This paper aims to provide an insight of my understanding regarding profession in relation to its elements, to the hierarchy of needs, and the resources I deem necessary for the development of a professional. I shall be speaking of a profession I aspire to be doing someday – becoming a lawyer. One of the most popular but rather challenging professions is being a lawyer. It is undoubtedly classified as a profession, not an occupation, because practitioners undergo a very much intensive academic preparation in accredited universities.
For years, after obtaining a college degree, students in law schools brawl with the complexities of the articles and books on local and international issues and policies, debates, sample cases, and many others. Moreover, included in their curriculum is their exposure and internship to BAR-accredited law firms, giving them the chance to experience, observe, and theoretically criticize actual practice. This then gives a balanced development the students’ skills and knowledge.
Another feature that defines it as a profession is the fact that law school graduates take the BAR examinations, wherein successful examinees become licensed after taking their pledge to wholeheartedly abide to the profession’s code of ethics. This is to assure that the future lawyers have met the required level of knowledge to practice the profession. They too undergo continuing education or professional development as they need to get themselves updated with the latest developments in their field.
Lastly, there are recognized lawyers’ organizations both locally and internationally, which facilitate the exchange of knowledge among the members while largely contributing to the strengthening of the organizations’ influence as a whole. We can infer a sense of mutuality among lawyers and their clients if we try to look at the profession using the ONO rule (Opportunity + Need = Obligation) rule. Graduating from a law school and passing the BAR examination poses a big opportunity to an aspirant.
Lawyers become viable targets of corporations, governmental and non-governmental institutions, political entities, and individuals. On the other hand, having an addition to the roster of law practitioners would mean an opportunity for people to access a lawyer of their choice if need arises. Need would also be a two-way element in the professional-client relationship. The lawyer needs the job to earn and be fulfilled in practice, while the clients need the professional’s services for security and convenience.
All these bring about a mutual obligation to both parties as lawyers must adhere to their pledge and code of ethics while people are compelled to seek the services of only the licensed legal representatives. Being a lawyer offers great possibilities of fulfilling life’s essentials of an individual but at the same time inevitably subjects him or her to a great deal of setbacks. Legal representatives’ services, especially in the corporate setting, are often well-compensated. Thus, families of lawyers are relatively more economically sufficient than others. Physiologically, they have great access to basic necessities – food, water, and shelter.
However, there are lawyers who indulge in vices such as smoking, and are used to staying up until the wee hours of the morning preparing for the cases they handle; In terms of safety, most lawyers have physical and financial security. Most of them can afford to reside in exclusive villages and lead an extravagant lifestyle if they want to. Nonetheless, their wealth subjects them to the dangers of criminal acts such as abduction and burglary. That explains why many of them are secretly and privately armed; Lawyers’ social needs are partially fulfilled by their affiliations and clients’ acceptance.
On the other hand, the setbacks on this aspect lie in the fact that lawyers, being humans, will never be able to please everybody. Many of them are subjects of controversies and criticisms; Esteem is a need which can easily be realized in this profession. Generally, lawyers are confident, respectable, and acknowledged. Unfortunately, there are lawyers who fall short in meeting the public’s expectations and consequently experience a great deal of anxiety, frustration, and depression, harshly affecting their personal lives.
The possibility to meet the needs mentioned above lies in an individual’s desire to reach his or her potential – that is his or her view of self-actualization. Lawyers who actualize themselves are those who are able to continually hone their skills (public speaking, research, drafting of legal documents, counseling, negotiation, and legal analysis), knowledge (laws and issuances, justice system, advocacy, court procedures), and attitudes (values, confidence, nationalism, compassion) while keeping their personal and family lives intact.
All these comprise the resources lawyers must capitalize on in fulfilling the aforementioned needs. The fact that specializations in law continue to expand in the fields of taxation, trade, accounting, and many others also requires practitioners to doubly work hard to learn and prepare themselves to be effective in their chosen areas. They are persons who continue to become they are capable of becoming, able to meet their clients’ demands and serve their personal and familial needs at the same time.