Thursday, March 31, 2022

The Alumni DEI Council was introduced in 2021 to help promote diversity, equity, and inclusion at the College of Law. The council's work focuses on mentorship and student retention. Their collective accomplishments and connections help extend the Iowa Law network for the benefit of current and prospective students, alumni, and future council members.

The alumni span over 30 years, bringing a vast variety of career paths and geographies to the council. Recently, women from the group shared their thoughts on mentorship, role models and advice for women entering the field of law.


How has mentorship helped you in your career?

Crystal Pound (16JD)

I am so grateful for the amazing mentorships I've developed in my career, especially through Iowa law. First, through Back to Iowa, I've been able to meet and connect with phenomenal past members of Iowa's BLSA network, including its judiciary, where I've gotten truly invaluable advice. Second, through working with the law school and volunteering with mock trial, I've been able to work with and mentor so many talented law students.

Hannah Hodges (20MSL)

I’m fortunate to have mentors that truly have my best interest at heart! They encourage my strategic career growth and inspire me for leadership opportunities while being voices of reason for when to step back or set boundaries. This has helped me to feel comfortable in new spaces because I have sounding boards and a team to cheer me on.


Who is your biggest role model in law and life?

Corinna Ochsmann (10LLM)

My biggest role model in my legal career has been my previous manager Susanne. Apart from her outstanding legal skills, she was the best boss you could ask for. Susanne was the only female department head of our legal department, and on a regular basis she was the one with the best results regarding employee satisfaction. She had a reputation for being on a par with her team throughout the organization. Working for her was so inspiring that despite being understaffed, we delivered outstanding results, as we all felt how much she appreciated us, not only as a team, but also as individuals.

McCeil Johnson (99JD)

My mother is my role model her love, level of openness, and positivity is rejuvenating.

Hannah Hodges (20MSL)

Outside of personal connections, my biggest female role model in life would have to be Michelle Obama. She embodies what it means to be an unapologetic, brilliant, and humble Black Woman who pushes the limit while setting realistic boundaries.


What’s your best piece of advice for women entering the field?

McCeil Johnson (99JD)

Women entering the law profession need to be confident, resilient, unflappable, flexible, fierce, and have a strong sense of self.

Lata Setty (91JD)

Don't wait to get the proverbial "seat at the table", instead BUILD your own table and bring folding chairs to add as you grow your table.

Hannah Hodges (20MSL)

My best piece of advice is to seek out opportunities and don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. Follow your dreams and shoot for beyond the stars!