A law graduate of the University of San Jose -Recoletos landed on the Top 15 spot of the November 2017 bar examination results, which was announced by the Supreme Court (SC) last April 26.
Atty. Stephanie A. Claros, who graduated in March 2017, was firstly unaware of her achievement when her phone rang endlessly with greetings from her colleagues and friends.
“I said to myself that my chances of topping the bar were slim since the number of the barristers was overwhelming,” she said.
She continued that there had been a leakage of the names of the Top Ten prior to the announcement of the results. When Atty. Claros saw that hers wasn’t on the list, she became disinterested about the official release and logged off the internet. Then, her phone was flooded with congratulatory messages and she learned for the first time, the SC had released the Top 20 with her name on it.
In preparing for the bar exam, she said that the key to studying law is just self-discipline.
“You have to develop your own study habit. Reviewing for the bar doesn’t take place after you graduate. It starts in your first year,” she said.
She also said it’s important that the law school pay close attention to the syllabus. In USJ-R, for example, the development of the syllabus by the faculty member for each subject is given high freedom by the dean which resulted into a good selection of cases and jurisprudence.
Atty. Jonathan P. Capanas, dean of the School of Law, had also set-up a mentoring program which Claros believed was helpful for the barristers. Each faculty member was assigned to a barrister and the barristers were required to make a schedule.
“It’s a results-based (program) where if in one week you would want to finish a 500-page book, you divide that task per day and then into per hour. In that schedule you allot a two-hour study, a 15-minute break, and a time for second-reading or third-reading,” she said.
The mentoring program showed how the school still kept in touch post-graduation, she added.
At present, Atty. Claros works as a Court Decongestion Officer (CDO) in the Lapu-Lapu City Hall of Justice. She disliked being a typical and workaholic lawyer who chases clients to old age so she wanted to have an exposure with the different kinds of lawyers before specializing in a field.
Her future plans include opening a human rights and labor center with a research arm and helping the USJ-R School of Law in their program for the barristers.
“For the aspiring lawyers, as early as first year, have the discipline and endurance to finish law school and take the bar… Once you’re a lawyer, help the justice system and don’t settle for careerism. See to it that justice is done,” she said.
Written by Justin Tecson
University of San Jose - Recoletos
Year Founded 1947