Sam Langholz was appointed by Governor Terry E. Branstad to serve as the Iowa State Public Defender on December 22, 2010. He was confirmed by the Iowa Senate on April 5, 2011. Prior to his appointment, Sam practiced law as an associate at Davis, Brown, Koehn, Shors & Roberts, P.C. in Des Moines, and served as a law clerk to Judge Steven M. Colloton on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
Sam graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law with highest distinction in May 2008. He was elected to the Order of the Coif, served as a managing editor of the Iowa Law Review, and participated in the Van Oosterhout Memorial Moot Court Competition, in which he earned the Best Brief Award and was selected to argue before the Iowa Supreme Court. While in law school, Sam also worked in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Iowa and in the Muscatine County Attorney's Office.
Prior to attending law school, Sam worked for three years on Capitol Hill for then-U.S. House Majority Whip Roy Blunt. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Politics in June 2002 from Washington and Lee University, in Lexington, Virginia, where he graduated magna cum laude and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Sam serves as a member of the Business Advisory Committee for Electronic Document Management System (EDMS), Children's Justice State Council, Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning Advisory Council, Public Safety Advisory Board, and the Advisory Council for the State Medical Examiner.
Sam is a graduate of Clear Lake High School, in Clear Lake, Iowa. He and his wife, Kristin, now live in Ankeny with their son, Andrew.