Monthly Archives: February 2012

So you want to become a law student?

So you want to become a law student?

It’s almost March and therefore, I’m ending my sixth semester in law school and would also celebrate my third anniversary as an Economics graduate. Three years passed by quickly without me noticing it yet I felt that my days seem longer compared to an ordinary human being. I do love law but I also cannot wait to have my life started. It’s like I’m living in the planet Venus where my days are slower than my years.  It is indeed tiring when you were studying ever since you were four years old. Nonetheless, there is no other solution to this but to continue forth. Martin Luther King Jr. famously declared,

If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.

If you want to become a law student too, the first rule is to give passion to it. Do not ever go to law school without any love for law. Do not go to law school just because your mother told you so or you do not want to work yet. People with these reasons are most likely to drop out from law after their first year. It’s very mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually exhausting even for people who truly wants law.

There is no ideal pre-law course although Rule 138, Section 6 of the 1997 Rules of Court suggests, “bachelor’s degree in arts or sciences with any of the following subjects as major or field of concentration: political science, logic, English, Spanish, history and economics.” But anyone who has college degree can apply. I’ve known people who majored engineering and fine arts back in college but are now doing very good in law school.  Remember this: College life is always meant to be enjoyed. Do not worry law school at this point because you would be missing a lot in life if you waste college worrying on your future in law school.

I’ll share to you a secret that I’ve only understand in law school. You have two main enemies upon entering it: yourself and time. If you truly want to study law, you must know that nothing could ever stop you except yourself. The first thing you should do is believe in your capabilities. After all, to sum up what you are going to do in law school, you’re only going to read, write and speak. Everyone can do that. However, not everyone cannot do is withstand the workload given by the professors in law school. Yes, we are speaking here of mountains of cases and books with words and concepts that seems to be the lingua franca of another planet. This is most especially true in first year where everyone is being tested if they are indeed fit to the study of law.

Life is not fair in law school. My professor in Legal Research once told us, “You would experience injustice in law school because how would you understand justice if you don’t know injustice.” You would sometimes fail a subject with unjustified reasons from your professor. You would see some professors favor your classmates just because they belong to the same fraternity. You would have professors who was hardly present and would fail half of your class’s population. You would have very indecent professors.  You would see cheaters pass with flying colors and you would see yourself sulk in one corner because you didn’t make it. You would have self-doubts and would ask yourself repeatedly, “What am I doing here?” That’s why your ego would suffer so much in law school. You may be one of the brightest persons in your undergraduate studies however it’s a different ballgame in law school. The workload may be too much for you to read everything or you may have read the case but you forgot everything when you stand up after you professor called you suddenly for recitation. I tell you, there would really come a day wherein you’ll say to your professor, “I’m sorry, Sir, but I didn’t read the case.” If you’re lucky, he’ll just ask you to sit down but sometimes we’ll have unlucky days wherein you’d be bombarded with sharp words by your professor. His words will squeeze every ounce of confidence you have in your system. I had a professor who really shouted at me and pronounced how stupid I was in front of my class. But that’s just another day in law school. All the things I’ve enumerated above are NORMAL happenings in law school. Just sleep that night, pray for help to God and wake up the next day to prepare for the next class. It’s just one recitation. You can always do better next time. More than the recitation grades, one must be prepared with the preliminary and final examinations. The weight of your grades depend mostly there.

I do not belong into any sorority groups but I believe that a lot of people join in these sorority or fraternity groups is because of lack of confidence in themselves. These groups would promise you that they would take care of you in your stay in law school. But actually, you are enough to finish law school. The effort you would place in them would mean so much if you use them to yourself. Usually, you give services to senior members of the sorority and fraternity groups like having their cases photocopied, digesting cases and doing chores for them. I heard that hitting and torturing as part of initiatory rights are minimal nowadays that’s why I was shocked when a law student from San Beda died recently of hazing rights.

Anyway, in brief, I do not recommend anyone joining these groups because usually when you get in, life would be more complicated than you thought especially if your sorority or fraternity is in dispute with other groups. Whether you like it or not, you would be involved. However, one good thing in joining these groups is probably friendship. You would have always someone to turn to. You would be in support group with each other in times of trouble. Support groups are very important in law school. It keeps you sane and helps you to go forward with your life. But even without a group, I have good friends in law school. My friends from high school and college are also very supportive. Just one text to them that I need them and they would be there. I’m lucky, I know. But anyway, joining sorority and fraternity would really depend on the preference of a person. Remember that once you join a group, you would be a member of it forever. So choose wisely.

