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Legal Practice in the Philippines

The legal practice in the Philippines is limited to Filipino citizens who passed the Philippine Bar Examination conducted by the Supreme Court of the Philippines. Before one can take the bar exams, the candidate must be a graduate of Bachelor of Laws and a pre-law course from an accredited law school in the Philippines.

The Bar Examination is conducted annually and consists of essay type examinations on Remedial Law, Constitutional Law, Civil Law, Taxation Law, Labor Law, Criminal Law, Legal Ethics, and Commercial Law.

Foreign lawyers are prohibited from practicing law in the Philippines. A person who impersonates a lawyer is a criminal act under the Philippine Law. Legal Practice includes “… any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of law, legal procedure, knowledge, training and experience. ‘To engage in the practice of law is to perform those acts which are characteristics of the profession. Generally, to practice law is to give notice or render any kind of service, which device or service requires the use in any degree of legal knowledge or skill.” (Cayetano v Monsod).

Not all lawyers are Notary Public, only those who are commissioned as Notary Public can notarize documents. Legal practice in the Philippines requires lawyers to strictly adhere to the Canons of Professional Ethics and Code of Professional Responsibility.

Before you transact with any person purporting to be a lawyer, check his name in the list of bar passers before trusting her/him. There were many people who transacted with false lawyers and ended up broke.