Ernest Holtzheimer is a first-year law student at Drexel University School of Law. He is interested in business, entrepreneurial law, securities, intellectual property, and real estate. Ernest purchased his first business at the age of 18 and a year later opened a restaurant with two of his friends—all while attending Rowan University full time. He views these professional accomplishments as his most significant.
Ernest earned a B.S. and a MBA from Rowan University, graduating cum laude and summa cum laude, respectively. He has experienced hearing loss his entire life, but it wasn’t until his sophomore year at Rowan that Ernest decided to get hearing aids. He felt that he could no longer hear his professors and fellow students well enough to engage. He credits his work ethic to his disability.
Why a career in law? Ernest wants to help start-up companies and small businesses grow and prosper, and to inspire persons with disabilities to accomplish their goals. “Disability doesn’t have to prevent you from achieving your dreams.” Ernest likes the competitive nature of law school, as well as the intellectual challenges it presents. He is building his negotiation skills by competing on the negotiation team at school.
Through the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group Fellowship Program, Ernest will spend this summer at Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoades, LLP in Philadelphia. He hopes one day to become a partner at a Philadelphia law firm. Ernest also wants to develop a scholarship program for students with disabilities who are interested in higher education.
Ernest believes that the legal profession is doing a good job at welcoming persons with disabilities. He points to the U.S. Supreme Court providing deaf lawyer Michael Chatoff with a video display screen so that he could read the Justices’ questions and then respond.
Ernest calls upon lawyers with disabilities to continue to inspire others with disabilities to pursue a legal career. These lawyers show students with disabilities that being a lawyer is an achievable goal. And Ernest is well on his way.