Showing posts with label Buhay Law Student. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Buhay Law Student. Show all posts

Friday, April 4, 2014

Life After Law School

by  and 

There are many different paths to follow once you have your law degree.

Once you pass the bar, it's time to get to work. You could start by taking an internship or clerkship immediately afterwards. These are great methods of advancing and preparing for your career in law, and some are actually paid positions. Internships place you within a working law firm so that you get an insider's view of what practicing will entail. Clerkships, usually with a judge, afford the clerk a perspective of the law from the highest perch in the courtroom, and are invaluable on a resume.
Graduates can also opt for a post-JD degree, either in practical application or in academic, doctorate level programs. The practical degrees include:
  • LL.M.- Master of Laws
  • J.M.- Juris Master
  • M.C.L.- Master of Comparative Law
  • M.J.- Master of Jurisprudence
The research and academic doctorates include:
  • J.S.D.- Doctor of Jurisprudence
  • S.J.D.- Doctor of Judicial Science
  • D.C.L.- Doctor of Comparative Law
Each of these advanced degrees requires additional schooling (one or two years apiece) and peer-reviewed published work on a specialized subject within the law.
Or, you can go to work.
Practicing[/b] Attorneys represent individuals, companies, associations, legal aid societies or government entities. Any and all of these clients can be plaintiffs or defendants in a legal action, and how and when these clients are represented determines a practice area.
A newly minted lawyer's daily routine will be largely determined by his or her practice area. Trial lawyers, or litigation attorneys, appear in court more often. But a young associate still probably won't appear before a judge or jury until several years into practice.
There is a division within the practice area of litigation: criminal or civil. A criminal litigator can work either for the government by representing the state (as a District Attorney), or representing the accused as either a public defender (also employed by the government) or as a private attorney. Civil trial lawyers can represent either a defendant or a plaintiff. Plaintiff attorneys represent those persons who wish to bring forth a claim (sue someone), and can sometimes work on contingency fees (receiving payment only if a favorable verdict is delivered).
Civil lawyers also assist clients in setting up wills and trusts, contracts, real estate transactions and in bankruptcy matters. The great bulk of lawyers out there fall into a civil practice area.

Positions, or One Million Things to Do With a Law Degree

The typical large law firm is a partnership (specifically, a limited liability partnership), and so there are two positions for attorneys: partner and associate. Associates work under the partners (who have a financial stake in the firm), helping with their caseload and occasionally taking cases of their own. Some associates will work for years before making partner. Some never make it. Working in a big firm is only one option for the new lawyer. Some other options are:
  • You can go to work for yourself. Finding and landing clients while competing with large firms is the most difficult aspect of this route.
  • You can work for the government.
  • You can work for a corporate entity as an in-house counsel. You advise on legal matters and practice to a certain extent. You have a guaranteed client, but it's always the same one.
  • You can go back to law school to teach.
  • You can, if you have the expertise and the tenure, be elected to a judgeship. Judges at many levels of the judiciary system are elected positions, however, and have all the drawbacks you might expect from an elected position. Still, being a judge is widely considered the top of the profession.
The process to becoming a lawyer is a long and hard one, but one that is essentially rewarding.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

10 Things To Know Before Starting Law School


1. Law school is not graduate school.
Ever felt like taking a walk down memory-lane? Well, you’re in luck because the law school experience has more in common with middle school than it does with other graduate programs. On the first day, you enter the building like you own the place. You naively think you already understand the true meaning of life. And then very quickly you discover that you’re actually just an awkward and lowly 6th grader all over again. Thank goodness you can drink this time!

2. Be nice to everyone, and be careful with whom you trust.

Unfortunately, a large group of wannabe lawyers necessarily leads to some vicious drama (like I said, welcome back to your middle school cafeteria). And since gossip spreads like wildfire, everyone in your class will know whether you have a good or bad reputation by the end of the first semester.

