After all the hullabaloo that is the PHILSAT, which is now required for all incoming law students, who would want to become a lawyer? As a practicing lawyer, I was only mildly aware of this new requirement. There was a deficiency in publicizing this new requirement.
For this career series, our guest, N, is a current law student in his third year of law school in metro Manila.
As told to 20 something lawyer
What I do
I am a full-time law student. My parents currently fund my studies and related expenses for law school. We talked about my plans to pursue law school even prior to college so the family had the opportunity to plan ahead. So I guess, constant communication with my parents helped a great deal.
Why I went to law school
Frankly, I chose my current law school because I was unsure of myself. I didn’t know if I’ll survive the rigors of legal studies. As time progressed I became resilient and strived harder to attain my modest goals.
As for my reasons for going to the legal field, I think it’s an avenue to live out my principles in life. To help people, to succeed personally and professionally. I sound so idealistic but I’d rather be idealistic about myself than other people. I’ll always choose to bet on myself because it will always turn out for the best.
What is law school really like
My typical day at law school starts when I wake up around 8am/9am then prep for the day ahead, collate cases and check what items I missed out on.
10am – travel to school. 11am-4pm – study. In the middle of that of course is basic procrastination–a lot of FB scrolling and YouTube viewing.
What are the minimum requirements for law school
The minimum requirements to get into my school is similar to those other law schools. Nothing special is required.
For my undergraduate degree, I obtained a Legal Management degree within 3.5 years.
How much does law school cost these days
The yearly cost of tuition at my Metro Manila law school ranges around PhP 150,000-160,000 (3,000 to 3,200 USD).
Aside from tuition, other expenses related to law school would be the books used in classes (PhP 7000-10000 / 140-200 USD) ESCRA (1,000 PhP / 20 USD per semester), utilities (6,000 PhP / 120 USD) and other miscellaneous items I lost track of.
My perception of the lawyer job market in the Philippines
Once I graduate, pass the bar and start law practice my salary expectations are – Worst case scenario (PhP 240,000 annually/ 4,800 USD) and Best Case Scenario (PhP 600,000/12,000 USD).
The job market in the Philippines is competitive but there are growth areas. The provinces are growth areas; economic development is apparent in those areas so legal services will be needed.
As to the field of law I would like to pursue, I’m a bit scattered as to this but I would like to pursue the fields of corporate, labor and competition law. I believe these fields would be financially lucrative if I look at it from a financial perspective but a field that I would love to join is public interest law.
My law school experience thus far
Studying law is delayed gratification in the highest order. Passing the bar is a goal that is always within reach but that’s not the end goal it’s about living the law and there I think the gratification aspect rings true. You’ll only be happy about it once you lived it.
Would you recommend law school to others?
I would only recommend it to other graduates if they really want it. If they’re prepared to forego things that seem essential. My advice for those planning to study law is they should be prepared to be mentally strong because it’s a heavy undertaking.
Antiquated teaching method
I would like to dispel most law professors’ notion that cursing at students helps build their character. It does not help in anyway; students can be sharpened by other academic pressures, not by demeaning them. I learned that from my school, which advocates a value-centered approach, not an approach based on traditional and irrational setups.
* N is a millennial studying law in Metro Manila and he loves to read history books in his spare time.