Filipino lawyers give tips to graduating students on how to survive economic downturn

The class of 2020 faces one of the most unique and difficult times in history, with the coronavirus pandemic impacting their studies, canceling graduation ceremonies, and giving them a grim job outlook.

To provide much-needed guidance to law students, especially those graduating soon, the National Filipino American Lawyers Association, held a webinar that focused on surviving and even thriving during tough times.

“Those of you that are going to graduate even if you don’t have the pomp and circumstance, you’re going to do great things because you’re coming into this unprecedented time. I just want to personally encourage you and say I’ve been through some scary times myself, persisted,” said Jonah Tolena.

Many of these veteran attorneys said they’ve managed to survive three economic catastrophes, from the dotcom bust in the early 2000s, to the housing crash in 2008, and now the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.

Current NFALA president Philip Nulud practices intellectual property in the fashion industry.

He shared that he was on the verge of joining a big firm when the recession hit in 2008.

While that did not materialize, he ended up finding his niche instead.

“In 2008 during the downturn there were a lot of things, I was seeing my friends get laid off and was seeing a lot of different people taking different paths but I got staffed on that one project and did really well for the company and that boosted my career and that allowed me to really shine.”

These lawyers are encouraging those in the legal profession to continue pursuing their passion, saying they are expecting a handful of practices to thrive as the economy gets back on track.

“Transactional and business litigation is going to pick up, I hear also life insurance, probate, trust and estate planning where people are waking up and realizing really our mortality and anything can happen out of nowhere. Those are the areas where some of my friends have picked up businesses. Estates, trust and will and bankruptcy unfortunately,” said Jonah Tolena.

Despite their annual conferences and galas being cancelled amid the pandemic, some of NFALA’s local chapters including the Pilipino American Bar Association are continuing to host a series of online events as well virtual fundraisers for causes that help the community.

“We’re just going to share our experience, if any value comes from it, just know we’re in this together,” said Jerilynn Gonzales Abrams.

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  • Mario
    26 June 2020 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    Sharing my experience: Log on at “PUA.(your State Initial).gov” example PUA.CA.GOV.”, this is TRUMP unemployment and Christmas gift. Each week for 39 weeks you have to log-in and prepare, file your check and to remind you that TRUMP is generous and maybe you will vote for him. It is $600/wk for 13 weeks PLUS $260 a week(green card) and $280/week(citizen) for 39 weeks. For a total of $10,000. mY friend continue to work still getting this stimulus money, you have nothing to lose, grab it, if it is not possible CHECK the last item, “I was not impacted by Covid” still you get Christmas gift.