Lastly, never ever depend solely on your professors’ lectures. Most often than not, they are incomplete. Some just ask you questions in recitation but they shall never teach you. If you do not understand concepts, befriend a senior student and ask. Another tip is, usually there are copies of notes from prominent law schools in the photocopy shop near your school. Just ask around. Nothing is wrong with asking around.

As a final word, the best law advice that I could give you is to enjoy law school the way Elle Woods did. She may seem to be kooky and very unlikely to be in law school being a fashion major but she studied very well and proved everyone wrong.

"On our very first day at Harvard, a very wise Professor quoted Aristotle: "The law is reason free from passion." Well, no offense to Aristotle, but in my three years at Harvard I have come to find that passion is a key ingredient to the study and practice of law -- and of life. It is with passion, courage of conviction, and strong sense of self that we take our next steps into the world, remembering that first impressions are not always correct. You must always have faith in people. And most importantly, you must always have faith in yourself."

Which brings me again to my first point, have that passion in law. And yes, Elle Woods is my heroine.

If you’re now decided to enter law school in June, good luck and God bless. Bring passion with you and I know you’d make it, too.

When in doubt, Love.

“When you meet the other half of your soul, you will know in a flash why it hasn’t worked out with anyone else until now and be grateful to all those who rejected you and let you go. You will see each one of them was an angel guiding you in the right direction. Take that view point now and be at peace.”

—Jackson Kiddard

Valentines’ Day would be tomorrow. Yes, I am single—I do not need a day to remind me that. In the meantime, I could say I’m used to being single yet uncomfortable about it. Who wouldn’t be when you spent all your life being nobody’s official girl? It’s not that I am complaining about it. I believe that God will provide me a life partner on the right time if I’m really destined to get married. However, frankly, I’m getting tired of waiting at times and Valentine’s Day really pressures me.

Nonetheless, it’s just one day in a year, it will easily pass. For me, it will be an ordinary four hours class day in school. Probably, I’ll wear green or violet but not red. I’m guessing that I’ll have some absent classmates because they have their respective dates. Maybe there would be a lot of paper hearts everywhere, lots of unending love themed love songs on the radio, chocolates, stuffed toys and promises that day. I’m sure that I’ll see happy couples holding hands while walking on the streets with matching shirts. Perhaps, there would be a lot of proposals and mass weddings on the news tomorrow. I’m not expecting anything new tomorrow. I’ve seen twenty-two Valentine’s Day and believe me, I am not expecting it to be different with my twenty-third Valentine’s Day tomorrow.

But still, I hope for that one Valentine’s Day that would make the difference.

I’m never against the celebration of romantic love. It’s probably the strongest feeling that one could feel in a lifetime. It’s something intense, wonderful and crucial feeling where in you place all your hopes and dreams on one person who loves you. Suddenly, all the things on your Bucket list shortened into one wish: to be with that person forever. You want that person to be happy more than anything and in return, that person wishes the same for you. It’s everything a person hopes and dreams about so it is only fair and just to give romantic love a day of celebration. They said that love is the closest thing to magic, but for me love is magic itself. I cannot wait for that day to call the person I love as my own.

However, I am against the over commercialism of romantic love. I do not understand why people need to be setup with random people that day so that they could say that they weren’t alone in Valentine’s Day. I do not understand why some girls who receive flowers flaunt their bouquet for the whole Valentine’s Day like it is a medal from the Nobel Prize or something to have their girl friends jealous. I do not understand some girls who actually feel inferior to girls who carry around flowers and feel very ugly. I know that there were some girls who were so depressed that they bought their own bouquets just to show their friends that they weren’t ‘alone’ on Valentine’s Day. How I want to slap this girls to return to reality but somehow, I could relate to them as loneliness make you really feel dying inside at a rapid rate.

Two rules in life that I forever follow: Always be true to yourself and love yourself first before you can share love to others. I’m the type of person who never really lies. I can be frank, blunt and straightforward with my thoughts and feelings. With that attitude, I gained friends who accepted me for who I am. Nonetheless, I had my realizations a few months that probably the reason why I do not have a boyfriend yet is I failed to truly love myself first. So slowly, I’m picking up my self-confidence which I seriously lack and try improving myself even a little one day at a time. I learned how to put makeup and carry myself around and lessen the awkwardness that I carry within as much as I could. Probably that’s why people told me that I seem to ‘bloom’ these days. Gradually, I now understand how much I love my future spouse will be that I want to be the best that I could be in mind, body and spirit. I want to be the best that I could be so that I could be the woman who shall every day be deserving of his love and the woman who he shall be proudly say that he is indeed lucky to have.

