(QCOSTARICA) Seven out of ten graduates in law fail the bar exam made up of 50 questions on the basics of ethics, civil, criminal and administrative matters.
According to the Costa Rica Bar Association (Colegio de Abogados de Costa Rica), between November 2014 and April 2015, of the 1,126 law graduates that took the bar exam, only 338 passed.
Of those who failed (788), more than half had a score of between 50 and 68. The minimum pass score is 80.
Costa Rica has approximately 22,500 lawyers and each year some 30 law schools each graduate some 1,300 without mastering the basics in their field.
“The poor quality of professionals in law is a national emergency.” said Eduardo Calderon, president of the Bar Association.
The head of the Costa Rican Association of the Judiciary (Asociación Costarricense de la Judicatura – Acojud), Adriana Orocú, raised the need for the National Council for Higher Education Private University (Consejo Nacional de Enseñanza Superior Universitaria Privada – Conesup) review the curricula offered by universities.
The concern is that the poor academic background, in fact affects the judicial system. Ileana Guillen, director of the Judicial School (Escuela Judicial) said, “of course it affects the judiciary, they are professionals who can become judges.”
The main causes for the prosecution by the Bar Association, that led to suspensions during 2014, was due to ignorance of the law, procedures and aspects of oral hearings.