3. There will be some reshuffling of friend groups several months into the semester.

Bonds made during orientation will weaken, and you’ll eventually figure out where you fit in. Don’t feel bad when you realize you’re not going to be lifelong BFFs with the person you thought was your soul-twin. It happens to most everyone considering how much time you will end up spending getting to know your classmates.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

10 People You Meet in Law School

1. The Child Prodigy

This person knows everything. Just when you think you’ve had all the cases and provisions pulverized and made a ready gun powder for the shoot off on your recitation, she starts discussing some doctrines, you– by the love of The Killers– has missed out. Being friends with the Child Prodigy is two-pronged. She is definitely there to discuss with you the liabilities on Negotiable Instruments; but she’s also there to remind you that sometimes, your best is just not good enough.

2. Ms/Mr. In Denial

So you start asking your classmates as to at what degree are they unprepared, and this In-Denial classmate of yours proudly whines at how little she has read for class. But wait until she gets called to recite and woah! You’d start to mistake her for another Child Prodigy! But no, Ms. In-Denial just likes to play safe. Perfect example of false humility that may start grinding your gears– but soldier, hold your horses! It’s a sem more to go!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Piece of Advice: What to do when you did not study and just want to be absent from class.

You feel like not going to school because you did not study. You say better be absent than get a 5. Wrong. Unless you are really sick, do not absent yourself from class. You will be missing a lot if you do. Besides, everybody has gotten a 5 at a certain point. Don't be discouraged and do not be a perfectionist for no one is. Also, you can always pray that you will not be called to recite specially on cases you failed to read.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


By: Elie Balaquiao
June 16, 2013

Date a girl who studies law. She is not meant for everyone. But a person like you, with enough courage to try the extraordinary, deserves nothing less than a girl who has the fabric of what keeps peace and order in the world at her fingertips.

A girl who studies law is strong-willed. She has a strong sense of justice. She will fight for what she thinks is right, whether it entails telling off people who cut lines in the train station or volunteering for an NGO to fight mining companies. A girl who studies law speaks her mind. She will take none of your nonsense. She will tell you when you are wrong, even if it hurts you. A girl who studies law cannot be contained. You cannot tell her what to do, or what to believe. She knows what she wants. You cannot make these choices for her. A girl who studies law questions authority, dogma and conventional matters. She finds her own way of doing things. She dances to the beat of her own drums. A girl who studies law does not need you. She is a strong girl who can take care of herself. You do not need to be at her disposal. She will not run to you to carry her books, or fix her broken things, or finish her uncompleted tasks. She knows how to deal with these things, without your help. A girl who studies law will scare you. And you should be scared.

But a girl who studies law is a girl who understands the things that matter. She is strong-willed because she comprehends the need for people to fight for what is right. She may be abrasive, she may tell you off if you are wrong, but know that a girl who studies law has read and seen too many injustices to just remain quiet. She speaks her mind because she has something to say. She understands the inalienable right and the undeniable value of being able to express one’s beliefs. It is in her DNA. A girl who studies law challenges conventional thoughts because she knows that enduring the status quo has caused far too many sufferings in the past. A girl who studies law has a sense of the order of the universe. Her thoughts are inextricably linked to her society, her country, her world. For this, a girl who studies law will always have concerns that are above you and her. Her mind wanders in the greater scheme of things. Hence, you can never contain a girl who studies law. She can live without you. Her master is the law. She breathes and lives for the law. And because of this, you can never completely have her.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Piece of Advice: What to do when what's on the book you read is different from your Professors' point of view.

In one of the lectures of your professor, you heard him say somewhat different from what you learned or read. What do you do? I mentioned before you may want to discuss the matter with him privately and in a respectful manner. But what if after the discussion he maintains his position, what then should your answer be if that would be asked in the exam? Then you have to give the answer as taught by your professor. Remember he is the one who will check your booklet. However, be sure you know what the correct answer is when asked in the bar exam.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

No Boundaries

I just heard from one of my friends in Law School that the Theme Song for this year's BAR OPS is "No Boundaries" by Kris Allen as popularized by Adam Lambert. I was very happy to hear it knowing that because since I started my journey of becoming a lawyer, it has been one of my boosters not to give up, never to give up! I already posted here my other theme song such which "The Climb" by Miley Cyrus but the impact of this song is really deep! Oh well, let the lyrics speak for itself. :)

Seconds, hours, so many days
You know what you want, but how long can you wait?
Every moment last forever.
When you feel you've lost your way.

