The University of Iowa

Leah Rachow: Experiential Work Aids Career Readiness

Friday, June 10, 2022

This is another in our series of profiles of Summer Research Associates (SRAs) at the Larned A. Waterman Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center. Leah Rachow was an SRA in the summer of 2020 and recently updated us on what she has been doing and her plans for the future. 



North Aurora, IL


Tell us a bit about your time at the University of Iowa (not including LAWINRC).

Major/Groups/Internships/Etc.: I received my J.D. in May. I was a summer research assistant for LAWINRC in 2020. I have also been a research assistant for Professor Joseph Yockey working on corporate governance, higher education, and social enterprise issues. During my 2L year, I was a student writer for the Journal of Corporation Law, and my piece Scapegoating and Stereotyping: The Executive's Power over Federal Contractors was recently published. Additionally, I externed with the City of Champaign's Legal Department in 2021. This year, I am a co-events coordinator with the Organization of Women Law Students and Staff, planning events such as our annual Salary Negotiation Panel.


Graduation year



Specifically, tell us about your association with the LAWINRC.

I was a summer research assistant in 2020.



I worked with Shichao Li (a fellow law student), Evan Mantler, and Katarina Newcamp. I helped with updating the Principles and Practices Guide, as well as some legal questions. For example, Shichao and I worked on issues such as the federal and state nonprofit status of organizations and whether Iowa law allows nonprofits to organize as an LLC.


Tell us about your post-graduate activities.

I will be taking the bar exam this July and working at Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago in their tax group.


Current city & state

Iowa City, IA, but soon to be back home in North Aurora


How has your summer research work fit in to where you are today?

At the time, it allowed me to apply the legal research skills I had gained just within my first year of law school. Specifically, it required me to locate relevant legislation, read, and apply the law. With my work at LAWINRC—and my Basic Fed Tax course 2L year—I knew that I was interested in tax work. When I start with Kirkland & Ellis, my pro bono work will largely be with nonprofit organizations since I will be in their tax group!


Share any advice you have for current University of Iowa students.

Do some kind of experiential work during your undergrad years. Whether it's an internship or a research position, the work will expose you to the day-to-day tasks of different careers. It also shows you that school isn't forever! I loved my summer positions and externship, and I am very excited to start my job this fall.