Commentary

To the bar candidate who did not pass

Dear future panyera/panyero,

I will still address you using the address reserved to the members of the bar, with the adjective “future” placed before it. Because this failure of passing last year’s bar examinations does not mean that you will never be a lawyer; it simply means that your time has not yet come. Someday, maybe next year, maybe two years from now – it all depends on God’s will and your hard work and your cooperation with His will – you will be a member of the bar.

You did not pass. All your efforts in the last few years of formal study and rigorous review classes came to naught.

Or did they?

Did you not, in the process, become a better person, with a wider perspective on the affairs of the world, with a viewpoint distinctive to those who had studied Philippine law?

Did you not, because of the journey, get acquainted and befriend law students and graduates who struggled just like you to finish law school and attempt to pass the bar examinations? Did you not win friends, many of whose friendships will subsist for the rest of your lives because they, like you, went through an ordeal which sets lawyers and barristers apart from the rest of the population, a trial only those of us who went through it would truly understand?

Did you not, in the struggle, strengthen your character and become more disciplined, giving up temporary pleasures for the possibility of a title which you can enjoy for the rest of your life?

You only failed to become a lawyer this time, but not for all time. Depending on your circumstances, you may have the opportunity to re-take the bar examinations this year, or next year, or some other year. If your situation permits, please do so. Do not bury your dream of becoming a lawyer simply because of this temporary setback.

But if you choose to walk away and deem it the last try, I will understand.

After all, being an attorney is just a title which carries with it certain privileges and responsibilities.

It does define to a certain extent who one is, but not whether one is a good person or not.

One can be a lawyer and do good. Another can be a non-lawyer and do better. Similarly, one can be a lawyer and do bad, and a non-lawyer could do worse.

Our proper measure is not the title before our name, but the good we have contributed to the community at large, and how that society became better after our time, partly because we helped improve the common weal.

– Atty. Vince
2013 Bar Examinee No. 6
Successful Examinee No. 532

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.