What if my chances were already gone?
I started believing that I could be wrong.
But you give me one good reason.
To fight and never walk away.

So here I am, still holding on

With every step, you climb another mountain
Every breath, it's harder to believe
You'll make it through the pain, weather the hurricanes
To get to that one thing.

Just when you think the road is going nowhere
Just when you almost gave up on your dreams
They take you by the hand and show you that you can
There are no boundaries.
There are no boundaries.

I fought to the limit, to stand on the edge
What if today is as good as it gets?
Don't know where the future's heading
But nothing's gonna bring me down
I've jumped every bridge and I've run every line
I risked being safe but I always knew why
I always knew why

So here I am, still holding on

With every step, you climb another mountain
Every breath, it's harder to believe
You'll make it through the pain, weather the hurricanes
To get to that one thing

Just when you think the road is going nowhere
Just when you almost gave up on your dreams
They take you by the hand and show you that you can

You can go higher, you can go deeper
There are no boundaries above and beneath you
Break every rule 'cause there's nothing between you
And your dreams

With every step, you climb another mountain
Every breath, it's harder to believe

Yeah, there are no boundaries
There are no boundaries

With every step, you climb another mountain
Every breath, it's harder to believe
You'll make it through the pain, weather the hurricanes

There are no boundaries.
There are no boundaries.
There are no boundaries.

Good luck to the aspirant lawyers who will take the BAR EXAM this coming October.
May the odds be ever be in your favor!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Ten Hidden Perks of Being a Law Student

#1: You will gradually develop into a bodybuilder as you power-walk your computers and casebooks around campus. In many ways, the library can be very much like the gym.
#2: Many studies have found that strenuous thinking burns calories. Need I say more?
#3: Non-law writing projects will seem like such an easygoing pastime you may find yourself randomly writing a 6-inch thick allegorical novel for the sheer joy of it.
#4: You will be easily entertained by anything else besides law homework, including certain wedding shows on TV. The line may blur between simple pleasures and simple-minded pleasures.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Midterm na naman!

May isang dahilan kung bakit karamihan sa mga kakilala ko ang nkakalimot sa bday ko, yun ay dahil sa midterm! Sobrang busy ng lahat para makapag-review at wala ng ibang nasa isip nila kundi ang ipasa ang lahat ng exams -- aba! lalo naman sa Law School! kaya kung nakalimutan man ng mga kumpanyero ko sa PUP College of Law ang birthday ko, don't worry! naiintindihan ko kayo :)

Bsta isa lang ang gsto ko, sana maipasa nyo ang lahat ng exams nyo.
Yun lang masaya na ko ^^

Good luck sa lahat ng magsusunog ng kilay ! AJA !

(c) William Abarca

Thursday, August 8, 2013

10 Steps to Understanding the Law Student in Your Life

Law students are something of a different species. Though NYU Law students are a diverse bunch in many ways, there are traits and common understandings we come to share as we go through this journey together. As they say, above all, law school teaches students how to think like lawyers. It all develops very naturally, gradually, almost insidiously.

Then, the inevitable occurs: that moment when you realize that one of your loved ones on the outside just doesn’t get it.

You know the moment.

Maybe it was when your friend from college came into town for the weekend, clearly assuming you could go three days without doing a lick of work whatsoever.

Or when your significant other’s eyes glazed over when you discussed the fascinating world of the non-delegation doctrine.

Or when that family member *shudder* asked you for legal advice.

Recently, I wondered: if I could have given my loved ones a little pamphlet called “Knowing Your Law Student” before I began my 1L year, what would it have said?

