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How Will I Know If I Should Study Law July 5, 2007

Posted by Janjan in All, I, Lawyer, Idiocy, Legally Opinionated and Jurisprudent.
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Well, what do you know? My first “Dear Kuya Eddie” request from a devoted reader.

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Dear Magnificent Atty. Perez,

Mabuhay Attorney! Congratulations on your blog, I like to read it, you make the law so funny. And sad at the same time. But the law is always sad, so thank you for making it funny. Can I ask you help ‘torney? You are so wise, and powerful and magnificent… and humble! And you’re a fans of Sarah Geronimo! That’s why I know you’re a Magnificent! Never mind your idol Roy, ‘torney! Powerful man gihapon ka. Ma-reach mo rin ang imong dreams!

Ang akong problem, ‘torney, is that I have a problem. My Uncle Tito Danny said that before he leaves this Earth, he wants me to take up Law so that I will become a lawyer. Not liar like Jim Carrey but lawyer, like you, because you are not liar. I told my Uncle Tito Danny, “Uncle Tito Danny, why do you say that? Why do you want to leave this Earth? Are you going to ride a space ship with the aliens or something? Homan na ang July 4, Uncle Tito Danny. Tapos na ang July 4! Wala na’y Independence Day! Will Smith made talo the aliens and sent them back to Star Wars! Please don’t leave this Earth! You have to defend me from the Transformers!”

And Uncle Tito Danny said to me, “Buang man ka hija! Are you crazy? Don’t be scared of the Transformers! Naa pa man si Bruce Willis at hindi siya mamamatay na malambot because he is a die hard! Ka-upat na gi huramentado, dili pa gihapon mamatay! Blaggs!

Unya Uncle Tito Danny, why do you want to leave this Earth?”

Basta inday, listen to me. Of all my nieces, you are my peborit, because you have the logic! You have the brains! The beauty! You are a Thundercats! You should and must become a lawyer!”

And that’s my problem na Attorney. Kita na man kog Thundercats and I could not run as fast as Cheetara! Although I like Will Smith labi na sa Hitch, I’m so afraid Uncle Tito Danny will go to Star Wars with the aliens! He might go with the Decepticons and not stay with me like the Autobots! Eets so hard Attorney. Matigas ito. Gahi kaayo. What will I do? Should I follow my Uncle Tito Danny and take up Law? Or should I follow my heart and become a Bellestar Dancer ng That’s Entertainment? Napakasakit Kuya Eddie! What should I do? And please don’t charge me attorney’s fees, pobre man gud ko!

Your fans club,

Ging-ging

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Dear Ging-ging,

I understand your concerns and I thank you for confiding to me this very sacred problem. I don’t think I’m worthy to answer it because it’s only been a little more than one year before I became a lawyer and sometimes, I don’t also know myself if I made the right choice. The only thing I can tell you is that I am having a lot of fun and because of my practice, I have so many things to write about. For sure, being a lawyer is helping me launch a career as a minor Internet celebrity. Maybe someday, it will help me launch a career in showbiz. I’m a fan of Sarah Geronimo but the truth is I have an everlasting love for Carmina Villaorel. And now that she’s single again, I’m waiting for her to realize that we were meant to be together. (Carmina, I don’t care if your husband is gay. I don’t care if you have kids already. I’m still here, waiting for you. With Moo ice cream.)

But anyway about your problem. First of all, don’t worry about your uncle. He will not leave with the aliens of Independence Day because, like you said, Will Smith already defeated them. Besides, the aliens will not visit the Philippines because our Independence Day is already over.. we already celebrated it on June 12. General Esperon will defeat the aliens with our vintage World War 2 tora-tora airplanes, especially with the help of Bong Revilla and his guns that never run out of bullets, Philip Salvador and the Mulawin. (I would make a joke here about Philip Salvador but I’ve never actually seen any of his movies. I only know that he had an affair with Kris Aquino, and I guess that’s the joke).

Second, about law… hmmm… I don’t know… are you sure you want to study law?

I tell you, the road to lawyer-dom is not easy. It is paved with sleepless nights, mental anxiety, and emotional anguish. It’s easier if you study it at a sub-standard law school. In these kinds of schools, they just let you pass without any real effort. You will either have teachers who don’t show up, or teachers that when they show up, they will do nothing but talk about their showbiz lingo. Why listen to those teachers when you can read my blog? So please go to a good law school. There’s a law school cliche that all the teachers tell the first year students which goes, “Your preparation for the Bar started when you enrolled in the College of Law.”

It’s a cliche but one that has so much legal basis.

The best law schools are the ones where the teachers force you to study hard, by giving you daily oral exams. In Cebu, this is what we call the dreaded “pusil“, because the teacher forms his hand in the shape of a gun (like a Transformer, except your teacher’s hand does not actually turn into a gun), looks at you straight in the eye and says, “Janjan Perez! What is the case of Tsui Ming Choi?”

