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Lawyer's Oath

I _______ do solemnly swear that I will maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines, I
will support the Constitution and obey the laws as well as the legal orders of the duly constituted
authorities therein; I will do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court; I will not
wittingly or willingly promote or sue any groundless, false or unlawful suit, or give aid nor
consent to the same; I will delay no man for money or malice, and will conduct myself as a
lawyer according to the best of my knowledge and discretion, with all good fidelity as well to the
courts as to my clients; and I impose upon myself these voluntary obligations without any mental
reservation or purpose of evasion. So help me God.

Legal counseling is the art of giving advice and information concerning the solution of a legal
problem arising from a given state of facts and the adoption of appropriate reliefs or remedies
under the law for the satisfaction and enforcement of a legal obligation before a judicial or quasi-
judicial body.
Court of Justice is a judicial body or tribunal created by law with jurisdiction or power to hear
ad adjudicate litigious conflicts and to award proper reliefs and render judgment based upon the
evidence presented.
PRACTICE OF LAW - It is the act of performing any activity pertaining to a bona fide member
of the bar which is carried out on a habitual or continuous process and translated into action by
means of giving advice, drafting of documents or appearance in court or other administrative or
quasi-judicial body involving the use of faculty or intelligence of one skilled in law who is
entitled to a legal fee.

Who may practice law. Any person heretofore duly admitted as a member of the bar, or
hereafter admitted as suchin accordance with the provisions of this rule, and who is in good and
regular standing, is entitled to practice law. Sec 1 Rule 138

Burbe vs. Magulta (June 10, 2002) (Practice of law is not trade!)

In this day and age, members of the bar often forget that the practice of law is a profession and
not a business.[11] Lawyering is not primarily meant to be a money-making venture, and law
advocacy is not a capital that necessarily yields profits.[12] The gaining of a livelihood is not a
professional but a secondary consideration.[13] Duty to public service and to the administration
of justice should be the primary consideration of lawyers, who must subordinate their personal
interests or what they owe to themselves. The practice of law is a noble calling in which
emolument is a byproduct, and the highest eminence may be attained without making much
money.

A law student who has successfully completed his 3rd year of the regular four-year prescribed
law curriculum and is enrolled in a recognized law school's clinical legal education program
approved by the Supreme Court, may appear without compensation in any civil, criminal or
administrative case before any trial court, tribunal, board or officer, to represent indigent clients
accepted by the legal clinic of the law school.

2. Assistant or associate in a private law firm


a. Generally offers better opportunities
In working as an associate in a private law firm, offers new opportunities. Usually formed by
batchmates and classmates in law school. Sometimes, there are lawyers who can get good
clients, so these existing law firms hire you.

b. Existing partnership usually have financial capability to defray overhead expenses of


maintaining a law office. So, if the firm has been in existence like about 10 years, they have
already number of clients that can help in the payment of rent, the staff, office supplies. You have
to make sure that your staff is happy because you have to work as a team. And when your staff
will leave, you have to train all over again.
What are usually overhead expenses? Water, rent, office supplies, salary of your staff, the
janitors. It does not help if your office is not neat. Even if you have a small office, it must be
organized and presentable for your client. That your clients will not be offered with plastic
chairs.

PARTNERS
Partners agree on articles of partnership/financial agreements to avoid future
misunderstanding (e.g. how to bring in income the partnerships; how to divide income for clients
they have individually brought in; discuss expectations).
Partners agree on how to contribute to the cost of operations (rents, staff, utilities, office
supplies, including information technology)

In other law firms they have an agreement as to where will the money from the notarial funds go,
usually, it is placed in the common funds of the partnership. So if you are a ten-lawyer firm, you
have to make sure that you have an organized structure. Somebody has to be assigned as to the
day-to-day operation, so someone has to be a managing partner. The managing partner
oversees the money of the firm, the overall person.

Then you have to have a human resource partner, not somebody who has a Ph D in human
resource, just someone who will address the concern as to human resources. He will oversee the
appointment of staff, how to dress in the office. This may not be a legal concern, but this boils
down to the core of the office. Happy office, happy staff.

Then we have a general counsel, or somebody who will oversee if there are conflicts of interests
in handling the cases. If there are conflicts of interest, he shall be the one to decide on who will
handle the case or represent the client.

Then we have a chief financial officer. Make sure that your books are updated, and have an
accounting of your income. So, your financial department will also be the one to oversee whether
or not your firm is earning. Because if you are not earning you cannot expand. If you are earning,
maybe you have plans of transferring to a bigger office. It would be a lot better when the chief
financial officer is not a lawyer at all, because he will just tell you straight that you just need to
bill more. What he is after is that you must bring more clients. And it can also be an accountant
that you just hire per period to do the accounting.

Then, you may need a marketing professional, if necessary, who will be assigned in
communications and in bringing more clients. Advertising is not supposed to be ethical, but there
are ways in going around that. You can be creative. Sometimes, we lawyers we tend to be modest
of our achievements, but if you have four children to send to Ateneo de Davao, you need a lot of
money. While young, you must be more aggressive, you must be out there presenting yourself,
you must bring in more clients, because this will translate to income, people engaging your
services. You wont like to turn down any client. You deal with one case, and then you develop
such expertise. It is manner of presenting yourself. Wrapping yourself, not with myth, but you
can study each case. You learn as you go along.

3. Joining a corporate law department

Option of being a legal officer in corporation law department, we are talking about corporations.
Like in
Coca-Cola, they have external counsel. When they think that they will need a lot of lobbying,
they tap partners who are prominent in the society, or have lobbying powers. But such
corporations have their internal counsel or general counsel.

The nice thing of being a lawyer, unlike other professions, after you finished banking and
finance, you get hired by a bank, you have to go up through the ladder. A lawyer, in the
organizational structure, is immediately under the office of the president. Because the president
usually needs the services of lawyers.

Generally, position offers higher compensation and other pecuniary and fringe benefits not
usually enjoyed in private practice (large law firms through creating their own fringe benefit
package like health cards.)