Pre-Law Success Stories

Pre-Law alumni profiles


TomSanford_15“I came to Simpson because of its proximity to Des Moines and Culver Fellowship program (a scholarship up to $20,000 for students interested in public service, law, or politics). I knew I wanted a career in politics or law, and Des Moines is the perfect city to pursue internships and experience in both those areas. I have definitely grown at Simpson by working at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and experiencing travel abroad in Australia. Interning with the U.S Attorney’s Office taught me about the federal justice system and gave me a glimpse of what it is like to be a young professional in the legal field.

This summer I will continue to work at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Des Moines until I move out to Washington D.C. this August to attend Georgetown Law School with the intent of pursuing a legal career, possibly in corporate law.” — Tom Sanford ’15



“At Simpson, I was active in Kappa Kappa Gamma and served as president of Pre-Law Society. Sophomore year, I began working at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Des Moines, and I continued this job even into law school. At Drake, I was president of Drake Law Women and active in Drake Law Review and ABA Moot Court; I also was a law clerk at FBL Financial. After graduating with honors from Drake Law, I was offered a position as Compliance attorney at the Iowa Insurance Division.

Simpson prepared me for the real world and my future career by challenging me to think harder and never settle. The professors truly care about what they are teaching and who they are teaching. While I had one official adviser, a team of professors cared about my interests and were invested in me. Simpson is the perfect size: small enough for students to get individual attention from professors, but big enough to offer a variety of classes, organizations, and activities.” — Tracy (Sibbel) Swalwell ’12

StevenRamsey_11“At Simpson I was Student Government class president and involved in College Democrats. I participated in our delegation to Harvard’s Institute of Politics, and I even studied abroad in Costa Rica and Ghana. Simpson gave me many opportunities to participate, and I received an excellent education. After graduation, I attended Notre Dame Law School, and I’m now licensed to practice law in Missouri. I now work as the Director of Government Policy and Legislation for the Department of Health Services in Governor Jay Nixon’s administration.

Simpson helps students get as much as they want out of their education. Student access to professors in their professional and personal lives helped me develop into a well-rounded adult. I fondly remember nights of rigorous academic study, but I also remember spending countless hours in professors’ offices talking about classes and life. I’m a more compassionate and critical thinker because of my time at Simpson.” — Steven Ramsey ’11

KelcyWhitaker_10“While at Simpson, I interned for the Hillary Clinton campaign and worked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the criminal division for two years. As a senior, I clerked in the Iowa House for Rep. Elesha Gayman. After graduation, I worked at Youth Homes of Mid-America and as Appellate Court Secretary for the Iowa Court of Appeals, where I assisted three judges. I recently graduated from Loyola University Chicago Law School, where I worked with District Court judges and Chicago’s Police Review Authority. I just accepted a job as Clerk for the Iowa Court of Appeals in Des Moines.

Simpson prepared me for the real world and my career in many ways. Simpson’s size helped me become involved in campus leadership. I know the professors and continue to stay in contact with them. Five years out, I really appreciate Simpson’s alumni network. The liberal arts education helped me become more well-rounded, improved my writing, and taught me the importance of giving back. Much of my success I owe to what I learned at Simpson, inside and outside the classroom. — Kelcy Whitaker ’10

EricaSteuve_09“At Simpson. I served on advocacy and justice committees for the Iowa United Methodist Church and interned with their lobbyist my sophomore year. I interned or volunteered for: State Senator Appel, Governor Culver, U.S. Senator Harkin, and President Obama. I also had the chance to clerk in the Iowa House of Representatives and serve as secretary for the Education Committee.

After graduation, I interned at BrownWinick law firm doing policy research and then went on to Drake Law. I graduated from Drake Law with honors in 2012, returned to clerk in the Iowa Senate, and in 2013 was hired as the assistant to Senate President Pam Jochum. One major advantage of Simpson is its proximity to Des Moines and the Capitol. All the political science professors do a great job of inviting local officials to class and linking students up with legislators or lobbyists. Had I not met the legislators in a class, I’m not sure I would have ever had the connections to clerk at the Capitol.” — Erica (Shannon) Steuve ’07

NateBoulton_02“I was very involved on campus. I was in the SAE fraternity, served as Student Government president, hosted a radio show, and played intramural sports. I also did a state legislative internship, served as president of Iowa College Democrats, and volunteered on political campaigns. I attended Drake Law after graduation and finished JD and MPA degrees. I clerked for a law firm and worked there as an associate attorney after passing the bar. I am now a partner in that Des Moines firm and also teach at Simpson College and Drake Law School. I am vice president of the Iowa Association for Justice and chair of the Justice for All PAC.

Simpson was a great place for me to grow as a person. I met great people there who cared about my future, from faculty and staff to the outstanding network of friends I developed. Academically, I grew as a writer at Simpson, and that ability to be effective in written communication has served me well in law school and in my career.” — Nate Boulton ’02

AlisonStewart_04b“I began at a university and did not feel a connection to my professors. After transferring to Simpson, I was happy to find professors who met with me and invested in my development as a writer. The tools they equipped me with were invaluable in law school, and I earned high marks in my legal writing courses and achieved student publication in a law journal as a result of their teaching. I learned about internship opportunities through Career Services and professors, who helped me develop a resume and cover letters.

I spent two summers interning at an insurance company and then parleyed this experience into a clerkship at an insurance defense firm. This gave me the experience and connections to land jobs at two reputable law firms. After earning my JD from Drake Law School in 2007, I new practice in Des Moines. I could not be where I am today without my Simpson experience.” — Alison Stewart ’04

JayByers_93“I chose Simpson College to study political science and prepare for law school. Simpson’s liberal arts experience allowed me to take accounting and economics, as well as criminal justice and communications to round out my pre-law education. I truly believe Simpson prepared me — as well or better than many of my classmates — for the University of Iowa’s College of Law.

After graduating from law school, I practiced as a corporate lawyer, ran the state office for a United States Congressman, and now work as a senior executive lobbyist for the Greater Des Moines Partnership, the largest business association in the state.” — Jay Byers, ’93

Click HERE to see more successful careers of Simpson Pre-Law alumni.