Emphasizing the importance of a healthy learning environment, Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) Law Batch 2022 Top 1 graduate Michael H. Delgado said a strong support system helps cope with the demands of law school amid intense pressure.
Delgado recently notched the 30th spot in the November 2022 bar exam with an 86 percent rating.
In a press conference held last Tuesday, Delgado shared that ‘a healthy relationship in the classroom’ was a game changer in surviving Ateneo’s rigorous program and the bar review proper.
“Even though it’s very intimidating to have a professor (who) keeps on grilling you on recitations and exams, we have an environment sa classroom namin – especially early on sa aming first year – we didn’t feel a competitive atmosphere. We lift each other up rather than drag each other down,” Delgado said.
“Sometimes kung magfail ka kasi, akala mo it’s your struggle alone. But when you have people who fail with you, who pass with you, it’s a much bigger celebration,” he added.
The AdDU alumnus also shared how he experienced ‘off days’ during the bar review that affected his self-esteem and confidence in performing well in the exam.
“Ang aking mindset na lang during the bar review was I am not really gonna be hard on myself. I will allow myself to rest. I will allow myself to take my time. Kasi if I push myself to my limits, it will eventually go against me,” Delgado expressed.
The demands of the bar review also prompted him to sacrifice a lot of time and responsibilities, including tending to his sick mother, who was going in and out of the hospital at the time.
However, Delgado said that knowing it led to what he is today, “I’m sure na my mother would not have changed a thing.”
When asked what motivated him to push through despite the difficulty, Delgado stressed he kept on remembering his whys and the fulfillment of a shared achievement.
“Sometimes it’s not really for you, but it’s for your family. My mother really wanted a lawyer in the family and although she did not live to see that day, I think she will be very happy right now seeing me in this seat and seeing my name in the roll of attorneys,” he said.
The bar topnotcher advised aspiring lawyers to “study to pass, not study to fail.”
“Don’t study expecting that you would fail the exam. Study always na parang you would perfect it. Alam ko ambitious siya pero kung mag-eexpect ka na mabagsak ka kaagad, it’s really deteriorating sa mindset mo,” Delgado told Atenews.
Delgado also said he felt honored to have represented AdDU and the Mindanao region in the top 30 rankings, citing that “it serves as a reminder to myself that it’s not really about the grade; it’s about how you become a lawyer in the future.”
With 58 passers out of 63 total takers, AdDU garnered a 96.55 percent passing rate for first-time candidates and a 92.06 percent passing rate for overall takers.
AdDU also emerged as the top-performing school among institutions with 51 to 100 candidates, followed by Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan and Jose Maria College.