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Who may

Any person heretofore duly admitted as a member of the bar, or hereafter admitted as such in
accordance with the provisions of this rule, and who is in good and regular standing, is entitled
to practice law. [Sec. 1, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court]
The practice of law is not a natural property or constitutional right but a mere privilege. It is not
a right granted to anyone who demands it but a privilege to be extended or withheld in the
exercise of sound judicial discretion.

B.M. No. 850 August 22, 2000



 The title “Attorney” is reserved to those who has: 1. obtained the necessary degree in
the study of law; 2. Successfully taken the bar exams; 3. admitted to the IBP; 4. Remain
members thereof in good standing; 5. Been authorized to practice law in the Philippines
The power of admission to the practice of law is vested by the Constitution in the Supreme
1987 Philippine Constitution, Article VIII, Section 5 (5) The Supreme Court shall have the
following powers: xxx… 5. Promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of
constitutional rights, pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, the admission to the
practice of law the admission to the practice of law the admission to the practice of law, the
integrated bar, and legal assistance to the under-privileged. Such rules shall provide a simplified
and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases, shall be uniform for all courts of
the same grade, and shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights. Rules of
procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain effective unless disapproved
by the Supreme Court. The constitutional power to admit candidates to the legal profession is a
judicial function and involves exercise of discretion (In re: Almacen 31 SCRA 562). The power of
the Supreme Court to regulate the practice of law includes: 1. authority to define the term 2.
prescribe the qualifications of a candidate to and the subjects of the bar examinations 3. decide
who will be admitted to practice 4. discipline, suspend or disbar any unfit and unworthy
member of the bar 5. reinstate any disbarred or indefinitely suspended attorney 6. ordain the
integration of the Philippine Bar 7. punish for contempt any person for unauthorized practice of
law and 8. in general, exercise overall supervision of the legal profession
Any legislative or executive judgment substituting that of the Supreme Court in matters
concerning the admission to the practice of law or the suspension, disbarment or reinstatement
of an attorney infringes upon and constitutes an invalid exercise of the legislative or executive

The legislature may pass a law prescribing additional qualifications for candidates for admission
to practice or filling up deficiencies in the requirements for admission to the bar. Such a law
may not, however, be given retroactive effect so as to entitle a person, not otherwise qualified,
to be admitted to the bar, nor will such a law preclude the Supreme Court from fixing other
qualifications or requirements for the practice of law. (In re Cunanan, 94 Phil 543)
1. must be a citizen of the Philippines; 2. At least 21years of age; 3. of good moral character; 4.
must be a resident of the Philippines; 5. Must produce before the Supreme Court a satisfactory
evidence of good moral character; 6. And that no charges against him, involving moral
turpitude, have been filed or are pending in any court in the Philippines (Sec. 2, Rule 138, RRC);
7. Must have complied with the academic requirements; 8. Must pass the bar examinations 9.
Take the lawyer’s oath; and s 10. sign the Roll of Attorneys
(1) Citizenship
(2) Residence
(3) Age (above 21 y/o)
(4) Good Moral Character and no charges involving moral turpitude
(5) Legal Education (pre-law, law proper)
(6) Bar Examinations
(7) Lawyer’s Oath

1987 Const. Art. XII, Sec. 14. The practice of all professions in the Phils. shall be
limited to Filipino citizens save in cases prescribed by law.

Pre-Law ROC, Rule 138, Sec. 6. 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.

Law Proper Rules of Court, Rule 138, Sec. 5 and 6. All applicants for admission… 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.
Graduates of foreign law schools are allowed to take the bar examinations provided they
show the ff:
(1) Completion of all courses leading to the degree of Bachelor of Laws or its equivalent
(2) Recognition or accreditation of the law school by the proper authority
(3) Completion of all the fourth year subjects in a law school duly recognized by the
Philippine Government [SC Bar Matter 1153: Re: Letter of Atty. Estelito Mendoza (2010)]

I___________ of ___________ do solemnly swear that I will maintain allegiance to the Republic of
the Philippines; I will support its Constitution and obey 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 court; I will not
wittingly nor willingly promote or sue any groundless, false or unlawful suit, or 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 my knowledge and discretion with all good fidelity as well to the courts as to my clients;
and I impose upon myself this voluntary obligations without any mental reservation or purpose of
evasion. So help me God.