Educator succeeds in juggling work and law school

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Photo grabbed from Kenneth Manuel's Facebook account.

PURSUING a law degree is not easy while having a demanding job, but Kenneth Manuel proved it could be done.

As a certified public accountant (CPA), the 25-year-old Manuel worked as a taxation instructor in his alma mater Colegio de San Juan de Letran and a reviewer at the Review School of Accountancy in Manila to help finance his studies and other expenses.

In a viral Facebook post, he said the struggle of working at 7 a.m. and taking law school classes from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. was “seriously battering – physically, emotionally and financially,” but nothing beats the feeling of fulfillment of finally graduating as a cum laude from law school this year.

Manuel initially did not have plans to become a lawyer, but a scholarship from Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina, through Fr. Juan Ponce, O.P., Letran’s vice president for academic affairs, pushed him to grab the opportunity.

“The inspiration changed as I tread my way through law school and started teaching. [It] ceased from becoming a self-serving one and it became a drive to contribute to the society, helping spread the important principles of the rule of law, human rights, and equality through classroom education,” he told the Varsitarian in an online interview.

The Pampanga-raised educator plans to join a law firm after taking the bar exams but still sees himself working in the academe in the future.

“Teaching is really in my heart. The main goal is to leave a legacy by making a positive impact on people, and it is my belief that my existence would be most meaningful in the academe,” he said.

As a lawyer, he intends to focus on fighting for one’s right to education and protecting students and faculty members from unlawful and unfair labor practices within educational institutions. He said he was inclined to taking pro bono cases if time and finances permit.

“As a professor, I give premium to education and it is my conviction that having an educated public is the cure to most societal ills. I am forwarding the thought that, with an educated public, those who are in power cannot abuse their positions and deceive the people,” he said.

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