Who are you?

I’m Ben Long. I grew up in Marion, Iowa. My wife Rebecca and I have been together since seventh grade and we have a daughter and a son.

What led you to this type of work?

I started my career working for insurance companies and defending people who had injured other Iowans. I couldn’t square my beliefs and feelings about people with the cynicism of the insurance corporations. They just kept trying to come up with new ways to hold on to as much money as they possibly could. I knew that I needed to be helping real people, rather than being a small piece in the insurance machine. I’m much happier now working for everyday Iowans who need the help of a lawyer.

What motivates you to do what you do?

I was an athlete in high school, playing football, baseball, and running track. I’ve always been competitive. Practicing law is one of the few careers so clearly focused on winning and losing. I love the feeling you get when you win a big case or issue for a client.

What is your favorite part about your job?

One of my favorite things about being a trial lawyer is that the job requires you to learn something new in every case. For example, in my career I’ve studied the complex structure of the human shoulder to understand a client’s surgery, the mechanics of the tightening and loosening of a semi-trailer wheel, the operation of a mechanical lift in a nursing home used to help transfer residents, and the technical aspects of vehicle computers that record details of crashes.

If you weren’t doing your current job, what would you be doing instead?

My answer to this question changes depending on the day. Sometimes I think I would be teaching high school history and government classes and coaching on the side. Other times I think I might be some kind of engineer or designer so that I could learn about and work with complex machines. In college I thought I would go to medical school and be an orthopedic surgeon. In actuality though, I’ve been in love with the idea of trying cases to a jury since I first got involved in mock trial in high school, and I don’t see myself doing anything else.