Jurists Bar Review Center was born out of the dream of Professors Gafar E. Lutian and Manuel R. Riguera to found a bar review center that would offer not only bar-review lectures but more importantly establish a system of coaching and performance-monitoring that would better prepare the reviewees for the bar examinations. In late 2004, after a series of extensive brain-storming sessions, in which Professors Riguera and Lutian were joined by their respective spouses Attys. Hazel and Gina, the core group designed a review and training regimen that was quite unique in that it was the first and so far only bar review program that involved individualized coaching, mock-bar examinations, and performance monitoring. In 28 January 2005, Jurists Review Center, Inc. was incorporated with Professor Manuel R. Riguera as the President and Atty. Hazel R. Riguera as the Chief Financial Officer.
2005 was Jurists’ initial bar review season, and 82 reviewees enrolled for the program. When the bar results came out in March 2006, Jurists obtained an overall passing percentage of 41.38% as against the national passing percentage of 27.20%. For those Jurists reviewees who faithfully followed and adhered to the Jurists training protocol of mock-bar examinations and attendance in one-on-one coaching sessions, the passing percentage was an astounding 85%. And Gladys Gervacio, a Jurists Reviewee who faithfully followed the Jurists protocol, copped 6th place in the bar examinations and scored a perfect 100% in Labor Law and Legal Ethics, a feat unparalled in the annals of the bar examinations.
Jurists’ impressive results caught the attention of the academe, the law studentry, and even the national media. Ms. Mary Ann Ll. Reyes, in her widely-read column “Hidden Agenda” in the Philippine Star, said: “For a bar review center set up only last year, the Jurists Bar Review Center in Las Pinas is gaining quite a reputation.” (Philippine Star, 17 May 2006). Ms. Reyes wrote that Ms. Gervacio’s “remarkable performance she attributes largely to the preparation she received from the Jurists Bar Review Center … with its unique bar review program that features coaching with multi mock bar exams.” (Philippine Star, 14 May 2006).
In the 2006 Bar Review season, the number of enrollees increased to 108. The 2006 season was also notable for the introduction of an English for Bar Reviewees program and the implementation of various refinements to the coaching program.
Out of the 78 Jurists candidates who took the 2006 Bar, 31 emerged triumphant for a pass rate of 40% as against the national pass rate of 30%. The pass rate for those who followed the protocol continued to astound at a remarkable 80%.
Enrollment increased to 154 for the 2007 Bar Review season. The 2007 Bar Examination was an especially difficult one featuring “unusually strict corrections” in the words of the chairman, Supreme Court Justice Adolf Azcuna. Only 1,289 out of 5,626 examinees made the grade for a low 22.91% national pass rate. Despite this, Jurists bar candidates posted an above-par result with 34 out of 91 candidates making it for a 37.36% passing percentage. For the candidates who followed faithfully the Jurists training protocol, they still continued to outperform the rest of the pack with a remarkable 70% pass rate.
During the 2008 Bar Review season, Jurists moved to a new venue at the Philippine Christian University in Taft Avenue. Word continued to spread among the law studentry of the marvelous results posted by Jurists and the number of enrollees rocketed to 374. The coaching staff was thus increased to 12 coaches and the coaching program further fine-tuned in order to cope with the upsurge in the number of reviewees.
The 2008 season also saw the addition of a pre-week review and the expansion of Jurists to the Visayas. In coordination with the Southwestern University College of Law, the Jurists Bar Review and Coaching Program was conducted at the SWU College of Law Campus in Cebu City. The maiden season of Jurists in the Queen City of the South was a resounding success with 94 law students from SWU and other premier law colleges in Cebu and the Visayas enrolling.
61 out of 150 Jurists examinees hurdled the 2008 bar for a 40.66% pass rate, double the national pass rate of 20.58%. Those who faithfully adhered to the Jurists protocol posted a superb 71.76% pass rate.
For the 2009 Bar review season, Jurists moved to its new venue at the Far Eastern University in Nicanor Reyes Street (Morayta), Manila.
In the 2009 Bar, Jurists bar examinees again continued to outperform the rest of the pack. 104 out of 249 Jurists bar examinees passed the bar for a success rate of 41.77% as compared to the national pass rate of 24.58%. For those who faithfully followed the Jurists training program of 6 mock bars and attendance in the one-on-one coaching sessions, the pass rate was an impressive 71%. The performance of the Jurists bar examinees becomes more noteworthy when one considers that the 2009 bar examination was an extremely difficult bar examination with the Supreme Court constrained to lower the passing mark to 71% and to lower the disqualification grade in Taxation from 49% to 45%. Without the adjustments, it was reported that the pass rate would have been only 17%.