THE biggest mistake a law student can ever allow himself to make as he ventures into this toilsome world of legal education is a false conviction that the study of law may only be of interest and great benefit for the ho-hum and the pedantic.
Setting foot on a lecture theatre in horrifying anticipation of a long drawn out and somewhat monotonous session of just dissecting a segment of judgment of a previously decided case, one might argue, is only a foretaste of what more to come as he rises before an august bench as a qualified lawyer with a decidedly strong semblance of solemnity shrouding over all four corners of the courtroom.
Such spectral, menacing thought appearing on a law student’s mind in the fashion of an ancient Greek spirit who had had to delve into the bodies of the departed and to therefore discover the bitterness of ugly truth about the otherwise unknown reasons of his cruel death only reaffirms his disbelief in the possible interdigitating between love and the law.
Passion in the study of law is not something an aspiring law student is naturally born with. Just like love for other things one inculcates in him so that his genuine fondness for them will eventually surface au naturel, love for the law too can be sought to be instilled in the mind of an individual desirous of such love without fear for potentially dissipating interest.
How do we do it then, may one ask?
Disquiet over inability to appreciate the beauty of law can be easily driven away by one’s continuous effort to maintain a positive belief that both the study and later, practice of law can appear interesting and colourful if one puts his mind to it in the similar manner he appreciates the preciousness of his life and liberty through the help of law as an ultimate shield in his fight against injustice or any attempts which may cause it to reign supreme.
As unfathomable the plain reading of the law in the first instance might come into sight as soulless the literal understanding of it might suggest, once we are able to contextualise the law in theory into a real case scenario bearing forth our realisation of its actual applicability, the fragrance of its relevance will suffuse through not just the mind but also the entirety of our reactionary attitude towards the concept of justice thereby dispelling its purported notion of tedium and banality.
The study of law does not stop as lecture sessions are over. The pronounced practical edge it gives extends to our daily life, from how a carefully drafted agreement can keep a person out of litigious battle in court to when a state should cease its interference with fundamental liberties of a citizen when discussions hinge on private spheres as opposed to public domain, and to what rights an accused individual has or deserves to exercise in the face of criminal prosecution.
The task of interpreting statutes and legal principles, though admittedly onerous, is however very fulfilling. Constant change in legislations which in effect carries the consequence of seeing a change in the way law should therefore be understood means our profound thinking faculty in connecting and more importantly comprehending the historical origin of the law and how it is to be put to rightful use consistent with the intention of the lawmakers is of paramount importance.
With persistence and perseverance, no matter how uncertain we feel on how far down this mysterious rabbit hole we would go, one thing remains clear; that our adventure into this world of the untold story will, quite ironically, leave us a lot to tell the tale.
The taste of the pudding is indeed in the tasting. Likewise, the fruit of legal knowledge is in the harvesting. This can never be achievable without first breaking out in sweats as we plant its seeds of interest with a promised sight of a deciduous garden trees.Major sacrifices are inescapable, but it is all worth the agony.
Unlike other disciplines, one’s choice in the study of law can never be a matter of mere inadvertence. It is in fact a fated encounter he cannot at all afford to make light of.
You simply do not choose law. Law chooses you.
* The views expressed here are strictly of the author's and do not necessarily reflect Astro AWANI's.