Locomotive engineer. Historic preservationist. Graduate student.
Lawyer. Nathaniel Guest is all of these and more. And his personal
path to success runs right through the hallowed halls of Temple Law.
As a non-traditional student, Nathaniel fit right in at Temple
Law. Even before coming to Temple, he successfully created and
completed an individualized course of study at Cornell in American
Material Culture. After graduation from that program, he became the
director of Cornell Tradition, a stewardship program that repays
student loans in exchange for volunteer work and student employment.
When the Pennsylvania native began to contemplate a law degree,
his thoughts naturally turned to Temple. “Temple was a wonderful
fit,” he explains. “It was close to home, and I knew I wanted to
practice in Pennsylvania ... looking back, it was perfect. It
couldn’t have worked out any better.”
But Temple’s great location wasn’t its only advantage. The skills
Nathaniel learned at Temple Law through participation in the
Integrated Transactional Program have already enabled him to draft
the bylaws of the Pennhurst Preservation Project, an organization
dedicated to the preservation of Pennhurst State School and Hospital
in Spring City, PA. Since then, Nathaniel has used his Temple Law
skills to successfully apply for 501(c)(3) (nonprofit) status for
that organization and to launch a second nonprofit, Keystone Marker
Trust, which will help Pennsylvania communities restore and build
educational programs around WWI-era cast iron town signs located
throughout the Commonwealth. And because he is a Temple Law alumnus,
Nathaniel finds that when he speaks, his words carry the weight and
credibility of someone who has proven his ability to think
critically about all sides of an issue.
Like many Temple Law graduates, Nathaniel has balanced life as a
lawyer with the outside interests that make him such a unique
person. Many weekends, he can be found at the helm of the Strasburg
No. 90, the steam locomotive on which he is a part-time engineer.
For Nathaniel, the railroad is a “lens through which we can see how
much America has changed and grown. It has touched so many aspects
of life in the past – town planning, job opportunities, even diet
and family structure.”
Nathaniel is equally passionate about historic preservation.
“Preservation is a counter to a culture of impermanence,” he says.
“It forces us to think about what we are losing. There is a certain
parallel between taking an interest in things that have fallen by
the wayside and thinking about what it is we value.” In fact, during
his second year at Temple Law, Nathaniel received approval to once
again follow his own path in pursuing a Masters of Historic
Preservation and Planning at Cornell while remaining enrolled at
Temple Law. The dual degree program was challenging, but worth it.
Nathaniel cites the support of the faculty, in particular Professor
Rick Greenstein and Professor Nancy J. Knauer, and the personal
support he has felt from the Dean of Students, Marylouise Esten, as
vital in enabling him to meet his goals.
And meet them he has. Nathaniel’s law review article, titled
Putting History on a Stone Foundation: Toward Rights for Historical
Property, was selected as a winner of the prestigious Burton Award,
which recognizes the best legal writing from across the nation each
year. In addition, his time at Temple has given him the skills to
lead the Pennhurst Preservation Project and Keystone Marker Trust
forward in their missions. And as for where his personal journey
will lead next, thanks to Temple Law, Nathaniel sees opportunity in
every direction he looks. No matter what path he picks, one thing is
sure: with his J.D. from Temple Law, Nathaniel Guest is on the right
Class of 2010