The following aspires to be just such a primer, for anyone who has a law student in their life who they love enough to understand better. Students, feel free to send a link to this post to your loved ones (or print this page and mail it to those less tech-savvy loved ones).

1. Some things are going to be a lot different. You may not be able to watch “Law and Order” or “My Cousin Vinnie” again without your law student pointing out the inaccuracies, almost as a reflex. Legalese will find its way into your dinner conversations. You may gently mock your law student for this.

But if it's something this egregious, mock away.

2. Take an interest in your law student’s life. At some point, your law student will enthusiastically tell you about something interesting she’s learned. Do not panic – it’s okay if you don’t understand! Law school is remarkably good at putting a bubble around students that convinces them that everyone must understand what they’re talking about. If you aren’t clear on what she’s talking about, just ask – she won’t mind. If you really want to bone up on the subject, by all means – but it’s certainly not required.

There's no need to be the awkward penguin.

3. But don’t overdo talking shop. As much as they enjoy talking about all things legal, law students love talking about everything else, too. It reminds us that there’s still a whole other world outside law school, and that can be incredibly refreshing. Your law student has other law students to talk about that stuff with, anyway.

It's a whole new world out there.

4. When the law student in your life says she’s busy, over and over again…she probably is. Be understanding – law school is time-consuming. It’s just the nature of the beast. Voice your needs when appropriate – and, if possible, not during final exams time. Which leads us to…

5. During finals time, be understanding. There may be a drop in your law student’s ability to tend to the non-law school parts of his life. Be supportive. Should any conflict arise during this time, address it in a calm manner at an appropriate time. During final exams, your law student may feel he’s under a lot of pressure. Much more could be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

Well...kind of like that, I guess.

6. During final exam season, you may want to find yourself a hobby. You may hear from your law student less around this time of year. It isn’t that she doesn’t miss you or wouldn’t love to hear from you – she’s just really busy and probably stressed out. If she doesn’t return your calls/IMs/texts/carrier pigeons, don’t panic. Let her connect with you on her own time. (And if you do actually pick up a hobby, introduce it to your law student when finals are over!)

"I don't think we should continue the hike - this could be a legally sufficient warning."

7. But do not forget about your law student! Any little gesture, like making him cookies, sending an uplifting email, or even just giving a big hug will absolutely make his day. Guaranteed. I mean, your law student will have been sitting in the library for hours on end among casebooks – it’s a sure thing.

We're talking this level of satisfaction.

8. When finals are over, they’re over. Not all law students love to post-mortem exams. Probing beyond “how did it go?” may not be a good idea. Quite likely, your law student wants to leave that experience behind – what’s done is done, and it’s time to celebrate (and/or sleep).

Approximately how your law student feels by the end of final exams.

9. Law school can be stressful – but you can help. It may not be The Paper Chase, but it’s not Sesame Street, either. Your law student may feel disillusioned about something that sounds trivial to you. You may feel helpless to comfort them – but actually, it’s quite the opposite. You have the power to ground your law student in reality, and remind them of the bigger picture.

10. Don’t ask your law student for legal advice. Please don’t do this. Your law student can face very serious, even career-threatening consequences for giving legal advice, and she knows it. She may really want to help you, but please don’t pressure her into making that kind of choice.

Having a law student in your life can be a challenging experience, but a rewarding one. Hopefully this little post will promote more of the latter. Special thanks to the many law students who provided me with their words of wisdom!

This post was originally posted last August 16, 2011 here.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

People You Meet During Exams: The Freak Out

Originally posted last May 10, 2005 here.

One of the most entertaining exam creatures is the Freak Out. This is the person who wilts under the pressure of exams until they have a memorable and embarrassing public breakdown. The Freak Out is expected during the first semester of the first year. Nobody can really fault an emotionally frazzled student embarking on their first set of law school exams to lose it. Usually, this person will either adapt or drop out. But a small number of first semester Freak Outs continue to freak out each subsequent exam session. Their predictable histrionics garner little sympathy past the first semsester. Rather, they provide a much needed comic relief and confidence boost to their more emotionally stable classmates.

