Meandering mind

Meandering mind

By Atty. Eduardo T. Reyes III

“I’m tired of doing the impossible for the ungrateful” lamented Denzel Washington while assuming the role of Roman J, in a movie.

Roman J is based on the true story of a lawyer in California who struggled with moral and ethical issues in the legal profession.

Back in the Philippines, during one of the seminars for lawyers, a T-shirt on sale outside the venue became popular because it was printed with the words: “I’m a lawyer, not a magician”.

                Stories of lawyers abound, in or out of court. Legal dramas stir emotions and captivate the imagination whether fictionally or in real life. Every aspect of daily life has legal repercussions. Each piece of news, whether controversial or mundane, is a budding legal issue that could land in court.

Necessarily, lawyers must be called upon to dispense advice, prosecute or defend, or “do the impossible”.

The legal profession has glamour written all over it. Even in the time of the pandemic, 11,402 aspirants took the 2020-2021 Bar exams in the common hope of becoming lawyers. Anytime in the coming weeks, a new batch of lawyers will be announced by the Supreme Court after they took the 2022 Bar exams.

What is it in the legal profession that swirls the imagination?

Some say it is a noble profession. Others assert that it is lucrative. Yet still others just simply want to do a different kind of public service.

This job is not for the faint-hearted, though. (Metaphorically speaking, as this columnist has a heart condition known as atrial fibrillation). This is because the suspense in every turn of every case that is brought to court could figuratively – and literally, too- kill the ones with a weakened heart.

And then, there is the client factor.

Perhaps just like a psychiatrist who must listen and absorb the tempests in their patients’ lives, a lawyer, too, must listen to what their clients bewail, ie., who or what they hate.

Lawyers may look like tough nuts to crack inside the courtroom; but deep inside, they seek for the resounding approval of their clients. The gladiator in litigation is but a mere armor that lawyers must wear as they thrust themselves into battle for their clients’ causes. But inside the shell is a person with tender feelings.

So, Roman J.’s lamentation of getting tired of doing the impossible for the ungrateful resonates in every lawyer.

What keeps intact the sanity of the lawyer is his/ her unwavering faith that he/ she is seeking justice for the client.

Yes, every challenge involving a legal cause is an impossible task given that in every case, a piece of the lawyer’s heart is given away for so long as he/ she does the job in all sincerity.

Lawyers are not magicians; but they can wield the magic wand when they eagerly study the law and jurisprudence and apply them in good conscience to the facts deftly assimilated in a case.

So, are you contemplating of becoming a lawyer?

May these thoughts coming from a meandering mind, one delightful afternoon, in his law office with a nice view of the road outside being kissed by rays from the sinking sun, help you with the answer.

(The author is the senior partner of ET Reyes III & Associates– a law firm based in Iloilo City. He is a litigation attorney, a law professor and a law book author. His website is etriiilaw.com).


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