Boyd Student Looks to Law School for Career Advancement

Mon, 03/11/2013

Virgilio LongakitA cousin’s wedding brought Virgilio “Bing” Longakit, Jr. to the United States, but work opportunities kept him here.

“I came to attend my cousin’s wedding in June of 1999, and I stayed,” Longakit said. “It was not planned. I had work in the Philippines, but the opportunities presented to me at the time were much better than what I had.”

Currently in the part-time night program at the Boyd School of Law, Longakit entered the United States with a 10-year, multiple-entry visa. His first job after deciding to stay was as a controller at a golf course management company in California. Meanwhile, he was in the process of obtaining a green card.

“Everything became so slow after Sept. 11 and the process so strict that it took me seven years to get my green card,” he said.

While waiting for his green card, Longakit became a CPA. He later moved to Nevada in 2007 after he accepted work as an auditor for the State Treasurer’s Office where he still works today.

He chose to attend Boyd because he felt it could help him with his work in the state treasurer’s office.

“I always encounter questions from auditees, and so I always have to look into the law to help answer them and back up what I say,” he said.

Longakit chose Boyd, he said, because he wanted to continue working for the state, which meant he had to go to a law school in Nevada. He said that right now he is not sure specifically what type of law he will go into, but he has some ideas and will surely choose a specialty prior to graduation.

“I’ll probably go into either gaming or business law, but I’m also thinking of immigration law since that’s in my background,” he said. “When I was in the process of getting my green card, there were questions I wanted answered by my retained lawyer but he was unavailable.”

Longakit added, “When I become a lawyer, I don’t want to be the type that just takes your money without really providing any services.”

As for school, the biggest surprise, he said, was how law classes compare to instruction in undergraduate classes.

“In undergrad, you are spoon-fed. In law school, they tell you where you should go, but not how to get there,” he said. “Since I have experience in business, my background is very black-and-white. The law is very much gray.”

One class where Longakit said he learned a great deal was the first-year Lawyering Process class.

“It took me quite a while to change my paradigm because my writing style was very different, but the instructor was really good at helping me change that,” he said.

Longakit said he is very happy with the supportive campus community and the relatively small night classes. That said, he added that it is still important to be vigilant about time management.

“I work 8-5, and go to class right after,” he said. “It’s about keeping priorities straight. It’s a sacrifice, and I’ll be focusing on it for four years.”