New lawyers in Luzon, who made Bar’s top 10, bare plans
For the new lawyers from Luzon who cracked the top 10 spots of the recent Bar exams, serving the people and working immediately are among their top plans.
In Pampanga province, Grace Abigail Bautista, 25, and a graduate of the Angeles University Foundation School of Law (AUF SOL) in Angeles City, intends to work as an associate of her father’s law firm, the Viray Viray Balatbat Utulo Carlos Dayrit Yumul Law Office in Pampanga’s capital city of San Fernando, where her father is a senior partner.
“After the oath-taking and roll-signing, I’d probably take my time to process everything first, then come New Year, I’ll officially join my father’s law office,” she said.
Bautista, a resident of Lubao town ranked 9th in the recently concluded Bar exams with a grade of 88.0625, becoming the first from her school to make it to the Bar’s top 10 examinees.
Bautista is the only child of a lawyer from Pampanga’s Guagua town, and a housewife from Lubao.
She studied public management at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City and graduated in 2018.
After college, she worked for a year as a paralegal and a legal researcher for her father’s law firm in San Fernando.
“I feel overwhelmed but very thankful. I am thankful to God, my family, and friends for their support since day one, but I’m especially grateful to AUF SOL and my professors. They made sure I was prepared for the bar not only academically but also mentally and emotionally,” she told the Inquirer over the phone on Tuesday.
Bautista added: “This achievement is not only mine but also my school and everyone who supported me and took me there.”
Free legal service
Meanwhile, Zes Trina Bañares Non, 27, a law graduate of the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) in Legazpi City, was praying inside a church when the Bar results were released on Tuesday. Non only learned that she landed on the 10th spot through her brother.
Non had told her father Ariel, the mayor of Jose Panganiban town in Camarines Norte, that once she passed the bar, she would render free legal service to the community for at least one year before joining the Public Attorney’s Office.
She said in a phone interview Tuesday night that from the very start, she had a strong feeling that she would pass the exams.
“The series of exams was so hard but I did it because of my positive attitude coupled with prayers to God,” she added.
Leandro Millano, dean of UST Legazpi, said Non and Nathaniel Niño Tang, who ranked 4th in the Bar, were really good and consistent honor students.
“We are really happy with the result and it is expected that they will land in the Top 10 considering their standing in class, particularly the way they explain (direct to the point) in the essay writing exams,” Millano said.
In Bulacan, a 25-year-old fresh graduate of Bulacan State University (BulSU) College of Law placed 12th in the Bar exams.
Cedric Jerome Moya Cruz, a court decongestion officer of the Bulacan Regional Trial Court, was among the 16 out of 19 BulSU law graduates who passed the 2023 Bar.
Cruz, a resident of Barangay Sabang, City of Baliwag, said he was still in disbelief after hearing the news.
“My wish is to just pass, but I was even luckier. It was a real blessing that I placed 12th,” he told the Inquirer by phone.
It was the second time a BulSU law graduate made it to the top bar examiners after Ronel Buenaventura who placed 10th in 2016.
REPORTS FROM JUN A. MALIG, MICHAEL B. JAUCIAN AND CARMELA REYES-ESTROPE INQ