Rachel Payton, a rising second-year law student, has completed her summer internship through the Drake Law Cady Fellowship Program. The 10-week program offers fellows two experiences in one summer: they spend half of the summer learning about the private practice of law at a central Iowa law firm and half of the summer in-house at a central Iowa company.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Rachel began the summer remotely at Principal Financial Group working on several projects related to financial advisors and Principal’s retirement plans. One of her assignments during her five weeks at Principal was to research plan acquisition as it pertains to Principal’s acquisition of Wells Fargo’s retirement plans.
Rachel arrived at Davis Brown in late June for a hybrid experience working both remotely and in the office as needed. During her time at the firm, she worked on a variety of matters from immigration and employment law to contract drafting and litigation research.
Rachel explains, “I studied marketing in my undergrad because I saw the lack of communication about governmental policies. There are many good policies designed to help people, but poor communication means that people aren’t connected to the available opportunities. I’m pursuing a law degree so that I can understand and better articulate what the law is. Because of that, there wasn’t a single assignment I didn’t like this summer. It was really eye-opening.”
During her tenure at Davis Brown, Rachel talked politics, policy, and lobbying with attorneys Tim Coonan and Sydney Gangestad to gain an understanding of how that law practice differs from her other experiences at the firm.
Rachel will begin her second year of law school in August taking courses in government and legislation. She will also be working with the Harkin Institute and Roxanne Conlin & Associates.
The Cady Fellowship Program is named after late Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady who was committed to diversifying the legal profession. The program provides internships, mentorship, and leadership training for high-achieving students from underrepresented backgrounds.