Published 25 December 2023, The Daily Tribune

It is Christmas time. For this column, it is the time of year that I write on topics not related to law. Kindly allow me to share with you, dear readers, the condensed message I delivered to our new Thomasian lawyers. It certainly applies to all lawyers who recently took their oath. The gist of the message is to have a heart of gratitude and to do the little things extraordinarily well, both from the human and divine perspectives.

First, having a heart of gratitude.

By now, you would know that no one who achieves success does so without the help of others.

My newly minted Thomasian lawyers, as you receive praises and congratulatory remarks, remember that on the back end, there were many people, along with the great power of God, who had enabled you to put in efforts and make you capable of entering this profession.

I hope that as you celebrate today for passing the Bar, and even in the weeks ahead for taking the oath, signing the roll, signing your first pleading, appearing for the first time in court, and learning your new job, I encourage you to take time to humbly thank your family, friends, professors, mentors, and others who helped you to persist and cross the finish line. 

Passing the Bar is surely a reward for the things you have done out of your hard work, diligence, and effort. Still, it is also a great motivation for what is to come, what more you can do, and what you can contribute to your country, society, the legal profession, and your UST family.

This success is an encouragement to do your best in all things, to reach greater heights, and to serve more people. This is also an encouragement to inspire others by being an example of not only living for oneself and striving for one’s achievements but also living for others and sharing one’s skills and knowledge.

Second, the importance of little things.

When it comes to life, we often focus on the bigger things, such as our careers, education, and relationships. However, if we take the time to step back and appreciate the little things in life, we can truly be blessed. God created us with many special gifts and blessings that are often overlooked or taken for granted.

The importance of little things should not be new to you. You know that little things such as a final skim through of a reviewer, last-minute lectures, a parent’s hug, and even that moment of silence of personal time with the Lord before taking an exam make such a huge difference. These little things greatly impact how we perform.

My dear children-in-law, as you pursue your chosen path, whether you decide to go into private practice, government service, the academe, or even to put up your own law firm or manage your family business, or whatever your heart leads you to, remember to offer your work to God.

Draft your pleadings as if you were presenting before God, attend your hearings as if you were appearing before God, and advocate for justice and righteousness because these things bring honor to God.

But even the “little” things, such as dressing appropriately, sending an email, and meeting a client, should be done with extraordinary love to bring honor to God. Do not forget that these “little” things should also be done with love and glory to God. In other words, do the little things required by your practice of the profession extraordinarily well, for the love of God.

When we “commit” our work to the Lord, we offer everything we do entirely to Him. Truly committing our decisions and lives to God means stepping back from what we think we want and honestly contemplating what God wants us to do.

It means taking our successes, failures, plans, and questions not purely from the legal perspective but also taking into account the supernatural or divine dimension. It means seeking answers through trusted godly counsel and the lens of justice to help us make decisions based on what is right, fair, just, and equitable.

If we commit every little thing to such perspective, we will undoubtedly contribute to a better society amidst all the adversities that life presents.

Merry Christmas!

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