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Filipino lawyer offers free legal advice on TikTok

Antonino “Tony” Roman III—a licensed law practitioner in the Philippines and the U.S. state of New York—has been making waves in a field far removed from law: social media.

Filipino lawyer offers free legal advice on TikTok

Roman, who holds postgraduate degrees and certificates from Columbia University, Harvard University, and the University of Cambridge, uses his extensive law experience to help Filipinos, especially the marginalized sector, get free legal advice.

On his TikTok page, which currently has over 1 million followers, the lawyer provides bite-size, easy-to-understand legal advice and answers to questions and everyday issues, such as what can a person do if the mangoes from their neighbor's tree fall on to their property or if a certain curse word can be considered a crime.

He began his advocacy of providing free legal advice “para hindi maabuso ang mga Pinoy (so Filipinos won't be abused).” Three months into posting his videos, Roman now has 40-million cumulative views on TikTok and 8 million on Facebook. More than 300,000 follow his Facebook page which has 11 million in reach (“reach” is the number of unique individuals viewing content).  

Public service runs in the family. The “TikTok Lawyer” is the son of former Bataan representatives Antonino Roman, Jr. and Herminia Roman, and the younger brother of Bataan First District Representative Geraldine B. Roman, the first openly transgender member of the Philippine Congress.

He earned his bachelor’s and juris doctor degrees at the Ateneo de Manila University and his Master of Laws at Columbia Law School in New York. He has completed special courses on leadership and policy design at the Harvard Kennedy School and the University of Cambridge.

Roman grew up in the Philippines but spent most of his adult life practicing law in the United States. In April 2019, the father of three girls returned to the Philippines to teach and practice law.

He has experience in motion and discovery practice, trial work including drafting trial court and appellate briefs, taking and defending depositions, eDiscovery protocol negotiations and management, witness examination, litigation, and arbitration in various legal jurisdictions including U.S. state, federal, and Philippine courts.

With his videos on social media, Roman helps modernize and democratize legal advice to reach the masses who have no access to a lawyer, as well as the younger generation who comprise the biggest chunk of TikTok users.

In addition to his most viewed video about the mangoes falling on another person's property (it currently has over 5 million views), his other other viral videos include dealing with problems such as rowdy neighbors doing loud karaoke singing all night, a person fabricating malicious stories on social media, debts and debt collection, child support, and many other relatable topics.

His recent posts provide legal advice to the following questions: What do you do if another driver bumps into your car but you're not carrying a valid driver's license? Is it permissible to shoot a robber that has entered your house? Can I cut the branch of my neighbor's tree that's jutting over my fence? Can I sue people who are constantly insulting and embarrassing my sister who is a Person With Disability?

A post of Roman about the matter of legally changing her first name “Dinalego” (which translates to “did not take a bath” in English) has a bit of humor in it.

Roman regularly posts videos on his TikTok account @attytonyroman.

Topics: Antonino “Tony” Roman III , “TikTok Lawyer” , Dinalego
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