt motive or interest;
(h) Never to reject, for any consideration personal to himself, the cause of the defenseless or oppressed;
(i) In the defense of a person accused of crime, by all fair and honorable means, regardless of his personal opinion
as to the guilt of the accused, to present every defense that the law permits, to the end that no person may be
deprived of life or liberty, but by due process of law. (Sec. 20, Rule 138).


A court may assign an attorney to render professional aid free of charge to any party in a case, if upon
investigation it appears that the party is destitute and unable to employ an attorney, and that the services of
counsel are necessary to secure the ends of justice and to protect the rights of the party. It shall be the duty of the
attorney so assigned to render the required service, unless he is excused therefrom by the court for sufficient
cause shown. (Sec. 31, Rule 138).


b. Malpractice; Solicitation of Cases

A member of the bar may be removed or suspended from his office as attorney by the Supreme Court for
any deceit, malpractice, or other gross misconduct in such office, grossly immoral conduct, or by reason of his
conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, or for any violation of the oath which he is required to take before
the admission to practice, or for a willful disobedience of any lawful order of a superior court, or for corruptly or
willful appearing as an attorney for a party to a case without authority so to do. The practice of soliciting cases at
law for the purpose of gain, either personally or through paid agents or brokers, constitutes malpractice. (Sec.
27, Rule 138).

The Court of Appeals or a Court of First Instance may suspend an attorney from practice for any of the
causes named in the last preceding section, and after such suspension such attorney shall not practice his
profession until further action of the Supreme Court in the premises. (Sec. 28, Rule 138).

Upon such suspension, the Court of Appeals or the Court of First Instance shall forthwith transmit to the Supreme
Court a certified copy of the order of suspension and a full statement of the facts upon which the same was
based. Upon the receipt of such certified copy and statement, the Supreme Court shall make a full investigation
of the facts involved and make such order revoking or extending the suspension, or removing the attorney from
his office as such, as the facts warrant. (Sec. 29, Rule 138).

No attorney shall be removed or suspended from the practice of his profession, until he has had full
opportunity upon reasonable notice to answer the charges against him, to produce witnesses in his own behalf,
and to be heard by himself or counsel. But if upon reasonable notice he fails to appear and answer the
accusation, the court may proceed to determine the matter ex parte. (Sec. 30, Rule 138; see also: Rule 139 and
139-A, Rules of Court).


c. Rights of Attorneys to Fair Compensation

An attorney shall be entitled to have and recover from his client no more than a reasonable compensation
for his services, with a view to the importance of the subject matter of the controversy, the extent of the services
rendered, and the professional standing of the attorney. No court shall be bound by the opinion of attorneys as
expert witnesses as to the proper compensation, but may disregard such testimony and base its conclusion on its
own professional knowledge. A written contract for services shall control the amount to be paid therefor unless
found by the court to be unconscionable or unreasonable. (Sec. 24, Rule 138).
However, when an attorney unjustly retains in his hands money of his client after it has been demanded,
he may be punished for contempt as an officer of the Court who has misbehaved in his official transactions; but
proceedings under this section shall not be a bar to a criminal prosecution. (Sec. 25, Rule 138).
An attorney may retire at any time from any action or special proceeding, by the written consent of his
client filed in court. He may also retire at any time from an action or special proceeding, without the consent of
his client, should the court, on notice to the client and attorney, and on hearing, determine that he ought to be
allowed to retire. In case of substitution, the name of the attorney newly employed shall be entered on the
docket of the court in place of the former one, and written notice of the change shall be given to the advance
party. (Sec. 26, Rule 138).
A client may at any time dismiss his attorney or substitute another in his place, but if the contract
between client and attorney has been reduced to writing and the dismissal of the attorney was without justifiable
cause, he shall be entitled to recover from the client the full compensation stipulated in the contract. However,
the attorney may, in the discretion of the court, intervene in the case to protect his rights. For the payment of his
compensation the attorney shall have a lien upon all judgments for the payment of money, and executions issued
in pursuance of such judgment, rendered in the case wherein his services had been retained by the client. (Id.).

Subject to availability of funds as may be provided by the law the court may, in its discretion, order an
attorney employed as counsel de oficio to be compensates in such sum as the court may fix in accordance with
section 24 of this rule. Whenever such compensation is allowed, it shall be not less than thirty pesos (P30) in any
case, nor more than the following amounts: (1) Fifty pesos (P50) in light felonies; (2) One hundred pesos (P100)
in less grave felonies; (3) Two hundred pesos (P200) in grave felonies other than capital offenses; (4) Five
Hundred pesos (P500) in capital offenses. (Sec. 32, Rule 138. Note the outdated amounts fixed by the Rules).
An attorney shall have a lien upon the funds, documents and papers of his client which have lawfully come
into his possession and may retain the same until his lawful fees and disbursements have been paid, and may
apply such funds to the satisfaction thereof. He shall also have a lien to the same extent upon all judgments for
the payment of money, and executions issued in pursuance of such judgments, which he has secured in a
litigation of his client, from and after the time when he shall have the caused a statement of his claim of such lien
to be entered upon the records of the court rendering such judgment, or issuing such execution, and shall have
the caused written notice thereof to be delivered to his client and to the adverse party; and he shall have the
same right and power over such judgments and executions as his client would have to enforce his lien and secure
the payment of his just fees and disbursements. (Sec. 37, Rule 138).




3. Jurisprudence on Law Firm Marketing
.
a. Law is Not a Trade
The practice of law is not a vested right but a privilege. It is clothed with public interest. A lawyer owes duties not
only to his client but also to his in the profession, to the courts, and to the nation. He takes part in one of the most
important functions of the state, which is the administration of justice, as an officer of the court. Hence, it is the
right and duty of the state to supervise, control and regulate the selection of candidates for admission to the Bar,
as well as the exercise of that privilege to assure compliance with the lawyer=s public responsibilities. (Diaz v.
Martinez, 119 Phil. 490, 7 SCRA 475 [1963]).
The right to practice is not a natural or constitutional right nor an absolute right de jure but is a privilege.
The right to practice is not a property. It cannot be assigned or inherited but must be earned by hard study and
good conduct. (Ernami Cruz Pano, supra, citing In re, Gibbs, 278 p. 371; In re Manuero, 66 SCRA 245 [1975]; In
re ethics, 203 p. 957; In re Miller, 244 p. 376; In re Cliffton, 155 So. 324).
Lawyers play an important role in society. Depending on the circumstances, the lawyer may lead in making
policy as well as in resolving conflict. He is often a scholar or a philosopher seeking to refine the analysis by which
lawyers live, or to propose new solutions for problems new or old. (Id., at p. 43).
For the achievement of its objective of dedicated service to society, the ancient and learned profession of
law exacts from its members the highest standard of morality. Trusted with the confidential affairs of their clients,
attorneys are sworn to subordinate their personal interests to those of the people they represent. They should
strive at all times to uphold the honor and maintain the dignity of the legal profession, which is higher than that of
the market place. (Id., at p. 44, citing Canon 29, Canons of Professional Ethics; Calo v. Degamo, 20 SCRA 447
(1967).
After passing the bar examinations and taking the lawyer=s oath, the lawyer is considered authorized to
practice law before all courts in the Philippines. However, the first duty that he has to perform is not to his client,
as popularly believed, but to assist in the administration of justice. (Id., pp. 48-49, citing Rule 138, Sec. 20 [b]).
As the practice of law is not a right granted to anyone who seek it, it is accorded only to those who meet
specific standards of mental and moral fitness. (In re Del Rosario, 52 Phil. 399; In re Gutierrez, 52 O.G. 24). For
this reason, failure on the part of the lawyer to maintain a high standard of morality may result in disbarment. (Id.,
pp. 52-53, citing Belivar v. Sumibol, 16 SCRA 623. Toledo v. Toledo, A.C. no. 266, April 27, 1963).

The proscription against lawyer advertising and solicitation of cases lawyers aim to preserve the dignity of the legal
profession. A lawyer cannot advertise his talent as a shopkeeper advertises his wares. ( In re: Tagorda, 54 Phil. 37
[1929]; Director of Religious Affairs v. Bayot, 74 Phil. 579 (1944); Rule 138, Sec. 27, RRC; Jayme v. Bualan, 58
Phil. 422).

A lawyer is a member of an honorable profession whose primary purpose is to render public service and help
secure justice and in which remuneration is a mere incident (Canon 12, Code of Professional Ethics). Such
professional consideration makes a lawyer radically different from a shopkeeper, a trader, a manufacturer or a
money changer whose primordial aim is private gain and whose principal tool to sell his product or service is
advertising . To allow a lawyer to advertise his talent or skill is to commercialize the practice of law, lower the
profession in public confidence, and lesser its ability to render efficiently that higher character of service to which
every member of the bar is called. (Id.).
Advertising inescapably involves self-praise. If competitive advertising among lawyers were permitted, the
conscientious and ethical will unavoidably be at the mercy of the braggart. (In Re Rothman, 97 A 2d 627, 39 ALR
2d 1032 [1953]). It will undoubtedly increase lawsuits and needless litigations. (In re Tagorda, supra; Director of
Religious Affairs v. Bayot, supra).


b. 1917 Code of Professional Ethics

Section 21 of the old Code of Civil Procedure, as amended in 1919 by Act 2828, provided that Athe practice of
soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either personally or through paid agents or brokers, constitutes
malpractice@. Section 27 of Rule 138 of the 1964 Revised Rules of Court maintained the provision. Sections 27
and Section 28 of the 1908 American Bar Association's Code of Professional Ethics and the 1917 Philippine Bar
Association=s Code of Professional Ethics were identical in their provisions, to wit:

Sec. 27. Advertising, Direct or Indirect. - The most worthy and effective
advertisement possible, even for a young lawyer, and especially with his brother
lawyers, is the establishment of a well-merited reputation for professional capacity
and fidelity to trust. This cannot be forced, but must be the outcome of character
and conduct. The publication or circulation of ordinary simple business cards, being
a matter of personal taste or local custom, and sometimes of convenience, is not
per se improper. But solicitation of business by circular or advertisements, or by
personal communications or interviews not warranted by personal relations, is
unprofessional. It is equally unprofessional to procure business by indirection
through touters of any kind, whether allied real estate firms or trust companies
advertising to secure the drawing of deeds or wills or offering retainers in exchange
for executorships or trusteeships to be influenced by the lawyer. Indirect
advertisement for business by furnishing or inspiring newspaper comments
concerning the manner of their conduct, the magnitude of the interest involved,
the importance of the lawyer=s position, and all other like self-laudation, defy the
traditions and lower the tone of our high calling, and are intolerable.@

Section 28. Stirring Up Litigation, Directly or Through Agents. - It is
unprofessional for a lawyer to volunteer advice to bring a lawsuit, except in rare
cases where ties of blood, relationship or trust make it his duty to do so. Stirring
up strife and litigation is not only unprofessional, but it is indictable at common
law. It is disreputable to hunt up defects in titles or other causes of action and
inform thereof in order to be employed to bring suit, or to breed litigation by
seeking out those with claims for personal injuries or those having any other
grounds of action in order to secure them as clients, or to employ agents or
runners for like purposes, or to pay or reward directly or indirectly, those who bring
or influence the bringing of such cases to his office, or to remunerate policemen,
court or prison officials, physicians, hospital attaches or others who may succeed,
under the guise of giving disinterested friendly advice, in influencing the criminal,
the sick and the injured, the ignorant or others, to seek his professional services. A
duty to the public and to the profession devolves upon every member of the bar
having knowledge of such practices upon the part of any practitioner immediately
to inform thereof to the end that the offender may be disbarred@.


Under Sec. 27 of the 1917 Code of Professional Ethics the only methods of lawyer advertising allowed were the
business cards and reputable law lists or lawyers= directories. The use of an ordinary simple professional card was
permitted. (ABA Opinion No. 11, May 11, 1927). A lawyer engaged in a particular brand of law available to act as
an associate of other lawyers in that specific branch of legal service may send to local legal journals a brief
dignified announcement of his availability to inform other lawyers in connection therewith. (Canon 46, CPE; ABA
Opinion No. 194, April 22,1939). If warranted by personal relations, a lawyer may solicit employment (Canon 27,
CPE). The phrase Apersonal relations@ included personal friends and relatives (ABA Opinion No. 7, April 28, 1925).
A lawyer may write legal articles for publication in which he gives information upon the law but he should not
accept employment from such publication. (Canon 40, CPE. See also: Ruben Agpalo, Legal Ethics. Quezon City,
Philippines: University of the Philippines Law Center, 1983 edition, pp. 110-120).
In the US, the activity of an association for the purpose of promoting group legal representation, as a mode
of collective expression of the beliefs of a social sector and for meaningful access to courts by the members of such
sector, was deemed to be protected by the US Constitution (freedom of expression and freedom of association) and
could ethically be undertaken. (NACCP v. Button, 371 U.S. 415 (1963); United Transp. Union v. State Bar of
Michigan, 401 U.S.576 (1971); United Mines Workers v. Illinois Bar Association, 389 U.S. 217 (1967); Brotherhood
of R.R. Trainmen v. Virginia State Bar, 377 U.S. 1 (1961)). Similarly, the offer of legal services to the indigent,
even when broadcast over the radio or tendered through circulation of printed matter to the general public,
offended no ethical rule. (ABA Opinion No. 148, Nov. 1935).



c. 1988 Code of Professional Responsibility

Canon 2, Rule 2.03 of the 1988 Code of Professional Responsibility specifically provides that Aa lawyer shall not do
or permit to be done any act designed primarily to solicit legal business@.
Canon 3 of the Code further contains specific rules on the subject of lawyer advertising, to wit:




CANON 3 C A LAWYER IN MAKING KNOWN HIS LEGAL SERVICES SHALL USE
ONLY TRUE, HONEST, FAIR, DIGNIFIED AND OBJECTIVE INFORMATION OR
STATEMENT OF FACTS.


