3 Great Reminders In Law School

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A little background about my law studies:

I am currently a student in De La Salle University’s College of Law. However, due to the sudden twists and turns of life and God’s commands (whether or not I heard Him correctly), I opted not to continue my education and take a break from it until I am ready to conquer it like a true warrior. Law school is indeed not a walk in the park and one must be holistically prepared to endure it for years. I closed many doors as I walked away from it, but I believe that in God’s perfect time, He will be the One to open doors that cannot be shut, whether or not it be in the field of law.

I am now in a process of pruning and strengthening both my faith and health. I’d like to say that things are going well despite of my slow improvement. Rest assured, God is faithful.

Now, if I may, here are the 3 great reminders that I realized while I was studying law:

BUSYNESS IS A CHOICE. PRIORITIZE WISELY.

The law is indeed a tough industry to enter. One will need an extraordinary kind of diligence to survive it. Busyness is the culture of law school; unconsciously, this is also the pride of the law students. Truth is, most law students tend to prioritize law school above everything – above rest, above relationships, above God. Law school is not a God but it could be one’s god.

When I was evaluating how my life was in law school, I realized how it became my only world and how much I relied on my classmates, friends, and even, professors for comfort, support, and survival. It was as if law school is the only important thing in this world and if I don’t survive it, it could only mean two things: (1) I was not diligent enough or (2) it’s not meant for me. The attack of the enemy in this industry is directly in the mind. (Tip: It is advisable to enter law school without baggage and I mean, physical, emotional, mental baggage. It’s like getting married.) I also used law school as a distraction so I wouldn’t need to deal with my other problems, such as health issues. Thus, when all of my problems crumbled before me, I was overwhelmed and weakened. I was left broken and confused.

It is true though that you must work hard for your dream, but stop glorifying busyness. With proper time management, you can still have a social life, family time, and even, “me” time. Prioritize what will last for eternity and not just for a lifetime.

FORGIVE.

Law school is full of different kinds of people, from nerds to party animals, they will be there! Due to the high level of stress, it will not be easy to find people whom you will be easily be comfortable with. Also, there will be a lot of cussing, dramas, and even, destructive comments, these words may not be directly against you but maybe for a close friend, and you’ll come to realize that the pain is the same.

My study group and I used to reveal portions of our lives to each other everyday (there was a tight group camaraderie and getting to know because we were neighbors, classmates, study groupmates, and friends; thus, we spent almost 24 hours together. I loved every second of it.). When I was going through a tough time, they were there for me. We cried together, listened to one another, and they felt my pain. For me, spending time with them was enough to cover all the sadness and their support lengthened my life, literally. We had to constantly forgive one another for shortcomings and stupid actions.

Be reminded that law school will let you experience professors who will make you doubt your academic strengths and highlight your weaknesses. You will also have to constantly forgive yourself for every time you think you’ve had a bad recitation. Law school will ask you to stay tough but in reality, to forgive will make you greater: both in works and in character.

AIM FOR EXCELLENCE OR DON’T DO IT AT ALL.

Law school’s culture is made for one to be the most excellent person that s/he can be. Failure is welcome in the process and people will understand if you fail in law school but due to the high standards of law schools, you can only fail a few times or else, you will face greater consequences that come with it.

When you go to law school, you have to set your mind that you must excel or don’t do it at all, for it is a shame to not give your best shot when you enter it. One of the best advices given to me is “preparations for the bar exams start in your first day in law school.” I took it seriously and it made me the best student that I can be.

Lastly, from what I know, some of the best law firms hire only the top 50 (perhaps, even less!) students per batch. This is a tough cut to get in. The law studies itself is already hard to pass but getting through the keen eyes of this industry’s employers are harder.

With these reminders, I will also leave you with a verse:

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

(Hebrew 10:35-36 NIV)

This verse continues to inspire me despite of me being on a break. It’s just as beautiful as the the Author who inscribed it in my heart. Do not EVER lose hope! Keep fighting for the dream that God has placed in you and He will be the One to bring you to the end.

Love,

Dana A.

