UP Law's first magna cum laude in over a decade advises 'study hard and study smart'

MANILA, Philippines – Meet Danica Mae Godornes, the University of the Philippines College of Law batch valedictorian and magna cum laude.
Danica Mae Godornes is UP College of Law

Godornes is one proud "iska" as she dons her sablay to celebrate all her hard work and sacrifices. She is recognized as the first law student who will graduate as magna cum laude since Dionne Sanchez in 2007.

Danica Mae Godornes is UP College of Law's first magna cum laude since 2007.
Danica Mae Godornes is UP College of Law's first magna cum laude since 2007.

The full-time working student sets as an inspiration to many and lauded by her batchmates. Godornes was described by her peers as "humble and helpful.”

On Twitter, one of her blockmates, Glyds Urbano shared Godornes' achievement. She tweeted, "Gusto ko lang gamitin ang platform na ito para ipagsigawan sa mundo na si Ate Danica ang first Magna Cum Laude ng UP Law in more than a decade and 9th (?) overall since 1911. Hindi enough ang twt limit para iencompass ang kaniyang brilliance. but the world needs to know!"

One of Gordones' closest friends, Nikki Malferrari, also had nothing but good words for her saying that she's more than an intelligent person.

“She’s a person with a lot to offer not just inside the courtroom or law setting but also with personal life situations, experience, and maturity. everyone in D2021 can attest to that an infinite many times,” she said.

Malferrari added how Godornes does not hesitate to lend a helping hand to her law school blockmates review for some of their classes.

"She doesn’t have to do that, but she still does. Law school is difficult enough as it is, but seeing your blockmate work hard despite that difficulty and everything else is something that pulls everyone in D2021 up,” she added.

But aside from being an outstanding student, Godornes is also a responsible sister to her family. After losing her mother, Godornes also lost her father in 2019. Since then, she and her sister needed to step up to take care of their family. At one point, she thought of filing a leave of absence from law school because she had hesitations in handling the responsibilities of school and home. Thankfully, she withdrew her application and endured those difficult times.

“My family, my blockmates, my friends, and my SO, they always supported me. Law school is really demanding, but having the people important to me understand those times and not pressure me about it, gave me peace of mind which is really a must in law school,” she said.

Danica Mae Godornes valedictorian
Photo Credit: Facebook/Danica Mae Godornes

Gordones said there is no secret to success but hard work. She revealed that there are no shortcuts and she survived law school because she worked hard for it.

"I believe there is no shortcut po. Some people say, “study smart, not hard”, but I think that will not work in law school. What I did is to study hard and to study smart,” Godornes said.

Those aspiring to become lawyers should know that entering law school requires perseverance, discipline and commitment, Gordones reiterated.

“Law is a jealous love always demanding full attention and dedication; to understand law you must appreciate its applications,” she added.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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