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As a lawyer Who, Instead of Settling Disputes, Prevents Disputes—Aiming for No Inheritance Troubles

Atsushi Iseda

Atsushi Iseda
Lawyer and Certified Public Accountant

Setback after a glittering career change—Encounter with the mentor

Before becoming a lawyer, I served as a certified public accountant mainly in charge of accounting audit.

My career seems to be privileged, as I passed the exam for certified public accountants at the youngest age when I was a university student, and joined a leading audit firm. However, I was fretting over my future career. After pondering over it, I decided to advance to Chuo Law School, to realize my dream of becoming a lawyer I have had since high school days.

Although I had studied the old Commercial Code for the exam for accountants, I had never studied other laws, and I had little knowledge about laws.

I was, of course, aware that it was extremely challenging, and so I studied harder than anyone else, but I experienced a setback at the first semester-end exam in my first year.

Chuo Law School grades students with A to E. A to D are passing grades, while E is a failing grade (students can take a re-exam to earn credits). In addition to these grades, students are evaluated with GPA, and if GPA is less than 1.6, students cannot move up to the second grade.

GPA is calculated by dividing [No. of credits] × [Grade points (A: 4 points, B: 3 points, C: 2 points, D: 1 point, E: 0 points)] for each subject by the total number of credits. If grades are all A, GPA is 4.0. If grades are all D, GPA is 1.0.
 My grades for the first semester of the first year were as follows:
 Constitution A
 Civil Code (Real Rights) D
 Civil Code (Claims) E (⇒ D after passing a re-exam) Penal Code D

At first, GPA was 1.35, but after passing a re-exam for the Civil Code (Claims), I received the grade D, and GPA was raised to 1.64.

Seeing the academic score I have never gotten in my life, I felt that my future outlook became gloomy. It took time to get over from the shock, as I thought “I may have chosen a wrong career path” and “it may be better to return to the field of accounting.”

Then, I witnessed an event that would pour salt on the wound.

I hope that related people will forgive me for the following thing after all these years. At that time, I consulted with the late professor Gen Shimizu, who taught the Civil Code (Real Rights) class, and he told the inside story, “Your grade based on the exam results was actually E. However, considering your behavior in my class, etc., I decided to give you the grade D.”

I found that my GPA could have been 1.07 if evaluated only based on test results.

If professor Shimizu gave me the grade E for the class of the Civil Code (Real Rights), I could not have become a lawyer.

After that, I revised my learning methods drastically, while receiving support from professor Shimizu and my friends, and improved my performance from the second semester of the first year. With my academic performance in the second year, I was able to win a scholarship, and after graduation, I passed the bar exam without trouble on my first try.

Professor Shimizu passed away suddenly a few days before the day on which I was registered as a lawyer, and I was not able to report it to him directly. Progressive Civil Code, authored by professor Shimizu, is still displayed on my bookshelf as my keepsake.

Aiming for no inheritance troubles

(Scene of the seminar for simulating a dispute over
At Chuo Law School, I learned a variety of things, despite the above-mentioned setback. The class I most remembered in the law school is the professor Nozawa’s class regarding family laws.

In his class, professor Nozawa mentioned many words of wisdom, such as “Each family has a history… (Therefore, inheritance causes disputes).” These words piqued my interest in inheritance. This may be because I had worked for an audit firm whose interaction with other organizations was impersonal, and I may have harbored feelings like longing toward the world where I could interact with people compassionately.

Actually, I have experienced many inheritance cases as a lawyer. Every time I deal with an inheritance case, I recall professor Nozawa’s phrase: “Each family has a history.”

In inheritance cases so far, I have seen many people being frustrated by the opposing party’s words and behavior and agonizing. Unlike other issues, inheritance can be predicted, because a person dies someday.

“I aim for no inheritance troubles by taking appropriate proactive measures against the inevitable issue of inheritance.”

This hope has been nurtured, as I dealt with a lot of inheritance cases.

At present, I am striving to prevent inheritance troubles as a lawyer preventing disputes, who would say, “Please consult me before quarreling,” rather than a lawyer settling disputes, who would say, “Please consult me after quarreling.” On the other hand, in order to deepen people’s understanding of inheritance, I actively plan a seminar for simulating a dispute over inheritance®, etc. in order for general public to understand the horribleness of inheritance.

There is a long way to go, before the actualization of a society where nobody suffers from inheritance troubles, but I would like to keep moving forward step by step.


The late Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” In this light, I trust that I accumulated the dots at Chuo Law School. While connecting a lot of dots obtained in the law school, I aim to establish a dispute-free society.
Atsushi Iseda
Lawyer and Certified Public Accountant

Atsushi Iseda was born in Kobe in 1983. He graduated from the Faculty of Economics, Keio University in 2002. He passed the second-stage exam for certified public accountants at the youngest age, when he was a university student. He joined KPMG AZSA LLC. and engaged in auditing tasks, but he resolved to pursue his dream, and advanced to Chuo Law School. After graduating from the law school, he passed the bar exam. Currently he works as a lawyer/certified public accountant.
His written books include Practice of Estimation of Damage to Business, Which Can Be Understood with a Story—a Novice Lawyer Endeavors to Handle Accounting Figures (published by Nihon Kajo Shuppan).