Rule 3.01 - A lawyer shall not use or permit the use of any false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive,
undignified, self-laudatory or unfair statement or claim regarding his qualifications
or legal services.
Rule 3.02 C In the choice of a firm name, no false, misleading or assumed name
shall be used. The continued use of the name of a deceased partner is permissible
provided that the firm indicates in all its communications that said partner is
deceased. Rule 3.03 C Where a partner accepts public office, he shall withdrawal
from the firm and his name shall be dropped from the firm name unless the law
allows him to practice law currently.


Rule 3.04 C A lawyer shall not pay or give anything of value to representatives of
the mass media in anticipation of, or in return for, publicity to attract legal
business.


(See in general: Ernesto Pineda, Legal and Judicial Ethics. Quezon City: Central
Professional Books, Inc, 1995 ed.; Ricardo Teruel, Practical Lawyering in the
Philippines. Quezon City: Central Lawbook Publishing Co. Inc., 1997 ed.).


The 1988 Code of Professional Responsibility imposes an absolute and total ban on lawyer advertising. It was
basically patterned after the circa-1970s ABA Code of Professional Responsibility before the advent of the Bates
decision of the US Supreme Court, supra, which had held that an absolute ban against lawyer advertising was a
violation of the lawyers= constitutional freedom of commercial speech (First Amendment rights).


Following the US experience in the 1970s, and even in the Philippines at present, there have been bar
objections to the rules prohibiting advertising or solicitation. (See, in general: Ernani Cruz Pano, The Judiciary and
the Bar, supra). The usual and frequent objection is that advertising or solicitation interferes only with small or solo
practitioners, precluding then from making themselves known to prospective clients, while big practitioners or large
law firms not only are constantly in the public eye but by because of their social and political connections are able
to
meet and become intimate with leaders in business as potential clients. It is also argued that legal counsel should
be made available to the poor and the least educated and relaxing the restriction on advertising would stimulate an
interest in demand for legal assistance from these groups in favor of small law firms and solo practitioners (see, for
example: 81 Yale L. J. 1244, et. Seq. , May 1972). There are always honest differences of opinion as to what is
ideal or improper advertising or solicitation of business. The line is a question of good faith and good taste. (People
ex. Rel. Chicago Bar Ass=n v. Baker, 142 NE 534, 31 ALR 737 [1924]).


Prof. Pineda has argued that it is not unprofessional for a lawyer to make known his legal services. However, he
must do so only by using true, honest fair, dignified and objective information or state of facts. He must not resort
to false and misleading information, and even if known it must not be undignified. (Ernesto Pineda, Legal and
Judicial Ethics. Quezon City: Central Professional Books, Inc, 1995 ed., pp. 56-64, citing Canon 3, 1988 CPR).


It is important to mention the other relevant provisions of the 1988 Code of Professional Responsibility in respect
of a lawyer=s relationship with his clients and with the society in general, to wit:




CANON 2 - A LAWYER SHALL MAKE HIS LEGAL SERVICES AVAILABLE IN AN EFFICIENT AND CONVENIENT
MANNER COMPATIBLE WITH THE INDEPENDENCE, INTEGRITY AND EFFECTIVENESS OF THE PROFESSION.


Rule 2.01 C A lawyer shall not reject, except for valid reasons, the cause of the defenseless or the oppressed.
Rule 2.02 C In such cases, even if the lawyer does not accept a case, he shall not refuse to render legal advice to
the person concerned if only to the extent necessary to safeguard the latter's rights.
Rule 2.04 C A lawyer shall not charge rates lower than those customarily prescribed unless the circumstances so
warrant.


CANON 7 C A LAWYER SHALL AT ALL TIMES UPHOLD THE INTEGRITY AND DIGNITY OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION AND SUPPORT THE
ACTIVITIES OF THE INTEGRATED BAR.


Rule 7.01 C A lawyer shall be answerable for knowingly making a false statement or suppressing a material fact in connection with his
application for admission to the bar.
Rule 7.02 C A lawyer shall not support the application for admission to the bar of any person known by him to be unqualified in respect to
character, education, or other relevant attribute.
Rule 7.03 C A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law, nor shall he whether in public or
private life, behave in a scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal profession.


CANON 9 C A LAWYER SHALL NOT, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, ASSIST IN THE UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF LAW.


Rule 9.01 C A lawyer shall not delegate to any unqualified person the performance of any task which by law may only be performed by a
member of the bar in good standing.
Rule 9.02 C A lawyer shall not divide or stipulate to divide a fee for legal services with persons not licensed to practice law, except:
a) Where there is a pre-existing agreement with a partner or associate that, upon the latter's death, money shall
be paid over a reasonable period of time to his estate or to persons specified in the agreement; or
b) Where a lawyer undertakes to complete unfinished legal business of a deceased lawyer; or
c) Where a lawyer or law firm includes non-lawyer employees in a retirement plan even if the plan is based in
whole or in part, on a profit sharing agreement.


CANON 15 C A LAWYER SHALL OBSERVE CANDOR, FAIRNESS AND LOYALTY IN ALL HIS DEALINGS AND TRANSACTIONS
WITH HIS CLIENTS.


Rule 15.01. C A lawyer, in conferring with a prospective client, shall ascertain as soon as practicable whether the matter
would involve a conflict with another client or his own interest, and if so, shall forthwith inform the
prospective client.


Rule 15.03. C A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by written consent of all concerned given after a full
disclosure of the facts.


Rule 15.04. C A lawyer may, with the written consent of all concerned, act as mediator, conciliator or arbitrator in settling
disputes.


Rule 15.05. C A lawyer when advising his client, shall give a candid and honest opinion on the merits and probable results of
the client's case, neither overstating nor understating the prospects of the case.
Rule 15.06. C A lawyer shall not state or imply that he is able to influence any public official, tribunal or legislative body.


Rule 15.07. C A lawyer shall impress upon his client compliance with the laws and the principles of fairness.
Rule 15.08. C A lawyer who is engaged in another profession or occupation concurrently with the practice of law shall make
clear to his client whether he is acting as a lawyer or in another capacity.



CANON 16 - A LAWYER SHALL HOLD IN TRUST ALL MONEYS AND PROPERTIES OF HIS CLIENT THAT MAY COME
INTO HIS PROFESSION.

Rule 16.01 C A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from the client.
Rule 16.02 C A lawyer shall keep the funds of each client separate and apart from his own and those of others kept
by him.
Rule 16.03 C A lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of his client when due or upon demand. However, he
shall have a lien over the funds and may apply so much thereof as may be necessary to satisfy his lawful fees and
disbursements, giving notice promptly thereafter to his client. He shall also have a lien to the same extent on all
judgments and executions he has secured for his client as provided for in the Rules of Court.
Rule 16.04 C A lawyer shall not borrow money from his client unless the client's interest are fully protected by the
nature of the case or by independent advice. Neither shall a lawyer lend money to a client except, when in the
interest of justice, he has to advance necessary expenses in a legal matter he is handling for the client.

CANON 20 - A LAWYER
SHALL CHARGE ONLY FAIR
AND REASONABLE FEES.


Rule 20.01 - A lawyer shall be guided by the following factors in determining his fees.

a) the time spent and the extent of the service rendered or required;
b) the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved;
c) The importance of the subject matter;
d) The skill demanded;
e) The probability of losing other employment as a result of acceptance of the proffered case;
f) The customary charges for similar services and the schedule of fees of the IBP chapter to which he belongs;
g) The amount involved in the controversy and the benefits resulting to the client from the
service;
h) The contingency or certainty of compensation;
i) The character of the employment, whether occasional or established; and
j) The professional standing of the lawyer.

Rule 20.02 C A lawyer shall, in case of referral, with the consent of the client, be entitled to a division of fees in
proportion to the work performed and responsibility assumed.

Rule 20.03 C A lawyer shall not, without the full knowledge and consent of the client, accept any fee, reward,
costs, commission, interest, rebate or forwarding allowance or other compensation whatsoever related to his
professional employment from anyone other than the client.

Rule 20.04 C A lawyer shall avoid controversies with clients concerning his compensation and shall resort to judicial
action only to prevent imposition, injustice or fraud.

Publications in reputable law lists, in manner consistent with the standards of conduct imposed by the canon, of
brief biographical and information data, is allowable. Modest announcements in newspapers, periodicals or
magazines about the opening of a law office or stating the name of the lawyers and the address of the law frm is
not improper. Any self-laudatory statements in newspaper advertisements or professional cards disgrace and abuse
the lawyer and his profession. Worse, if the advertisements are affected through the radios and televisions. An
advertisement bearing the name of the lawyer, his address, and the remarks Aadvice free@ is an improper
solicitation (Pineda, supra, pp. 49-54, citing Bartor v. State Bar of California, 20 Cal. 677). A radio program of a
lawyer, advertising, his skills and receiving phone questions about the law and which he answers in the form of
legal advice is likewise improper and reprehensible. However, a legal aid program as a public service is allowable.@
(Id.).


d. Ulep v. The Legal Clinic, Bar Matter No. 553, June 17, 1993


In Ulep v. The Legal Clinic, Bar Matter No. 553, June 17, 1993, the respondent placed a series of newspaper
advertisements, which read as a follows:
Secret Marriage?
P 560.00 for a valid marriage.
Info on Divorce, Absence, Annulment, Visa
The Legal Clinic Inc.
Please call: 521-0767
521-7232, 522-2041
8:30 A.M. B 6:00 P.M.
7
th
Flr., Victoria Bldg., U.N. Ave., Manila.
Guam Divorce
Don Parkinson
An attorney in Guam is giving Free Books on Guam Divorce through The Legal Clinic beginning Monday to Friday
during office hours.
Guam Divorce, Annulment of Marriage, Investigation Problems, Visa Extensions, Quota/Non-Quota, Resident And
Special Retiree=s Visa, Declaration of Absence, Remarriage to Filipina Fiancee, Adoption, Advertisement in the
Philippines, US/ Foreign Visas for Filipina Spouse/Children.
Call Marivic.
The Legal Clinic Inc.
7F Victoria Bldg., 429 UN Ave. Ermita, Manila near U.S. Embasy
Tel. 521-7232, 521-7251, 522-2041, 521-0767.

In its answer to the position, respondent admitted the fact of publication of said advertisements at its instance, but
claimed that it was not engaged in the practice of law but in the rendering Alegal support services@ through
paralegals with the use of modern computers and electronic machines. Respondent further argued that assuming
that the services advertised were legal services, the act of advertising these services should be allowed in the light
of the case of Bates and Van O=Steen vs. State Bar of Arizona decided by the US Supreme Court in 1977.
The Supreme Court ruled that the then prevailing Philippine ethical standards of the legal progression condemned
the lawyers= advertisement of their services. A lawyer cannot, without violating the ethics of his profession,
advertise his talents or skills in a manner similar to a merchant advertising his goods. The proscription against
advertising of legal services or solicitation of legal business rests on the fundamental postulate that the practice of
law is a profession.

The Court held that it was undeniable that the advertisement in question was Aa flagrant violation by the
respondent of the ethics of the legal profession, it being a brazen solicitation of business from the public@. The
Rules of Court expressly provides among other things that Athe practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of
gain, either personally as thru paid agents or brokers, constitutes malpractice.@ It is Ahighly unethical for an
attorney to advertise his talents or skills as a merchant advertise his wares as law is a profession and not a trade.
The lawyer degrades himself and his profession who stoops to and adopts the practices of merchants by advertising
his services or offering them to the public@. As a member of the Bar, Ahe defiles the temple of justice with
mercenary activities as the money-changers of old defiled the temple of Jehovah@. (See also Teruel, supra, pp.
67-69).

The Court cited a past survey in the US where the public perception of US lawyers had reportedly deteriorated
because of aggressive lawyer advertising in the mass media. The Court also held that Awith the present situation of
our legal and judicial systems, to allow the publication of advertisements of the kind used by respondent would
only serve to aggravate what is already a deteriorating public opinion of the legal profession whose integrity has
consistently been under attack lately by media and the community in general@. The Court held that the 1988 Code
of Professional Responsibility did not Aexpressly or impliedly@ allow lawyer advertising of any kind. The Court also
held that Aunder the present state of our law and jurisprudence, a corporation cannot be organized for or engage
in the practice of law in this country@ and that Athis interdiction, just like the rule against unethical advertising,
cannot be subverted by employing some so-called paralegals supposedly rendering the alleged support services@.
Speaking of paralegals, the Court held that Ain our jurisdiction the services being offered by private respondent
cannot be performed by paralegals@ and that Aonly a person duly admitted as a member of the bar, or hereafter
admitted as such in accordance with the provisions of the Rules of Court, and who is in good and regular standing,
is entitled to practice law@. The Court held that Awhatever may be its merits@, the matter of the adoption of the
US concept of paralegals as an occupation separate from the law profession be adopted in the Philippines is Aa
matter for judicial rules or legislative action, and not of unilateral adoption as the respondent has done@. (At
present, the Philippines does not have a law or judicial rules on the accreditation or licensing of paralegals).

