Legal Education began in the country in 1733 when the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas established its Faculties of Canon Law and Civil Law. After the ratification of the Malolos Constitution in 1899, the Universidad Literia de Filipinas was established in the Historic city of Malolos, Bulacan. Included in its curricula is a course on law and Notary Public. In 1910, the University of the Philippines opened its College of Law. As of July 2008, the office of Bar Confidant listed 105 accredited law schools in the country. Since 1903, the first Bar examination, over 58,000 were enrolled into the Roll of Attorneys of the Supreme Court. The great minds of the legal profession of the recent past set great store by the integration of the Philippine Bar.
Taken to the Western experience in the integration of the Bar notably in England, France and the United States in terms of setting the legal profession in good order, George A. Malcolm – an American lawyer who was appointed by U.S President Woodrow Wilson to the Philippines Supreme Court on October 17, 1917as its 17th Associate Justice where he served until February 1, 1936 – initiated the idea of integrating the legal profession at the time then still incipient. Atty. Jose Abad Santos, who served as Justice Secretary during the prewar years, specifically from 1938 to 1941, took up the cudgels. Shortly before the war, he encouraged the Philippines Bar Association to draft a charter for an integrated Bar. Overtaken by World War II, the plan did not take ground. A foremost statesman of his generation, jurist, nationalist and poet, who became the President of the 1934 Constitutional Convention which drafted the 1935 Constitution and a Senator of the Republic, Atty. Claro M. Recto also carried on the advocacy, but to no avail. On May 7, 1958, at the conference of the Philippines and at a conference of judges and lawyers, former Senator Vicente J. Francisco spoke for the Integration of the Philippine Bar. The issue of the integrating the Bar also came up in Congress. In 1934, the first bill for the purpose did not prosper. On March 2, 1950, Senators Lorenzo Sumulong and Emiliano Tria Tirona authored Bill No. 83, seeking the creation of a corporation to be called, Philippines Integrated Bar, but still to no avail.