A Second-Year Law Student’s Journey to Empower and Inspire
In a world where representation matters, Zachary Sides, a second-year law student at Iowa Law, is making waves as a champion for Hispanic and Latinx individuals in the legal field. As the vice president of Iowa Law’s Hispanic and Latinx Law Students Association (HLLSA), Zach is dedicated to promoting diversity, encouraging aspiring lawyers, and enhancing the legal education of underrepresented communities. In this interview, we delve into Zach’s personal journey, the significance of his heritage, and his aspirations to create change in the legal profession.
Heritage as a Driving Force
Zach attributes his strong sense of pride in his Hispanic/Latino heritage to the values instilled by his family. For him, it goes beyond cultural celebrations and traditions; it is about honoring the sacrifices and hard work of his ancestors. With a deep appreciation for his family’s journey, Zach uses their perseverance as a driving force to better himself and make a positive impact.
Inspiring Career Aspirations
Growing up, Zach witnessed the transformative power of education through the experiences of his grandparents. Despite coming from a humble background in New Mexico, they defied the odds, obtaining college degrees and ensuring their children had access to higher education. Inspired by their unwavering determination, Zach feels a profound responsibility to continue their legacy of achievement. His career aspirations in corporate and real estate law are not only a testament to his passion but also a tribute to his family’s journey.
A Role Model for Others
As a future lawyer, Zach recognizes the importance of representation and aims to be a role model for those who share a similar background. With few attorneys in his family, he understands the lack of guidance and support that aspiring lawyers from underrepresented communities may face. By excelling in his studies and professional pursuits, Zach hopes to inspire others and provide the necessary guidance to navigate the legal profession successfully.
Creating Change and Increasing Representation
Zach’s commitment to creating change extends beyond his personal achievements. He envisions a future where Hispanic and Latinx individuals are well-represented in the legal profession. Through his involvement in HLLSA and other student organizations, he actively works to increase diversity and provide resources for aspiring lawyers. Zach believes that by amplifying the voices of underrepresented communities, he can contribute to a more inclusive and equitable legal system.
The Power of Mentorship
Reflecting on his own experiences, Zach emphasizes the importance of having a mentor. He acknowledges that navigating law school and the professional world can be challenging, especially for those who lack guidance. By seeking out mentors with similar backgrounds, aspiring Latino lawyers can gain valuable advice, shared perspectives, and a source of support. Zach’s decision to join HLLSA was driven by his desire to connect with individuals who could provide insight into the law school experience and help him navigate the challenges along the way.
Zachary Sides is not just a law student; he is a trailblazer, determined to make a lasting impact on the legal profession. Through his advocacy, mentorship, and commitment to increasing representation, Zach is paving the way for a more diverse and inclusive legal community. As he continues his journey, Zach serves as an inspiration to aspiring Latino lawyers, reminding them that their heritage and unique perspectives are valuable assets that can contribute to a more just and equitable society. With Zach’s unwavering dedication, the legal field becomes a place where everyone’s voice is heard and celebrated.