Compassion in Law School
By: Archiebald Faller- Capila
What do you remember as your best memory in law school before the pandemic broke out?
As a law student before the COVID-19 crisis, it is safe to say that you have had your fair share of good times in school. It could be a perfect recitation, a high mark in your midterm or finals exam, or it could simply be a little thing like completing your case digests for submission. Whatever the case may be, we know that deep inside us—far away from our memory lanes, we experienced what it was like to be happy because of success.
The stories about law school will never end. Law school is and will always be about hardships, sacrifices, failing marks, and other instances closely related to these factors. It is because of these particular events that make us appreciate more the success we achieve, no matter how small they are.
In law school, we are taught to respect the law and serve its purpose. We are required to observe due diligence in studying and practicing with limits the legal aspect learned in law school. We are all required to see to it that we become better students each and every day that passes. Accordingly, it may be said that the success of a student is brought about by several factors. However, one of the constant factors that either improve or worsen the studying conditions of students from all law schools all over the country is a good and healthy environment for studying.
A great environment when studying is truly effective in helping a law student reach his or her full potential with respect to the study of the law. By environment, we mean both internal and external platforms. The people around us and the people we deal with form part of our identity as a student of the law and as an eventual practitioner of the same.
In every work or study place, it is important that we be able to grow in an environment full of encouraging people. In our pursuit of the legal profession, we need to have people around us who will give us the moral support to push forward and eventually become the lawyers we dream of becoming. Whether they be our loved ones, our friends, our colleagues, or even our professors, we all need people in our lives who will keep telling us that we can and help us achieve our goals along the way.
In law school, our professors play a very big part in our understanding of the law. However, in the bigger scheme of things, law professors are not only mentors but also companions in our journey. They serve not only as the intellectual anchor in our journey to becoming lawyers but also as emotional pillars. They give us the chance to prove whether or not the study and practice of law is for us.
Accordingly, we meet different kinds of professors along the way. There are the strict ones—they who require that you memorize kilometric codal provisions, understand piles of assigned cases, and read several annotations for our understanding. These professors serve as the gatekeepers of their respective law schools so that quality education could be maintained along the way.
Accordingly, there are laid-back profs who have a different approach. Their methods differ from the strict ones because they believe in more progressive and inclusive teaching of the law. They let students ask questions. They provide some answers during recitations They create a whole new atmosphere in law school which is not that common according to the history of our respective legal learning institutions.
However, whatever kind of professor he or she is—one ideal characteristic must never be forgotten. It is a must that these teachers of the law possess compassion in their daily dealings with respect to the teaching of the law.
Compassion is necessary in order to unlock the full potential of students. Where there is compassion, there is understanding. Where there is understanding, there is progress. It is a must that law students be emotionally supported as well in order for them to become great lawyers in the near future.
The same goes with the loved ones, friends, and colleagues of our law students. It is without a doubt that law school has shown the worst state of our respective law students. They need help more than ever. And through the little things, those around the law student should show compassion as well in their daily engagements.
The current pandemic has changed the world as we know it. The same includes the study and practice of law. However, during these modern times, while experiencing a crisis, it is a must that people should show compassion in all of their respective dealings.
Aside from the digitalization of conduct of classes and court procedures, external factors are also affected by the worsening condition of the pandemic. Law students have lost loved ones and friends due to the pandemic. They have hit rock-bottom. They have been put to the test on whether or not it is still feasible or smart for them to continue their journey on becoming a lawyer. What’s worse is the fact that the health crisis will only worsen from this point forward.
We could only do so much in these times. Crisis is the name of the game now. Everything from logistics to the study of law itself is gravely affected, and the law students are trying their very best to stay afloat. If you know a law student who may be acting strangely during these times, try to send them a message and tell them that you are there for them.
Law school is and will always be tough. The stories you hear are ten times harder than what it actually is. Law school, as most would say, is not for the weak of hearts. It is a testing ground for the best minds out there. It is a sorting group on who wants it more. It is the avenue for future lawyers who needed to go through hell before eventually practicing law.
Most of the time, law students would get tired and eventually think of giving up. While it may be taxing and exhausting, you must remember why you keep fighting. Rest but don’t quit. Take a break but only for a short while. Remember your purpose and you’ll see things clearly moving forward.
Keep on fighting. Never let doubts cloud your judgment. You are great no matter what. And you will eventually achieve greater heights if you continue moving forward. You are meant to be great and meant to do great things in life. Do not let a simple setback bar you from claiming your destiny.
We need compassion in treating them during these times. The fact that life is already worse does not help their respective causes. They now have doubts on whether or not they can finish strong. They now have doubts on whether or not they could become lawyers any time soon. They now have doubts on whether or not everything will still be worth it when all is said and done.
To all law students out there struggling, may you all find your inner peace and strength to continue in this journey. May you all find a way in order to stay afloat and eventually realize your dreams of becoming lawyers in the near future.