Last New Year's Eve, I found myself straining my lungs on the notes of Matt Monro's "The Impossible Dream". It was not exactly a coincidence that the song was on cue when it was my turn to sing, I had in fact a few days earlier decided to put my career at stake on a Law Firm concept paper that came to me like an epiphany in the last week of December. The "Dream" has gotten me hooked. The song was just a befitting start for the pursuit of the Dream.
I would describe the "Dream" as a paradigm shift in the manner that legal service is delivered in this country. Briefly, the task is to align all the young law practitioners from Batanes to Jolo into one single network of lawyers. They will have a common office system developed by a head office. Knowledge, training and continuing legal education provided by the head office. Billing and collection consolidated under one roof. Everybody is then connected with a communication network of cellphones, landline, fax machines and the internet. The Dream lawyers would have a high standard of service and an ethic rooted in justice and fairness.
And the clients? How do you think Manny Pangilinan (President of PLDT) would react if I tell him that with the "Dream", he could have a competent lawyer assist any of his men anywhere in the Philippines in ten minutes? Ten Minutes -- just about the same time that it takes his Makati lawyer to open a litigation file where he can log his billable hours in his Daily Service Report. Danding Cojuangco's San Miguel delivery van driver arrested in Dipolog in a traffic accident? A Dream lawyer would be in the closest court to fix bail in ten minutes and get his man out in a few hours. The same time it would take for Danding's Makati lawyer to book a flight from Manila and get himself a nice cozy hotel suite chargeable to the Boss.
Best of all, the Dream will also serve as a network for free legal aid. With a consolidated effort, the Dream can render fast and efficient legal aid to any sector of society oppressed by the justice system. There will be plenty of causes to fight for. Right now, I think of all the prisoners in city and municipal jails who have out served the punishments for the crimes they were charged with but have somehow stayed in jail because their trials have not moved fast enough. The Dream lawyers will set them free -- all at the same time.
How is this all going to happen? Four words. Sun Tzu. Detailed Plans. I've written it down. It's possible to do it in ten years at the most. The first in the agenda is to organize the Dream Team. It's not easy, but it can be done.
I'm thinking of Bill Gates the day that he decided that from then on, Microsoft was just going to do Windows. He was putting his company at stake. DOS is out Windows is in. That's how it is going for me. It is time to take legal service in this country to the next level.
The Dream is on.
So help me God.