Category Archives: news-profile

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Meet Sam Langholz, ’08

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Sam Langholz’s passion for public service and law is a force that drives him out of bed in the morning.

The 2008 University of Iowa College of Law alum truly enjoys getting up each day striving to improve the efficiency and quality of Iowa’s indigent defense system.

“My position is a unique mix of law and public policy, which has been a good match for my interest in public service and love of the law,” he said.  “I appreciate the position is challenging and multifaceted, and that I have the opportunity to continue to engage in appellate practice.”

This hometown Hawkeye from Clear Lake, Iowa, coordinates Iowa’s indigent defense system, managing a $55 million budget and the State Public Defender system of 220 employees and administering the indigent defense fund that provides payment to other court-appointed attorneys.

He handles some appellate litigation arising out of indigent defense fee claim disputes, but most of his practice is out-of-court, including drafting and negotiating contracts, conducting internal investigations, advising on and handling personnel matters, drafting administrative rules and proposed legislation, and advising on issues of attorney ethics.

Langholz received his bachelors degree from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia where he majored in politics. Following graduation, Langholz attended the University of Iowa College of Law from 2005-2008, and graduated in May 2008.

Immediately after law school, Langholz clerked for Judge Steven M. Colloton on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.  He then worked for the Davis Brown Law Firm in Des Moines, focusing on civil litigation and appeals.

Langholz said he has no doubt that his UI College of Law education has had a profound effect on helping him get where he is today.

“Through the efforts of professors and student leaders on moot court and law review, I learned to be a strong writer, which is one of a lawyer’s most important skills,” he said.  “I also learned an incredible amount about the law and about life from discussions with professors, classmates, and alumni throughout the three years of law school and since then.”

The UI opened doors for him to intern in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cedar Rapids during his first summer and in the Muscatine County Attorney’s Office his second summer.

Law school experiences built many memories for Langholz, including taking advantage of the open door policies of many professors to learn more about the law, seek professional guidance, and develop friendships.

“Some of my fondest memories are of spending the night at the law school doing authority checks with the other writers and editors of the Iowa Law Review,” he said. “Delicious food, great company, and lots of books — what more could one ask for?”

Choosing a favorite UI class was difficult for Langholz, but he ended up landing on the Civil Procedure class he took his first year with Professor Bauer.

There are so many directions that you can take a law degree, and great flexibility in the classes you take, activities you’re involved in, and summer experiences, but all this flexibility can be a curse if you haven’t been thinking strategically, Langholz said in light of advising prospective and current law students.

For example, you are not likely going to be a particularly competitive applicant for a position as an entry-level public defender if you never took any elective criminal courses, never interned in a public defender or prosecutor office, and never took advantage of the legal clinic or trial advocacy programs, he said.

However Langholz thoroughly encourages obtaining a law degree.

“For better or worse, law continues to be at the nexus of so much in society — business, government, and our personal lives,” he said.  “A law degree can give you the tools necessary to work through the legal system, and to help others to do the same, to more successfully accomplish the business, personal, or political objectives that are desired.”

Aside from work, Langholz enjoys spending his spare time with his wife Kristin and two young boys, and taking in musical theater.

Meet Pamela Meanes, ’96

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Pamela Meanes, University of Iowa College of Law 1996 J.D. graduate grew up knowing she wanted to serve her community and make a difference in the lives of others. Her original idea was to become a teacher and pursue a career in education, but eventually decided to venture down a different path to reach her goal of serving the community: attending law school.

Now with the help of her law degree from the UI, Meanes spends every day solving problems for people and helping people — and their businesses — avoid problems.

“I’d be giving you a less than accurate answer if I didn’t tell you that I like the pressure and the challenges,” she said. “There is nothing like talking to a CEO, or inside counsel, figuring out what legal problems they are facing and telling that person ‘OK, I can help you.’ In some cases, I’m handling multi-million dollar matters, the types of cases that can make or break a company or organization. The pressure is immense, but to me, it’s also thrilling.”

She was recently elected president-elect of the National Bar Association — the nation’s oldest and largest association of African American lawyers that was founded in Des Moines, Iowa in 1925. She will succeed current president Patricia Rosier as President next July.

Meanes earned her bachelor’s degree from Monmouth College in 1990 and received her master’s degree from Clark Atlanta University in 1993. She then attended the UI College of Law from 1994-1996 after one of her master’s professors told her she should consider a career in law, and after speaking with a UI College of Law representative.