Pressing On Toward The Goal: My Heart After Failing LAEs

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Taken during the EducationUSA’s Law School Fair in DLSU 20 April 2016

Apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:14, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” This is the verse that I’m holding so dear in my heart after the recent Law Admission Exams (LAEs).

Background Story:

Ever since I started studying Legal Management in DLSU, passing a law school right after graduation would always be in my prayer list. I would pray, read the Bible, and fast for it. I dedicated 4 years of my life (and I’m still praying for it!) for a law school that God prepared for me.

I know very well that it is my calling to be a servant of my God and country in the Judicial Department. In a prophesy spoken to me a few years ago, God further revealed in me that “I’m angry of injustice.” It is true; I hate how injustice affects the lives of people. I, myself, know the effects of it. This motivates me to know the law even more. I was so sure about pursuing a Law degree.

Come January 2015, I, once again, prayed and fasted for God to reveal what law school I should go to. I honestly believe that through His small and still voice that I heard, “U.P. Law.” (Trust me. I was astonished too.) He didn’t exactly say that I will go there as a law student but He answered my question of, “Lord, what law school should I pray for?” However, as I spent time with Him over the last few years and asked regarding law school, God would only say, “Just pray for it.”

And I did, alongside with the people who have faith in God and in me.

 

Today:

Now, I already failed U.P. LAE and San Beda’s LAE. Both are respectable law schools and my only choices.

San Beda College of Law released their results first. I cried non-stop for half a day because of it. What can I do? I was disappointed. I knew I did well. I heard the lies of the enemy so clearly:

Stupid.
Idiot.
Worst student.
Worthless.
Hopeless.
Trash.

Oh, those words stayed in my head longer than God’s comforting words! My spiritual family and friends comforted and encouraged me in my distress. Most importantly, they prayed for me when I couldn’t.

By His grace, I got over it after a few hours. The tears stopped coming out. I was able to receive His joy. I was surprised by the strength that I developed through it.

Two weeks later, U.P. LAE’s results came out. God, with His incredible humor, broke it to me gently about my failure.

It was a Sunday night when I saw a post with names and people were congratulating my acquaintances. I thought the names were for Ateneo LAE; I was checking who passed within my circle of friends until I realized that it was a list for U.P. LAE. I panicked and shouted, “THIS IS FOR U.P. LAE. I DIDN’T PASS U.P. LAE.”

Astounded; it took me a week to understand what happened. Yes, people were able to talk to me and I was in a mellow mood for days. I was physically and emotionally fine. However, Saturday came and I broke down in front of my Bible study group (DGroup, as we call it).

I realized that I was hurt – by God. It was hard for me to admit that I cannot fully trust God anymore. To me, instead of seeing Him as a promise-keeper, I was starting to see Him as another person who breaks promises. I also felt like I couldn’t rely on Him anymore because I believed in His promises as I surrendered my plans, and look at what happened. I was bruised by wrestling with God. I was tired.

His light enriched my darkened heart and mind as He spoke through my DGroup. Revelations poured out. One of my favorite quotes from my sister in Christ during that time was “What if God is more glorified in your pain rather than in your success?”

From then on, I stopped whining.

 

Lesson:

When God commands, do it. Expect nothing in return but do it because you love Him.

I learned the hard way. I wasn’t able to see that my dream of becoming a lawyer has become an idol for me. I expected so much from His promises and forgot why I was praying for it.

I do not know why God allowed this to happen or what I should do right now as I wait for His next instructions but I’m grateful. I’m thankful for everything. I wouldn’t know what strength is until I didn’t see my name on the lists of LAE results. I wouldn’t appreciate the people who truly waited and stood with me as I prayed and took exams. I wouldn’t understand rest if the anxieties of the future didn’t bother me. Lastly, I wouldn’t be able to comprehend and experience more of His wonderful character without this incident.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when they were about to be sent to a fiery furnace by King Nebuchadnezzar who ordered everyone to bow down before his gods said, “If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18 ESV) I pray that my faith will be like theirs; that even if God wouldn’t do anything about my requests, my faith will not waver.

LORD, You are good. I thank You for Your crafty works in my life. 

 

Thank you very much for reading!
Love,
Dana A.