Many Iowans make their way down to Arizona once winter rolls around. So too do many New Yorkers, to Florida or other warm-weather climates. For third-year law student Pablo Guevara, ever since he was a child he’s slowly found himself going in the opposite direction, steadily gravitating towards colder weather on his way to Iowa City for law school and beyond.
Guevara, born in Mexico and raised in El Paso at the Texas/Mexico border, spent his 2L summer with the Chicago office of law firm Sidley Austin, where he has accepted an offer to return to after graduation.
Although the cold weather isn’t at the top of his list for what he is looking forward to with his impending move, Guevara is looking forward to everything Chicago has to offer, including the food. “I am looking forward to having more food diversity. I don’t necessarily consider myself a foodie, but I do like to eat different cuisines and was exposed to different cuisines growing up. Living in Chicago will allow me to explore and taste different types of food.”
Before Iowa Law, Guevara completed his undergraduate studies at University of Texas at El Paso.
Although Guevara enjoyed his time at UTEP, he says the experience was far different than Iowa. “Most people live with their families because most students are from El Paso or Juarez. There definitely isn’t the same type of community like there is at Iowa and Iowa Law.”
Still, Guevara attributes his academic successes at Iowa Law to a program he participated in during undergrad at UTEP. The Law School Preparation Institute “exposed me to the different aspects of the legal industry. In the program they taught us how to brief cases, introduced us to legal writing, [I] took an LSAT prep course, networked with law firms and we were exposed to law schools across the country. The first time I actually took notice of Iowa Law was during this program, where Dean [Collins] Byrd gave a presentation to our class.”
So what was it that eventually brought Guevara to Iowa Law after he first learned about it from Dean Byrd?
His wife was enrolled at Iowa Law and graduated this past May, and although Guevara was set on attending a different law school, some frank conversations caused him to reconsider. “I spoke with Dean Byrd and Professor Bram Elias and they convinced me to reconsider Iowa.”
Although Guevara thought he would be attending law school somewhere warmer, he’s now preparing to graduate in May and begin at Sidley Austin’s Chicago office after graduating, something he says Iowa Law alums played a big role in helping him achieve. “Iowa Law alums were very helpful when I was applying and interviewing for my jobs. There were Iowa Law alums at both Sidley and Davis Brown, where I worked my 1L summer, and I interviewed with alums. When I was trying to decide among my options, I spoke to several alumni and they were incredibly helpful.”
From El Paso to Iowa to Chicago, you could be forgiven for thinking there was something about the cold that Guevara gravitates toward. Instead, his path towards Iowa Law and Sidley Austin can more accurately be attributed to hard work, meaningful conversations and a willingness to try something new.
“I have no regrets in my decision to attend Iowa Law and would do it again if given the chance,” Guevara shared.
Adam R. Lorenzana is a 3L at Iowa Law. A Long Island, NY native, Adam attended Georgetown University for his BS and MA, graduating in 2014 and 2017, respectively. This past summer Adam was a summer associate with the NYC office of Willkie Farr & Gallagher, where he will return to practice corporate and transactional law upon graduation.