Meet The First DLSU College Of Law Bar Exam Topnotcher: Attorney Kathrine Ting
The newly-minted lawyer makes history for one of the country’s youngest law schools.
For Atty. Kathrine Ting, becoming a lawyer is more than a career. “I think that more than having more legal professionals, the country needs good lawyers—incorruptible, just, and honest lawyers. I feel like a country with a million dishonest lawyers is no better than one that does not have any. So more than having 'more' lawyers, I sincerely believe we just need to nurture the 'right' kind,” she tells Metro.Style.
Fresh from law school, she is now known as De La Salle University College of Law’s (DLSU COL) first bar exam topnotcher, placing 8th out of 8,155 examinees at the 2018 Bar Examinations. DLSU COL only opened in 2010.
From her take on the legal profession, one can easily assume that Ting always had her sights set on becoming a lawyer. But this wasn’t the case because she considered pursuing medicine. It wasn’t until her dad suggested she take up law that she warmed up to the idea.
“I wasn’t really 100% sure about being a lawyer up until I started law school. I did like my law subjects back in college, and this interest made me take entrance exams in law schools. But my eventual discovery of my passion for it became stronger when I started my first year in law. Admittedly, it was a bit late, but I really found the study of the law complicated and exciting […] I honestly and sincerely enjoy it. I find the nuances, complexities, and intricacies in laws unusually exciting and interesting,” she shares.
Kathrine was supposed to study in another law school, but on the day she was going to pay for her tuition fees, she found out she passed the DLSU College of Law entrance exam. Then and there, she knew DLSU was the right one for her despite it being a young law school. She’s glad to have ended up in her alma mater, where she met some of the most brilliant professors who always challenged her with difficult legal questions.
Kathrine points out that the rigorous study of law has also taught her to be more religious, saying, “Law school has taught me to trust God with everything and anything, to know that things may feel like they’re falling out of place, but really, they’re right where they’re supposed to be.”
From law school, she also learned to be more resilient, able to rise up immediately whenever she’d encounter difficulties. She shares, “I’ve learned to be more accepting of whatever may come my way. My law school life wasn’t perfect. I have had low grades, and I even failed one class. But going through that made me realize that more than the trials and difficulties, what matters more is how you get back up. I feel lucky to have been guided by my parents especially at times when I most feel like giving up!”
Armed with determination and perseverance, the young legal professional didn’t just complete her law degree and pass the bar exam—she aced it! Funnily, at first, she thought it was fake news. “I was filled with a mix of shock, happiness, and disbelief. I kept asking my dad if the list was real. When I realized that I really made it to the top, I just teared up and hugged my parents. I immediately prayed. It was so surreal. To be honest, even until now, I still get shivers every time I see that list,” Kathrine says.
As expected, there's pressure that comes with being a topnotcher, but Kathrine is unfazed. Instead of resting on her laurels or letting herself get paralyzed by fear, she keeps an open mind. “ I just want to learn what I can, and be good at what I do. I realized that being in the legal profession means you have to continuously study and learn—you’ll be a student of the law forever. It’s not really about getting the fame, or being in the top 100 lawyers list, it’s still about loving what you do, keeping that passion alive, and remaining grounded."
She’s also very generous with her insights and would like to share some of them to those who would like to pursue a law degree. Kathrine tells Metro.Style, “Remain determined. You will have good days, but also remember, you will have bad, and even worse days. Accept that you are human, because there will be days when you couldn’t give your 100%. And that is perfectly okay, as long as you give your best. Just always keep in mind that there is no substitute for hard work, there is no escaping studying, reading cases in the originals, making your own notes, reading books instead of reviewers, and attending your classes. Keep in mind that eventually, you will take the bar, and as cliché as it is, this remains to be true, ‘your review for the bar begins on your first day in law school.'”
Photographs courtesy of De La Salle University College of Law and Kathrine Ting