Raised in New York City, Ezzat Nsouli is quite familiar with skyscrapers and hustle and bustle. His parents were born in Lebanon and moved to New York when they were very young. “Me and my sister were first generation Lebanese Americans born here in this country.” Ezzat spent his childhood in Queens, where most of his family still resides.
Looking for a change of pace, his brave sole made it out to the Midwest after high school, and he hasn’t looked back! His first move brought him to Columbus, Ohio where he attended Ohio State University for his undergraduate education after he completed his two years of community college in New York. Ezzat majored in English with a plan to pursue a legal education.
In his final year at Ohio State, he started to get involved with politics. “I interned with United States Senator Robert Portman, and that sort of changed the entire trajectory of my life because I realized that I love policy. I love politics.”
The fast pace and ability to interact with people are some of his favorite aspects of politics. “It's a lot of moving parts, and no two days are the same. It really teaches you to think on your feet, move fast, and work well under pressure.”
Ezzat continued this passion for politics after he graduated. He worked with State Senator John Eklund in Ohio for a year and then decided to get his master’s degree in public policy and administration at Northwestern. After completing his degree in Chicago, he moved back to Columbus and spent a year working with Jones Day as a recruiting coordinator. During these transitions, his desire to go to law school never wavered. As Ezzat reflects on his time in politics, he notes how it prepared him well for law school.
During his law school search, Iowa Law initially attracted Ezzat because of its impressive ranking and financial feasibility. But throughout his first two years here, the lifestyle and people have given him a deeper appreciation of the Midwest. “It's a different quality of life, as opposed to the hustle and bustle of a big city like New York.”
“Columbus was my first sort of entry into the Midwest, and I love it; but when I got to Iowa, I felt like I was in the ‘real’ Midwest. I've met some of the nicest people during my time here.”
He spent his 1L summer externing with the Honorable Judge Edmund Sargus of the Southern District of Ohio. Interestingly, Ezzat and Judge Sargus met several years prior when Ezzat was interning with Senator Portman in Ohio. They developed a mentorship relationship that has carried throughout Ezzat’s law school career. “Judge Sargus took me under his wing and led me through everything up until this point. I owe a lot of this to him.”
This upcoming summer he will be a summer associate with Squire Patton Boggs in Columbus. While he is leaning towards litigation, he will get the chance to work with different practice areas.
One of Ezzat’s most impactful experiences at Iowa Law has been his participation in the Journal of Corporation Law. The weekly meetings have been a chance to build a strong sense of community with classmates and enjoy the social aspects of law school. His student Note about ERISA was chosen for publication, and he will be a Managing Editor in the journal’s upcoming volume.
Ezzat is also the 2L representative for the newly formed labor law organization and is excited to see the group develop. Additionally, he is a Research Assistant for Dean Hughes where he assists in research and writing to discuss cutting-edge criminal law topics.
One of the best things about Iowa Law is the faculty involvement, according to Ezzat. “I've found that a lot of my professors have ended up becoming really great mentors to me. You come to law school, and you learn to think differently. And it's not easy to do. You have to reframe your entire mindset. So, to have people like that in your corner who can guide you through that change is so important. The faculty here have been absolutely amazing.”
Having mentors like Judge Sargus and the Iowa faculty not only influenced Ezzat’s life, but they have also inspired him to pay it forward in the future. Iowa Law has an academic environment that encourages collaboration and mentorship, and whether Ezzat stays in the Midwest or heads back to the East coast, he will carry the Iowa Law tradition with him wherever he goes.