By: Romer Yadao
Most of the time, we are in a rush to figure out our plans and the steps to go about it. Some of these plans pan out but sometimes they don’t. For some, yes, it works out. But still, a small number of people dream to take more challenges and therefore, achieve more.
You can call him various names. You can call him a sports ambassador, fashion icon, ramp model, traveler, or a movie and film baron. But for Luke, dreaming and achieving a lot more is non-negotiable. Right now, his eyes are set on one goal and that is to become a lawyer.
I had the chance to work with Luke during my college days in San Beda. We were in the same course taking up Economics and at the same time running for seats in the Economics Student Council. It was during this time that I learned that he was adroitly shuffling work and studying Economics, among other things. In addition, it is no secret that he is actively into sports, to which, flag football remains to be one of his favorites. He also does modeling under several known brands.
Surprisingly, despite being in a lofty position and that feeling of accomplishment both in studies and career, Luke doesn’t want to stop.
For someone who has done and accomplished a multitude of things, Luke is unafraid of challenging himself. He sets into the doorsteps of law school and the rest is history. Now, in the third year, Luke has evolved into a more mature role, so to speak.
In an exclusive with Barrista Solutions, Luke Jickain gives us a glimpse of his life before law school, how it prepared him to where he is now, and how he is doing and coping in law school.
Barrista Solutions: What inspired you to take up law?
Luke Jickain: Well, to be frank, it was a curiosity about my rights as a person. I wanted to know what my rights are especially when confronted with certain legal situations. I thought that it was important to know such believing that in our lives, our rights are at stake more often than not.
Barrista Solutions: What is your daily schedule/routine in studying law? How many hours do you devote to your studies?
Luke Jickain: I used to wake up at 5:00 in the morning and sit and read until 5:00 in the afternoon. From 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., I attend my classes scheduled for a particular day. In total, I allot more or less 12 hours in preparation for my subject for the day. But now, I try to be kinder to myself. I reduced my study time from 8:00 in the morning to 5:00 in the afternoon.
For me, the aforesaid schedule fits me best because I can read my assigned materials a lot. I guess the situation would be different if I were a fast reader. But I have to work with what I have and who I am thus the schedule.
Barrista Solutions: Before going to law school, you were actively engaged in fashion and sports. What adjustments did you make in order to adapt to a new environment?
Luke Jickain: It took me five years before I could fully say that I left the field of sports and fashion. While I really love doing them, there was a need to move forward from the things I was attached to. Leaving the fashion world and sports field was like breaking up with a long and constant loved one. Eventually, I just had to say goodbye. I believe that there are really some things that we need to leave behind in order to grow and be better.
However, while I may no longer be visible to the fashion scene and sports talks, I still do TV commercials once in a while. I consider the same as an escape of sorts in this complex legal world I am in right now.
Barrista Solutions: What are the valuable lessons that you have learned that you could incorporate into your life as a law student?
Luke Jickain: The aspects of sports and fashion gave me the discipline I have today. Such a meaningful lesson taught me to manage things I thought I could never handle. I was able to incorporate in my student life important tasks such as sticking to a schedule, letting go of instant gratification, and just believing in the daily grind.
Most of all, being once engaged in sports taught me how to accept defeat from time to time. I had seen my fair share of losses along the way. However, the same does not bother me much. I just keep on doing my best and keep on grinding. For as long as I know in myself that I gave it my all, there will be a better tomorrow waiting.
Barrista Solutions: How do you manage your time while doing a multitude of tasks?
Luke Jickain: To be honest, I cannot. Doing a multitude of tasks all at the same time entails different levels of effort. I believe that a task alone deserves all the focus in order to garner good results. For me, I have to dedicate myself one task at a time. My brain cannot function effectively if I will be engaged in multitasking.
Because of this, I have to adjust to my personal engagements and make sure that a big chunk of my life is dedicated on studying. I had to forego certain events and engagements so as to focus on my studies and eventually become an effective practitioner of the law.
Barrista Solutions: During this time of a pandemic, how were you able to handle all the stress and burdens of not having been able to leave your house to attend classes?
Luke Jickain: Being engaged in sports for quite a while now, I have known pain and understood the same very well. Pain has different thresholds. Pain has different modes of infliction. In sports, we all understand the same to be related to our physical body. But it’s more than just that.
Pain in sports attack your whole personality. Having been engaged in such activities for a long part of my life, I have witnessed and have overcome pain along the way as well. I have brought with me this mentality in law school.
While the stress law school brings is different from the stress I had to go through in sports, the output is more or less the same as well. I have been so used to dealing with different kinds of stress and pain that not being able to leave my house and attend classes has been a footnote to what I have experienced in the past. I am not saying that I am not immune to stress. But, I know that it will end eventually.
I know that at the end of the day, we will all be able to survive the stress and pain our circumstances offer.
Barrista Solutions: If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self who is about to enter law school, what would it be?
Luke Jickain: Don’t think about it, just do it.
One of my regrets in life is that I entered law school a little bit late compared to the usual timeframes and calendars of aspiring lawyers. Before, I had a lot of queries in my mind on whether or not the legal profession is for me.
So, if given the chance, I would say to myself “just do it.” How I wish I did this 10 years ago.
Barrista Solutions: What is your message to all law students out there who are hoping to graduate in their respective law schools?
Luke Jickain: Always do your best and never give up.
At the end of the day, what matters most is our purpose. Our ‘why’ will propel us to greater heights. Never forget why you want to become lawyers in the first place. Always study well, study hard, and study smart.
And if you pass the Bar and eventually become a professor, be kind to your students.
* Luke Jickain is a third-year Law Student at the University of Asia Pacific School of Law and Governance.