Updated: Aug 17
By: Romer V. Yadao
Studying law and passing the bar is notoriously difficult in the Philippines. Pursuing law studies is not only challenging, it can be financially draining and time-consuming too. This is the reason why many Lawyers shun the prospect of taking further studies. Besides, passing the bar is enough to practice Law and have a rewarding career as an Attorney.
Taking further studies, however, is a brilliant opportunity to gain specialized knowledge in different branches of the Law. Atty. Patrick Maglinao, a graduate of San Beda University College of Law, is one of those who worked towards this higher level of achievement.
After being admitted to the Philippine Bar in 2013, he was a practicing lawyer for 4 years. In 2017, he decided to take further studies at the University of California, Berkeley- School of Law which is the best Law School in the world when it comes to Intellectual Property Law. He earned his Master of Laws Degree the year after where he specialized in Law and Technology, and Business Law. He said he pursued further studies because he wanted to broaden his knowledge in Intellectual Property Law while he is still young.
In an interview, he takes us on his journey to becoming a Lawyer. He also gives us a peek at his life as a student in America.
Barrista Solutions: Have you always dreamt of becoming a lawyer?
Atty. Maglinao: No. I wanted to be a Doctor at first. My dream of becoming a lawyer started when I chose Political Science as my undergrad course at De La Salle University.
Barrista Solutions: How did you study when you were still in Law School?
Atty. Maglinao: I am a morning person. I woke up at 4 in the morning then study until 7. I will take a nap for an hour then go to the gym at 8am until 9:30am. After working out, I will head straight to school and study there until class. I don’t usually study after class hours because I am already tired.
Barrista Solutions: Did you have time for social events or join school organizations? How did these school activities and organizations help you as a Law Student?
Atty. Maglinao: Yes. Events and school organizations are stress relievers. I don’t always go to events though but I make sure to have time for the ones that interests me.
Barrista Solutions: Please tell us about your routine when you were preparing for the Bar. What adjustments did you make?
Atty. Maglinao: When I was preparing for the bar, I studied a lot in coffee shops because at home, I am tempted to relax and sleep. I conditioned my mind and body to endure long hours of study because I know that the bar exam is a whole day affair. My study time and habit are still the same.
Barrista Solutions: What was your approach/mindset to hurdle the Bar?
Atty. Maglinao: My mindset is to aim for the best and top the bar. I know that I am not one of the best, or at least brightest in our batch, but through hard work and prayer, I know that it is possible and it can be done.
Barrista Solutions: How long did you study?
Atty. Maglinao: During bar preparations, I already have a reading assignment everyday. I didn’t take note of the amount of time that I spent studying but I have to finish my reading assignment as scheduled. Usually, my reading assignment is 120 pages a day.
Barrista Solutions: What was effective for you: studying alone or studying with peers? Why?
Atty. Maglinao: It doesn’t matter. I have a goal and once I am focused, I don’t mind being with peers or being along.
Barrista Solutions: Where were you when the results came out?
Atty. Maglinao: I was drinking liquor and was already drunk when the results came out.
Barrista Solutions: What was your reaction when you passed the Bar Exam?
Atty. Maglinao: I was very happy that time because all the sacrifices paid off.
Barrista Solutions: What is your field of specialization?
Atty. Maglinao: My field of specialization is criminal law, civil law, business law and intellectual property law.
Barrista Solutions: What does teaching bring to you?
Atty. Maglinao: Satisfaction. I get to share my knowledge to students who are likely to become great lawyers in the future.
Barrista Solutions: Interestingly, you took up a Masters’ Degree abroad. Can you tell us about it?
Atty. Maglinao: I took my Master’s Degree at University of California, Berkeley where I had two specializations, law and technology; and business law. I chose Berkeley because upon research, Berkeley is the best law school in the world when it comes to intellectual property law. Fortunately, Berkeley admitted me because Berkeley only admits a handful from thousands of applicants every year. Berkeley even gave me an Asia Pacific Scholarship to mitigate my tuition expenses.
Barrista Solutions: How was the experience there?
Atty. Maglinao: Studying abroad is very challenging but very fun and exciting as well. I was able to meet lawyers and professionals from different parts of the world and became friends with them. I was able to learn about the culture of different nations and expand my network.
Barrista Solutions: What adjustments did you make when you were studying in the US?
Atty. Maglinao: Studying abroad was new to me. I had to live alone in an apartment where I cook my own food, wash my own clothes and do house chores. I had to adjust also as to my studying method since US style of teaching is very different from the Philippines. There is no pressure studying in US because they usually do lectures while in the Philippines, they adopt the socratic style of teaching.
Barrista Solutions: How did this experience benefit you as a person and as a Lawyer?
Atty. Maglinao: Studying in US expanded not only my knowledge and skills about the law, but also my view as regards the different cultures in the world. Now, when I go to other countries, it is most certain that I know someone whom I can visit and tour me around.
Barrista Solutions: What part of your stay in the US can you consider memorable?
Atty. Maglinao: What I consider most memorable are those experiences outside the classroom where me and my classmates tend to explore California and engage in activities such as watch basketball and baseball games, watch concerts, beach swimming and visit companies and museums.
Barrista Solutions: How does your Masters’ Degree help you when it comes to your career in the academe and your law practice?
Atty. Maglinao: In the academe, I am able to compare the laws and jurisprudence in US and here in the Philippines and use what I learned there to teach and impart to my students. None in my law practice so far.
Barrista Solutions: What can you say to all aspiring Barristas out there?
Atty. Maglinao: To all aspiring Barristas, never doubt youself. Once doubt sets in, your downfall starts. Prepare well, work hard and always pray. In the end, you will achieve what you have always dreamt of which is to become a lawyer.