Who’s the Boss? Getting to Know Samantha Farmer




What’s the secret for earning a stratospheric score on the Uniform Bar Exam?

Get a dog.

That decision worked out well anyway for Samantha Farmer, who adopted her American Bulldog mix, Boss, from Furry Friends Refuge one month into law school at Drake University.

“A lot of people thought I was crazy because when you’re just starting law school, you’re overwhelmed with how much reading there is and getting used to it.”

But Farmer says that it was Boss who kept her grounded with his love, sass and entertainingly-appropriate facial expression based on the moment.

“He helped me out a lot during that time period.”

Of course, it’s not as simple as having a four-legged friend. There was hard work and lots of it in the form of 8-12-hours-long study sessions every day for an entire summer while simultaneously working as a Law Clerk for Hartung Schroeder.

At one point at the height of her hectic schedule amidst the second year of law school, Farmer realized that Boss was sick. According to her sister, Emily, who is in veterinarian school, it was a result of the animal sensing its owner’s anxiety.

“I think he actually helped me do so well because I wanted to get all my work done so I could spend time with him.”


Farmer is no stranger to a strong work ethic. While attending undergrad at the University of Iowa, where she double-majored in Political Science and Communication Studies and minored in French, she would also work at her dad’s manufacturing plant during breaks, sometimes arriving on the job as early as 4 a.m. to work on the line or oversee operations. And don’t think it was easy for the boss’s daughter.

“He had the mentality that he wanted to show his workers that I got no special treatment,” she recalled with a smile.

And she was no stranger to sleepless nights, dedicating time each year in college volunteering for Dance Marathon, a student organization that provides year-round support to youth cancer patients and their families and most notably known for its 24-hour-straight celebrations in which participants dance throughout the night in honor of the children survivors and to remember the children who have passed away from cancer.


Her parents, Darrin and Rachel, knew from early on that their daughter was destined to be in a position of power, like perhaps a CEO for a company or in the political sphere. Farmer recalled that her parents would joke that it’s because she likes to argue that she ended up in law, though her kind, pleasant demeanor proves otherwise.

Farmer, who was mainly raised 30 minutes away in Indianola, Iowa, and now resides in Ankeny, joined Hartung Schroeder Law Firm as an attorney in September of 2018 with a focus on estate planning, real estate, agricultural law, and appellate practice.

Recently she was published in the spring edition of the Drake Journal of Agriculture Law for her examination of environmental regulations and nuisance laws that govern Iowa hog confinements.

Another key to her success, she described, was to not allow herself to get overwhelmed. She likes to unwind by partaking in live pub trivia competitions, attending country music concerts and working with her hands in the form of knitting and projects like building custom food and water bowls for Boss with her dad. She recently completed the Iowa Hunter Safety Course and learned she was a pretty good shot despite what her family affectionately call “her baby T-rex arms.” Her extended family based in Northeast Iowa has experience and knowledge she can rely on to teach her the ins and outs of hunting.

Alongside some funky paintings and pictures of her pooch in her office, she’s got a professional shingle hanging high on her wall which she made herself with a Cricut machine that reads “Samantha M. Farmer, Attorney at Law, Est. 2018.”

Not only does it look professional, but also extremely durable, which is a sign that her work is only just getting started.


Learn more about Samantha here.