And you’re thinking, “Bang! Patay na ko! What is Tsui Ming Choi? Is that a new face whitener? Is it better than Ching Chang Chu?”

So if you do not have a thick face, my dear, law school is not for you (and when I say thick face I mean metaphorically, like not being embarrassed to speak in public. If you really do have a thick face, please don’t go to law school. Study plastic surgery instead. Or go to Vicky Belo and ask for a diamond peel.) The Socratic method, which is essentially the snobbishly intellectual way of saying “the teacher makes pusil“, is one of the most effective methods in teaching. It prepares you for facing an even more embarrassing time in court, when you don’t have time any more to ask your seatmates Ed Suson and Kelly Lim to coach you with the answers. You don’t have the liberty to tell the judge, “I’m sorry your Honor, naglibog na ko!”, even if you mean it in Cebuano, and not in Tagalog. (Please don’t ever study in Manila)

The pusil helps. The very high standards of your teacher helps. The mountainous volume of xerox copies, books, and notes help you to prepare for an equally glamorous career as a lawyer stuck in a tiny cubicle facing nothing but xerox copies, books, and case folders. You have to go through all this hard work because this will help you for the Bar. See those law students with the big books studying at late hours of the night in Bo’s Coffee and Brown Cup? They’re not doing that because they’re pretentious and they want everybody to know that they are “law students.” They’re doing it because they have an exam tomorrow and they could not study at home, where the bed is so temptingly close by.

But is all that effort worth it? The Bar is 4 years and 6 months away, assuming that you’re not a working student.

Yes my dear, it’s very much worth it. When I took the Bar, I did not actually use the things that I learned in the review I did at a fancy law school in Manila. What came to me were the things I read in my books during my four years of law. When I was answering the Criminal Law Bar Questions I was hearing the voice of my teacher Judge Paredes, reciting the case citations of People vs. Cayat. When I glanced at the Labor Law questions, I grinned because under my teacher, Atty. Marquez, this would just have been a pop quiz. When I looked at Remedial Law, I saw the faces of Ed Suson and Kelly Lim, whispering the answers during pusil. Bahala na’g sayop ang gi hong-hong ni Ed og Kelly! Your four years preparing for the Bar will really all come back to you when you’re staring at the exam papers scratching your head and praying to God Almighty for an answer… any answer!

But I don’t want you to think that law school is just about studying, looking pretentious at coffee shops, and affecting a masochistic pair of eyebags (Yes Ging-ging, if you’re a law student, you can look emo without really trying. In Cebuano, the emo look is what we call “losyang“)

It’s not always this glamorous. Sometimes there are also endless nights of drinking, debauchery, and drunk arguments on the application of Art. 36 of the Family Code in the case of Amy “I’m not the Magnificent Atty.” Perez vs. Brix Ferraris. But remember, you’re not yet a lawyer. Unless you have rich classmates, you cannot start drinking Johnny Walker Black or Gray Goose Vodka, paired with caviar and exotic cheese. You’re just a law student, so get used to Añejo Rhum 65, Herba Bueno, and White Castle Whiskey, paired with barbecue, ngohiong and Star Margarine. If you save a lot of money, you might also try Tanduay with ice tea.

Do you need to study in an expensive law school in order to become a lawyer? Not necessarily. A law school doesn’t have to be expensive to be good, and at the same time, it doesn’t follow that an expensive law school is always good. I would like to recommend you to go to the best law school in…

…Junquera St., Cebu City. That school makes the best lawyers who blogs about showbiz!

Finally, the question remains, do you have what it takes to survive law school?

Well you have to ask yourself that very honest question.

As for me, I honestly had no plans to study law. I was only there because my dad told me that being a lawyer is cool. You get invited to barrio fiestas and they reserve to you the next best seat in the house, the one right behind the priest. Perfect strangers impressed with your title ask you to be the godparent of their children during baptisms. You are issued this fancy metal thing that makes impressions of your name on a long size bond paper and has the magical power of converting a mere scrap of paper into a public document that is admissible in court without authenticating the same for genuineness and due execution. It’s almost like being a superhero, like Darna and Captain Barbel.

But mostly, I studied law because I was impressed by the movie Legally Blonde (It’s not Barely Legal ha? It’s Legally Blonde).

Wow! Will I have a sexy classmate like Elle Woods? I hurriedly signed up right away and said that I will just give it one sem. If I like Law, then I will continue it. If I don’t, I can continue with my dreams of becoming one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

So imagine to my surprise, when I showed up in class, no one was blonde or carried a chihuahua in their handbags! I was very sad. But I promised myself one sem, so I gave it a try anyway.

