If you’ve ever thought you had what it takes to become a lawyer, but didn’t know how to go about it, you’re in luck. Samuel Ledwitz, a longtime estate planning attorney, explains the best way to get into law school and how to succeed.
And for any business, that starts with education, said Ledwitz, president and managing partner of estate planning law firm The Law Firm of Bezaire, Ledwitz and Associates.
Although there are several ways in California to become a lawyer, the usual method is “you need a bachelor’s degree, then you pass the (law school admissions test), get a decent score on that, and with your good grades, you apply to several schools. You should consult a law school guide, such as Princeton Review, which tells you what the admissions standards are (grade point average and LSAT scores).
And there is more to do with the application process.
“There’s usually an essay you can write to show them you’re complete and make yourself look like a great person to have on campus,” he said. “Then apply accordingly.”
But choosing a law school shouldn’t just be done from the comfort of your couch, Ledwitz said.
“I would also suggest taking a tour of the law school,” he said. “I hope you will go to law school. Unlike medical school, any major is good. As long as you have good grades, it’s fine. »
But is any major really adequate? Can you study art, music or science? Ledwitz said yes.
“There is no major that is a bad major for law school,” he said. “That said, in college you will wish you had taken a lot of writing classes. Good grammar and punctuation are always important. This is because what a lawyer really does is they bill words and those words are always persuasive to get a judge to give you what your client wants. So, a command of the English language is very important.
And after? explains Ledwitz.
“Then you have to prepare for the LSAT,” he said. “I’m not a big fan of it, but it’s used to predict your first-year law school results. It doesn’t mean you’re a good person or exceptionally bright. It just means that you probably have the skills to pass the first year of law school. In addition, the LSAT is very time-pressed. It’s not just about smarts, it’s about being smart under extreme time pressure.
The skills it refers to are analysis, reasoning and reading comprehension. Ledwitz said these skills will be really useful, if not at first, then later.
“One day you’ll have to explain to a client or someone you represent what it all means, why it’s important and how it affects them,” he said. “Then you better understand what you are doing. You use all of these skills as well as interpersonal skills.
After taking the LSAT, you should obtain letters of recommendation, preferably from your college professors, to send with your application.
Assuming you get into law school, Ledwitz said there’s another skill you need to have or pick up quickly: the ability to take criticism and lots of it.
“Law school is emotional and it has its moments,” he said. “You really have to be a thick-skinned person. Some days you get up at 8 a.m. and at 8:30 a.m. the teacher has already told you that you’re not the brightest. Sometimes you’re made to feel very small and you feel like everyone in the class is very smart.
The best word Ledwitz had to describe the freshman year of law school was “intense,” adding that the hours spent were extreme.
“You take five classes plus a writing class and it’s all coming very soon,” he said. “And most of your grade is based on one test: the final exam. It’s heavily weighted. Something like 80-90% could be the last day. If you bomb the test, you bomb the course.
Why does the law school work this way? Ledwitz has his theory.
“It’s basically designed to take you out,” he said. “But second and third year are mostly a bunch of electives. You can take whatever interests you.
Another Ledwitz theory for why the first year is so hard is to make sure you’re there for the right reasons and not because you’re trying to please someone else.
“You have to want it,” he says. “Not because mom wants it and not because dad wants it or your uncle would be very proud of it. You have to want it. You have to see yourself doing this job. Why else would you see yourself spending $100,000, $200,000? $ for that very frameable degree, only to later decide you don’t want to do it?You have to really believe you want to do it before you go and spend all that money and all those years of your life.
Individuals wishing to discuss any aspect of an appropriate estate plan may call the Bezaire, Ledwitz and Associates Law Firm at (626) 398-0100 or log on to www.SmartEstatePlans.com.