Introducing… Austin Lenz

Lane & Waterman is proud to welcome four new associates in the fall of 2020: Thomas Bush, Jenny Juehring, Austin Lenz, and David Waterman.

We sat down with each of them to learn a little about their interests inside (and outside) the field of law. The third part of our series is Austin Lenz.

Austin is a life-long Quad Cities resident, graduating from Pleasant Valley High School in 2013. He later obtained his B.A. from Iowa State University in 2017, and his J.D. from Drake University with high honors in 2020. During his time at Drake, Austin served as a research editor for the Drake Law Review, Secretary for the Moot Court Board, and competed on the intellectual property moot court team.

What was your favorite class in law school?
The class I enjoyed the most was probably trademarks. It’s one of those subjects that just has some really fun cases to read. It was very nice to take a break from some of the other more technical classes, and get to argue about things like how similar company logos or marketing phrases were. I competed on my law school’s intellectual property moot court team for two years, so it was also rewarding to take a class and get to apply concepts from that class to a real world situation.

What is a book / podcast you’re into right now?
In the interest of complete honesty, I get more than my fair share of reading in the office. As a product of that, I probably don’t spend as much time reading for fun as I should. Though, if I made more time for fun reading I would probably lean towards something like Harry Potter that serves as a good escape. As to podcasts, I usually listen to a couple of different sport talk podcasts on my way to work every day.

What is another career you would consider if not here practicing law?
I would love to do stand-up comedy, but I’m not so sure other people would enjoy that very much. Stand-up is something I love to watch in my free time, and there are points I actually convince myself I might be capable of it. On a more practical side, it at least combines the writing and speaking skills needed to practice law, but the stakes tend to be a lot lower.

What makes the area of law you hope to focus on attractive or interesting?
Currently, I am hoping to practice both in litigation and transactional law. There are unique things about each that make them exciting. On the litigation side, a lot of the excitement comes from how different every case can be. While you might focus on something specific, like medical malpractice or commercial litigation, every case is still unique. It really makes it exciting to come into work each day, as you aren’t always sure how everything will go. Additionally, with litigation, it is very satisfying to take a client all the way through the life span of their case, hopefully with a positive outcome at the end. As to transactional, the idea of helping someone form and manage a new business is also exciting. There is something special about the idea of working with someone who thought up a new business idea and is genuinely enthusiastic about forming that new business. The part I would look most forward to is getting to help a client through that process and actually getting the chance to see the end result once the new business entity is formed.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Probably just to be open-minded and willing to push myself out of my comfort zone. I’ve had a lot of great life experiences through trying new things and acting spontaneously.

Quick Round:
Law & order like shows – Yes or no?
Quad Cities style pizza – Yes or no?
Yes, but not all the time.
Oxford comma – Need it or lose it?
Yes, this might be a product of my age, but we were taught to use the oxford comma in elementary school


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