I love getting mail from those who stray into this corner, and today, one greeted me from a “Lawyer Wannabe”. (You can email me at pinaynewyorker at gmail dot com). I didn’t get a name exactly so I am going genderless on this, and just reprint the note I got.
“Good afternoon po, Atty. I’ve read your blog po and naisipan ko mag-email. Sana di po ako nakadisturb.. Can you give me some tips on what to study for my entrance exam in SBC? This coming friday na po kasi. Ano po coverage ng exam? 🙂 Thank you!! “
I wanted to be able to sit down and write a full response but was presssed for time as it would be Thursday already by the time my reply was read. So I sat on the bus and postponed painting my face for until after I had written a reply. Time being of the essence, I tried to write a comprehensive response anyway.
Thanks for writing and no, I don’t consider emails from the blog readers a bother.
First of all, good luck!
Secondly, I hope that you were able to read the post on preparing for the exams..
Third– you have to keep in mind this is an aptitude test so there is really no general scope. They are trying to determine if you have the smarts for a legal education. There are no set parameters for review because they are probing what’s already in that coconut of yours. ( just a little humor.. I know you’re nervous.)
Fourth- with that said, what tips can I give you?
– Relax and calm your mind. Repeat over and over to yourself you want this — and yes, you can do it. Doubt will slow you down and the test is mostly under time pressure. Say 120 vocabulary terms in 30 minutes which means you need to answer 4 in a minute. They’re not trying to find the speed readers amongst you but it’s simply because if you had the word in your vocabulary, you wouldn’t even have to think about it.
– Pick the first answer that lights up and don’t second guess yourself. Again, they are looking at what’s already in there so even if it’s a guess, your brain is actually wired to pick that which it knows is true or correct. In the same way, your brain will guess wrong if you’re playing darts not really knowing anything. The tests are designed to see those guesses.
– I don’t remember the San Beda exam but if there is an essay question like Ateneo , answer the question and then explain. They are looking at your writing skills here. Can you form a coherent thought? Can you explain yourself clearly?
If the question is why do you want to be a lawyer, be honest. There is no right or wrong answer as they are looking at how you write. If it’s an opinion question, say, on the death penalty, your first sentence should declare your stand, (for or against). Write a complete sentence, do not say just Yes or no. (Yes, I believe in the death penalty.). Repeat the question if you must within the answer. Then explain.
Never start with “because. ”
Do not use “I think…”. Instead, use “I believe..”
Your last sentence should reinforce or reiterate your stand or first statement, even if it’s a repetition of your first sentence.
Trust that whatever the results are, wherever you land, there is a reason for it. UP said no to me, but I am grateful and happy I landed with the Jesuits. Whatever your faith is, whether you believe in God or not, know that the universe has a grand design. Don’t fight it, just go with the flow.
Dispossess your mind of the idea of being in a courtroom because lawyering is beyond litigation. I didn’t realize that until after law school, and I haven’t done any lawyering except for the periodic legal opinion request from friends who know I am one.
Do I feel like I wasted all that effort and time? No, I don’t. I had always dreamt of becoming a lawyer to be one– I didn’t want to be just a college graduate. I love studying the law and fought hard for it, even when it meant working while studying.
Am I ever going back to being one? I always say once a lawyer, always a lawyer– whether I am just being a mom or working up in my little perch in the corporate world where I am totally in a non-legal function.
Let me know how it goes and where you land. Very exciting times for you! I am fasting today and will say a little something to thenBig Boss upstairs soon as I hit send.
Best of luck!