Hitting the Book

edmund Pagharion
Life in Law School


“Do not enter law school if you do not want to become a lawyer.” The words of my friends that remind me of my desire of getting into law study. I came to fully understand that words when I became a law student. This thing is not for a fainthearted dreamer. I found that a day in life as a law student was hard to tell for it was not been as easy as I seem. It is a big twist to cut away my self from the customary things that I am used to do with. There are times, when thoughts are drifting to questions on why am I doing this? How to do it? When will this get over? Getting drowned to these never ending questions will only leave me dawdling. However, that idea of quitting is only the product of irresponsible mind.
So how’s my freshman life in first semester? Lot of things happened during those eye-bugging nights of schoolwork, but then, funny moments are still popping out along the days of horrific experience:

FIRST MONTH – Reading 101 as the vary foundation. Get ready one, two, reading marathon starts! Here comes the pile of G.R.’s, SCRA, articles and sections, to always deal with for life. Law studies would demand a lot of time; my experienced of sleepless nights, stress and depression. Workload is noticeably greater and the levels of competency required by professors are uniformly higher. And reading was certainly has the kind of effect of a tipsy-ordeal feeling to me. Especially, for I have been idle for seven years from the academic life after my prelaw course. Yet, it was not a joke. Because reading must be substantial and well comprehended and I think, I should love and embrace it as a lifetime reality.

And here I am meeting the Socratic Method of teaching where we are assigned to read voluminous amounts of Supreme Court Decisions and to write sum-ups of them called “case digest”. And one of the interesting moment, is the recitation, here, we are going called to stand up, to answer the series of questions about the opinions, including the facts as well as the legal principles and reasoning used. Sometimes, I might have thought to be confident that I read all the readings, but there are times also that I doubt my capabilities when recalling is confusing, that sometimes I am caught reshuffling the title; the case or even forget those. But somehow, reading was full of drama: like the case for the definition of Practice of Law by the case of Cayetano vs. Monsod; the great love story of Guevarra vs. Eala case; the sad story of Santos vs. CA by leaving the spouse behind for some fortune; the small story of Chi Ming Choi case, and many more.

SECOND MONTH - I find that most of my time was expended working to accomplish passing grades in a very competitive milieu. Harken back to early days of studies, have gave me the desire to have the skills mastering a particular subject for legal career in the future. But now, I find it that it is no longer important to be better on the class merely by setting forth a sound effort. It will be alright, even if grades are not what I expect. To have some passing grades are any longer so important than the bigger ones. What is significant now is the substantial knowledge that is worth having, than a fine grade that cannot pay a good justice to the performance. Thus, I appreciate that law school doesn't only teach me to become a lawyer, but rather teaches me on how to have the kind of mind of a lawyer. The things I realized, are the sacrifices I made to do thriving in law school that getting the worst part of it was first, having less time for vital relationships; and second, the pressures and stress to get well equipped to classes and exams. Our professors have told us, that study of law, requires a lot of lime, hard work and better discipline. There were times I came on having the idea of quitting. Considering that I already have the college degree and a good-paying work without the need of undergoing difficulties and sleepless nights. Hence, I’m facing the predicament of choosing between quitting and not quitting.

THIRD MONTH – midterm exam set! It was so tiring and nervous preparation for that period. The weird and comical thing here is although my relationship with other persons weakens, I developed a better bonding with inanimate matters. I now have the Codal and highlighters as my great companies. I even developed a good relationship with a particular place in the office (where I study during free time) or at the corner of the classroom – a relationship to cherish for a quite long time if not so incessantly. I am no longer comfortable in going out with peers as I treat this as unhelping preference, than study as the only frill I can afford. Boring lifestyle, isn’t it? But this is happiness, especially when there will be no classes, where ample time to scan the book is at best.

But nonetheless, overcoming through, law school creates a unique camaraderie in friendships where the bonds are closer, simply because we have experienced the same pain and understand the same rants. Nevertheless, I thought of relinquishing the things I used to relish prior to classes in law school is nothing but necessary for focusing on law studies.

FOURTH MONTH – Hello finals! I am creeping towards end. Deadlines and volumes of required readings are not funny. But I must endure it. I am a few steps away and ready for another semester. What I observed is the change on my outlooks and humor is now different from those of my associates who are not in law school. This situation inclines to separate me from other parts of the world where I used to be. And what else more can I say that life in law school is a very humbling experience, where all the time the challenges are real. 

This is only for first semester class and I'm sure it will last for the years of my study.

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