Long Stories

1. When I was in private practice, the boutique firm where I worked rarely took walk-in clients. This was not because we were snooty lawyers who turned down work we deemed to be beneath our level (although I admit there was a certain pride to be had working for my firm), but because it took some effort to reach our office. The office was (and still is) on the eighth floor of what was designed in the sixties as a seven story building in the heart of Makati. Sometimes, when both elevators servicing the building would conk out, ours was an office on the top floor of an eight-story walkup with some of the worst parking in the country. As Randy Pausch would later explain, this was, in its own way, a filter to ensure that only those who really wanted us got us. Continue reading “Long Stories”


On Being a Lawyer

Today is the first Sunday of the 2008 Bar Examinations.

To commemorate the occasion, the PDI published a short essay written by the late Anski del Castillo. I only really met her once, at our oath-taking. She stood with me and my law school friends as we promised the country to be good and ethical lawyers.

According to the PDI, this was written shortly before that April morning. To do her memory justice, and as we say in the practice, the said letter is herein quoted in full:

In the Philippines, when you say you’re a lawyer, people react in different ways. You sometimes get respect or deference, sometimes a bit of awe. There are of course those who treat you with suspicion, or even hate. Remember that most popular of all Shakespearean quotations? “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” (Henry VI, Part II, Act IV) Continue reading “On Being a Lawyer”