Reputation is the lawyer=s best advertisement. This concept however poses practical competition-related problems
to many newly admitted solo practitioners and small and medium law firms. As Teruel, puts it: AReputation is
really hard to earn and it takes a great effort and a long time to establish it. Although already earned but
eventually lost, it is hard to recover. When destroyed, it is very difficult to rebuild.@ (Teruel, supra, p. 123).


e. Practical Marketing

Reputation and personal contacts account for 85 percent of the clients= reasons for selecting their lawyers.
(Teruel, supra, p. 122-123, citing a 1963 Missouri Bar-Prentice Hall Survey, A Complete Guide to Profitable Law
Practice, Vol. I, 1996 ed., p. 9). In the Philippines, case referrals to lawyers emanate from personal
recommendations by friends, neighbors, relatives, co-workers, existing clients, other lawyers and professionals,
court personnel, law directories, and law journals. (Teruel, supra, pp. 118-121). It is useful for a lawyer to
establish and maintain his own local and international professional, business and social networks as part of building
his law practice. (Id.).
The viability and continuity of the life of law firms depend on the revenues that they generate. The revenues are as
high or as low as the number and quality of clients that are attracted to and patronize the firm. Client development
tools are the life-blood of the law firms: law firms continue to exist because of the clients patronizing them. (Id., p.
72).

Filipino lawyers and law firms faces the conservatism of Philippine legal ethics in the matter of reaching out to the
consumers of legal services and giving the consumers factual information on the best available, competitive and
cost-effective legal services that they can use. To quote Teruel:
Public relations firms are accepted as client development tools in America as no ethical rules are infringed by their
use. Although it can be admitted that public relations firms can play an important role in helping the law firm gain
the public=s notice, acceptance and confidence, there are very strong ethical constraints for their use in our
country. This position is buttressed by Canon 3 of the Code of Professional Responsibility prescribing that: AA
lawyer in making known his legal services shall use only true, honest, fair, dignified and objective information or
statement of facts.@ Employment of public relations firms is lightly objectionable because under Rule 3.04 B AA
lawyer shall not pay or give anything of value to representatives of the mass media in anticipation of, or in return
for, publicity to attract legal business.
Paid advertising is considered a major factor in may lawyers= client development programs. While in the United
States of America attorneys can now use a variety of advertising media which may include television, radio,
newspapers, magazines, trade publications, telephone book yellow pages, and direct mail, it is very doubtful
whether advertising by television and radio would be allowed in Philippines without the lawyers running afoul with
the ethics of the profession in the country. While our American brother lawyers can advertise in any manner by
whatever means without restraints nor constraints as they wish as Aliberated@ individuals, their Filipino
counterparts are still very conservative, cautious and consciously dignified in using advertising as a tool for client
development.
The press releases of the law firm are marketing tools used by many. News release do not per se result in the
acquisition of new clients. However, news releases build law firm awareness, cost very little and improves the
image and prestige of the lawyers composing the firm and the firm itself. (Teruel, supra, pp. 62-63, 64-65, 72).
That is why the euphemistic cover of social interaction, which is in reality Aface to face selling and cross-selling@,
is the favorite client development tool or law firm marketing technique of Filipino lawyers and law firms. (Id., p.
59).
As Teruel bluntly puts it, Ain marketing or selling, it is not what you know, but who you know that counts@. He
adds that Amost lawyers who know so many people and some who made special efforts to meet them are
successful in the practice@. (Id.). In addition, Filipino lawyers and law firms, who can afford the expenses,
generate business through any or all of the following subtle methods: political exposure, pro bono involvement in
bar associations and in social, civic, academic, fraternal and religious organizations, free legal aid clinics and
human rights cases, brochures, law firm stationaries, free legal seminars, free legal lectures, publication of legal
articles, newspaper columns, radio-TV talk shows, book writing, free legal newsletters, ethical press releases,
charitable activities, law teaching, invitations to prospective clients to attend special social events in the law office,
and similar public-relations activities. (Id., p. 72). Some Internet-savvy Filipino lawyers and law firms participate in
law-related or public policy-oriented electronic chats, message boards or communities or open their own Internet
web pages.

A lawyer shall not directly or indirectly assist in the unauthorized practice of law (Canon 9, CPR). He shall not
divide or stipulate to divide a fees for legal services with persons not licensed to practice law. (Rule 9.02, CPR).
[See also: Pineda, supra, pp. 98-103, citing PAFLU v. Binalbagan Isabela Sugar Co., 42 SCRA 207]. It is thus
unethical for a lawyer to split fees with, for example, brokers, adjusters, or accountants. (For further reading, see
also: Meriam Defensor-Santiago, Rules of Court Annotated. Quezon City: Central Professional Books, Inc., 1999,
annotating Rule 138 and citing Arrieta v. Llosa, 282 SCRA 248 (1997); Bongalonta v. Castielo, 240 SCRA 310
(1995); Maligsa v. 272 SCRA 408 (1997); Ulep v. Legal Clinic, 223 SCRA 378 (1993); Villanueva v. Sta. Ara, 245
SCRA 707(1995; Tan v. Sabandal, 206 SCRA 473 (1992); Roque v. Clemencio, 212 SCRA 618 (1992); Igna v.
Javier, 254 SCRA 416 (1996); F. David Ent. v. IBAA, 197 SCRA 516 (1990); IMSC v. Roxas, 256 SCRA 229 (1996);
Bautista v. Gonzales, 182 SCRA 151 (1990); Tabillo v. IAC 195 SCRA 28 (1991)].

Moreover, the pragmatic financial and management aspects of the law practice of the Filipino lawyer is bound by
the constitutional power of the Supreme Court to admit, control and supervise the Bar, to discipline members of
the Bar for unethical acts, to control and reduce the fees of lawyers, where warranted by the circumstances, and to
regulate even their private life and behavior insofar as the same may affect their standing in the Bar. [See Rule
VIII, 1987 Constitution. See also: Defensor-Santiago, id., pp. 978-1024, citing Sumaoay v. RTC, 215 SCRA 136
(1992); TRB. EUI v. NLRC, 269 SCRA 733 (1997); Radiowealth Finance vs. ICB, 182 SCRA 862 (1990); Lizaro v.
Amante, 198 SCRA, (1991); Bautista v. Gonzales, 182 SCRA 151 (1990); Constantino v. Sanchez, 228 SCRA 233
(1993); Manaquil v. Villegas, 189 SCRA 335 (1990); Co v. Bernardino, 285 SCRA 102 (1998); Ngayan v. Tugade,
193 SCRA 779 (1991)].


H. Reiterating the Ethical Doctrines


Membership in the bar is a privilege burdened with conditions. One is admitted to the bar for something more than
private gain. He becomes an officer of the court and, like the court itself, an instrument or agency to advance the
ends of justice. (Manuel V. Moran, Comments on the Rules of Court, Vol. VI. Manila: Pasicola Books Service, 1980
ed., p. 221, citing People ex rel, Karlin v. Culkin, 248 N.Y. 465, 162 N.E. 487, 50 A.L.R. 851). Under Rule 138 of
the Rules of Court, a member of the bar may be removed or suspended from his office as attorney by the Supreme
Court for deceit, malpractice, or other gross misconduct in such office, grossly immoral conduct, or by season of his
conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, or for any violation of the oath which he is required to take before
admission to practice, or for a willful disobedience to any lawful order of a superior court, or for corruptly or
willfully appearing as as attorney for a party to a case without authority to do so, or for soliciting cases. (Id., pp.
251-252, citing In re Pelacy, 44 Phil. 583).
The practice of law is not a matter of right but merely a privilege bestowed upon individuals who are not only
learned in the law out who are also known to posses good moral character (Id., citing Tan vs. Sabandal, 206 SCRA
473). It is not a money-making venture (Id., citing Candas v. CA, 164 SCRA 160). Law advocacy is not a capital
that yields profits. It is a calling that, unlike mercantile pursuits which enjoy a greater deal of freedom from
government interference, is impressed with public interests, to which it is subject to strictl regulation (Id., citing
MBTC v. CA, 181 SCRA 377). It is reserved only to those who are academically trained in law and possessed of
good moral character not only at the time of their admission to the Bar but even more so thereafter to remain in
good standing to practice law. (Id., citing People v. Decana, 176 SCRA 622). (See also: Pineda, supra, pp. 18-19).
In an attorney is a public office. He occupies what may be called a quasi- judicial office. He is, figuratively
speaking, a priest of justice. [Ruben E. Agpalo, Legal Ethics. Quezon City, Philippines: University of the Philippines
Law Center, 1983 ed., citing Re 151, National savings Bank v. Ward, 100 U.S. 195, 25 L. ed. 621 (1880); Berman
v. Coakley, 137 NE 667 26 ALR 92 (1923)].
Membership in the bar, an ancient noble fellowship, accords the lawyer with the status of officer of the court and a
Aminister of the temple of justice@, a privilege burdened with conditions (Bereguer v. Carranza, 26 SCRA 673;
Ledesma v. Climaco, 57 SCRA 473; Atienza v. Evangelista, AC. No. 1517, >Nov. 29, 1977; People ex. rel. Karlin v.
Culkin, 248 NY 465, 60 ALR 851 (1928); Lerma v. Climaco, GR 34334, May 12, 1972; In re Almacen, 31 SCRA
562; Surigao Mineral Reservation Board v. Cloribel, Mineral Reservation Board v. Claribel, GR 27072, Jan. 9, 1970;
Castaneda, v. Age, GR 28546, July 30, 1975).
As an officer of the court, an attorney is subject to the disciplinary authority of the court with respect to his relation
to the court as well as to his client. His admission to the practice of law is upon the implied condition that his
continued enjoyment of the right conferred is dependent upon his remaining fit and safe to exercise it. (Hilado v.
David, 84 Phil. 569 (1949); Berenguen v. Carranza, AC 716, Jan. 30, 1969) Tejan v. Cusi, GK 28899, May 30,
1974; In re Gutierrez, 3663 July 31, 1962; In re Santiago, 70 Phil. 66(1940). His malfeasance, malpractice,
misconduct or dereliction of duty justifies the imposition of disciplinary action upon him to preserve the nobility of
the legal profession and the sanctity of the administration of justice. (Pineda, supra, pp. 253-285, citing Tan Tek
Beng v. David, 126 SCRA 389; Laput v. Remotique, 6 SCRA 45; (In re: Tagorda, 53 Phil. 37; Dir. Of Religion
Affairs v. Bayot, 74 Phil. 579; (US v. Nery, 8 Phil. 146; Beltran v. Abad, 132 SCRA 452; Sec. 27, Rule 138). Such
acts may include, but not necessarily limited to, solicitation of cases either directly or indirectly thru paid agents or
brokers, encroaching upon the business of another lawyer, advertising a lawyer=s skills in a newspaper or
publication, and cooperating in illegal practice of law such as the formation of a partnership with a layman. (Id.,
citing Tan v. David, 126 SCRA 389).
Being a quasi-judicial officer, the court always looks into, and closely scrutinizes, the lawyer=s transactions with
his client and protects the client from undue disadvantage on account of his situation (Agpalo, supra, pp. 7-9,
citing Daroy v. Legaspi, AC 936, July 25, 1975; Hernandez v. Villanueva, 40 Phil. 755 (1920); Hoppe v. Klapperich,
28 NH 2d 780, 173 ALR 819 (1947); Hilado v. David, 84 Phil. 569 (1949).
Elevating the Philippine Legal Profession: Conclusions and Recommendations
Excerpts from my 2000 Ll.M. thesis, containing the recommendations intended, inter alia, to elevate the Philippine
legal profession.



x x x.



CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
SUMMARY
1. Lawyer Advertising.
Since 1977 the US Supreme Court has allowed US lawyers to advertise their services in recognition of their
constitutional freedom of commercial speech and of the basic right of the American consumers of legal services to
know, choose and have a fair access to the best and most cost-effective providers of legal services in the legal
market.
The ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the ethics rules of most states have been accordingly adjusted
since 1977 to allow lawyers and law firms to advertise, subject to certain limitations intended to maintain the
dignity of the legal profession.
Advertising by lawyers and law firms through the regular mass media and the Internet and targeted direct mail
advertising are allowed in the US, subject to the rule that the same shall be truthful and non-deceptive. In the case
of targeted direct mail solicitation, a 30-day cooling off period is imposed and the rules require that the words
advertising material be stamped on the letter envelope. Advertising materials shall also contain a disclaimer. In-
person solicitation and live telephone solicitation are still banned.
In the case of the Philippines, lawyer advertising, in whatever form or manner, is expressly banned by the 1988
Code of Professional Responsibility and existing jurisprudence, despite an equivalent verbatim provision on freedom
of speech in the 1987 Constitution.
2. Multi-Disciplinary Law Practice.
The American Bar Association has adopted this year its final position paper allowing multi-disciplinary law practice,
whereby lawyers may associate with experts from other professions or disciplines to form multi-disciplinary
professional services corporations or partnerships to better meet the complex multi-disciplinary needs and
demands of domestic and international clients.
The final position paper adopted by the ABA contained specific provisions intended to preserve the Bar traditions on
confidentiality, conflict of interest and due diligence on the part of lawyers who shall participate or invest in such
multi-disciplinary professional services corporations or partnerships. The 1988 Code of Professional Responsibility
and existing jurisprudence of the Philippines prohibit a Filipino lawyer from splitting professional fees or associating
with non-lawyers in the practice of law.
3. Professional Liability Insurance.
US lawyers are mandated to regularly contribute to a client protection trust fund of the state where he practices his
profession. In addition, a great majority of US lawyers also procure private professional liability insurance or
malpractice insurance to protect them from malpractice claims by clients and to assure clients that in case of
misconduct by such lawyers their clients have a civil recourse to seek indemnification. The Philippines has no
equivalent rule. An aggrieved Filipino client has to file an administrative case and/or a civil suit for damages
against his erring lawyer.
4. Information Technology and the Legal Profession.
US lawyers and the US Government have a highly visible presence in the Internet as part of their public service to
the American people. The US legal profession has learned to maximized the use of information and communication
technology to reach its clients and potential market and to render pro bono public information services to the
American people. Considering the advance economic stage of the US, the costs of maintaining a presence in the
Internet in the US are affordable to most lawyers.
In the case of the Philippines, published data showed that there were only 200,000 Internet users in the Philippines
in 1999 and that unlimited Internet access thru digital telephone lines cost between P3,000.00 to P10,000.00 a
month in 1999, which, inter alia, explained the very low volume of Internet users in the country, not to mention
the fact that the low purchasing power (per capita income) of the Filipino people has made it very difficult for them
to acquire modern information and communication technology (ICT) hardware and software. (Yao-Endriga, The
Philippine Star, August 6, 1999).
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an agency of the United Nations, has recently reported that the
digital divide is growing. With only a fraction of people having access to telephones in the developing world, the
U.N. telecommunications agency warned that the gap between the information "haves" and "have nots" will
continue to grow without concerted global action. Yoshio Utsumi, secretary-general of the ITU, reported in June
2002 that 83 countries in Africa, Asia and the former Soviet Union still have less than 10 telephone lines for every
100 people. He reported that 25 countries have less than one phone line for every 100 people, and 61 countries
have less than one percent Internet use, primarily in Africa. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has expressed the
dismal fact that while the globe is becoming more and more wired, "the digital divide still yawns as widely as ever,
with billions of people still unconnected to a global society." (Editha M. Lederer, AU.N. Says Digital Divide Is
Growing@, Associated Press [AP], Http://news.findlaw.com/ap/ht/1700/6-19-2002/20020619031500_20.html).
5. Pre-Paid Legal Insurance and Legal Referral Networks.
With more than 80 million Americans now covered by pre-paid legal services insurance policies, the US pre-paid
legal services insurance industry has become fully developed.
Many private and public companies, as well employees unions and law-related non-governmental organizations, in
the US have integrated the pre-paid legal services insurance plan as part of the benefits package of workers.
The pre-paid legal services insurance industry has contributed to the marketing exposure of lawyers and law firms,
especially the solo practitioners and small to medium law firms, who are part of the pool of accredited legal service
providers of the pre-paid legal services insurance companies.
The industry has likewise contributed to the consumer education of the American public vis-a-vis the availability of
the most cost-effective providers of legal services in the US legal market. The Philippines has no equivalent rule or
industry.
6.. Boards of Specialty.
Lawyers who specialize in particular fields of law practice may be certified by the state boards of specialty after
fulfilling the requirements for specialty certification.
Specialty certification increases a US lawyers professional prestige and image and assures the American
consumers of the quality and specialized legal services. The Philippines has no equivalent rule.
6. Legal Education.
US Legal education requires a future US lawyer to complete a 4-year college degree (in any field or discipline) and
a 3-year law degree (Doctor of Jurisprudence) before taking the state bar examinations.
A US law student has the option to choose his future specialization by enrolling in electives during the second and
third years in law school. Multi-disciplinary legal education is encouraged.
Law professors are mostly hired on a full-time basis and are adequately compensated and supported with
sabbaticals and research grants.
Most US law schools augment their income from tuition fees by competitive marketing methods and by soliciting
donations from external sources.
The case method and legal clinics are the most preferred methods of teaching, although many law schools now
include the seminar method as an additional teaching method.
Scholarships and loans are given to law students by the federal and state governments, banks, and law schools.
Most law students in the US are full-time students. About 70 percent of the US bar examinees pass the state bar
examinations yearly. Summer law clerks (senior law students who worked during summers in law firms) are
adequately compensated. Most law firms compete in the recruitment of graduating law students.
Philippines legal education requires a 4-year college degree and a 4-year law degree. Most law students are
working.
Many law schools have adopted a 5-year curriculum for working students and are encouraging the entry of full-time
students. In 1989 the law curriculum was revised. In 1993 R.A. 7662 (Legal Education Act of 1993) was passed. It
created a Board of Legal Education, where the Bar and the private sector are represented, to improve the state of
legal education in the Philippines.
Most Philippine law professors are part-time professors and have no formal training in teaching methods. They are
mostly underpaid and treat law teaching as a mere sideline. Most law schools compete for the admission of new
students, and tuition alone is not enough to sustain the operations of law schools. Due to the weak financial
condition of many law schools and the fiscal deficit of government, scholarships and research grants for law
students and law professors are insignificant.
Only between 20 to 30 percent pass the Philippine bar exams annually, and the performance of many private law
schools need drastic improvement.
The Legal Education Reform Act of 1993 has somehow begun to set the correct trends in law education reform by
introducing the ideas of mandatory legal aid clinic, mandatory continuing legal education, mandatory pro bono
services, and re-focusing legal education to the basics of legal ethics, legal counseling, and legal problem-solving
and decision-making.
The full realization of all of these goals remain to be seen. No concrete movements to actually implement them are
visible at the moment, except perhaps for the pro-forma compliance with the rules on legal aid clinic in law schools
and promulgation of the new rules on mandatory continuing legal education (MCLE) applicable to the Bar (see Bar
Matter No. 850, c. 2000).
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines, which is the mandatory bar association of Filipino lawyers, is not involved in
any manner in the accreditation of law schools and is reactive, not pro-active, in the major task of self-policing and
self-educating their own ranks. Moreover, there appears to be no official policy on the part of the State to
encourage and promote the development and the federalization of voluntary local bar associations. Existing
voluntary local bar associations are not represented in the Board of Legal Education, the Judicial and Bar Council,
the national board of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and the special committees of the Supreme Court.
Legal education, as a human activity, is a matter of "philosophy", not of money, ambition, greed, or popularity.
Money and power are not the ultimate goals of legal education. Legal education is a "mission", not an economic
enterprise. Legal education is a "service", not a shopping center where one picks up and buys a skill.
A legal curriculum that inordinately orients and focuses law students to the sole aim of passing the annual bar
exams is a "trade school", not a law school. A law school is not a commercialized "recruitment agency" of the Bar.
This is a shameful capitalist concept.
The practice of law is not a trade or business. It is an "ethics and justice center" whose main objective is the
administration of distributive justice. Thus, the law school system must be de-commercialized. With de-
commercialization, one may expect a radical change in the orientation of lawyers and a marked improvement in
the administration of justice. Sadly, though, this is not the current trend worldwide.
To many people in many countries the prevailing view is that economic greed and mankinds insatiable hunger for
fame and power have dominated the legal profession globally. The best way to start to become a good lawyer is
first to become a good human being.
7. Mandatory Continuing Legal Education.
Both the US and the Philippines have adopted rules for a mandatory continuing legal education. The Philippine
MCLE version started only in late 2000. It requires 36 MCLE credit units for every three years (compared with 25
credit units per 3 years in California). Both countries allow the accreditation of private MCLE service providers and
the exemption of certain government officials from the program. Non-compliance with the MCLE requirements may
result in the suspension or disbarment of a lawyer.

