[Blueboard] Fwd: Vocation Week - 1st day Reflection

lblanco at aps.ateneo.edu lblanco at aps.ateneo.edu
Tue Feb 24 17:02:41 PHT 2009

Please post.  Thank you.

Vocation Week
February 16-20, 2009
Ateneo Professional Schools
Rockwell, Makati

Reflection for the 1st day
(February 16 - shared during the Homily period at 12:15pm Mass)

Coming from a family of doctors, and coming from a little town in the
province where lawyers are perceived as the trouble makers, always
trying to get one over their fellowmen? going into law school was the
farthest thing on my mind during college? I didn?t want to pursue a
career where townsfolk would avoid you or look at you warily upon the
very mention of your profession. I wanted then to be a Doctor, the
healer, the one people flock to for help when they are sick... the
one, as is jokingly said on our little town, who is next to the priest
in terms of respect.

But as in every person?s life, an event happens that changes one?s
perspective and makes one mature overnight? mine was when my dad
passed away when I was in college? suddenly, I was left with my mom
and four other sisters? being the eldest, I then had the notion that I
had to be the protector of the family? and to be the protector, I had
to know the law and what my rights are? thus I made up my mind that I
had to become a lawyer?

It is in law school where you will meet your future colleagues in the
profession, your future opponents in cases? maybe, even your future
enemies? it is also in law school where you meet people with reasons
on why they want to become lawyers? some are in it for the money, some
are following their parent?s wishes, some want recognition or have
political ambitions, some even consider law school as being an
extension of college (or even high school!), really lots of reasons?
but for me, the most important reason of all (and I hope the
underlying one for all others) is the desire to serve?

So from wanting to just be a protector of my family I now wanted to
serve? I was still a student of law when I joined the Ateneo Human
Rights Center. And it was there where I saw that there was another
side to lawyering? where the student studies the law and serves the
people? not the people who can afford to pay lawyer?s fees or give you
a hefty success fee, but specifically the people who cannot even earn
enough to feed themselves?

The Center introduced me to the concept of alternative lawyering? yes,
the pay might never equal the one received by colleagues of mine in
the big law firms, but lawyering with the poor opened to me an avenue
where I know my skills will be better appreciated and put to good use.

Now, that im already a lawyer, and a member of the Center, aside from
being an alternative lawyer, I am also a mentor and I think I have my
work cut out for me as I try to help mold young law students and
introduce them to a concept of lawyering where its not all about them,
but all about service to the poor and marginalized.

Atenean lawyers will eventually find themselves in positions of power
or influence when they graduate, and it is important for them to be
grounded in realities and not focused on their own selves.

Internship Director
Ateneo Human Rights Center

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