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Summer, so far: Law firm internship (aka Getting my Ally McBeal on)

Someone asked me on my question box how I'm spending my vacation, given the 4-month break thanks to the UP calendar shift. Our classes start in August this coming school year, so I still have until July to enjoy freedom and embrace it with open arms.

So far, I've spent most the last two months doing what any normal law student (I assume!) would do: bum around and savor this justified (and probably even much-deserved) laziness. I can be completely not productive and NOT FEEL BAD ABOUT IT. Or be productive with other stuff I actually enjoy, like read books for leisure or learning songs on the piano. Basta, guilt-free and totally acceptable. I've been sleeping and waking up to the feeling of stress and panic every day during the school year, so to have the luxury of doing absolutely nothing is just all kinds of glorious and wonderful.

But of course, to spend the entire four months on Bum Mode isn't exactly a great idea either - well, at least for me. I didn’t want to be too idle because then I might never want to go back to school again. Haha! So I decided to apply for an internship at a law firm, in hopes of making me feel like I'm still a law student despite the break. Or actually, it's more of, convincing myself that I am a competent enough law student to be thrown into the real setting.

And now here I am, working behind a desk, trying to draft pleadings, revising appeals, putting together formal offer of exhibits – actual legal work. The most frustrating thing for me about law school is that our professors only see us as case-readers, codal-absorbers, and exam-takers. Of course that is what legal education is about, and that is how we are supposed to be taught the foundations of the law. But that’s not all that the profession is about. Your performance in school may or may not necessarily be reflective of your worth as a student of a law. It shouldn't.

Sometimes, we forget that.

So here I am.

To work in a firm and to know that one is being trusted with actual legal work – the real deal – that’s definitely affirming. And while I’ve come to accept the fact that the “business” of a law school (i.e. the business of being mean, unkind, and not at all encouraging) is something I cannot escape, there’s hope that I still may be able to survive it after all. If I can hold my own in a law firm, drafting up pleadings and trying to come up with defenses for a hearing, then I’m sure as hell I can do just as well in school. I have to, and I will.

I’m glad and fortunate to be given substantial work in my office. Drafting pleadings makes me hit two birds with one stone: doing a lot of writing (which I miss), and learning much about the law as applied in practice. It truly is a great experience, and so far, I’m glad to have taken this opportunity to make myself feel better about where I’m at and where I’m heading.

So yes, friends, I am officially a working girl now (and in Makati, no less!) At least for the meantime.

Here’s to hoping I get my Ally McBeal on.

Cue theme song! I've been searching my soul tonight, I know there's so much more to life. Now I know I can shine a light, to find my way back home… oooh yeaaah…