Viewpoints of Paranoid Law Students

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Studying the Law

Judge Learned Hand once said: “They taught me, not by precept, but by example, that nothing is more commendable, and more fair, than that a man should lay aside all else, and seek truth; not to preach what he might find; and surely not to try to make his views prevail; but, like Lessing, to find his satisfaction in the search itself.”

Studying law is itself a search for the wisdom of the past as applied in the situations of a present case. It also is the act of deciphering the truth behind the words of the commander to effectuate his purpose in promulgating the law and the justice he wittingly imbued within the context of that law. In essence, therefore, it is the act of seeking the truth and justice within the law which is a product of the wisdom of the past.

I entered law school with the same purpose of seeking the wisdom, truth and justice behind the monuments of the law. But I realized that my law school demands not to seek them but to memorize the concrete words that make up the monuments of the law. The prevalent thinking is that “law is nothing but a set of rules to be memorized.” The accuracy of the answer in questions promulgated by the professor in the class is not dependent upon the wisdom, truth and justice that the law embodies but upon the ability of the student to accurately recite the codal provisions.

But I do not disclaim the fact that codal provisions are not to be memorized. In fact, I opined that it must and it is necessary for a law student to make such memorization without which, passing the bar examinations would be an impossible dream. However, emphasis should be given more on the analytical side rather than on the mere recital of a set of rules and maxims because a lawyer or even a judge will never be praise on his ability “to preach what he might find” in the law but how he “seek the truth” and applied the wisdom he had sought in the cases he handle.


At 10:20 PM, Blogger -jbertz- said...

hayop ka sagabaen! hehehe. ayos ah, i hope that has nothing to do with giving up your hopes. :)


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