Never compromise your integrity, 2018 Bar passers told

/ 04:45 PM June 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Hard work is the foundation of your dreams and never compromise your integrity.

These were the words of advice given by incoming Chairperson for the 2019 Bar exams, Supreme Court Associate Justice Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe, to the 1,800 passers of the 2018 Bar Exams who took oath at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City on Wednesday afternoon.


Have an unrelenting work attitude

Bernabe reminded the new lawyers that natural talent cannot substitute hard work in their profession, adding that perfect beginnings for starting lawyers are rare.


“First, hard work is the foundation of your dreams. Keep in mind that no matter how talented or naturally gifted you are, there is no substitute for hard work,” Bernabe said.

Bernabe added that equipping oneself with an unrelenting work attitude would go a long way for lawyers.

“As one famous line even goes, “perseverance is the secret of all triumphs.” And so, cultivate an unyielding work ethic and ingrain it deeply in your system that it becomes a way of life,” Bernabe said.

“Never shortchange yourselves or your employers with the quality of your effort. No matter how you fare in the early days of your career, know that improvement comes from an unrelenting work attitude,” Bernabe added.

Wear your integrity like a badge

While recognizing that opting to work in a financially-stable job is a choice for some lawyers, Bernabe reminded the Bar passers that their integrity should be “non-negotiable.”

“Second, and more importantly, in whatever you decide to do, never compromise your integrity. I am certain that the title of an ‘attorney’ will open you to a whole new world of opportunities,” Bernabe said.


“But, at the end of it all, always remember that in whatever opportunity you choose, your integrity is non-negotiable,” Bernabe added.

Bernabe also advised the new lawyers to “wear your integrity like a badge,” adding that a lawyer’s legacy is measured by the number of lives touched by their profession.

“And so, wear your integrity like a badge, firmly stamped on every legal work. Do not be lured by the artificial glimmer of power or money,” Bernabe said.

“After all, your legacy in this profession will not be measured by how much wealth you have gained or any status you have achieved, but rather, by the number of lives you have touched in fighting for the cause of the oppressed in a world filled with injustice,” Bernabe added.

Do not be afraid to take calculated risks

Sharing her experience as a starting lawyer back in the days, Bernabe reminded the new lawyers that experience is life’s “greatest teacher,” and advised them not to be afraid of taking calculated risks.

“My young lawyers, you will have your own lives to live, and your own stories to tell. As authors of your individual careers, never allow anybody else to hold the pen,” Bernabe said.

“Banish the illusion of perfection, and do not be afraid to take calculated risks. I have often heard it said: when making a choice, go with your heart even if it terrifies you,” Bernabe added.

Justice Mariano C. del Castillo, 2018 Bar Chairperson, earlier said that the passing rate of the latest Bar exam was at 22.07% with only 1,800 of the 8,155 examinees successfully passing the examination.

Ateneo de Manila University law school valedictorian Sean James B. Borja topped the Bar exam with an over-all rating of 89.31 percent.  (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)

READ: FULL LIST: 2018 Bar Examination result

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