“I had never thought about going into law, so the whole idea of becoming a lawyer really was hard to consider at first,” the East St. Louis, Illinois native said. “But he kept pushing, and eventually put me in touch with a law professor at the University of Iowa College of Law who gave me a great deal of encouragement, so I decided to do it. Once I got to the University of Iowa, and met the students and faculty, I knew I was in the right place and that I had made the right decision.”

Following graduation at the University of Iowa in 1996, Meanes began her career at Thompson Coburn later that year and was elected partner in 2005. While not the firm’s first African American partner at her firm, Meanes is the first in the firm to be elevated from associate to partner.

In her years with the firm she has defended financial institutions on various contract, mechanics lien and lender liability matters; managed and negotiated more than 200 complex land acquisitions for a major transportation agency in a leading Midwestern city; supervised a discovery team consisting of numerous attorneys, paralegals and supporting staff in multimillion-dollar breach of contract case;

tried or second-chaired bench and jury trials to conclusion on various civil matters; and defended senior executives and a nonprofit organization on matters related to race and sexual harassment.

Meanes has also been deeply involved in the National Bar Association, holding positions as Vice President, Editor-In-Chief of The NBA Magazine, Chair of the Finance and Fundraising Committee, Region VIII Regional Director, Deputy General Counsel, Women Lawyers Division, Judicial Selections Committee member, Nominations Committee member. In addition, she has been a member of the NBA’s Law and Religion Section, Minority Partners in Majority Firms Division, Commercial Law Section, Corporate Law Section, and National Bar Institute.

While she realizes law school is a rigorous time in your life, Meanes offered some advice to current and prospective law students: “First, it’s important to know that you can do it,” she said. “Even when it seems tough, and overwhelming, you can get through it. And when you graduate, you can get the job you want or better yet, the job you were meant to have. Be willing to work hard, listen, open your mind, embrace change and what you are learning, look at it as just another (but very important) part of your journey.”

A law degree is very versatile and can be tailored to your own passion, she said.

“What you do with your law degree is up to you … what is your passion? Sure, no one is going to walk up to you and hand you your dream job in law, but trust me, if you are passionate about it, work hard and smart you, WILL achieve your goals.”

Right now Meanes’ work at the firm and with the NBA keeps her busy. However, she is very involved with her church, the New Freedom Church in Belleville, Illinois. Her priority, though, is family. Spending time with her husband and children is extremely important. As of now, she doesn’t really have time for hobbies … but the upside is, she said, “I love all that I do and I don’t feel as if I’m missing out on anything!”

 

 

 

 

Meet Joshua Weiner, ’15

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Hometown: Omaha, NE

Undergraduate Institution: University of Nebraska-Omaha

Undergraduate Degree: English

Joshua Weiner, a University of Iowa second year law student was awarded a Peggy Browning Fellowship to work for the Directorate of the Whistleblower Protection Program for the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) this past summer in Washington D.C.

“It’s a bit different from what I would say a typical summer legal internship is like,” he said. “I worked on a couple legal memos and having a legal background is certainly helpful, but a lot of what our office did was measurement-driven analysis; preparing reports on programs, answering questions presented by the Government Accountability Office, things of that nature. It’s a great window into the world of an administrative agency.”

The Directorate of the Whistleblower Protection Program oversees the administration of the whistleblower provisions of 22 different federal statutes, ranging from occupational safety and health to securities regulation. A complaint filed with OSHA is investigated by OSHA staff through 10 Regional Offices. If a complaint is dismissed, the complainant can appeal that decision to the National Office; Weiner’s work includes working with those appeals.

He also worked on a report of ALJ decisions issued under the whistleblower provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act over the past three years and collaborated on an Alternative Dispute Resolution Pilot Program.

Peggy Browning Fellowships provide law students with unique, diverse and challenging work experiences fighting for social and economic justice.  These experiences encourage and inspire students to pursue careers in public interest labor law. The Peggy Browning Fund is a not for-profit organization established in memory of Margaret A. Browning, a prominent union-side attorney who was a member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from 1994 until 1997.

Weiner said he has always had an interest in helping others and advocating for what he believes in and felt attending law school would give him the opportunity to influence many people in a positive way – so the fellowship was a perfect fit.

He discovered the PBF through University of Iowa career services and applied online. The PBF offers 70-plus Fellowships each year through a variety of labor-oriented sponsors. The positions are typically posted in the fall for the upcoming summer, and applicants can apply for up to five positions, and Weiner applied for all five. He was notified of his offer last winter.

