BEST FOUR YEARS OF MY LIFE

By RONALD. C. CHUA

Not quite so long ago, I found myself walking in the modern pathways of Rockwell. In the midst of the extravagant high rise condominiums and luxurious mall, there stood the building that houses the Ateneo School of Law. I was then a new graduate seeking to find my own place amongst the top graduates of the top universities who, like myslef, are there to live a dream.

I chose Ateneo Law because it is considered by many to be the best law school in the country. And I looked forward to the fact that after four gruelling years, I will graduate with a Juris Doctor Degree instead of a Bachelor’s Degree Major in Law.  My narcissism aside, I chose Ateneo Law because of its overall mission of evangelization understood not only as a proclamation of Christian faith, but also as life witness especially to a faith that accomplishes justice. This means that its goal is the formation of lawyers who are not only skilled in the science and art of the law, but also imbued with a burning passion for justice and the fervent desire to help others.

I was told that it is during the four years of high school when I will meet life-long friends and it is during the four years of college when I will be trained and prepared for the real world. But what I can truly say is that it is during the four years of law school when I met some of my life-long friends and was really trained and prepared for the real world.

My fours years were not without a glitch. My bad recitation days turned from worse to worst, the sleepness nights were not few and far between, and the pages and pages of readings became stacks and stacks of paper after four years. I even observed that while most students use their books and bags to cover their heads when crossing the street on rainy days, Ateneo Law students use their bodies to shield their books and cases from the rain.

Every experience during those four years from staring blankly at a professor’s seemingly unanswerable questions to organizing student programs and events has contributed to the lawyer that I now am.

When the Ateneo has set me out to the open with little wings of my own fluttering into the unknown, I was confident that I was equipped with not only the knowledge obtained from distinguished professors but also with sufficient moral and spiritual standards that I will live by for the years to come.  Being a lawyer in a society where a lawyer is said to be anything but virtuous, it has been a challenging journey from day one. Fortunately, I am in possession of an Atenean education which enabled me to overcome each stumbling block.

Looking back, my conviction remains. The choice that I had made years back was the best choice I have made considering that in the legal world, you don’t just see an Atenean lawyer at every turn of the road, Atenean lawyers excel and are considered leaders in the legal profession.

My eternal quest for reaching out to people in need of justice, my zeal in closing each case and bringing the truth to the open, my unfaltering hope that there are answers to all legal questions and issues and that there is a common ground where agreement is always possible, have constantly reminded me that finishing law school in spite and because of all its hardships has been and will always be worth it.  Given the power to turn back the hands of time, I will choose to enroll in Ateneo Law on any given day and twice on Sunday. But knowing this is not possible, I settled for the next best thing… teach in the Ateneo School of Law.