What are the jobs waiting for 1,913 new lawyers in the Philippines? A commentary
Olongapo City, Zambales
Central Luzon, Philippines
2011 Bar Examinations results which circulated the other day in local, national and electronic global media gave high hopes for the 1,913 new and additional lawyers in the country. Certainly, results were crowning successes for those who made it within board, those who adequately hurdled and those who got enough ratings to pass. They are all the new attorneys of the land. Results were great reasons for elations, excitements and celebrations for each of the new lawyers.
Perhaps, job offers are now running after the uppermost bracket of the successful examinees, the top notcher to the tenth placer or until the 50th placer. How about offers for job opportunities for the 51st to 1,913th new lawyers? Hopefully, the numbers of government legal officer positions vacated by virtue of retirements this year will be able to absorb many if not all of the new attorneys.
Those who will not be accommodated simply because of shortage of vacancies can still be absorbed when Congress of the Philippines will enact and pass a bill creating the “position of a legal officer” in each barangay in the country. Though this sounds not very immediate employment but, it will be a very good approach to provide employment for the new lawyers. How much will be their salaries? Being, new in the barangay payroll will not be higher than the Barangay Captain. Will there be anyone interested?
Of course, the new lawyers will test the market of their services in the private sector. What are the private companies that will hire new lawyers whose extent of knowledge is until notary public services and without experience in legal litigations?
Definitely, landing to adequate lawyering jobs for most of the new lawyers will be the next hurdle to pass after passing the bar examinations. Considering the white collar job opportunities available in this country today, where cost cuttings are remedies that cannot be avoided in public and private sectors probably, some if not, many of the new lawyers will regret in the long run of becoming lawyers.
So, it is not unusual in a country where white collar jobs are taken more as status symbols without taking into considerations the chances of employability. Besides, the field is one of the crowded.
In the experiences of this writer, he had interacted with holders of professional degrees who preferred self-employments as owner-drivers of passenger jeepneys, taxis and the like. Some of them were engineers, doctors and even lawyers. There were those who settled teaching in local public and private colleges.
New lawyers fear private practice simply because of lack of experiences in legal litigation jobs. They will need time to work as assistants in established law firms with big and glittering names in the law profession in this country. Congratulations and good luck to the country’s 1,913 new lawyers.