Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Growing up in Bedford, Texas, second-year law student, Leighton Berridge, has one word to describe his transition to Iowa: “cold.” “Negative 9 degrees was a new one!” Berridge says. But besides the snow, he has felt right at home during his move to the Hawkeye state.  

After graduating from Southlake Carrol Senior High School, Berridge attended Baylor University for two years where he participated in the Baylor Student Senate and served on the student conduct board—his first interactions with “legal-ish” environments. He finished his degree at the University of Texas at Austin, graduating with a major in government and a minor in business. During his last semester at UT, he worked for a state representative at the Texas State Capitol where he honed his passion for the political and legislative processes. 

Berridge has “always been interested in law and politics,” and law school seemed like the natural next step after college to forward these goals. Before taking that step, Berridge did freelance writing for a year after undergrad. He focused on politics, the stock market, and even wrote some creative pieces. 

As the first person in his family to attend law school, Berridge did extensive research on different law schools before deciding on Iowa Law. After comparing countless factors, Iowa Law came out on top. Specifically, Berridge was sold by Iowa’s competitive ranking in teaching and legal services, financial sensibility, and good people. 

The expansive alumni connections throughout the country were also very important and impressive to Berridge. “There’s a strong alumni network in D.C., which was attractive because of my governmental interest.” This held true, as Berridge connected with an Iowa alum working for the FTC when looking for 1L summer positions. This mentorship helped him land a summer position in the 416th Judicial District Court of Texas with a judge in Collin County. 

Since joining Iowa Law, Berridge has been active with student organizations, the Journal of Corporation Law, the Trial Advocacy Board, and the Iowa City community. He has made it a priority to engage and invest in his new home while attending school. Berridge volunteered with Iowa Legal Aid during his first semester, and ever since starting law school, he has been handing out meals weekly for the Salvation Army.

Outside of school, you can find Berridge golfing with friends, fishing at City Park, or watching football games with other law students downtown.

The best piece of law school advice he received and wants to pass along is to “just keep moving through it, just keep up, and eventually, it is all going to come together.” With that in mind, Berridge is embarking on his second year with hopes to head back down to Texas for his 2L summer. 

He was confident that Iowa Law would prepare him to go anywhere after graduation, and he is excited to take the next step in his legal career.  Berridge is currently a 2L and will graduate in May 2023.