SOME 7,227 law graduates across the country will start taking the Bar examinations today at the University of Sto. Tomas in Manila.

The exams will continue on Nov. 12, 19 and 26, wherein law graduates will have to take two subjects per Sunday.

Will the University of San Carlos (USC) College of Law repeat its landmark achievement when four of its graduates landed in the top 10 last year?

Lawyer Joan Largo, the USC-College of Law Dean dean, said she was unsure whether there is pressure on their part to remain on top just like what they did last year.

“We will just continue to give this our best, trusting the training USC gives and believing in God’s grace,” Largo told Sun.Star Cebu in a private message on Facebook.

There are 71 graduates from USC who will take this year’s Bar exams.

The USC-College of Law in Cebu City dominated the 2016 Bar exams, after four of its graduates landed in the top 10, including lawyer Karen Mae Calam, who topped the Bar with a score of 89.05 percent. Calam is the first USC College of Law graduate to top the Bar.

Last year’s Bar was also the first time that no candidate from law schools in the National Capital Region made it to the top 10.

Apart from producing four topnotchers, the USC College of Law also registered a 100-percent passing percentage after all of its 69 takers passed the Bar, the first time in the school’s history.

In 2016, about 3,747 of the 6,254 examinees who took the tests in four Sundays passed the Bar. Placing second is Silliman University graduate Alanna Gayle Ashley Khio, with 88.95 percent.

Fiona Cristy Lao, also a graduate of USC, and Athalia Liong of Andres Bonifacio College shared the third spot with 88.80 percent. University of San Agustin graduate Allana Mae Babayen-on ranked fourth with a score of 88.40 percent, followed by Justin Ryan Morilla of Ateneo de Davao University with 88.40 percent.

Mark Dave Camarao of Northwestern University ranked sixth with 88.10 percent.

Other USC graduates, Anne Margaret Momongan (87.80 percent) and Jefferson Gomez (87.70 percent), placed seventh and eighth, respectively.

Nia Rachelle Gonzales from University of Batangas and Silliman University graduate Marie Chielo Ybio shared the ninth spot with 87.50 percent. In 10th place is Andrew Stephen Liu from Silliman University with 87.45 percent.

In the 2015 Bar exam, USC College of Law produced two topnotchers.

Athena Plaza, who now works for the Ombudsman-Visayas, placed second with a passing rate of 87.25 percent, while Jecca Jacildo got 85.85 percent.

In the 1951 Bar exams, former Cebu governor and House deputy speaker Pablo Garcia placed third with 91.5 percent. The Bar exams cover eight subjects--Political Law, Civil Law, Taxation, Labor Law, Criminal Law, Remedial Law, Mercantile Law and Legal and Judicial Ethics.

The 2017 Bar examination committee is chaired by Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin. (GMD)