The typical freak out comes in two forms: The first is the Preemptive Freak Out. This occurs before they have even started studying. It most often happens between the last day of class an the first exam. This person realizes the amount of work that lies ahead and loses it. This type of freak out is unexpected, but not nearly as entertaining as the other type: The Slow Build. The Slow Build, as the name suggests, slowly wears down as exams wear on. The pressure mounts and they become more frazzled. A percieved poor performance on one exam will increase the pressure on them. So will the complete inability to understand an important concept from one of their classes. You can usually see the warning signs: Mood swings, irritability, unsafe caffine consumption. They will do something ridiculous like spend 40 straight hours at the library. Bags will form under their eyes. They will wear the same clothes for days at a time. Their behavior seems a bit off. Then, all of the sudden, when confiding in a friend, they snap: The tears flow, their voice echos through the library. During the first semester, people will fell sorry for her. After that, they will laugh at her.

Considering the pressure involved in law school exams, one would think that the freak out would be more frequent. The hidden freak-out are aplenty but they prefer to go by the identity: The Functioning Alcoholic.

People You Meet During Exams: Smugman

Originally posted last May 06, 2005 here.

It's no surprise that egos abound at law school. However, after a semester of one-upmanship and socratic questioning, every broad-shouldered, bright-eyed Biff Loman shrivels down to his disappointed, self-doubting father, Willy.

One law student, however, manages to "suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" with ease. That law student is Smugman (pronounced briskly as Smug-Mun.)

Smugman saunters through the halls with his chin up and his chest out, never obsessing about minute points of law or his standing amongst his peers. His self-confidence is a carnival mirror for further excaberating the anxiety of his peers.

While I cheer the fact that there is at least one emotionally well balanced person in law school, I can't help wonder if he was always this way.

Smugman at Age 2: Don't get too used to all that wiping, Mom. I plan on being consistent with the potty within a month.

Smugman at Age 6: Let's not waste your valuable time, Nurse Weathers. I can read the bottom line of this optometry test. K, 5, E, M, P.

Smugman at Age 13: Realistically, this Bar Mitzvah is just a formality. When I walked through the doors of this temple, I was already a man.

Smugman at Age 16: Parallel parking? Hell, I could even do it perpendicularly if it was allowed.

Smugman at Age 18: Be Gentle? Don't worry, my dear. After all, I didn't bring this "French Tickler" as a gag.

Monday, August 5, 2013

People You Meet During Exams: The Braggart

Originally posted last May 02, 2005 here.

The polar opposite of The Possum is The Braggart. Obviously, this is the person (usually a guy) who has the unyielding desire to inform everybody of his extensive exam preperations. The Braggart is painfully ignorant of any sort of efficiency theory, choosing to substitute quantity over quality when it comes to studying. Nothing vexes the Braggart more than those who choose to spend even one waking moment during exam time on anything other than studying. Unless, of course, they are bragging.

One of the most entertaining interactions you can witness is the meeting of two Braggarts on the way to the library restroom or in the computer lab. Similar to a meeting between two Bull Moose, they will figuratively butt heads in a struggle for bragging supremicy.

Braggart A: "I'm exhausted, I've been here for eight hours."

Braggart B: "Really? I've been here for ten and I'm just getting started."

Braggart A: "Well, I just finished my Tax outline. It's 60 pages long."

Braggart B: "60? Is that all? Mine is 75, and I finished a week ago. But I'm sure you'll still pass."

Braggart B has won. He is the new Alpha of the bragging nerds. Braggart A must retreat back to his cubicle to see if he can lengthen that tax outline at all.

The Braggart seethes when he finds out that someone is doing well in law school by merely using their notes and a commercial outline. "Judas," he mutters to himself as he pulls himself onto his cross of self sacrifice. Hey, Braggart, its a simple cost/benefit analysis (and don't forget who got the 30 pieces of silver at the end of the day).

