The three law schools in the University Town have produced 28 new lawyers who took the 2022 Bar examination.
Silliman University produced 14 new lawyers (11 first-takers and three re-takers); Foundation University had 12 passers; while the Negros Oriental State University had two Bar passers.
According to Atty. Jesus Ramon Quevenco, dean of the FU College of Law, they are pleased with the results of 12 passers since these were graduates who took three years of their law studies in a virtual set-up at the height of the pandemic.
Also, “more than 90 percent of our student population are working professionals, not full time students, who balance work-family-studies to attain their life-long dream of becoming lawyers,” Quevenco noted.
He added that the absence of a local testing center in Dumaguete had posed a challenge to their Bar takers who had to adjust with the new environment for their pre-Bar review and the actual Bar exams, resulting in additional financial burden.
On the other hand, Atty. Manuel Arbon, dean of the NORSU College of Law, assured that their Bar passers would not have to be worried about acquiring jobs in the future. “They may be endorsed to different law firms and offices in the government and in the private sector that are engaged in the judicial or legal services, so there could be a memorandum of agreement with these particular offices; eventually, they might be hired in the same offices,” he said.
New lawyer Ivy Cara Sangangbayan, a Latin honoree at Foundation University, wrote in her Facebook status that she had cried multiple times, experienced panic attacks, went through depression at law school, and as she was reviewing for the Bar.
“There was no semester in my law school journey that I didn’t question myself if I really want this or if I will still continue my law school. I [would] smile and laugh in school but when I’m alone at home in my room, I [would] overthink and spend time in my restroom repeating what I have to do and study,” she wrote in her status.
She also recalled the times when comments made by her law professors scared her, and the pressure she endured as she received Latin honors. She said her fear and the pressure motivated her instead to focus, to be disciplined, and determined to pursue her dream of becoming a lawyer.
“These experiences made me stronger, and tested my limits. These are all part of the process, and these things helped me realize to lean not on my own understanding but God’s divine power. Passing the Bar might be difficult but it is not impossible,” she wrote on her Facebook.
Another new lawyer, Maria Sylvia Bais-Raico from NORSU, recalled that it was never easy reviewing for the Bar and juggling with having to work full time as court stenographer, and being a full-time mother.
“At the start of my review in June 2022, I was admitted to the hospital due to dengue; my review was put on hold for three weeks. Then in August, my daughter was admitted to the hospital due to acute bronchitis; my review was also paused for a week,” she recalled.
“Despite the financial and emotional challenges, the support of my family inspired me and pushed me to my limits to take the Bar. I feel very happy and proud because I have achieved my childhood dream of becoming a lawyer,” said Atty. Bais-Raico said. (Keigh Dano & James Duka/SU Masscom interns)