8. Mandatory Pro Bono Legal Services.
There is no rule for a mandatory pro bono publico legal services which require both the US and the Filipino lawyer
to allot a certain number of hours per year for free legal aid to the indigent.
However, it is encouraged by both countries. In the case of the Philippines, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
and the voluntary bar associations maintain regular free legal aid programs, although funding is a usual problem.
For instance, a free legal aid lawyer of the IBP receives only P4,500.00 monthly as an allowance (although he is
allowed free practice by the IBP). The IBP and the voluntary bar associations find it difficult to recruit private
lawyers to join their free legal aid programs.
9. Privatization of Legal Services for the Indigent Clients.
In the US, persons accused of criminal cases who cannot afford the services of private defense counsel may avail
themselves of the free services of the Office of the Public Defender. In addition, the courts may appoint any private
lawyer as pro bono defense counsel.
For civil suits, low- and middle-income US citizens who cannot afford the services of private lawyers may seek the
assistance of the US Legal Services Corporation (LSC).
It reimburses the fees of accredited private lawyers or legal aid center who represent indigent litigants in civil suits.
As defined by the Legal Services Corporation Act, the LSCs mission is to promote equal access to the system of
justice and improve opportunities for low-income people throughout the United States by making grants for the
provision of high-quality civil legal assistance to those who would be otherwise unable to afford legal counsel.
(www.lsc.gov).
LSC does not provide legal services directly. Rather, it provides grants to independent local programs selected
through a system of competition.
In 2002, LSC funds 179 local programs. Together they serve every county and congressional district in the nation,
as well as the U.S. territories.
Special service areas also address the distinctive needs of Native Americans and migrant farm workers. (id.).
In the case of the Philippines, we have no such equivalent corporation.
The Public Attorneys Office (PAO) serves the needs of indigent Filipinos facing both criminal and civil cases or
initiating civil suits as indigent plaintiffs, subject to its threshold income requirement (which is about P15,000.00
per month if the indigent client lives in Metro Manila).
PAO lawyers are generally overworked, resulting in poor delivery of legal services to clients.
10. Attorneys Fees and Billing Methods.
The regular fee billing method in the US is the hourly billing method. Some lawyers, though, apply the contingent
fee method, especially in class tort suits where the clients are from the low- and middle-income classes.
Due to growing concerns about fraudulent hourly billings and the tendency of the hourly billing method to produce
unnecessary record time or over-zealous litigation, some lawyers are now exploring alternative billing methods
other than the hourly billing method and the contingent fee method, e.g. flat fee, modified hourly fee.
In the Philippines, except for the huge law firms which prefer the hourly billing method, most private lawyers use
the flat fee billing method (i.e., acceptance fee plus appearance fee per hearing) or contingent fee billing method.
Attorneys fees have escalated both in the US and in the Philippines these past years, as result of inflation and
other economic factors.
This has resulted in the inability of low- and middle-income consumers of legal services to hire the services of
competent lawyers.
The situation in the Philippines is especially pronounced because of the absence of a pre-paid legal services
insurance industry and the inability of the PAO to meet the growing demands of the indigent population for free
legal aid.
Economic Survival
The legal profession is dedicated to the spirit of public service. Gaining a livelihood is incidental. A law professional
must deliver quality services with diligence and zeal whether he is paid or not. His best advertising is his reputation
as a lawyer.
This is the ideal. In reality, however, a lawyer, like any ordinary businessman, is subjected daily to the vagaries of
economic survival, the pains of the economic natural-selection process, stiff domestic and global competition, and
real business and financial risks in the operation and maintenance of his law office and in sustaining the costs of
the continuing professional improvement of his legal career, not to mention the regular financial support for his
own family.
It is admitted that litigation expenses and the costs of legal services have become prohibitive to the ordinary
citizens. The ordinary Filipino citizen feels that the courts are available only in proportion to one=s ability to pay for
their use and are accessible only to those able to bear the expense of litigation.
Negative comments have been given by some sectors of society to the effect that the legal profession
exists for itself alone and for its own interests, that it is not answerable to anybody outside the profession, that it is
as nearly independent of society as any functioning institution can be, and that it is, psychologically, at least, quite
outside of the social system. (Ferdinand Lundberg, "The Legal Profession - A Social Phenomenon", Harper's
Magazine, Dec. 1938, in Coquia, Jose R. The Legal Profession. Manila: Rex Book Store, 1993 ed., pp. 47-70).
Despite the reported wealth of the legal professionals, Lundberg argues: A very large section of the bar
itself is unable to make both ends meet. Contrary to popular opinion, all lawyers are not affluent, as is shown by
the American Bar Association in a recently completed study of the economic status of the lawyer. A great section of
the bar, composed mainly of newcomers but comprising as well of some elder practitioners, is virtually without
clients, because their potential clients are unable to pay them. The existence of so many lawyers who are unable to
make a living accounts for the conclusion that the bar is over-crowded and must be made smaller. (Id.).
The Lawyers Oath
As an officer of the court, a lawyer is subject to a rigid discipline that demands that in his every exertion the only
criterion be that truth and justice triumph. This discipline is what has given the law progression its nobility, its
prestige, its exalted place. From a lawyer are expected those qualities of truth, a high sense of honour, full candor,
intellectual honestly, and the strict observance of fiduciary responsibility B all of which have been compendiously
described as Amoral character. (Justice J.B.L. Reyes, "Objectives of Legal Education in Present-Day Philippine
Society", in Coquia, supra, pp. 113-123).
Unfortunately, according to Justice J.B.L. Reyes, many a law practitioner, forgetting his sacred mission as a sworn
public servant and his exalted position as an officer of the court, has allowed himself to become an instigator of
controversy and a predator of conflict instead of a mediator for concord and conciliator for compromise, a virtuoso
of technicality in the conduct of litigation instead of a true exponent of the primacy of truth and moral justice, a
mercenary purveying the benefits of his enlightened advocacy in direct proportion to a litigant=s financial posture
instead of a faithful friend of the courts in the dispensation of equal justice to the rich and the poor alike. (Id., pp.
176).
Justice Ameurfina Melecio-Herrera, in an address to new lawyers, affirmed the special role of the lawyer in
society, thus:
You have foresworn the doing of falsehood or consenting to its commission.
Falsehood is professional apostasy. Evidence must not be manufactured to
bolster the theory of the case. As advocates, yours is the responsibility to
present the truth with candor and fairness. The courts cannot do justice unless
they are in possession of the truth.
You have also pledged that your will no wittingly or willingly promote any
groundless, false or unlawful suit nor give aid nor consent thereto. Be true to
your pledge. Restore prudence in resorting to courts of law. Discourage overuse
or misuse of courts. Help expedite the dispensation of justice.
You have solemnly proclaimed that you will not delay any man=s cause for
money or malice. This precludes you from resorting to dilatory tactics, from
biding your time in any litigation, and from allowing a case to meander through
a weakness in the legal procedures. Always aspire for a just, speedy and
inexpensive determination of any suit.
You have sworn that you will conduct yourself as a lawyer with all fidelity to the
courts as to your clients. This means fidelity to the truth first and foremost. It
signifies fidelity to private trust as well as to public duty. Serve your clients with
complete fidelity at whatever cost to yourself. But remember that is limited by
your duty to do justice. Practice your profession primarily for the common
good, for the greater good, and only secondarily for profit. Handle a problem of
a client with understanding regardless of ability to pay a handsome fee.
A good man is morally virtuous, and justice is one of the moral virtues. A just
man sees not only his own good but that of society as a whole.
(Justice Ameurfina Melencio-Herrera. "Upgrading the Image of The Bar", in
Coquia, supra, pp. 304-307).
The Law School
A law school is not a commercialized vocational or skills development centre where the sole objective is the training
of students to learn the technical art of trial or advocacy. The development of the moral fiber and the social
involvement of lawyers should be the top priority in any program of legal education. Without a sound moral and
social foundation an advocate is more likely to be a liability, rather than an asset, to the community. And the more
able he is in legal technique, the bigger the threat he will pose to his fellow men@. (Justice Roberto Concepcion,
"The Lawyer's Role in Society', in Coquia, supra, pp. 183-189).
Justice Reyes had criticized Philippine law schools for producing generalists who believe that they know what is
best for everything; for producing technicians who make no moral judgements; and for producing lawyers who
think and work as hired guns and not as servants of the law. (Reyes, supra, at p. 124).
He further stated: What those attacks amount to in substance is that the present-day law curricula fail to
adequately provide for the moral training of the law student. Stress is laid on what is lawful rather than what is
just; emphasis is placed on what is permissible instead of what is honourable. The rules of professional ethics and
responsibility that place a distinctive import on the legal profession and mark it apart from all others careers are
accorded but casual attention in the law course. The unfortunate result of such a distorted sense of values looms
large in judicial annals -- Bar candidates denied admission for moral deficiencies; too many lawyers suspended,
censured or disbarred for abandoning or neglecting their clients cases, for failing to file on time pleadings or briefs
on their behalf, for continual use of delaying tactics, or for not complying with their duties as officers of the Court.
(Id.).
The ethics of law practice cannot be those of the open markets. Law touches too wide a range of human values,
and is beset by too many temptations, to admit of any but the highest standards of conduct. From the ranks of
lawyers will be drawn judges and prosecutors, legislators and presidents, who will decide the destiny of the nation
and of the citizens. No one can escape shivering at the thought that some time in the future his own life or liberty
may hinge upon an individual unable to discriminate between what is profitable and what is right, what is
expedient and what is just, or whose main interest in life is survival or preferment. (Id., p. 117).
Justice Reyes stressed: Equally important in the law school training, but hitherto sadly neglected, is the cultivation
and consolidation of moral character, civic courage, and ethical principles. The present law curricula, devote only a
minuscule portion to professional ethics B those moral rules without which the practitioners would become just
license freebooters. Hitherto the law schools appear to have failed to kindle in the hearts of their wards a resolute
dedication to the rule of law and fair play, as well as the conviction that every lawyer is and must remain an
integral part of the administration of justice. That failure is written large in the court records -- that convert
litigations into wars attrition; groundless suits and appeals; abandonment of clients without the courtesy of notice
to them or to the court. And outside the courthouse, how many lawyers seek to palliate their failures by charging
prejudice or base motives on the part of the judges? How many of them, placed in the positions of power, have
practised self-restraint, respect and tolerance for others, and the subordination of self-interest?. (id.).
Image of the Lawyer
In a harsh commentary on the issue of law and morality in our society, the late Dean Jeremias Montemayor of the
Ateneo School of Law had stated: One of the most basic causes of the failure of law in our country is the
separation and isolation of law from morality. This has the same effect as that of separating the body from the
soul, with the result that the body becomes a dislocated, lifeless, mechanical and ineffective contraption. This find
of unmoral concept of the background of law tends to make many Filipinos hypocrites. Hence, may of us go to
Mass in the morning and through a legal technicality swindle our neighbour in the afternoon; many of as believe in
God=s justice but hire the most clever lawyers against our tenants and labourers who demand their share under
the tenancy and wage laws; we win an election by undetected cheating and vote-buying and unveil a religious
statute immediately after our inauguration; we extra-legally collect >tong= from businessmen whose papers we
have to approve and part of that >tong= we contribute to the building of a church. (Dean Jeremias Montemayor,
"New Problems Of An Old Profession", in Coquia, supra, pp. 246-255).
Speaking of the public image of the Filipino lawyer, Dean Montemayor further stated: Likewise, people have had a
superficial and, therefore, negative concept of the lawyer and his profession. The lawyer stays in his law office and
people came to him only after they foresee, or are actually involved in, some legal controversy. They never go to
him when things go well. He is very nice to have on one=s side in case of trouble but rather unnecessary in a
normal situation. Unfortunately, many lawyers have the same superficial and negative concept of their own
profession. They think their function is mostly remedial, not constructive and promotional. Consequently, they have
not been able to keep pace with the ever-increasing problems and aspirations of the people. As a matter of fact,
their capacity to respond to the people=s needs has remained practically constant even as those needs have
increased a hundred fold. So much so that not only has the lawyer lost much of his prestige but many people have
even developed a positive distaste for him. Some people even consider lawyers as a necessary evil that should be
avoided as much as possible. (Id.).
He added: The reason why so may lawyers today are without jobs and find it hard to get employment is because
they have failed to help society become more productive. In fact, in may cases, lawyers by their opportunistic
manipulation, promoting feuds and multiplying and prolonging suits, have destroyed the productive capacity of
their fellow men and deprived them of the means to hire legal help. According to him, the role of the lawyer in
society and in the economy is to assist in the settlement of controversies and to promote harmony and greater
production, for the richer the society is, the more capacity it will have to use and pay for legal services...and as
long as society exists, lawyers will always be needed. (Id.).
Asian Values
There are dangers in completely mimicking US law practice management and law firm marketing techniques, as
well as other aspects of the US legal profession, without considering the unique Asian and Filipino culture within
which the Philippine legal profession exists and operates.
A premature copying of foreign rules and practices, without taking into account the current cultural consciousness
of the Filipino legal profession and the value system of the society within which it works, is likewise risky.
However, it is useful to take into account and study the feasibility of applying in the Philippines setting certain
areas of growth and development of the US legal profession which have been empirically proven to be cost-
effective, globally competitive, conducive to the protection of the rights of the consumers of legal services, and
contributory to the initiation of appropriate reforms in the Philippine legal profession to enable it to face the
challenges of the new millennium, i.e. ethical lawyer advertising, multi-disciplinary legal education, multi-
disciplinary law practice, multi-jurisdictional or cross-border law practice, pre-paid legal services insurance, clients
protection trust fund, professional liability insurance, active presence in the Internet as a mode of delivery of legal
services, mandatory pro bono publico legal services, privatized legal services for civil suits, mandatory continuing
legal education, licensing of paralegal personnel or legal assistants, law practice specialty certification program,
and the promotion of electronic courts and electronic filing of legal pleadings.
RECOMMENDATIONS
PREMISES CONSIDERED, the author respectfully makes the following recommendations:
1. That the Supreme Court create a Standing Committee on Philippine Law Practice Management and Law Firm
Marketing, with representatives from the Bench, the Bar, the Law Academe, the Law Studentry, the Civil Society,
the Business and Industry Sector, the Mass Media, the Executive, and the Legislature as committee members
and/or consultants, as the case may be, to assist the Supreme Court in conducting further and periodic in-depth,
scientific and comprehensive studies, surveys, and consultations, in reviewing the existing Code of Professional
Responsibility, in forming policy recommendations, in proposing draft congressional bills and/or executive orders
for legislative and executive action, where so required by the Constitution, and in proposing appropriate
constitutional amendments in the matter of pleadings, practice and admission to the practice of law, if necessary,
in relation to the various controversial modern trends and issues discussed in this study that directly or indirectly
affect and influence the domestic and global competitiveness, effectiveness and responsiveness of the Philippine
legal profession in meeting and addressing the complex needs and concerns of the local and foreign consumers of
its services and of the stakeholders and beneficiaries of the Philippine justice system, which trends and issues
include, but are not necessarily limited to:
a. lawyer advertising (law firm marketing)
b. multidisciplinary law practice
c. multijurisdictional law practice
d. lawyers= professional liability insurance
e. mandatory client protection trust fund
f. pre-paid legal insurance and pre-paid lawyer referral system
g. licensing of paralegals and legal assistants,
h. mandatory pro bono publico legal service
i. law practice specialty certification system
j. electronic courts and electronic filing of pleadings and motions
k. privatized alternative dispute resolution system
2. That a strong and well-funded system of international linkages, exchanges and partnerships be developed,
maintained and institutionalized by the Supreme Court and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines in cooperation with
their foreign counterparts worldwide and with the concerned public and private law- and justice-oriented
international institutions and organizations to enable the Supreme Court and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
to speedily monitor and analyse the new and latest global developments, trends and issues that may directly or
indirectly affect and shape the future directions of the justice system, the legal profession, and the modalities of
the delivery of basic legal services to the consumers, the beneficiaries and the stakeholders of the justice system.
3. That an ad hoc Supreme Court committee be formed with members from the Bench, the Bar and the Civil
Society to explore and study various ways and means of extending financial assistance, subsidy and the like to the
middle-class consumers of legal services, who may not be qualified under the rules of the Public Attorneys Office,
in respect of the litigation of their civil disputes, whether individual or class suits, in the light of the currently
skyrocketing price of the professional fees of the legal profession, including, but not necessarily limited to, a study
of the feasibility of the creation, by legislative fiat, of the Philippine National Legal Services Corporation, patterned
after the American model (US Legal Services Corp., www.lsc.gov), that will privatize such subsidized legal service
and provide such financial assistance, subsidy and other forms of aid to such litigants in civil disputes.
4. That the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, with the assistance of the moral clout of the Supreme Court, initiate
steps toward the adoption of congressional and executive action that will adequately fund the creation, operation
and maintenance of a massive pro bono or at the least a subsidized public Internet-based Philippine law- and
justice-oriented world wide web portal with a full and comprehensive downloadable database of full-text Philippine
and foreign laws, decisions, treaties, research materials, and other legal, executive, legislative, administrative,
historical, economic, political and scientific digital data and issuances to improve the legal research capacity and
advocacy of the Philippine legal profession, the law academe, the civil society and the general public and to elevate
to the level of competitive international standards their ability to access, research, manage, and use such
technology to promote the rule of law, enhance the administration of justice, and respond cost-effectively to the
complex needs and demands of the consumers of legal services .
5. That the Supreme Court create a Standing Committee on the Effects and Implications of the General Agreement
on Trade in Services (GATS) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) to study the consequences of the provisions
of the GATS and the rules of the WTO to the Philippine legal profession and the Philippine justice system and to
make policy recommendations on how the Philippines should effectively and appropriately respond to the WTO-led
liberalization of the cross-border, multilateral and multijurisdictional exercise of the major professions of the world
among the member nation-states.
6. That the 1988 Code of Professional Responsibility be amended to allow the Filipino lawyers to honestly engage in
some limited form of ethical, dignified, truthful and factual law firm marketing or lawyer advertising through the
mass media, as in the case of the United States since 1977, to empower and educate the general public and the
consumers of legal services, especially those from the middle class of society, to choose the best and at the same
time the most affordable and cost-effective specialized legal services available to them in the legal market, as well
as to give flesh to the Filipino lawyers= constitutional freedom of commercial speech.
7. That the Supreme Court, with the participation of the Bar, create an Ad Hoc Committee on Multidisciplinary
Practice that will study the appropriateness, applicability and wisdom allowing Filipino lawyers to put up
multidisciplinary professional services corporations and partnerships, patterned after the multidisciplinary model of
the USA, to better serve the complex and changing needs of the local and foreign consumers of legal services,
subject to such ethical rules as the Supreme Court may deem necessary to impose after conducting broad
consultations with the Bench, the Bar and the Civil Society, to preserve the dignity of the legal profession, prevent
conflicts of interest, protect the confidentiality of the lawyer-client relation, and satisfy other issues and concerns
on the matter.
8. That the Integrated Bar of the Philippines create an Ad Hoc Committee on the Licensing of Paralegals and Legal
Assistants that will propose a bill for legislative and executive action in the matter of the licensing, education,
accreditation, regulation, and supervision of paralegals and legal assistants to serve and fill the minor needs of the
consumers of routine, pro forma, and non-litigation legal services which do not require the specialized intervention
of legal professionals, and without necessarily engaging in the practice of law as the term is now strictly defined by
the Rules of Court and existing jurisprudence.
9. That the Supreme Court create an Ad Hoc Committee on Client Protection Trust Fund and Professional Liability
Insurance to study the feasibility of requiring lawyers, following the American model, to mandatorily contribute a
fair portion of their professional fees or a fixed annual amount to a Client Protection Trust Fund, to be jointly
managed by the Supreme Court and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines with the assistance of experts in the
business of banking, trusts and finance, that will indemnify aggrieved clients victimized by lawyer malpractice,
deceit, dishonesty, negligence and misconduct and to study various ways and means of encouraging the Philippine
insurance industry to develop and offer private professional liability insurance coverage to Filipino lawyers as an
alternative or as an additional support to and compliance with the aforementioned mandatory contribution to the
Client Protection Trust Fund.
10. That the Integrated Bar of the Philippines create an Ad Hoc Committee on Pre-Paid Legal Services Insurance
Plan and Lawyer Referral System to study various foreign models of pre-paid legal services insurance plans and
lawyer referral systems, including those of the USA, with the end in view of assisting the consumers of legal
services, especially the low-income and middle-income consumers and the small and medium business persons, by
reducing the costs of legal services through the method of spreading the risks involved among all the insured and
assuring the insured consumers of legal services of the availability of reliable lawyers accredited as legal service
providers under such plans who shall be ready to serve the needs of the consumers for prompt and quality legal
services, subject to the categories and the terms and conditions of the specific classes of pre-paid plans acquired
by such consumers.
11. That the Supreme Court, with the participation of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, create a Standing
Committee on Mandatory Pro Bono Publico Legal Services to study the feasibility of requiring Filipino lawyers to
allot a fair and reasonable number of hours per annum for free legal aid to the community, the law academe=s
legal clinics, the indigent, the detention prisoners, victims of child abuse, and the oppressed poorest of the poor
and to propose the implementing rules and regulations for the mandatory activity, after conducting broad
consultations with the Bench, the Bar and the Civil Society.
12. That the Supreme Court, with the assistance of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, create a Standing
Committee on Law Practice Specialty Certification to initiate studies and consultations on a system of certification
of the law practice specializations of Filipino lawyers to promote law practice specialization and to elevate the
professional standards and quality service of private law practitioners in the Philippines.
13. That steps be taken to give flesh to the constitutional doctrine of fiscal independence of the judiciary as a
prelude to, inter alia, (a) the sufficient funding, construction, and operation of electronic courts nationwide,
complete with web sites from which the litigants and the general public may transact official and legal business
and/or upload and download, as the case may be, transcripts of court hearings, court orders and decisions, and
legal pleadings and motions; (b) the upgrading of the compensation package of judicial personnel; (c) the
enhancement of the legal research capability of the judiciary and the Bar; (d) the strengthening of the free legal
aid program and the mandatory continuing legal education program; (e) the promotion of the vision and mission of
the Philippine Judicial Academy; and (f) the enhancement of the structural and institutional capability of the
judiciary as the administrator of the justice system.
(End)



CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
SUMMARY
1. Lawyer Advertising.
Since 1977 the US Supreme Court has allowed US lawyers to advertise their services in recognition of their
constitutional freedom of commercial speech and of the basic right of the American consumers of legal services to
know, choose and have a fair access to the best and most cost-effective providers of legal services in the legal
market.
The ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the ethics rules of most states have been accordingly adjusted
since 1977 to allow lawyers and law firms to advertise, subject to certain limitations intended to maintain the
dignity of the legal profession.
Advertising by lawyers and law firms through the regular mass media and the Internet and targeted direct mail
advertising are allowed in the US, subject to the rule that the same shall be truthful and non-deceptive. In the case
of targeted direct mail solicitation, a 30-day cooling off period is imposed and the rules require that the words
advertising material be stamped on the letter envelope. Advertising materials shall also contain a disclaimer. In-
person solicitation and live telephone solicitation are still banned.
In the case of the Philippines, lawyer advertising, in whatever form or manner, is expressly banned by the 1988
Code of Professional Responsibility and existing jurisprudence, despite an equivalent verbatim provision on freedom
of speech in the 1987 Constitution.
2. Multi-Disciplinary Law Practice.
The American Bar Association has adopted this year its final position paper allowing multi-disciplinary law practice,
whereby lawyers may associate with experts from other professions or disciplines to form multi-disciplinary
professional services corporations or partnerships to better meet the complex multi-disciplinary needs and
demands of domestic and international clients.
The final position paper adopted by the ABA contained specific provisions intended to preserve the Bar traditions on
confidentiality, conflict of interest and due diligence on the part of lawyers who shall participate or invest in such
multi-disciplinary professional services corporations or partnerships. The 1988 Code of Professional Responsibility
and existing jurisprudence of the Philippines prohibit a Filipino lawyer from splitting professional fees or associating
with non-lawyers in the practice of law.
3. Professional Liability Insurance.
US lawyers are mandated to regularly contribute to a client protection trust fund of the state where he practices his
profession. In addition, a great majority of US lawyers also procure private professional liability insurance or
malpractice insurance to protect them from malpractice claims by clients and to assure clients that in case of
misconduct by such lawyers their clients have a civil recourse to seek indemnification. The Philippines has no
equivalent rule. An aggrieved Filipino client has to file an administrative case and/or a civil suit for damages
against his erring lawyer.
4. Information Technology and the Legal Profession.
US lawyers and the US Government have a highly visible presence in the Internet as part of their public service to
the American people. The US legal profession has learned to maximized the use of information and communication
technology to reach its clients and potential market and to render pro bono public information services to the
American people. Considering the advance economic stage of the US, the costs of maintaining a presence in the
Internet in the US are affordable to most lawyers.
In the case of the Philippines, published data showed that there were only 200,000 Internet users in the Philippines
in 1999 and that unlimited Internet access thru digital telephone lines cost between P3,000.00 to P10,000.00 a
month in 1999, which, inter alia, explained the very low volume of Internet users in the country, not to mention
the fact that the low purchasing power (per capita income) of the Filipino people has made it very difficult for them
to acquire modern information and communication technology (ICT) hardware and software. (Yao-Endriga, The
Philippine Star, August 6, 1999).
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an agency of the United Nations, has recently reported that the
digital divide is growing. With only a fraction of people having access to telephones in the developing world, the
U.N. telecommunications agency warned that the gap between the information "haves" and "have nots" will
continue to grow without concerted global action. Yoshio Utsumi, secretary-general of the ITU, reported in June
2002 that 83 countries in Africa, Asia and the former Soviet Union still have less than 10 telephone lines for every
100 people. He reported that 25 countries have less than one phone line for every 100 people, and 61 countries
have less than one percent Internet use, primarily in Africa. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has expressed the
dismal fact that while the globe is becoming more and more wired, "the digital divide still yawns as widely as ever,
with billions of people still unconnected to a global society." (Editha M. Lederer, AU.N. Says Digital Divide Is
Growing@, Associated Press [AP], Http://news.findlaw.com/ap/ht/1700/6-19-2002/20020619031500_20.html).
5. Pre-Paid Legal Insurance and Legal Referral Networks.
With more than 80 million Americans now covered by pre-paid legal services insurance policies, the US pre-paid
legal services insurance industry has become fully developed.
Many private and public companies, as well employees unions and law-related non-governmental organizations, in
the US have integrated the pre-paid legal services insurance plan as part of the benefits package of workers.
The pre-paid legal services insurance industry has contributed to the marketing exposure of lawyers and law firms,
especially the solo practitioners and small to medium law firms, who are part of the pool of accredited legal service
providers of the pre-paid legal services insurance companies.
The industry has likewise contributed to the consumer education of the American public vis-a-vis the availability of
the most cost-effective providers of legal services in the US legal market. The Philippines has no equivalent rule or
industry.
6.. Boards of Specialty.
Lawyers who specialize in particular fields of law practice may be certified by the state boards of specialty after
fulfilling the requirements for specialty certification.
Specialty certification increases a US lawyers professional prestige and image and assures the American
consumers of the quality and specialized legal services. The Philippines has no equivalent rule.
6. Legal Education.
US Legal education requires a future US lawyer to complete a 4-year college degree (in any field or discipline) and
a 3-year law degree (Doctor of Jurisprudence) before taking the state bar examinations.
A US law student has the option to choose his future specialization by enrolling in electives during the second and
third years in law school. Multi-disciplinary legal education is encouraged.
Law professors are mostly hired on a full-time basis and are adequately compensated and supported with
sabbaticals and research grants.
Most US law schools augment their income from tuition fees by competitive marketing methods and by soliciting
donations from external sources.
The case method and legal clinics are the most preferred methods of teaching, although many law schools now
include the seminar method as an additional teaching method.
Scholarships and loans are given to law students by the federal and state governments, banks, and law schools.
Most law students in the US are full-time students. About 70 percent of the US bar examinees pass the state bar
examinations yearly. Summer law clerks (senior law students who worked during summers in law firms) are
adequately compensated. Most law firms compete in the recruitment of graduating law students.
Philippines legal education requires a 4-year college degree and a 4-year law degree. Most law students are
working.
Many law schools have adopted a 5-year curriculum for working students and are encouraging the entry of full-time
students. In 1989 the law curriculum was revised. In 1993 R.A. 7662 (Legal Education Act of 1993) was passed. It
created a Board of Legal Education, where the Bar and the private sector are represented, to improve the state of
legal education in the Philippines.
Most Philippine law professors are part-time professors and have no formal training in teaching methods. They are
mostly underpaid and treat law teaching as a mere sideline. Most law schools compete for the admission of new
students, and tuition alone is not enough to sustain the operations of law schools. Due to the weak financial
condition of many law schools and the fiscal deficit of government, scholarships and research grants for law
students and law professors are insignificant.
Only between 20 to 30 percent pass the Philippine bar exams annually, and the performance of many private law
schools need drastic improvement.
The Legal Education Reform Act of 1993 has somehow begun to set the correct trends in law education reform by
introducing the ideas of mandatory legal aid clinic, mandatory continuing legal education, mandatory pro bono
services, and re-focusing legal education to the basics of legal ethics, legal counseling, and legal problem-solving
and decision-making.
The full realization of all of these goals remain to be seen. No concrete movements to actually implement them are
visible at the moment, except perhaps for the pro-forma compliance with the rules on legal aid clinic in law schools
and promulgation of the new rules on mandatory continuing legal education (MCLE) applicable to the Bar (see Bar
Matter No. 850, c. 2000).
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines, which is the mandatory bar association of Filipino lawyers, is not involved in
any manner in the accreditation of law schools and is reactive, not pro-active, in the major task of self-policing and
self-educating their own ranks. Moreover, there appears to be no official policy on the part of the State to
encourage and promote the development and the federalization of voluntary local bar associations. Existing
voluntary local bar associations are not represented in the Board of Legal Education, the Judicial and Bar Council,
the national board of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and the special committees of the Supreme Court.
Legal education, as a human activity, is a matter of "philosophy", not of money, ambition, greed, or popularity.
Money and power are not the ultimate goals of legal education. Legal education is a "mission", not an economic
enterprise. Legal education is a "service", not a shopping center where one picks up and buys a skill.
A legal curriculum that inordinately orients and focuses law students to the sole aim of passing the annual bar
exams is a "trade school", not a law school. A law school is not a commercialized "recruitment agency" of the Bar.
This is a shameful capitalist concept.
The practice of law is not a trade or business. It is an "ethics and justice center" whose main objective is the
administration of distributive justice. Thus, the law school system must be de-commercialized. With de-
commercialization, one may expect a radical change in the orientation of lawyers and a marked improvement in
the administration of justice. Sadly, though, this is not the current trend worldwide.
To many people in many countries the prevailing view is that economic greed and mankinds insatiable hunger for
fame and power have dominated the legal profession globally. The best way to start to become a good lawyer is
first to become a good human being.
7. Mandatory Continuing Legal Education.
Both the US and the Philippines have adopted rules for a mandatory continuing legal education. The Philippine
MCLE version started only in late 2000. It requires 36 MCLE credit units for every three years (compared with 25
credit units per 3 years in California). Both countries allow the accreditation of private MCLE service providers and
the exemption of certain government officials from the program. Non-compliance with the MCLE requirements may
result in the suspension or disbarment of a lawyer.
8. Mandatory Pro Bono Legal Services.
There is no rule for a mandatory pro bono publico legal services which require both the US and the Filipino lawyer
to allot a certain number of hours per year for free legal aid to the indigent.
However, it is encouraged by both countries. In the case of the Philippines, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
and the voluntary bar associations maintain regular free legal aid programs, although funding is a usual problem.
For instance, a free legal aid lawyer of the IBP receives only P4,500.00 monthly as an allowance (although he is
allowed free practice by the IBP). The IBP and the voluntary bar associations find it difficult to recruit private
lawyers to join their free legal aid programs.
9. Privatization of Legal Services for the Indigent Clients.
In the US, persons accused of criminal cases who cannot afford the services of private defense counsel may avail
themselves of the free services of the Office of the Public Defender. In addition, the courts may appoint any private
lawyer as pro bono defense counsel.
For civil suits, low- and middle-income US citizens who cannot afford the services of private lawyers may seek the
assistance of the US Legal Services Corporation (LSC).
It reimburses the fees of accredited private lawyers or legal aid center who represent indigent litigants in civil suits.
As defined by the Legal Services Corporation Act, the LSCs mission is to promote equal access to the system of
justice and improve opportunities for low-income people throughout the United States by making grants for the
provision of high-quality civil legal assistance to those who would be otherwise unable to afford legal counsel.
(www.lsc.gov).
LSC does not provide legal services directly. Rather, it provides grants to independent local programs selected
through a system of competition.
In 2002, LSC funds 179 local programs. Together they serve every county and congressional district in the nation,
as well as the U.S. territories.
Special service areas also address the distinctive needs of Native Americans and migrant farm workers. (id.).
In the case of the Philippines, we have no such equivalent corporation.
The Public Attorneys Office (PAO) serves the needs of indigent Filipinos facing both criminal and civil cases or
initiating civil suits as indigent plaintiffs, subject to its threshold income requirement (which is about P15,000.00
per month if the indigent client lives in Metro Manila).
PAO lawyers are generally overworked, resulting in poor delivery of legal services to clients.
10. Attorneys Fees and Billing Methods.
The regular fee billing method in the US is the hourly billing method. Some lawyers, though, apply the contingent
fee method, especially in class tort suits where the clients are from the low- and middle-income classes.
Due to growing concerns about fraudulent hourly billings and the tendency of the hourly billing method to produce
unnecessary record time or over-zealous litigation, some lawyers are now exploring alternative billing methods
other than the hourly billing method and the contingent fee method, e.g. flat fee, modified hourly fee.
In the Philippines, except for the huge law firms which prefer the hourly billing method, most private lawyers use
the flat fee billing method (i.e., acceptance fee plus appearance fee per hearing) or contingent fee billing method.
Attorneys fees have escalated both in the US and in the Philippines these past years, as result of inflation and
other economic factors.
This has resulted in the inability of low- and middle-income consumers of legal services to hire the services of
competent lawyers.
The situation in the Philippines is especially pronounced because of the absence of a pre-paid legal services
insurance industry and the inability of the PAO to meet the growing demands of the indigent population for free
legal aid.
Economic Survival
The legal profession is dedicated to the spirit of public service. Gaining a livelihood is incidental. A law professional
must deliver quality services with diligence and zeal whether he is paid or not. His best advertising is his reputation
as a lawyer.
This is the ideal. In reality, however, a lawyer, like any ordinary businessman, is subjected daily to the vagaries of
economic survival, the pains of the economic natural-selection process, stiff domestic and global competition, and
real business and financial risks in the operation and maintenance of his law office and in sustaining the costs of
the continuing professional improvement of his legal career, not to mention the regular financial support for his
own family.
It is admitted that litigation expenses and the costs of legal services have become prohibitive to the ordinary
citizens. The ordinary Filipino citizen feels that the courts are available only in proportion to one=s ability to pay for
their use and are accessible only to those able to bear the expense of litigation.
Negative comments have been given by some sectors of society to the effect that the legal profession
exists for itself alone and for its own interests, that it is not answerable to anybody outside the profession, that it is
as nearly independent of society as any functioning institution can be, and that it is, psychologically, at least, quite
outside of the social system. (Ferdinand Lundberg, "The Legal Profession - A Social Phenomenon", Harper's
Magazine, Dec. 1938, in Coquia, Jose R. The Legal Profession. Manila: Rex Book Store, 1993 ed., pp. 47-70).
Despite the reported wealth of the legal professionals, Lundberg argues: A very large section of the bar
itself is unable to make both ends meet. Contrary to popular opinion, all lawyers are not affluent, as is shown by
the American Bar Association in a recently completed study of the economic status of the lawyer. A great section of
the bar, composed mainly of newcomers but comprising as well of some elder practitioners, is virtually without
clients, because their potential clients are unable to pay them. The existence of so many lawyers who are unable to
make a living accounts for the conclusion that the bar is over-crowded and must be made smaller. (Id.).
The Lawyers Oath
As an officer of the court, a lawyer is subject to a rigid discipline that demands that in his every exertion the only
criterion be that truth and justice triumph. This discipline is what has given the law progression its nobility, its
prestige, its exalted place. From a lawyer are expected those qualities of truth, a high sense of honour, full candor,
intellectual honestly, and the strict observance of fiduciary responsibility B all of which have been compendiously
described as Amoral character. (Justice J.B.L. Reyes, "Objectives of Legal Education in Present-Day Philippine
Society", in Coquia, supra, pp. 113-123).
Unfortunately, according to Justice J.B.L. Reyes, many a law practitioner, forgetting his sacred mission as a sworn
public servant and his exalted position as an officer of the court, has allowed himself to become an instigator of
controversy and a predator of conflict instead of a mediator for concord and conciliator for compromise, a virtuoso
of technicality in the conduct of litigation instead of a true exponent of the primacy of truth and moral justice, a
mercenary purveying the benefits of his enlightened advocacy in direct proportion to a litigant=s financial posture
instead of a faithful friend of the courts in the dispensation of equal justice to the rich and the poor alike. (Id., pp.
176).
Justice Ameurfina Melecio-Herrera, in an address to new lawyers, affirmed the special role of the lawyer in
society, thus:
You have foresworn the doing of falsehood or consenting to its commission.
Falsehood is professional apostasy. Evidence must not be manufactured to
bolster the theory of the case. As advocates, yours is the responsibility to
present the truth with candor and fairness. The courts cannot do justice unless
they are in possession of the truth.
You have also pledged that your will no wittingly or willingly promote any
groundless, false or unlawful suit nor give aid nor consent thereto. Be true to
your pledge. Restore prudence in resorting to courts of law. Discourage overuse
or misuse of courts. Help expedite the dispensation of justice.
You have solemnly proclaimed that you will not delay any man=s cause for
money or malice. This precludes you from resorting to dilatory tactics, from
biding your time in any litigation, and from allowing a case to meander through
a weakness in the legal procedures. Always aspire for a just, speedy and
inexpensive determination of any suit.
You have sworn that you will conduct yourself as a lawyer with all fidelity to the
courts as to your clients. This means fidelity to the truth first and foremost. It
signifies fidelity to private trust as well as to public duty. Serve your clients with
complete fidelity at whatever cost to yourself. But remember that is limited by
your duty to do justice. Practice your profession primarily for the common
good, for the greater good, and only secondarily for profit. Handle a problem of
a client with understanding regardless of ability to pay a handsome fee.
A good man is morally virtuous, and justice is one of the moral virtues. A just
man sees not only his own good but that of society as a whole.
(Justice Ameurfina Melencio-Herrera. "Upgrading the Image of The Bar", in
Coquia, supra, pp. 304-307).

