By: Archiebald Faller Capila
In this day and age where a transition to digital means and platforms has become obligatory, there is now a need to further study such a seemingly untapped yet used realm. The current health crisis has brought about changes to almost all professions—the legal field not exempted to the same. Now that the legal profession is shifting towards virtual platforms, we need more lawyers who specialize in such fields so as to ensure that legal services are not hampered.
It is of common knowledge that while we already have laws and policies strengthening the legal backbone of online transactions, there is still a need to improve them. Focusing on the legal aspect of policies alone will not bear fruits if the technical aspect of which are not attended to.
Focusing on this modern field of law could be imperative now that we are all gearing towards the future of the profession. This pandemic has become a turning point that makes us realize that there is more to law than just the physical space we are accustomed to.
But how do we understand something foreign to most? Like every other field of the profession, there is a need to focus on its foundation and branches. Cyber security, data privacy, and other related matters all leading to the digitalization of the profession must be studied in theory and then applied in practice. Legal knowledge as to how these aspects work is not enough. There is a need to dwell into as well the technical and practical aspects of the same.
In an exclusive interview with Barrista Solutions, Atty. Jose “Joe” Sutton Belarmino II gives us a glimpse as to how he studies this aspect of the law as well as its application. Currently pursuing his MSc in Cyber Security and Digital Forensics at the University of Westminster in London, Atty. Belarmino shares his thoughts on legal technology and security.
Accordingly, Atty. Belarmino shares his experience as a law student, as a lawyer who specializes in data privacy, and his message to all law students and lawyers who wish to specialize in this emerging branch of the legal profession
Barrista Solutions: Who and what inspired you to pursue further studies in law? Looking back, how do you describe your journey as a lawyer today?
Atty. Belarmino: I really went to law school because of my dad. You see, I am a member of the LGBT community. For me, at least, because I couldn’t give him yung pagiging lalake ko, I thought to myself that if I become a lawyer, maybe he will be able to accept me? I really don’t know if he accepted me before. So I pursued law to give my father a reason to be proud of me. Apparently, I fell in love with the study.
You see, at least the way I see it, the legal profession is still a male-dominated venture. At least from my perspective. Being a member of the LGBT, it feels like we always have to prove ourselves. We have to double our efforts in doing the things we do. You have to prove yourself again and again. And in law school, that is exactly what I did.
During the entire course of my study, I was engaged in other activities. I was a member of our Law Student Government for a handful of years. I was also the Associate Editor of our Law Journal. I combine my legal studies with my extracurricular activities. I took Bar 2015 and eventually passed it. I am very thankful to this profession. It’s been a wonderful journey. It has catapulted me to heights I thought I never could reach even at such an early age. Indeed, it’s been a wonderful journey.
Barrista Solutions: What are the lessons that you learned in law school that you continue to reflect upon today?
Atty. Belarmino: Always work hard. One of our dear professors told us that law school is like a walk in the park, but it’s Jurassic Park. I have always been a hard-working individual prior to law school. I believe it’s the key to success. Also, be humble. Even if you are a lawyer, you do not know everything. Law school humbled me. Remember that you do not have a monopoly of knowledge.
Barrista Solutions: If given the chance, what message would you relay to your younger self?