Inspired by watching an immigration attorney at work, Sarinana set out to pursue a career in law.
Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Growing up in the town of Nichols, Iowa, Isaac Sarinana found himself on an extraordinary path that led him to Iowa Law. Isaac’s interest in pursuing a legal education began after he hired an immigration attorney to sponsor a family member. 

It was during his final year of college that he had a life-changing encounter with an immigration attorney and Iowa Law alum. When he was just 21 years old, he sought the help of an immigration attorney to sponsor a family member for permanent residency. This experience exposed him to the intricate and meaningful nature of the legal profession, igniting a flame of curiosity within him. He realized that law had the power to create change and serve as a guiding light for those in need. Motivated by this revelation, he set his sights on Iowa Law. 

“When I turned 21, I retained an immigration attorney right here in Iowa City to sponsor a family member for permanent residency. It was great timing because I was trying to figure out my path in life and what I wanted to commit to. Through that experience I found law to be both meaningful and interesting and the rest is history,” shared Isaac. 

Throughout his time at Iowa Law, Isaac has delved into various courses that sparked his interest, particularly transactional law. Subjects such as business associations, basic federal income tax, start-up companies, and mergers and acquisitions captivated him. While he has yet to determine the exact area of specialization, he relishes the opportunity to explore and immerse himself in diverse legal disciplines. 

He is fascinated by seeing how different entities operate behind the public curtain and although he’s not exactly sure what area of law he will practice, he is enjoying studying many different areas of the law.  

His journey to Iowa Law was not a direct path. As a teenage parent, he recognized the need to secure a promising future for himself and his family. He enlisted in the United States Army National Guard immediately after high school. The experience was both demanding and rewarding, shaping his character, and instilling in him a sense of discipline and resilience. He is proud of the decision his 17-year-old-self made, and it proved invaluable when he utilized the GI Bill to pursue a bachelor's degree, eventually leading him to Iowa Law. 

Throughout his childhood and academic career, Isaac has been inspired by his father, a role model who has been with him every step of the way. A carpenter by trade, his dad has exemplified unwavering dedication and an unyielding work ethic. Never missing a day of work or overtime, he has worked on notable projects like Kinnick Stadium and the University of Iowa Children's Hospital. Learning from his father's example, he instilled within him the importance of hard work, perseverance, and the pursuit of excellence. 

“It might be cliche, but my dad. He is a carpenter and from what I can remember he has never missed a day of work or a day of overtime. I have to give him credit for leading by example and instilling a strong work ethic in myself and my siblings,” Isaac said. 

As Isaac looks into the future, his goals remain open-ended yet ambitious. He eagerly anticipates completing his final year at Iowa Law as a determined 3L. Beyond that, his aspirations extend towards professional growth as an attorney, aiming to become an expert in my chosen field. The road ahead is filled with infinite possibilities, and he is excited to carve his place in the legal world. 

This past summer Isaac worked at Shuttleworth & Ingersoll in Cedar Rapids and relished the opportunity to work at a firm with diverse practice areas. It gave him the opportunity to explore different facets of the legal profession and discover where his true passion lies. The experience was nothing short of rewarding and reaffirmed his commitment to a future in law. He will be returning to Shuttleworth & Ingersoll after graduation. 

His journey has been one of determination and inspiration. Guided by his experiences, mentors, and a profound desire to make a difference, he is eager to embrace the challenges that lie ahead and shape a bright future.