I put patience in love because I still need to be able to complete myself so I could be that perfect compliment for the person destined for me. I wish all girls would be too. We need to love and respect ourselves first to be worthy of a prince charming who would love us back. So on Valentine’s Day, let us still spread the love with the people we meet. Laugh around with friends. Comfort people who had already given up with love. Be grateful for your family and friends who accepts you for who you are.  Be a complete person for him. And one day, the doors of destiny shall open for us. Actually, I often ask married couple on how they ended up together. Some says they were friends for a long time, others instantaneously felt the attraction the moment they see their future spouse. The main point is what will happen shall definitely happen. We must be ready for that day when we meet that person who shall be worth the wait and would absolutely say the same for us.

Oh, and one more thing, for singles do not waste your whole Valentine’s Day looking at your Facebook timeline seeing some of your friends basically brag about their dates or on the other side, complain how lonely they are on Valentine’s Day. Both extremes will not make you feel better so ditch Facebook for three days perhaps.

To the person destined for me, I hope to see you soon…but then you see, I wish you are the person I truly love now. If you weren’t, please come to my life tomorrow? If you are that person I thank God that I love you because you are such a good person. I pray for you every day so in that way I give love to you every single day even if we’re not yet together. I’m crazy I know. But if it isn’t crazy then it isn’t love.

Whether you’re in a relationship or single, have a heartfelt Valentine’s Day!

According to the Bible first thing a person should understand for love is be patient and to do kindness in order for us to have the love that never fails. When in doubt, just continue to love, love and love.

Hold on to Sixteen

To the outside world we all grow old.  But not to brothers and sisters.  We know each other as we always were.  We know each other’s hearts.  We share private family jokes.  We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys.  We live outside the touch of time.

—Clara Ortega

Dear Gio,

Happy 16th Birthday!

Sixteen, wow. In two more years, you are going to be part of the adult world. How can that be? In my eyes, you’ll always be my little baby. When you were born, I was about to celebrate my eighth birthday in less than three months. You were quite a surprise as they were not expecting you to come since our parents were considered to have seemed graduated in their baby making years. Nonetheless, I was still expecting you. When I was in pre-school, I dreamt at least twice that I’ll have a brother. I told everyone but nobody really took me seriously.

But then you came.

It wasn’t easy at all raising you mainly because you were a very hyper child but at the same time, very sickly. There is no standard of care strictly imposed on you. There are days when we have to be strict on you and punish you for being a naughty boy. However, there are days when we cannot discipline you because we were afraid of your convulsion attacks.

Though our parents always state that they do not favor any one of us, I really believe that you were their favorite. First, culture-wise, Asian parents prefer male children over their female ones because they carry the surname of the family and having a surname that’s in the brink of extinction, they were so pleased to have you. Second, you were the youngest and their only son. You easily and naturally get their attention and care. Third, because you were sickly as a child, we all learned to take care of you extraordinarily.

Despite that, I’m not jealous of you at all.

I have to say that you bought so much joy in my life. Yes, we have our bad days which we almost want to kill each other—all siblings reached that point in their every day love-hate relationship. Besides, it’s a general fact that you were self-centered, irrational and so stubborn. You wouldn’t listen to anyone all the time and you lose things all the time because of your untidiness. However, overall you made me happy. I love how you quickly learned things as a child to present. I love how you smile and how you listened to me. I love how you easily believed in everything that I say. I love the games and pranks that we had played. I love (and also hate) how arrogant, conceited and confident you are. I love how we eat together. I love your “boyish charms” which we use so that our mother will buy us pizza. I love how you grew up to be good in math and sciences which is very unlike me. I love how sharp your memory is and know so many things on NBA and movies. I love how you decided to be a Civil Engineer for college because you want to improve our drainage system after suffering much from typhoon Ondoy.

I just love you so much. It is so much that I find myself weirdly obtaining pleasure as I spoil you, too.

You may come late in our life but still, you are a very important gift. On June, you’ll be starting the path on fulfilling your dream in becoming a Civil Engineer in my alma mater, University of Santo Tomas. I have mixed feelings about it. One part of me is extremely excited and one part of me is extremely worried on how you are going to take college. But I must also accept that you are now a big boy who is very competent and capable. I’m sure that you would do well because we raised you well. But please, do not have a girlfriend yet. Mother, Le-Anne and I aren’t ready yet for us to have someone to share in the title, “the only girls in your life”.

But come what may, we will always be here for you. We will support you all the way. We will love you to death. I was lying of course, when I told you that ever since you were born, my life was cursed because you are indeed, a blessing. Enjoy your youth, sixteen is such a fun year so hold on to it as you open yourself to changes you’d never imagine. This is going to be your year. Whatever happens, I’ll be here for you.

May God bless you all the way!

This was from my 21st birthday. Everyone else was busy so he celebrated it with me. One of my favorite days with him. 🙂