Just letting you know, this girl is going back to school!
It has been three years since I have last taken an exam for school, read a mountain load of cases, and endless pages of annotated textbooks. It has also been three years since I have last stood up for a recitation, sometimes wishing for the ground to swallow me whole whenever I gave the wrong answer (haha). But with all these, I really missed law school. Studying the law is like unlocking a puzzle. A complex one, at that.
At work, someone asked me why I wanted to be a lawyer. It’s because I want to help in making our world a better place. Or well, the country I live in, at the very least. I wanted to make a difference. After all, working to represent someone in his or her time of need–being an “officer of the court” as my undergrad professor in Legal Ethics once said–is a great privilege. Once, I wanted to be just another lawyer, working in just another law firm (this is NOT meant to disparage friends working in law firms–I have the UTMOST respect for them), but I wanted to do something different. I didn’t have a clear idea of what exactly what I wanted back then, though.
When I started working in this government institution, I felt like I had a “eureka” moment of sorts. Law and science do make a great team. I kid you not, they do. The government sadly, doesn’t give much priority to science. The budget allotted can tell you that. I want to work for–and with scientists as far–or as much as I can with the profession I chose.
Just a while ago, I Googled for laws or legislations that help the scientists in the Philippines. And I can count them with my ten fingers (with four more to spare–so you can imagine how many they are).
They’re just six. Man, that’s not a lot. Someone has to do something about it. And if there’s more laws for scientists, kindly let me know, and I will gladly partake of humble pie.
This is what I want to go (back) to law school for.
If you ask, what can the law can do for science? Well, working with legislators to make laws helping Filipino scientists can be one contribution. At the moment, I am reading a very interesting article about the development of science in the Philippines. It is sad to note that some of the problems in the 1960s are still problems faced by Filipino scientists more than fifty years later.
I would be lying, however, if I point out only the negatives. There are some improvements too. There are now science high schools who train very capable and competent students. One can apply to become a Career Scientist, which is pretty much an honour–my father is one. There many other ways for a scientist to be recognised.
And these are baby steps. I pray and hope that these steps would grow and progress further.
My wish is that the government would give a better priority to science–next to education and defence. Why? It can change the quality of peoples’ lives–directly and indirectly.
I am really looking forward to the day I can work for and with scientists. For now, I will take baby steps to achieve that dream.
*NB: In the Philippines, Law is considered as a graduate degree. Which means anyone who wants to study law has to complete an undergraduate degree, which is what we call “pre-law”. Any course is fine. I have a fraternity brother who is a registered pharmacist before he went to law school. A friend is a mechanical engineer. My favourite person at work studied Physics in uni, before she studied law. There are, however, courses that people are advised to take or study if one decides to go to law school. They are: Political Science, Accountancy, and Legal Management, which is an equivalent of Paralegal Studies. This was what I studied when I was in uni.