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Position Paper: “Why I Teach Law” by Fr. R.C. Aquino

15 Feb

I take the negative position (choosing the Bar over graduate studies of law). However, this does not mean that I oppose to the position of Fr. Aquino nor subscribe to his critic as mentioned in the article. For me, it is just a matter of priority.

I have the chance to understand the two different views from my own personal experience. I have passion for both science and mathematics. When I was young, I wanted to be a scientist. When I came to understand the practicalities of life, I have to defer that dream of “pure” science for some “applied” profession in order to survive in the society. I chose to be an engineer. While I love every aspect of quantum physics and the theory of relativity, I had to settle for classical physics and engineering mechanics. I actually never had the opportunity to choose. If only I was given a bountiful life where I can depart from “matching type” of career selection (rather than multiple choice or fill in the blanks), I will choose to be a purist, and dedicate my life for academic excellence and service to mankind.

Between a Master or even a Doctor of Laws and a Member of the Bar, again, I would have to yield to the latter. Not that I undermine the kind of academic superiority of the former, but because of futility in losing an opportunity to live practically and compensate materially. Similarly, there is less than promising future for my family should I choose to be a scientist as compared to the versatility and marketability of an engineer. Unlike in first world countries, we do not have sufficient support for these kinds of people in research and advancement. Should I choose in the future to pursue graduate studies (of law), I will have to devote more time in studying (and spending) than earning for my kids. But if I had all the time and resources to raise my family well, I would have chosen to be an academician and discuss law the same way as Fr. Aquino did. Otherwise, it would practically be like living in isolation (from my own family). I can’t. It just ceased to be my priority.

Oftentimes I was deprived acceptance of my opinions regarding some matters of law from which I devoted time, effort and extensive research which I believe others, not even lawyers, have done on certain special laws. It is just not fair. Just because they are lawyers and I am not one does it automatically follow that I am not competent to discuss a law or any of its provision? I can only validly agree with Fr. Aquino’s last statement that the prefix of “Atty.” before his name is immaterial in teaching law. But in my case, who needs an additional title when I already have one – “Engr.”? For me, the title of “Atty.” would just be incidental. It will still be substance of a person over his title.

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2013 in Legal Ethics

 

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