People You Meet During Exams: The Possum

Originally posted last April 29, 2005 here.

Exam time brings out a whole new set of law school characters. They lie dormant all semester, until the stress of having their future ride on the results of a few tests brings these creatures out into the open. One such creature is The Possum. The Possum is the person, often a girl, who will jokingly talk about how badly they are going to fail. The Possum will compliment your knowledge of the material while deriding her own. One of the favorite jokes of The Possum is to say, "Sit next to me, so I can copy off you!"

For someone so sure that she is about to fail, she is in surprisingly good spirits, isn't she? Is she drugged? Did she have a self-actualization on the last day of class and realize that she isn't meant to be in law school, and is just finishing out the semester for good measure? Is she just happliy content with being below average? Of course not. As you can gather from the name, The Possum is just playing dead.

In reality, she is fully confident in her ability to succeed on her exams. Her "playing dumb" is just a smokescreen to hide the many hours she spends perfecting her outlines and memorizing the UCC. Of course, the following semester, when she learns that she got a 3.7, she acts genuinely surprised, as if it were some fluke.

At the end of the day, I like to have The Possum around. She is sort of like a stripper: She makes you feel better about yourself, even though you know she is lying.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013



As law students we’re learning skills that will serve us well not just in a legal career, but also in many business fields and (possibly) life in general. However, there are some completely ridiculous expectations that people have of law students that no matter how hard we study, we just cannot live up to. 
Here are some of the expectations people, generally friends and family, have of me when I talk to them about my studies….


People always assume that I know how to get out of parking or speeding fines, like it’s a subject that’s offered in first year. Sure, in some circumstances there may be some mitigating factors but unfortunately, as we all know, they’re generally strict liability and if you’ve got a ticket, you’re stuffed. The only problem is how do you explain it to a tipsy uncle at a family BBQ?


She’s a ‘judge’ and we’re law students, but that’s where the commonality ends. Sure we have comparative law subjects and we understand some of the similarities and differences between judicial systems, but none of those skills or knowledge will help you to make sense of what goes on in Judge Judy’s courtroom. The best explanation to give someone is to expect the complete opposite if they are ever going to court, or to suggest they try watching Rake instead.


Sure, I have great researching skills – I know how to look up all Mabo decisions and the Tasmanian Dams Case – but that doesn’t mean I’m any better at Googling something. 
Probably like most of you, any searches I do on Google are just pot luck. Insert random words and hope for the best or failing that at least a funny meme. My real skill is searching through videos on YouTube. It’s amazing what you can find when you’re trying to avoid jurisprudence study.


Now being argumentative is not such a bad attribute to have in law, and the ability to read between the lines to infer a certain take on something can be pretty helpful too. After all, that’s what statutory interpretation is all about.
Sometimes people always take it too far, thinking just because you express an opinion and are able to back it up, that you’re argumentative. Not to mention implying that you just love to twist words and butter people up so you can extract what you want from them. 
Personally, I take that as a compliment. It’s good to know my nearest and dearest think I will be killer at cross-examination, but it does get tiresome when people don’t realise that you can switch off your lawyer brain and that we are normal, friendly people that don’t have to have the last word.


Finally, everyone seems to expect that just because I’ve almost survived the long haul of a law degree, I can survive the long haul of running 42.2km.
Strange how friends and family miss the stark contrast between being locked in a room surrounded by books and suffering a massive lack of vitamin D, and being outside and running for hours. Nothing I have had learned in law school has helped me with running, save that I know how to get away from an exam centre damn quick. 
These are just some of the unrealistic expectations of law students that I’ve encountered. Share you stereotype experiences in the comments section below! 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Date a Girl Who Reads

by Rosemarie Urquico 
(In response to Charles Warnke’s You Should Date an Illiterate Girl)

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.
Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

When I got called for the first time to recite...

I was like: 

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