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THE LEGAL PROFESSION

by: Earnswell P Tan

The Legal Profession is a vocation. It is a vocation in a sense that it is carried out more
for its altruistic benefit rather than for income. In the case of Malecdan vs Pekas the Supreme
Court said that the compensation of a lawyer should be but a mere incident of the practice of
law, the primary purpose of which is to render public service. The practice of law is a
profession and not a money-making trade.
It is a vocation in a sense that it is a calling wherein many were called but only a few
where chosen or those that actually made it to become a lawyer. Every person is destined to
become something or someone but it is up to that person to determine the type of calling and
to how each person responds to that call. The term vocation is mostly used to refer to those
who become priests, nuns, and the clergy but the term vocation is not exclusive to them. We
are called to serve God and our neighbors with everything that we are and we have in
everything that we do. That includes not only on the spiritual aspect but as well as within ones
profession. So, the legal profession can and should be a calling, as an instrument of service to
God and our fellowmen. The great question before us is can a person serve God and the
neighbors as lawyer? This question is very difficult to respond to because in the eyes of the
populace, the legal system is too corrupt and full of lies. There are occasions wherein the legal
system is corrupted but this is not absolute. There still many in the profession who are true to
their work. There are lawyers who maintain a close relationship with God. A good example is a
lawyer is who is a champion of the poor. And so if the practice of law is a calling, the practice
itself must be character building.
The practice of law itself is supportive of virtue and a character building activity. Some
would say that one should separate his personal life from his/her work life, but this is not true.
The personal life and work life must be in unison. We must be the same and the very person in
everything that we do. As the saying goes we are what we do. One simply cannot be different
in one role than one is in other roles. Being a good lawyer makes one a good person, and
being a good person makes one a good lawyer. The legal profession should equip lawyers to
better serve God and neighbor in the administration of justice.
The Legal Profession is a vocation because lawyers should maintain certain values, and
the most important value is justice.

The ultimate aim in the legal profession is the

administration of justice. The legal profession would perish if members of the bench and bar do
not possess the virtue of justice. In Art. 19 of the New Civil Code provides that every person
must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties, act with justice, give
everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith. In Canon 4 of the Code of Professional

Responsibility, it provides that lawyers shall participate in the development of the legal system
by initiating or supporting efforts in law reform and in the improvement of the administration of
justice. Also, in Canon 12 of the same Code it provides that a lawyer shall exert every effort
and consider it his duty to assist in the speedy and efficient administration of justice. As a
lawyer, justice should be the cornerstone of the everyday pursuit of the calling. In the case of
Pineda vs Atty. De Jesus the Supreme Court mentioned that lawyers should be reminded that
they are members of an honorable profession, the primary vision of which is justice.
Ultimately, the legal profession, at its best, is characterized as a vocation, and that it
fosters development of virtue especially the virtue of justice. Through the legal profession, a
lawyer can still serve God and his neighbors.

For that reason, the legal profession is a

vocation. As a vocation, the legal profession should inspire not just lawyers but everybody in
the service of God and neighbors. Lawyers should be role models and be heroes to be
emulated. Be it a reminder to all and not just lawyers that God is in the midst of all that we do
and that the legal profession no less than any other place in Gods creation is is a sacred
place. In the legal profession, one should bear in mind that God is our employer.