“I chose this Fellowship with OSHA because I was interested in seeing how a federal agency operated from the inside – from rulemaking to administration,” the 25 year old from Omaha, Nebraska said. “What I enjoyed most about my job is that I get to do things that are not necessarily in my comfort zone as a law student, but that require a lot of the same critical thinking skills.”

While attending the UI law school, Weiner is the research assistant for Professor Lea VanderVelde and said he owes her a special thanks for being supportive and teaching him to think about the law in a different way that has helped at OSHA.

In 2012 and 2013, Weiner participated in Citizen Lawyer Programs with both Iowa Legal Aid and the ACLU Immigration Project. He was a finalist in the 2013 Van Oosterhout-Baskerville Moot Court Competition and was also selected to participate in Supreme Court Day in the fall of 2013.

His previous work experiences include working for a workers’ compensation insurance company and an internship at Iowa Legal Aid in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

“I learned a great deal about being an advocate in my time with Iowa Legal Aid and I owe a lot of thanks to the attorneys there,” Weiner said.

His summer fellowship provided him with many experiences outside of a typical law internship, he said.

“It’s been a eye-opening experience into the world of government,” he said. “Very little in a government agency gets done in isolation. It takes a lot of contact with people and patience.

He plans to carry forward many of the opportunities and skills into his future career including network connections and crafting policy.

“This internship has really given me exposure on how to analyze data and prepare reports on it,” he said. “I know this isn’t necessarily legal, but the way that I think the industry is heading requires some technical savvy as well as experiences that make you marketable not just as a lawyer, but as someone who can offer consultation and understand issues from a policy standpoint.”

Weiner said one of the reasons he was attracted to the UI law school was the approachability of the law professors. He said they all share a demonstrable passion for molding competent, compassionate, and responsible lawyers.

But perhaps the greatest benefit he’s taken from law school, Weiner said, besides the obvious benefit of a legal education, is the confidence he’s gained. The ability to think on your feet and offer articulate, well-reasoned responses to questions is a skill that he thinks translates to any setting.

“Of course I was nervous about meeting my supervisor and making a good impression,” Weiner said of his fellowship position. “I’ve found in my experience, however, that mistakes are inevitable in any new position – but what is most important and what people will remember is your attitude and your willingness to learn.”

 

Meet Kseniya Stupak, ’15

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Hometown: Sevastopol, Ukraine

Undergraduate Institution: University of Iowa

Undergraduate Degree: Sociology

Zdravstvujtye, privit, or hello — whether it’s in Russian, Ukrainian, or English, or whether she’s twirling away on the ballroom floor, Kseniya Stupak won’t hesitate to share her experience last summer interning for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa, where she found her passion of Federal Criminal law.

“I worked with different cases including drugs, gangs, guns, child pornography, sexual abuse, and murder,” Stupak, a University of Iowa College of Law 2L, said. “I actually practiced law, not just learned how to think like a lawyer. I realized that I want to prosecute such crime and not defend.”

As a law clerk, her job included research, writing memos, briefs, observing criminal trials, pre-trials, sentencings, and plea hearings. Not only did she observe the federal criminal procedures, but participated fully in every step of the process. She interviewed the defendant in prison, wrote questions for cross-examination, and wrote sentencing memos, worked with FBI agents, Secret Service, U.S. Marshall’s, and Federal Prosecutors.

The trilingual student grew up in Sevastopol, Ukraine and moved to Cedar Rapids in October 2004, with her family. When she’s not studying law, she travels the world participating in ballroom dancing competitions — and has been named a champion.  She said her background traveling all over the world helps her be open to different points of view and understand different cultures.

Stupak is involved in several UI Student Organizations including Organization For Women Law Students and Staff, where the group fundraises for Pro Bono trips around the United States to help people and volunteer. She is also active in Legal Clinic, and last semester she participated in Divorce Pro Bono Clinic. Stupak joined the Transnational Law and Contemporary Problems Journal and would like to be in the Moot Court team next semester.

As a mother, student, wife, ballroom champion, and volunteer, Stupak said her life becomes hectic but still feels like she can do it all, and knows that her positive attitude and energy will push her through.

“Boxing and gym are the best stress releases,” she said. “Sometimes right after the classes I feel overwhelmed and release my stress by boxing or dancing and then go home and start being myself again.”

Stupak said she loves the University of Iowa Law School because of its relatively small size. All students know each other and all professors know every student. She said they don’t only study, but have fun socializing together with theatrical plays, cards games, picnics, and many more other activities.

