55-year-old dad achieves dream of becoming a lawyer after 20 years and 6 tries

MANILA, Philippines – How long does one have to keep working for a dream that seems so elusive? A 55-year-old father from Bulacan will prove that there's neither an age limit nor a timeline for us to reach our dreams.

Atty. Roberto Santos Suarez II passed the 2022 Bar Examinations after 20 years and 6 tries
Atty. Roberto Santos Suarez II passed the 2022 Bar Examinations after 20 years and 6 tries | Photo Courtesy: Kath Suarez

Atty. Roberto Santos Suarez II, a husband and father of 4 children, impressed netizens with his determination and perseverance in achieving his dream of becoming a lawyer. His journey took over 20 years and 5 failed attempts until, finally, he beat the odds on his 6th try and passed the 2022 Bar Examinations announced by the Supreme Court last April 14.

Atty. Roberto's journey is challenging but also inspiring. He finished his law degree in 2002 at the Philippine Law School at the age of 34. He first took the Bar Exam in 2003, 2004, and 2006. Things were starting to look bleak, especially since their family was also going through a rough patch. It took him 11 years to try again in 2017 and 2019, but he failed each time. However, it appears that the sixth time is the charm for Atty. Roberto, as he passed in the year 2022.

In an interview with The Summit Express, Kath, his daughter, said that passing the 2022 Bar was God's early birthday gift to their father. The results came out on April 14, just two days before their father turned 55 years old. Somehow, her father had this belief that he would become a lawyer at the age of 55, and it did come true.

Kath explained, "Feeling niya noon kapag 55 y/o na siya, magiging abogado na siya. Kasi nung previous bar exams, may grade siya na 55 with an average of 72-74%."

Atty. Roberto, who works as a Court Decongestant Office (CDO) in the Municipal Trial Court in Sta. Maria had to juggle his work and review. An active member of their church's LecCom (Lectors and Commentators), he believes his faith was also a big factor in his success.

Kath said that when her father was studying for his 4th and 5th Bar Exam takes, he lied-lowed in his church duties, but that strategy didn't work. On his sixth and final attempt, he made the conscious decision to put his service to the Lord ahead of his review. Kath shared, "Kaya promise niya na kapag nakapasa siya, patuloy pa din siya mag-serve sa simbahan."

Throughout his journey, Atty. Roberto was driven to realize his dream by his love for his family and the need to wrap up some "unfinished business." His advice to those who have lost hope because of age or circumstance is to never give up and just keep going.

He shared, "Keep your passion burning to fulfill your dreams. There are only 2 things that can prevent you from becoming a lawyer: 1.) Stop taking the bar exam 2.) Death."

He also said that we have the power to determine our own success. God will grant our requests if we change our mindset to accept that we can and keep pressing forward with our efforts.

"What we think is what we become. Kapag hindi mo pinursue ang pangarap mo, yun na ang magiging final destination mo. Pero kapag naniniwala kang makakamit mo yun, through hard work and prayers, God will grant the desires of your heart," he added.

Never forget that the only person standing between you and your goals is yourself. Let Tatay Roberto's story serve as a constant reminder that it's never too late to go after your dreams.

— Sally, The Summit Express


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