The Law School
A law school is not a commercialized vocational or skills development centre where the sole objective is the training
of students to learn the technical art of trial or advocacy. The development of the moral fiber and the social
involvement of lawyers should be the top priority in any program of legal education. Without a sound moral and
social foundation an advocate is more likely to be a liability, rather than an asset, to the community. And the more
able he is in legal technique, the bigger the threat he will pose to his fellow men@. (Justice Roberto Concepcion,
"The Lawyer's Role in Society', in Coquia, supra, pp. 183-189).
Justice Reyes had criticized Philippine law schools for producing generalists who believe that they know what is
best for everything; for producing technicians who make no moral judgements; and for producing lawyers who
think and work as hired guns and not as servants of the law. (Reyes, supra, at p. 124).
He further stated: What those attacks amount to in substance is that the present-day law curricula fail to
adequately provide for the moral training of the law student. Stress is laid on what is lawful rather than what is
just; emphasis is placed on what is permissible instead of what is honourable. The rules of professional ethics and
responsibility that place a distinctive import on the legal profession and mark it apart from all others careers are
accorded but casual attention in the law course. The unfortunate result of such a distorted sense of values looms
large in judicial annals -- Bar candidates denied admission for moral deficiencies; too many lawyers suspended,
censured or disbarred for abandoning or neglecting their clients cases, for failing to file on time pleadings or briefs
on their behalf, for continual use of delaying tactics, or for not complying with their duties as officers of the Court.
(Id.).
The ethics of law practice cannot be those of the open markets. Law touches too wide a range of human values,
and is beset by too many temptations, to admit of any but the highest standards of conduct. From the ranks of
lawyers will be drawn judges and prosecutors, legislators and presidents, who will decide the destiny of the nation
and of the citizens. No one can escape shivering at the thought that some time in the future his own life or liberty
may hinge upon an individual unable to discriminate between what is profitable and what is right, what is
expedient and what is just, or whose main interest in life is survival or preferment. (Id., p. 117).
Justice Reyes stressed: Equally important in the law school training, but hitherto sadly neglected, is the cultivation
and consolidation of moral character, civic courage, and ethical principles. The present law curricula, devote only a
minuscule portion to professional ethics B those moral rules without which the practitioners would become just
license freebooters. Hitherto the law schools appear to have failed to kindle in the hearts of their wards a resolute
dedication to the rule of law and fair play, as well as the conviction that every lawyer is and must remain an
integral part of the administration of justice. That failure is written large in the court records -- that convert
litigations into wars attrition; groundless suits and appeals; abandonment of clients without the courtesy of notice
to them or to the court. And outside the courthouse, how many lawyers seek to palliate their failures by charging
prejudice or base motives on the part of the judges? How many of them, placed in the positions of power, have
practised self-restraint, respect and tolerance for others, and the subordination of self-interest?. (id.).
Image of the Lawyer
In a harsh commentary on the issue of law and morality in our society, the late Dean Jeremias Montemayor of the
Ateneo School of Law had stated: One of the most basic causes of the failure of law in our country is the
separation and isolation of law from morality. This has the same effect as that of separating the body from the
soul, with the result that the body becomes a dislocated, lifeless, mechanical and ineffective contraption. This find
of unmoral concept of the background of law tends to make many Filipinos hypocrites. Hence, may of us go to
Mass in the morning and through a legal technicality swindle our neighbour in the afternoon; many of as believe in
God=s justice but hire the most clever lawyers against our tenants and labourers who demand their share under
the tenancy and wage laws; we win an election by undetected cheating and vote-buying and unveil a religious
statute immediately after our inauguration; we extra-legally collect >tong= from businessmen whose papers we
have to approve and part of that >tong= we contribute to the building of a church. (Dean Jeremias Montemayor,
"New Problems Of An Old Profession", in Coquia, supra, pp. 246-255).
Speaking of the public image of the Filipino lawyer, Dean Montemayor further stated: Likewise, people have had a
superficial and, therefore, negative concept of the lawyer and his profession. The lawyer stays in his law office and
people came to him only after they foresee, or are actually involved in, some legal controversy. They never go to
him when things go well. He is very nice to have on one=s side in case of trouble but rather unnecessary in a
normal situation. Unfortunately, many lawyers have the same superficial and negative concept of their own
profession. They think their function is mostly remedial, not constructive and promotional. Consequently, they have
not been able to keep pace with the ever-increasing problems and aspirations of the people. As a matter of fact,
their capacity to respond to the people=s needs has remained practically constant even as those needs have
increased a hundred fold. So much so that not only has the lawyer lost much of his prestige but many people have
even developed a positive distaste for him. Some people even consider lawyers as a necessary evil that should be
avoided as much as possible. (Id.).
He added: The reason why so may lawyers today are without jobs and find it hard to get employment is because
they have failed to help society become more productive. In fact, in may cases, lawyers by their opportunistic
manipulation, promoting feuds and multiplying and prolonging suits, have destroyed the productive capacity of
their fellow men and deprived them of the means to hire legal help. According to him, the role of the lawyer in
society and in the economy is to assist in the settlement of controversies and to promote harmony and greater
production, for the richer the society is, the more capacity it will have to use and pay for legal services...and as
long as society exists, lawyers will always be needed. (Id.).
Asian Values
There are dangers in completely mimicking US law practice management and law firm marketing techniques, as
well as other aspects of the US legal profession, without considering the unique Asian and Filipino culture within
which the Philippine legal profession exists and operates.
A premature copying of foreign rules and practices, without taking into account the current cultural consciousness
of the Filipino legal profession and the value system of the society within which it works, is likewise risky.
However, it is useful to take into account and study the feasibility of applying in the Philippines setting certain
areas of growth and development of the US legal profession which have been empirically proven to be cost-
effective, globally competitive, conducive to the protection of the rights of the consumers of legal services, and
contributory to the initiation of appropriate reforms in the Philippine legal profession to enable it to face the
challenges of the new millennium, i.e. ethical lawyer advertising, multi-disciplinary legal education, multi-
disciplinary law practice, multi-jurisdictional or cross-border law practice, pre-paid legal services insurance, clients
protection trust fund, professional liability insurance, active presence in the Internet as a mode of delivery of legal
services, mandatory pro bono publico legal services, privatized legal services for civil suits, mandatory continuing
legal education, licensing of paralegal personnel or legal assistants, law practice specialty certification program,
and the promotion of electronic courts and electronic filing of legal pleadings.
RECOMMENDATIONS
PREMISES CONSIDERED, the author respectfully makes the following recommendations:
1. That the Supreme Court create a Standing Committee on Philippine Law Practice Management and Law Firm
Marketing, with representatives from the Bench, the Bar, the Law Academe, the Law Studentry, the Civil Society,
the Business and Industry Sector, the Mass Media, the Executive, and the Legislature as committee members
and/or consultants, as the case may be, to assist the Supreme Court in conducting further and periodic in-depth,
scientific and comprehensive studies, surveys, and consultations, in reviewing the existing Code of Professional
Responsibility, in forming policy recommendations, in proposing draft congressional bills and/or executive orders
for legislative and executive action, where so required by the Constitution, and in proposing appropriate
constitutional amendments in the matter of pleadings, practice and admission to the practice of law, if necessary,
in relation to the various controversial modern trends and issues discussed in this study that directly or indirectly
affect and influence the domestic and global competitiveness, effectiveness and responsiveness of the Philippine
legal profession in meeting and addressing the complex needs and concerns of the local and foreign consumers of
its services and of the stakeholders and beneficiaries of the Philippine justice system, which trends and issues
include, but are not necessarily limited to:
a. lawyer advertising (law firm marketing)
b. multidisciplinary law practice
c. multijurisdictional law practice
d. lawyers= professional liability insurance
e. mandatory client protection trust fund
f. pre-paid legal insurance and pre-paid lawyer referral system
g. licensing of paralegals and legal assistants,
h. mandatory pro bono publico legal service
i. law practice specialty certification system
j. electronic courts and electronic filing of pleadings and motions
k. privatized alternative dispute resolution system
2. That a strong and well-funded system of international linkages, exchanges and partnerships be developed,
maintained and institutionalized by the Supreme Court and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines in cooperation with
their foreign counterparts worldwide and with the concerned public and private law- and justice-oriented
international institutions and organizations to enable the Supreme Court and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
to speedily monitor and analyse the new and latest global developments, trends and issues that may directly or
indirectly affect and shape the future directions of the justice system, the legal profession, and the modalities of
the delivery of basic legal services to the consumers, the beneficiaries and the stakeholders of the justice system.
3. That an ad hoc Supreme Court committee be formed with members from the Bench, the Bar and the Civil
Society to explore and study various ways and means of extending financial assistance, subsidy and the like to the
middle-class consumers of legal services, who may not be qualified under the rules of the Public Attorneys Office,
in respect of the litigation of their civil disputes, whether individual or class suits, in the light of the currently
skyrocketing price of the professional fees of the legal profession, including, but not necessarily limited to, a study
of the feasibility of the creation, by legislative fiat, of the Philippine National Legal Services Corporation, patterned
after the American model (US Legal Services Corp., www.lsc.gov), that will privatize such subsidized legal service
and provide such financial assistance, subsidy and other forms of aid to such litigants in civil disputes.
4. That the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, with the assistance of the moral clout of the Supreme Court, initiate
steps toward the adoption of congressional and executive action that will adequately fund the creation, operation
and maintenance of a massive pro bono or at the least a subsidized public Internet-based Philippine law- and
justice-oriented world wide web portal with a full and comprehensive downloadable database of full-text Philippine
and foreign laws, decisions, treaties, research materials, and other legal, executive, legislative, administrative,
historical, economic, political and scientific digital data and issuances to improve the legal research capacity and
advocacy of the Philippine legal profession, the law academe, the civil society and the general public and to elevate
to the level of competitive international standards their ability to access, research, manage, and use such
technology to promote the rule of law, enhance the administration of justice, and respond cost-effectively to the
complex needs and demands of the consumers of legal services .
5. That the Supreme Court create a Standing Committee on the Effects and Implications of the General Agreement
on Trade in Services (GATS) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) to study the consequences of the provisions
of the GATS and the rules of the WTO to the Philippine legal profession and the Philippine justice system and to
make policy recommendations on how the Philippines should effectively and appropriately respond to the WTO-led
liberalization of the cross-border, multilateral and multijurisdictional exercise of the major professions of the world
among the member nation-states.
6. That the 1988 Code of Professional Responsibility be amended to allow the Filipino lawyers to honestly engage in
some limited form of ethical, dignified, truthful and factual law firm marketing or lawyer advertising through the
mass media, as in the case of the United States since 1977, to empower and educate the general public and the
consumers of legal services, especially those from the middle class of society, to choose the best and at the same
time the most affordable and cost-effective specialized legal services available to them in the legal market, as well
as to give flesh to the Filipino lawyers= constitutional freedom of commercial speech.
7. That the Supreme Court, with the participation of the Bar, create an Ad Hoc Committee on Multidisciplinary
Practice that will study the appropriateness, applicability and wisdom allowing Filipino lawyers to put up
multidisciplinary professional services corporations and partnerships, patterned after the multidisciplinary model of
the USA, to better serve the complex and changing needs of the local and foreign consumers of legal services,
subject to such ethical rules as the Supreme Court may deem necessary to impose after conducting broad
consultations with the Bench, the Bar and the Civil Society, to preserve the dignity of the legal profession, prevent
conflicts of interest, protect the confidentiality of the lawyer-client relation, and satisfy other issues and concerns
on the matter.
8. That the Integrated Bar of the Philippines create an Ad Hoc Committee on the Licensing of Paralegals and Legal
Assistants that will propose a bill for legislative and executive action in the matter of the licensing, education,
accreditation, regulation, and supervision of paralegals and legal assistants to serve and fill the minor needs of the
consumers of routine, pro forma, and non-litigation legal services which do not require the specialized intervention
of legal professionals, and without necessarily engaging in the practice of law as the term is now strictly defined by
the Rules of Court and existing jurisprudence.
9. That the Supreme Court create an Ad Hoc Committee on Client Protection Trust Fund and Professional Liability
Insurance to study the feasibility of requiring lawyers, following the American model, to mandatorily contribute a
fair portion of their professional fees or a fixed annual amount to a Client Protection Trust Fund, to be jointly
managed by the Supreme Court and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines with the assistance of experts in the
business of banking, trusts and finance, that will indemnify aggrieved clients victimized by lawyer malpractice,
deceit, dishonesty, negligence and misconduct and to study various ways and means of encouraging the Philippine
insurance industry to develop and offer private professional liability insurance coverage to Filipino lawyers as an
alternative or as an additional support to and compliance with the aforementioned mandatory contribution to the
Client Protection Trust Fund.
10. That the Integrated Bar of the Philippines create an Ad Hoc Committee on Pre-Paid Legal Services Insurance
Plan and Lawyer Referral System to study various foreign models of pre-paid legal services insurance plans and
lawyer referral systems, including those of the USA, with the end in view of assisting the consumers of legal
services, especially the low-income and middle-income consumers and the small and medium business persons, by
reducing the costs of legal services through the method of spreading the risks involved among all the insured and
assuring the insured consumers of legal services of the availability of reliable lawyers accredited as legal service
providers under such plans who shall be ready to serve the needs of the consumers for prompt and quality legal
services, subject to the categories and the terms and conditions of the specific classes of pre-paid plans acquired
by such consumers.
11. That the Supreme Court, with the participation of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, create a Standing
Committee on Mandatory Pro Bono Publico Legal Services to study the feasibility of requiring Filipino lawyers to
allot a fair and reasonable number of hours per annum for free legal aid to the community, the law academe=s
legal clinics, the indigent, the detention prisoners, victims of child abuse, and the oppressed poorest of the poor
and to propose the implementing rules and regulations for the mandatory activity, after conducting broad
consultations with the Bench, the Bar and the Civil Society.
12. That the Supreme Court, with the assistance of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, create a Standing
Committee on Law Practice Specialty Certification to initiate studies and consultations on a system of certification
of the law practice specializations of Filipino lawyers to promote law practice specialization and to elevate the
professional standards and quality service of private law practitioners in the Philippines.
13. That steps be taken to give flesh to the constitutional doctrine of fiscal independence of the judiciary as a
prelude to, inter alia, (a) the sufficient funding, construction, and operation of electronic courts nationwide,
complete with web sites from which the litigants and the general public may transact official and legal business
and/or upload and download, as the case may be, transcripts of court hearings, court orders and decisions, and
legal pleadings and motions; (b) the upgrading of the compensation package of judicial personnel; (c) the
enhancement of the legal research capability of the judiciary and the Bar; (d) the strengthening of the free legal
aid program and the mandatory continuing legal education program; (e) the promotion of the vision and mission of
the Philippine Judicial Academy; and (f) the enhancement of the structural and institutional capability of the
judiciary as the administrator of the justice system.
(End)