However, academia is the College of Law’s forte.

In Iowa Law School, Stupak said they learn how to think like a lawyer, therefore, they find internships, externships and volunteer opportunities to practice law. The combination of both helps to prepare each student for a new career.

“When I started to learn law, I realized that my brain started to think differently,” she said. “I am more careful with anything I do, anything I sign. I developed great communication skills, writing skills. I feel that I am more freely can talk to different people with different backgrounds and be open for their opinions by being a good listener.”

Those skills helped her land the internship of her dream this past summer.

“I have no regrets that I joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office during the summer,” she said. “Everyone was extremely helpful at the office and helped me in my understanding in federal procedure and law. All of my questions were answered and I received a lot of feedback and suggestions.”

Meet Sylvia Smith, ’15

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Undergraduate Institution: University of Iowa Tippie College of Business

Undergraduate Degree: Business

After a year-long term of service with Americorps in North Liberty, Sylvia Smith, a University of Iowa second year law student, knew she wanted to attend law school for one reason: to make a difference in the criminal justice system.

Smith worked with at-risk K-12 youth and occasionally with adults in corrections as the Restorative Justice Youth Program Coordinator for the Community Corrections Improvement Association, which sparked her passion to fight for individuals in our criminal law system.

“It is frustrating to witness the way our current system disadvantages certain people, specifically minorities and the poor,” she said.  “The system the way it is has a huge impact on families and youth. I would like to work with others to curtail the cycle of incarceration.”

The 28 year old graduated with a degree in finance and marketing from the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business. She then chose to continue her education by attending the University of Iowa College of Law. As a longtime Iowa resident, Smith was lucky to have a good law school in the state, close to her friends and family.

Last summer she worked for the Iowa City Human Rights Commission investigating complaints of discrimination, employment public accommodation, education, and housing.

While attending the UI Law School, resurrecting the American Constitution Society has been a highlight of her experience thus far. The progressive organization, she said, focuses on building a network to shape legal policy and foster debates on key issues such as the Voting Rights Act, DOMA, and judicial nominees. In addition, she is the social chair of the Black Law Student Association and a member of the University of Iowa College of Law Outlaws.

Smith said a law school education is beneficial because it improves communication skills and teaches you to look at the world with a critical eye.

“Your vocabulary expands greatly and so do your reading skills,” she said. “You learn to analyze and think like a lawyer; the way you look at the world and what you read, you look at these things critically. You engage in meaningful debates to not only learn how to express yourself effectively, but to be accepting, yet critical, of other people’s viewpoints.”

However, law school can often be stressful and consume a lot of time, she said. Smith uses several techniques to ensure she is balancing her life. She plays the guitar in a band, spends time outdoors, cooks, leisure reads and hangs out with friends.

“I try and connect with people that are not in law school,” the Smith said. “It’s really easy to forget about the rest of the world, family and friends, and it’s hard to reconnect. I do yoga and I exercise, but it’s hard to find time. Sometimes it’s hard to not feel guilty about taking time from studying to do the essential things like eat or drink.  I always have to remember that I am a person and that it is necessary to do these things.”

But overall she enjoys the hard work and the law school experience, especially the interaction with faculty the UI provides.

“I like that faculty lounge and the student lounge both exist on the same floor,” she said. “We have some amazing professors that do incredible things outside of the walls of the law building.  That we have an opportunity to interact with them on a very human level is, I think, a big privilege.”

Smith said she intends to soak up as much as she can while obtaining her education, with the primary goal of getting a job in the public sector.

“Ultimately I want to help others, and I’m learning that there are many different ways to do that,” she said. “I would be very happy to graduate and go on to be a public defender, but any way that I can feel like I’m making a positive difference in people’s lives is a career that interests me.”

Meet Kelsey Rwayitare, ’14

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Hometown: Clear Lake, IA

Undergraduate Institution: University of Iowa

Undergraduate Degree: History Major, Philosophy Minor

Kelsey Rwayitare, a University of Iowa third year law student, knew from the start of her law school experience she wanted to dedicate her career to those without access to basic human rights – and now she is well on her way.

Last summer she was granted the opportunity to clerk for the Rwandan Supreme Court writing memoranda, conducting research, and helping the Justice write opinions. Some of Rwayitare’s work included editing Civil Procedure Regulations for the Chief Justice and working on court reform with the Inspector General.

