Nathanael Paynter, '12

Nathanael Paynter '12
Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah
Undergrad: Brigham Young University, '09
College major: History and Business Management
Law School activities: Legal Forum, Amicus, Dallin Oaks Society, Federalist Society, Edmund Burke Society, intramural sports

Nathanael Paynter moved from Utah with his wife and two children to attend the Law School without ever having set foot in Chicago. When they arrived, they found a city full of museums and parks for them to explore and a Law School community that is supportive of students with families.

“We have absolutely loved our time in Chicago,” he said.

The Law School has several family friendly student organizations. Nathanael is active in Amicus, a law school group specifically for students with spouses or children, and the Dallin H. Oaks Society, a group for Mormon students. These student groups and friendships he’s made with other students with families have helped his wife and children get involved in the Law School experience.

Because Nathanael’s family lives in Graduate Student Housing, they also have met and become good friends with families who are here for other University of Chicago graduate programs.

“These friendships have been very important to our family and continue to provide support and encouragement for my wife and children as I attend school,” he said. “It has also been enriching to learn more about other fields of study as we share with other graduate students.”

At the Law School, Nathanael is involved in Corporate Lab, a course that pairs small groups of students with corporations, such as Microsoft, Accenture, and AT&T, to work on legal issues similar to those students would face during summer internships or as a first-year associate.

“Working with my classmates in a collaborative environment to produce a quality work product has helped me develop many of the important skills necessary to becoming a good lawyer,” he said. “The skills go beyond research and writing to include important client development and interpersonal skills.”

But what has impressed him most has been how accessible his professors are. They’re committed to creating a positive environment inside the classroom, he said, and they put honest effort into building relationships with students. Nathanael has even met with professors over lunch to get to know them better.

“Most professors maintain a true open-door policy,” he said.

 Here's how the Law School has helped Nathanael work toward his career goals:

"Several attorneys for whom I did projects last summer commented on the quality of my work product. I believe the 'quality' was a direct result of the training I received during my first year at the Law School. Being taught by so many well-accomplished professors and surrounded by so many bright and talented classmates has pushed me to become better."