Back when I attended testimonial dinners before, bar passers will usually tell us how they passed the bar. But I will not do that tonight because first, you know this, that there is no one basic formula for passing the bar. And second, back then, when I was once like you, sitting there, I was more anxious about how to pass my taxation quiz the next day. Tonight, I would rather tell you how to pass law school, because once you do that, you are 99% ready for the bar.
You should know that I was not the brightest student in our batch neither was I the most diligent one. I was just one of the ordinary students and I am guessing, my beloved teachers here are trying to remember if I was ever in their class- Ako yung tipong bumagsak sa midterms pero ginapang sa finals or yung bumagsak sa finals pero pumasa pa rin kasi nakapag-ipon nung midterms. My problem in law school was my inconsistency in my academic performance. Sometimes, I get lazy or sometimes, I tend to be lax and then lose my drive.
My only solution for this problem was to remind myself that if i make a choice, i also choose its corresponding consequences.
I failed my tax quizzes, not because they were difficult, but because I did not review well. I failed my recitation in Remedial Law not because Sir Gayya doesn’t like me but definitely because I did not read enough. Let’s say, you failed to submit your research paper on time not because of the heavy traffic but because you did not come to school much earlier. You missed the surprise quiz not because it was unexpected but because you drank too much that you were not able to go to class. Learn to take responsibility for whatever happens to your life in law school. Take the sole responsibility for your failures as you would take credit for your own success. Do not develop the habit of making excuses; just apologize and then work hard for what you really want. Do whatever it takes even if it is difficult and even if law school is wearing you out. Atty. Bonifacio used to say this “Difficulty is a matter of perspective.” And if I may add, “Difficulty depends on your preparation.”
And if there is one more thing I would like you to remember, it is this: You do not have to put your life on hold just because you are in law school. Learn a hobby other than reading. Keep your sanity by meeting friends other than your law school friends. Volunteer or donate in humanitarian organizations; don’t just babble about the laws. Connect with nature and unplug from the internet. Breathe. Have fun.
Lastly and most importantly, talk to god.
The Backpacking Lawyer is a practicing lawyer and a nurse by profession in the Philippines. While she enjoys her day job, she loves traveling and sharing her adventures and misadventures with you.