Making a difference by being different despite being a lawyer

01:00 AM May 11, 2016

To the new 1,731 lawyers:

We jubilate with you and your loved ones for successfully going through the traditional rite of passage called the bar exams. We warmly welcome you to the club.


When the dust of ecstasy has settled, we humbly ask you to pause, look back, gaze forward and ask: What is this all for?

To become just one among the multitude of lawyers who come and go as fleeting specks in the universe, content with the tried and tested road or comfort zone of traditional practice, carving a niche for yourself to live the life of peace and quiet?


Or heaven forbid, become a greedy ambulance chaser, or bask in the floodlights for narcissistic desires, or prey on hapless clients like a vulture, or justify the odds by saying that the first thing we do is to kill all the lawyers for being a disgrace not only to the profession but to the human race?

Or would you consider taking that choice and the path less taken, even opening new trails, to make a difference in the lives of the many who are needy, who are being persecuted, or who have long suffered as underdogs?

With your prestigious title for which you worked hard, what ultimately will define you in the true bar of society is neither your school, grade or rank nor will it be whether you took the bar not once or twice or even thrice, but whether your services are for the people or for a hefty price or glittering prize.

But that is neither here nor there for now. Cherish and relish the feeling of the title. Then buckle down to be real instruments of truth and servants of justice, ethical and fair, human and decent, and make a difference by being different.

Despite or in spite of being a lawyer.

—EDRE U. OLALIA, secretary general, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, [email protected]

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