Sophomore Law Students Now Allowed to Represent Clients in Court
The Supreme Court (SC) of the Philippines has expanded the rule of Law Practice to allow second year law students to appear in court pro bono to represent indigent clients in need of legal representation.
The expansion of Rule 138-A states that for a law student to qualify for court representation, they must fulfill the following conditions:
- Must be at least in second year in law school
- Cases allowed are civil, criminal, and administrative
- Can represent in any trial court, tribunal, and board
- Must represent indigent clients without any compensation
The expansion seeks to amend the old condition that stipulates only those who have completed third year of the regular four-year prescribed law curriculum are allowed to represent clients accepted by the legal clinic of their respective law school.
“A lot of our countrymen are still underserved in the needs for legal services. Even the current number of lawyers are not enough,” SC Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin stated during a testimonial dinner on June 28 where he also said that SC Associate Justice Alexander Gesmundo has been asked to draft the formal order for the expansion.
SC Associate Justice Alexander Gesmundo is now drafting a high court order expanding the law student practice rule to cover second year law students.