Erik Fern '04

His Introduction to Luther

When Erik was considering colleges, he had his mind set on a state school in Wisconsin and was not inclined to go to a school in Iowa. “But one of my best friends hounded me to visit Luther and ultimately convinced me to at least visit,” says Erik. “When my mother and I arrived on campus, I remember standing on the Library Lawn and having this powerful feeling that I was meant to go to Luther. I didn’t even apply to any other college, so I was thankful I was accepted!”

Luther Connections and His Return to Decorah

Erik went to law school and started his career in corporate law at an office in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. He says it was a good job, and he had wonderful co-workers, but he wasn’t set on it as his career. “About the time I started looking for other positions, I received an email from another Luther grad who remembered a conversation from the prior year at Nordic Fest, reminiscing about Luther and how much I enjoyed Decorah,” he says. “He told me the law firm he worked at in Decorah was hiring a new attorney and he was wondering if I was interested. I sent my resume immediately, was hired, and I’ve been here ever since, with no plans to ever leave this great town.”

His Decision to Study Law

When Erik started at Luther, he intended to go to medical school. “It was a combination of classes taught by professors Mike Engelhardt and John Moeller that sparked my interest in the law,” he says. “In some sense, political science is responsible for exactly where I am in life now, for which I’m very happy.”

Luther Sets the Foundation

While reflecting on his undergraduate degree, Erik says Luther was academically rigorous, taught him accountability, and provided an inviting and accepting community. “Whether you’re the brightest student, or just getting by, being disciplined, honest, prepared, and kind will make you successful,” he says. “I believe Luther makes these qualities the foundation of its students. The cultivation of that groundwork has been a benefit in my career since, and also plays a daily role in my being a good husband to my wife and member of the community.”

“Luther College makes a personal investment in its students, and when you graduate you become part of a lifelong community. Luther alumni are like no other organization of graduates I’ve ever seen. Luther is family.”

—Erik Fern