It was one of the happiest times in my life. I made so many friends in Room 210, my original homeroom. I discovered that I had a long lost cousin among the Senior law students, who took me to late night drinking sessions with the Seniors. I discovered that I am immune to hangovers! I was so happy that I forgot to study!

So I failed my mid-terms in Criminal Law 1 and Constitutional Law 1.

It was then that I realized that life in law school was not about late night partying, looking pretentious in coffee shops, or speaking in an alien tongue indecipherable to ordinary men. It’s also about sacrifice, hardship, effort and determination. It’s also about drinking copious amounts of Extra Joss and trying hard to compress two months worth of studying into one night before the mid-term exams. It’s about lining up in 3KM and studiously waiting for the latest cases and notes to be photocopied and distributed. It’s about political maneuvers and befriending upperclass law students for precious tips and notes. It’s about trusting your classmates to have studied better than you and asking them for answers when your name is called for pusil.

It’s a grand tradition, and slowly you become subsumed by the whole College of Law and start feeling that you’re part of one big happy family.

So I fell in love with my course. I fell in love with the Law. I fell in love with my classmates but was busted again and again and again. My one semester in the college quickly grew into four years. Four glorious years of having your stomach tied in knots, waiting for Ma’am Vicky to announce who passed in Espedido’s exam. Four years of standing before the altars of my patron saints, St. Jude Thaddeus, St. Therese of Lisieux, Our Mother of Perpetual Help, San Pedro, San Juan, San Diego and San Miguel Beer, lighting a candle and asking for a miracle, “Please Lord, Please! Let me get a 3.0 in Atty. Mayol’s exam!”

You have to have determination and an iron will to see it through because again and again and again, you will be tempted to give up. You WILL question yourself, why did I take up Law? It’s too hard for me, I should have taken Quantum Physics instead! You will ask yourself if becoming a lawyer is worth it, and let me tell you ahead Ging-ging, sometimes I still ask myself that question. You face corruption in the courts. The money is not as easy as they said it would come. You have to work long hours and get used to worrying about meeting a prescriptive period for a pleading that you’re filing. You have to get used to abrasive personalities and antagonistic opposing counsels.

Have you ever heard the song “The Scientist” by Coldplay? Studying Law is like that. “Nobody said it was easy. No one ever said it would be this hard.” And when you finally graduate Law and take the Bar? Well, you find yourself singing Green Day’s, “Wake Me Up When September Ends.”

Law is no joke Ging-ging. It’s four years of your time, money and effort spent taking a risk in passing a national examination where only 3 out of 10 students become lawyers. It’s one big gamble, and if you don’t have the stomach for risk or the determination to see things through, then this course is not for you.

If your heart is not into the course, then you should not study law. Pursue your dreams of becoming a Bellestar dancer instead. You’re only young once in your life. Twice, if you’re Demi Moore. Four years can be a pretty long time when you’re a law student.

Still not convinced?

Give it one semester, just like I did and see how it goes. If you think that law is for you, then by all means, full steam ahead! I wish you good luck and hope that I will see you someday and call you my compañera. If not, well…

…if you ever need a good lawyer who will entertain you with showbiz chismis, my name is Janjan and I am the Magnificent Atty. Perez. Take care and more power to you.

Sincerely,

the Magnificent Atty. Perez

NOTA BENE:  Someone actually DID ask me to write this blog.  Apparently, I’m now accepting requests.  Being a minor Internet celebrity is hard work!  I can’t keep up with the pressure of fame and stardom! 

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Comments»

1. Danny - July 5, 2007

Dear Atty. Perez,

Magnificent man gud ka gud mao na nga sa imo ko nangayo og advise kay grabe man maka-pressure si Uncle Tito Danny. Pero time sa ha, mura’g dili na single si Carmina Villaroel. MInyo na man sya Atty Perez kang Zoren Legazpi, kahuman niya makigbuwag sa iyang banang bayot ba. Gani si Mina og si Zoren naa’y twins. Naa pa gani sila’y patalastas sa gatas og ice cream, di ba? Wa na siguro ka’y tan-aw tan-aw og tv sah?

Nya Atty Perez, ngutana si Maritess kung maayo daw ba nga mag enrol pud sya’g Law. Kapuyan na man gud sya’g kuyog kuyog kang Aquaman kay di pa gyapon muundang kasaba niya sa pagluto niya’g isda. Nahan sya classmate daw mi.

Mao ra to, Atty.

lovelots,

Ging-ging

2. northwolf - July 5, 2007

Piskot oy! Imong gi dasmag ang akong mga pag-ampo og pangandoy na magkadayon mi ni Carmina Villaorel, og mangaon og Moo ice cream. Pastilan ning kahimotanga.

Mao nay mahitabo kung wala na kay paglantaw og TV, apan mag sigig BLAG BLAG! Ay swear kang Teban og Goliat, neber na gayud!

