Formula for success

Former chemist Isiaha Kyles looks toward a career in litigation

Isiaha Kyles didn’t grow up thinking he’d become a lawyer. For one thing, he didn’t know any lawyers. For another, the Kalamazoo, Mich., native majored in chemistry at Hope College. When Kyles graduated—becoming the first person on his father’s side to earn a college degree—he secured an associate chemist position at Fresenius Kabi in Melrose Park, Ill.

But after a few years, Kyles found himself wanting more from his career. “I’ve always liked helping people and giving back to the community,” he says. “Law seemed like a way I could work face-to-face with people on their problems.”

He chose Loyola Law over other local options because of the school’s strong alumni network in Chicago, its social justice mission and its renowned trial advocacy program. The latter was a big draw for Kyles, who enjoys a robust debate and aspires to litigate.

Kyles joined the mock trial team and, as a 2L, was selected for the Corboy Fellowship, a prestigious group of 10 students who compete in mock trial competitions across the country. The fellowship requires a rigorous time commitment, preparing students to excel as trial lawyers.

“We had the opportunity to do a mock trial against practicing attorneys, and I was pretty intimidated going in, but this program set us up for success,” Kyles says. “We were on top of our stuff, which felt really good!”

Kyles also served as president of the Black Law Students Association, which organizes events and provides resources and support for Black students.

“Having a community of Black law students during my 1L year was a gamechanger,” Kyles says. He decided to run for 2022-23 president because he wanted to preserve the group’s welcoming vibe and grow its impact.

“You’re going to run into Loyola Law alumni at any professional event. I think it’s a huge benefit.”

One event, a symposium about minorities in the legal profession, featured Bill Lowry (JD '87), who subsequently became Kyles’ mentor. This past summer, Kyles worked for Lowry as a clerk at Nyhan, Bambrick, Kinzie, & Lowry, P.C., which specializes in workers’ compensation.

“They mostly do arbitration, so it’s still litigating, but it’s in an abbreviated form,” he says. “[This type of law] is very appealing to me because of the variety of cases that you get to handle.”

With graduation on the horizon in 2024, Kyles is looking forward to his next steps, including staying connected to his classmates and professors in the years to come.

“In my experience, you’re going to run into Loyola Law alumni at any professional event,” Kyles said. “Loyola’s talent seems to stay in Chicago and grow. That can’t be said for every law school in the city, and I think it’s a huge benefit.” –Kelsey Schagemann (August 2023)


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