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Get to know... Paul Esker, 2L

Paul Esker, 2L

Cedar Rapids, IA


Paul Esker decided to attend law school for at least two reasons. He felt that his talents and skills would prepare him for the challenge of the courses, and overall he was excited at the prospect of helping people and solving legal problems. 

"The short answer to why I came here is that reading, writing, and talking are the only things I've ever been good at. The slightly longer answer is that a career in the law provides the opportunity to work on complex, interesting problems, and also the opportunity to help people. Being a lawyer also lends itself well to active community engagement, whether serving on non-profit boards, or participating in local politics."

Prior to entering law school, Paul worked for 4 years on political campaigns after graduating from Luther College. He also served as a Press Secretary for a Congressional candidate as well during this time. Paul sees himself staying in Iowa and practicing law after he graduates. During his 1L summer, Paul was an associate at the Des Moines office of Fredrikson & Byron. 

Paul found that the most challenging aspect of law school is time management. Simple tricks such as handwriting notes to avoid being distracted by his laptop helped him learn to give priority to his class time and helped him maintain his focus. When he isn't focused on school, Paul enjoys running with his dog, riding his mountain bike, and perfecting the art of pancakes. 

When asked, Paul states that his favorite part of law school is "the community" and "the friendships". He was advised before coming to law school about the importance of connecting and relying on his peers. "Iowa does a great job fostering a healthy, not-too-competitive community. I really hope that culture of support persists" says Paul. His favorite memories of school thus far have been celebrating with his fellow classmates. 

"So far my favorite memory is walking out of our last final of our 1L year. All of the 1Ls had our last test (Criminal Law) at the same time on the last day of finals, so when we all walked out of the test and into the lobby of the law building, there was a huge weight off of our collective shoulders. There was a palpable joy in the air; we had all survived 1L, and we had done it together. So although I was bummed that the year was over already, there was something really special about sharing that moment with 140 classmates, who had all grown close over the course of the year."