“I have the opportunity to help lay the groundwork for a judicial system growing in public trust, and I could not be more excited,” she said.

Rwayitare applied for the position through Chief Justice Rugege and received an offer. She then proceeded to apply for funding through the University of Iowa and received an EJF grant, the Cmiel Human Rights Funded Internship, and the Annette Stewart travel stipend. She left for Rwanda June 6 and will returned the United States August 10.

The experience taught her how to function in a court system different from the United States and helped her gain a broader sense of how the law works and grow her ability to identify strengths and weaknesses in a wide variety of legal settings, she said, adding it also helped her understand the Rwandese culture and act as a springboard for her future career.

“This summer was absolutely a dream come true because it blends all of the things that are important to me,” she said. “My husband is Rwandese, and we decided to come to Rwanda for the summer with our 16-month-old son. This opportunity allowed me to get to know my husband’s culture and grow my legal career.”

Stella Elias, a UI immigration law and civil procedure professors, had Rwayitare as a student in one of her immigration law classes and said she has no doubt the clerkship in Rwanda will provided Rwayitare with rigorous training in legal research and writing and exposed her to many facets of appellate advocacy in a fast-moving and high-pressure environment. It also introduced her to new mentors with whom she may forge life-long professional and personal ties, she said.

“We live in an increasingly connected world, and we work in an increasingly global profession, and this experience will provide Kelsey with skills that she will find invaluable as a 21st century lawyer,” she said.

Elias said she is confident Rwayitare will excel in her clerkship; she has great legal research skills, she is a very good legal writer, and she is a warm and compassionate person.

Meet Matthew Enriquez, ’15

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Hometown: Topeka, KS

Undergraduate Institution: University of Kansas

Undergraduate Degree: Communication Studies

Matthew Enriquez, a second year University of Iowa law student, has known the importance of education and being a lifelong learner from a very young age. His father, an immigrant to the United States, told Enriquez higher education is a gateway to the “American Dream.” His mother, a lifelong teacher, delivered a contrasting, but equally compelling viewpoint: higher education is a time when students should develop and begin to identify their purpose in life.

In combination, those viewpoints, along with his personal observations of inequity and exclusion in higher education, fueled his interest in creating positive working environments for students, faculty, and staff at universities. He hopes to use his law degree to counsel colleges and universities on equal employment opportunities, policies, and labor relations.

Either from the employee or management side, I want to help create positive working environments so that educational institutions can focus their priorities on their academic missions,” the 25 year old said.

At Bowling Green State University, where he received his master’s degree, he had an opportunity to see how policy affected who was able to attend college, work at a university, and succeed at both of those things. He decided there that he wanted to work to maximize each of those things, and thus attended law school.

The Citizen Lawyer Program initially attracted him to the UI because the program creates opportunities for him to apply what he’s learning in the classroom to his passion.

Enriquez received the 2012-2013 Katherine Finn Milleman Memorial Award which enabled him to serve as an unpaid legal intern for a judge in Washington D.C. this summer. As part of this job, he is researching and writing memoranda about legal issues for the judge. The experience, he said, is a great opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge he learned during his first year of law school to actual legal practice.

At the UI, he is primarily involved in the Iowa Student Bar Association, the Executive Council of Graduate and Professional Students, and as an advisor and house director for Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity.

“Unlike many of my classmates, when I go home, I am actually going to my place of employment,” the Topeka, Kansas native said. “Although it might seem like a nightmare scenario for a law student, I have found it to be a refreshing environment because it allows me to practice my counseling and advising skills on a daily basis with a group of students who understand that I have a demanding schedule.”

For the Iowa Student Bar Association, he served as the 1L ECGPS Representative and attended the student government meetings in order to voice the needs, concerns, and opinions of law students. As Law Foundation Representative this coming year, he’ll have the opportunity to provide a student perspective to the Iowa Law Foundation as its Directors work to advance the needs of the Iowa Law through philanthropy.

In 2013-2014, he is serving as the Vice President of the graduate and professional student body. Through this role with ECGPS, he will have the opportunity to provide grants to graduate and professional students and organizations. Additionally, he will advocate for the needs of all graduate and professional students (including law students) to University administrators, the Iowa Board of Regents, and Iowa legislators.

With a diverse group of students already at the UI College of Law School, Enriquez brings another unique perspective to the group.

“Coming straight from a master’s program makes me a little different than most of my classmates,” he said. “Even though it’s quite a bit of schooling, I think earning my master’s before this was beneficial because it helped me understand the rigor of postgraduate work accompanied by working almost full time.”