3. northwolf - July 5, 2007

Ingna si Maritess nga ana-a pud koy BLAG! nga idalit, alang lang kaniya.

4. fathertime - July 6, 2007

haaayyy, taya oi.. i-apil nalang sad ang vino kulafu og tuba parisan og ginamos para ferpek ba hehehe..

naa man gyuy panahon nga maglibog ka kung unsa imong himoong disisyon. sakto si Atty. Perez Ging, just give it a try. mao man sad na ang gitudlo sa akong lolo nga naay anak sa gawas bah. sa ulitawo pa kuno siya, sa wala pa niya minyo-i ang akong lola, naa pa siya’y 3 ka uyab. gusto niyang mahibaw-an kung makapa-anak ba siya o dili, so iyang gi-iyOt ang 3 niya ka uyab. after 2 months daw, nahibaw-an niya nga nabuntis ang usa, so iya nang gipakaslan ang akong lola kay sure siya nga makapaanak siya… maayo nalang gani kay wala say problema si lola.. parehong healthy ang ilang mga semilya…

mao na karon, naa koy ig-agaw sa gawas pero wala pa jud namo makit-i… text-text lang mi, mangayo siya’g load pasahan lang nako’g piso pang-reply…

5. northwolf - July 6, 2007

Isug jud og dugo imong lolo! Sama sa ka isog sa sukang Way Kurat!

6. mousmous - July 6, 2007

magnificent atty. perez,

ang masasabi ko lang ay magnificent! pareho pala tayong fan ni Sarah Geronimo, pero mahal ko si sam, ikaw si carmina. Hehe

Sana’y magkita na kayo at mapagtanto nya na ikaw pala ang mahal nya! all the way go sago!

ang iyong bagong fan,

mousmous 😀

7. northwolf - July 7, 2007

Salamat po mousmous… ako po’y napasaya sa iyong pagtangkilik at pahintulot na pagsubaybay sa maikling programang ito. Sana po’y madiscover ka rin ni Sam Milby at maging makulay ang iyong buhay sa sinabawang gulay 🙂 Salamat at more power to you

ang iyong bagong idol,

si magnificent atty. perez 😉

8. The Unlawyer » Remembering The 1997 Asian Financial Crisis - July 11, 2007

[…] The Magnificent Atty. Perez dishes out advice a la Eddie Ilarde – who by the way is returning to hosting his famous radio program on DZBB radio this Saturday afternoon after a long absence – to a student who wants advice if he should embark on a law career. […]

9. mameejhy - August 17, 2007

re tsi ming choi, nakakatawa naman ang post mo 😀 sya yun 3yrs ng married w/o sexlife diba? and, the woman filed annulment citing ncc art. 36? 😀

“Your preparation for the Bar started when you enrolled in the College of Law” –kahit nakakabingi na ang paulit ulit na sermon ng persons and family law prof ko, totoo to. 2nd yr na ako ngayon pero minsan naiisip ko pa rin kung tama ba ang pinasok ko…

iam a young mother and, i initially entered college of law merely because i got bored taking care of my husband and baby hehehe what kind of reasoning is that, you might say? well, my father is a fiscal somewhere in the metro so i thought that maybe, just maybe, i could prove my worth and disprove his notion that im a brat…

masaya ako ngayon, gumagawa ng cases digests, nagmememorize ng codal etc. pero syempre minsan eh inaabot pa rin ng frustration kapag pinagmukhang tanga ng prof hehehe.. 😀 kelangan lang maging makapal ang mukha 🙂

10. northwolf - August 18, 2007

Oy good luck! 🙂 I had a lot of classmates who were married with children when I was in the College of Law… some of them as old as 45 and 50!

It entails a lot of sacrifice and hard work, but if your mind is set on achieving it, you’ll be surprised to find out that you can accomplish miracles.

So good luck to you and God bless 🙂

11. mameejhy - October 20, 2007

thanks po! 🙂

12. mikeli - September 9, 2009

I LIKE THIS ONE.. I am a first year law student of MSU-IIT & gees I could really tell na we are on the same boat..hahaha..mao ni ron gabuhat kog case digests sa ako class for legal research..it’s so tiring.. thus, law school is DEADLY! I should have known..heheh 😀

13. diangel - August 12, 2010

LOL its almost our midterms and here I am online questioning why I decided to take up law. Im currently studying for LTD… a super dry subject.. anyway, thanks for making me laugh! 🙂 at least, right now, I am once again inspired to study 🙂 more power! 🙂

14. murkymerkin - June 11, 2011

your reply makes me want to be a lawyer pud

15. rhorie - August 27, 2011

heheh.. mgtuon sako oi.. maconcensia mn sad ta mgbasa ani nga hapit na human ang sem ga jema2x pko sa law.. heheh.. matinarong njud ko..


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