It won’t be long until the results of the 2007 bar exams will be released. As always, the examinees (and their families) are going through a difficult stage of waiting for the release of the results. We’ve talked about the agony of waiting for the bar results, but not about the repercussions on those who are still on deck, so to speak. In the words of Lito Basilio, in his comment in one of the articles in this blog:
The fear being felt by our barristers has affected us law students to a large extent. Dignity is at stake here. Friends and neighbors who know a barrister in a community are intently observing and waiting to see him or her fail or succeed. His or her enemies may even pray for his or her failure. If such barrister fails, he is expected to be scoffed and laughed at. They may still call him or her “attorney” to make fun of him or her. His or her parents may shed tears of grief and shy away from public eye. That’s how painful a failure may be.
Sometimes I ponder whether or not I would still pursue what I have started. I’m a sophomore now, a working law student, and I find the study of law getting more and more difficult. One cannot just be complacent. You have to put your entire being if you are determined to finish LLB or JD, or take the bar for that matter. Now that the release of the result of the 2007 bar exams draws near I am as fearful as our barristers because one day I may be in what they are in today.
As Lito said, “friends and neighbors who know a barrister in a community are intently observing and waiting to see him or her fail or succeed.” This is a cultural reality that every hopeful must face. During my time, I did not go back to our province until the results were released. The sentiments of Lito is echoed by ShaSha, in her comment in the same article: “I’ll be fourth year next year and will hopefully experience the gruelling feeling of anxiety while waiting for the 2009 results…just keep our fingers crossed. Ang dakung pangutana: NGANO NI-ENTER? (“The big question: Why enter [law school]?”)
We all know the extreme pressures of studying to become a lawyer. In law school, students go through a daily routine of class recitations. Professors are expected to push you to exceed your limits. Law students read endless cases and memorize (and understand) provisions of law. It’s normal to sleep little and lose your social life. After graduation, there’s the bar exams, which is arguably one of the most difficult exams in the world, to contend with. Then there’s the agony of waiting for the results.
Why go through it?
It’s normal to ask questions. It’s normal to doubt. Way after midnight once upon a time, when my undegraduate roommates were deep in slumber, I often asked myself why I willingly go through this torture. These moments of doubt, however, reminded me why I wanted to become a lawyer in the first place. Those moments reaffirmed my decision to become a lawyer.
If you have what it takes, you’ll survive. The pressure of becoming a lawyer is, in my opinion, way lesser than the pressure experienced by those who became lawyers. Lawyers are always confronted with the misinterpreted Shakespeare line about first killing all lawyers (Dick the Butcher in Henry VI, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”). Even in relationships, there are countless articles about how lawyers are lousy love/life partners.
Then there’s actual law practice. You’re no longer concerned with grades and passing the exams, but the life, liberty and property of clients. You commit a mistake in law school, you get a low grade. You make a mistake in law practice, your client goes to jail or loses millions.
If anyone can’t cope with the pressure of becoming a lawyer, perhaps it would do no harm to seriously think about not becoming one.
On the other hand, it’s a calling. A passion. No amount of difficulty is enough to dissuade you from achieving something that you’re passionate about. Like becoming a lawyer. So, do you still want to become a lawyer?