Enriquez has identified a few goals during law school he hopes to accomplish. First he plans to maintain involvement in higher education administration through participation in the graduate and professional student government. Second, he plans to engage in legal academic work outside of his classes each semester, even if it is something as small as subscribing to legal newsletters or reading law review articles. Finally, he has a concrete goal to get involved in a couple professional organizations, specifically the Iowa State Bar Association and the National Association of College and University attorneys.

“I think it’s important for balance to have other commitments and responsibilities during law school,” he said. “Also, I have found it very important for me to supplement my classroom learning with outside learning, and participating in professional organizations is important because it can serve the dual purposes of education and networking.”

Meet Elisabeth Archer, ’15

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Hometown: Ottumwa, Iowa

Undergraduate Institution: Luther College

Undergraduate Degree: Political Science and History

It didn’t take long for Elisabeth Archer, a second year student at the University of Iowa College of Law, to realize how closely the political and legal fields were connected.

After completing several internships and work experiences with the U.S. House of Representatives, the Iowa State Legislature, and Governor Branstad’s office, Archer realized that pursuing a career where the two paths converged was of great interest to her. In the future, she hopes to work for a congressional committee as legal counsel, aiding in the preparation and drafting of bills.

Largely the influences directing her towards a legal career were those mentors and people with whom she worked during her experiences in several political environments, although she has received abounding support in this endeavor from her family, friends, and professors.

Iowa born, bred, and educated, (a Luther College graduate) Archer was excited and fortunate to have the opportunity to continue her education in Iowa and still receive a top-tier legal education.

One of her major accomplishments during law school thus far was working on her attitude and making it through the first year. Throughout the year she learned to go with her own gut, study in her own way, and in doing that, gained a great deal of confidence in her abilities and was able to make law school about her personal approach and goals.

“I think my first year was very difficult for me because I let myself become intimidated by stories I heard from graduates that law school was the worst three years of their lives,” the 22 year old said. “I was also intimidated by my accomplished peers and their keen intellect, but I think at the end of the day I just had to learn to buckle down and create my own experience.”

This past summer Archer served as a legal extern to Justice Mansfield and Justice Waterman at the Iowa Supreme Court. Because the Iowa Supreme Court’s terms largely mirror those of the U.S. Supreme Court, the first part of the summer included aiding in the drafting of opinions and concluding the court’s adjudicative term, and the latter part of the summer focused more on attorney discipline cases. She also participated in the Blackstone Legal Fellowship, which included attending several educational sessions in Arizona.

Archer said the biggest surprise of law school came on the day after her last final second semester of her first year.

“I was getting ready to leave my apartment and head off for the summer and I realized that I already missed school,” she said. “I then let my parents know that I was obviously very ill and needed special care, but really, all jokes aside, once I started to get over my fears and stresses, I found that I actually really enjoyed classes and the whole law school experience.”

During Archer’s first year she was a member of OWLSS (Organization of Women Law Students and Staff), the Federalist Society, the Pro Bono Society, and she served as a student representative on the Faculty Committee for Student Honors and Awards. In her second year, Archer will also be a student writer for the Iowa Law Review and a research assistant to Professor Enrique Carrasco.

One of her ongoing goals, which got put on hold during her 1L year, is to read the top 100 classic novels. She began reading Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol at the end of last summer and upon arriving at law school, the book lived up to its title – it became a dead soul on her nightstand, she joked.

Most students are scared when they arrive at school because it is a totally new experience and you are in a class chalked-full of other intelligent, accomplished individuals, making it difficult to set yourself apart, she said, and advises law school administrators to continue to understand the precarious situation that law students are in.

“I think that the administrators at Iowa are already very understanding of the life of a law student and I would advise prospective students to take advantage of all of the opportunities to interact with the faculty, administration, and staff and engage them with questions and concerns throughout their education,” the Ottumwa, Iowa native said.

The four-story UI law library is one of Archer’s favorite places in the law school, but finds studying at home to be more effective.

“It is such an impressive place and we have so many amazing resources available to us, that being said, I am a home studier,” she said. “I find that studying at home gives me a more comfortable, laid back atmosphere, which helps take the edge off all of the work you have to do each night.”

Working at her internship last summer has made her appreciate the rigor during the school year.

“I think that Iowa Law produces hard-workers who are well-trained, but who are also relatable and easy to interact with,” she said. “I feel that Iowa Law has fully prepared me and my classmates for our future careers.”