History of Law Profession
It is very difficult to settle on when the legal profession appeared, because of all the confusion as explained above
about who is a lawyer. If one strongly describes a lawyer as a person who makes their living through advocacy in a
court of law on behalf of others, then the first lawyers were probably the orators of ancient Athens. Nevertheless,
Athenian orators faced serious structural barriers. First, there was a rule that individuals were supposed to implore
their own cases, which was soon avoided by the increasing tendency of individuals to ask a "friend" for assistance.
Luckily, around the middle of the fourth century B.C., the Athenians arranged of the automatic demand
for a friend.

Second, a more serious problem, which the Athenian orators never completely beat, was the rule that no one could
take a fee to beg the cause of another.
This law was extensively ignored in practice, but was never eliminated, which meant that orators could never
present themselves as legal professionals or experts. They had to support the legal fiction that they were merely
an ordinary citizen generously helping out a friend for free, and thus they could never organize into a real
profession with professional associations and titles and all the other spectacle and circumstance like their
modern counterparts. Consequently, if one thins the definition to those men who could practice the legal profession
openly and legally, then the first lawyers would have to be the orators of ancient Rome.

A law enacted in 204 B.C. disqualified Roman advocates from taking charges, but the law was widely
ignored. The prohibit on fees was abolished by Emperor Claudius, who legalized advocacy as a profession and
allowed the Roman advocates to become the first lawyers who could put into practice openly but he also
imposed a fee ceiling of 10,000 sesterces. This was evidently not much money; the Satires of Juvenal protest that
there was no money in working as an advocate.

Like their Greek contemporaries, early Roman advocates were trained in rhetoric, not law, and the judges before
whom they disputed were also not law-trained. But very early on, unlike Athens, Rome developed a class of
specialists who were learned in the law, known as jurisconsults (iuris consulti). Jurisconsults were prosperous
amateurs who experimented in law as an intellectual hobby; they did not make their primary living from it. They
gave lawful opinions (responsa) on legal issues to all comers (a practice known as publice respondere).
Roman judges and superintendents would regularly consult with an advisory panel of jurisconsults before leaving a
decision, and advocates and ordinary people also went to jurisconsults for legal opinions. Thus, the Romans were
the first to have a class of people who spent their days thinking about legal problems, and this is why their law
became so "exact, particular, and technical."

During the Roman Republic and the early Roman Empire, jurisconsults and lawyers were unregulated, since the
former were amateurs and the latter were technically illegal, any citizen could call himself an advocate or a legal
expert, though whether people believed him would depend upon his individual reputation. By the start of the
Byzantine Empire, the legal profession had become well-established, heavily regulated, and highly
stratified. The centralization and bureaucratization of the profession was apparently regular at first, but go faster
during the reign of Emperor Hadrian. At the same time, the jurisconsults went into reject during the imperial
period.

By the fourth century, advocates had registered on the bar of a court to argue before it, they could only be
attached to one court at a time, and there were limits (which came and went depending upon who was emperor)
on how many advocates could be enrolled at a particular court. By the 380s, advocates were studying law in
addition to rhetoric; in 460, Emperor Leo obliged a necessity that new advocates seeking admission had to produce
testimonials from their teachers; and by the sixth century, a regular course of legal study lasting about four years
was required for admission.

The notaries (tabelliones) appeared in the late Roman Empire. Like their modern-day descendants, the civil
law notaries, they were responsible for drafting wills, conveyances, and contracts. They were everywhere and most
villages had one In Roman times, notaries were widely considered to be lesser to advocates and jurisconsults.
Roman notaries were not law-trained; they were barely literate cuts who wrapped the simplest transactions in
mountains of legal jargon, since they were paid by the line.