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Struggles of a Doubtful Law Student

By: Archiebald Faller Capila

There will always be a moment in your law school life when you doubt yourself. There will always be that time when you ask whether or not the pursuit of the law is for you. Most of the time, you answer in the negative. You break down and question your very existence. You stare blankly into the void and cast doubt on your decision to enter law school in the first place.

As mentioned by several professors, former students, and practitioners of the legal profession, law school is an institution that is in a league of its own. Here, no one is truly ahead of another student. Here, students are treated equally in a sense that no one has a leaf when it comes to legal knowledge. Everyone is at par with one another. In a sense, everyone is as lost as the student beside him in his or her class.

Do you remember your first day in law school? You were still wide-eyed as to how classes work. You still have that youthful flare and optimistic spirit that you will eventually ace your classes and eventually become someone in the study of the law. However, the longer you stay in law school, the more tiring it becomes and you lose confidence along the way as well.

The road to becoming a graduate of law comes with it a heavy burden. The only emotion you experience is pain. You become so tired of the process that from time to time, you want to give up and focus on the things that you love more.

You imagine yourself pursuing further studies in another field instead. Accordingly, you envision a future wherein you are happy engaging in a work you are more familiar with. You even imagine spending more time with your family, loved ones, friends, and colleagues. You create a world separate and distinct from that which you currently live in.

For some, getting in law school is hard. However, that is just the tip of the iceberg. Staying in law school is tougher. From time to time, you imagine yourself quitting because of the pressure law school holds. Your classmates have a superb understanding of your lectures and that they seem to answer recitation questions and exams with ease. Your professors are so brilliant that oftentimes, you forget what they share in class. You feel inferior because of the fact that they create an atmosphere of fear and intelligence that seemingly cannot be reached. You become so shocked of the culture that law school brings. You spend a multitude of hours so as to understand some legal concepts only to see yourself fail in the process.

Indeed, law school is different. However, you bring to the table something else.

Some people say that law school has the best and brightest minds in the country. They believe that these institutions serve as homes to the future of the legal profession who are in fact on the top of their classes and who have an outstanding understanding of the legal processes that come with the study. However, the same is not always true.

Even the brightest minds quit law school. Do you remember your first days or weeks in class? Wherein your classmates would introduce themselves and lay down their respective achievements in their undergraduate days or in work? You would hear the stories on how they would achieve latin honors, or how they would excel in their respective organizations. Some would even talk about their line of work—most of which are odes as to how great they are in their chosen fields.

However, not all of them stay in law school. Some quit on the very next week. Some quit one semester thereafter. Accordingly, those who performed well during their undergraduate days struggle as well in coping with law school because of the different tension the same brings.

Hence, law school does not house the most intelligent persons in its rooms. It grooms those who work the hardest. It protects those who show perseverance. It gifts the people who want it most—those who have the iron will to become lawyers.

And if you are still standing as of reading this article, then law school is for you.

Do not doubt whether or not the study and eventual practice of law is for you. Law school is for the brave. It is meant to be tackled by those who want it the most. If you are thinking of giving up, take a break and ask yourself—is it worth it?

Most law students give up on their respective journeys because of several reasons. Some quit law school because of financial restraints. Some quit law school because of unmanageable pressure. Some quit law school because they realize that the journey is not for them.

Their reasons are personal and distinct from one another. Accordingly, these reasons serve different purposes as well. However, if you are still not quitting in your journey and that you are still contemplating on whether or not the degree is for you, please do relax and breathe. To those who are still in doubt, keep pushing forward. For as long as you are in law school, you have a fighting chance of graduating and eventually taking the Bar. This journey to become a lawyer will test you in ways you cannot imagine. Stay composed. You will eventually become a lawyer sooner than you think.

Continue to work hard and persevere. You are one of a kind. You are great in your own ways. For as long as there is a fighting chance, keep fighting. The journey is not over until you say it is.

Most importantly, you must remember your true purpose. The people who stay in law school have for themselves their respective “why”. Always look back to the same. Always remember that you are studying law not for the sake of personal ambition but for you to become an inspiration to all—for you to become an instrument of justice.

It is not what you achieve in law school that defines who you are as an instrument of the law. It is how you use your knowledge and utilize them in order to promote the betterment of everyone around you.

Many believe that law students only pursue further studies because they want to be rich. The misconception is apparent every time they hear or see an acquaintance or a known individual enter law school. These people believe that if and when law students want to become lawyers, they just want the benefits that come with it.

Law school is not a money-making venture. It is not meant to feed an ego. It is not an instrument that students could use for their own personal gain. Entering law school is a responsibility beyond compare. It entails that those who pursue it would use such knowledge to become beacons of hope and change.

That being said, what you achieve in law school is nothing if it will not be utilized for the greater good. Law students must learn how to prioritize those in need of legal assistance. Law students must know when to help other people. Good grades will only matter if the learnings therein will be used to promote justice.

To all law students out there, may you be reminded that the pursuit of the law is primarily to promote equality among your peers. Be impartial. Use your knowledge for good things. In that way, you will become great.

Never surrender your conscience to wrongdoings just to attain a status of comfort and personal gain. Always be the better person and remember that you are a law student—you are a future lawyer who will become instrumental in the change you want to bring in this world. Always honor the profession. Always be respectable in your dealings. Practice honor and respect even at such an early age.

You are the future of the legal profession. Continue to work hard and reach for your dreams. You will become a lawyer sooner than you think. Good luck on your journey, future paneros and paneras. May you always be blessed with the wisdom and strength to carry on and finish strong.

Never forget why you are pursuing law in the first place.

Never underestimate the power of belief.

Never doubt yourself because the study and eventual practice of law is for you.

Never succumb to your struggles.

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