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Staff Attorney


Iowa Legal Aid is recruiting Staff Attorneys for its 10 regional offices and several statewide special projects.

Background: Founded in 1977, Iowa Legal Aid serves clients in all 99 Iowa counties through offices in Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Iowa City, Mason City, Ottumwa, Sioux City and Waterloo. Learn more about Iowa Legal Aid at and

Staff Attorney PositionThrough free legal assistance and community legal education, Staff Attorneys bring hope, dignity, and justice to low-income and other vulnerable Iowans. Legal assistance at Iowa Legal Aid ranges from advice and brief service to full representation before administrative agencies and state and federal trial and appellate courts.  In our diverse practice, we prioritize work involving housing, domestic violence, income maintenance, health care, individual rights, and consumer issues to help secure our clients’ most essential needs. Staff attorneys appear in court frequently and serve clients out in the community through expungement and pro se divorce clinics, our Eviction Diversion Project Help Desks, and targeted outreach events.

Staff attorneys also play a crucial role in changing systems and achieving justice through impact advocacy. To see examples of our recent impact work that we are particularly proud of, please see our 24 month impact advocacy highlights

We are currently hiring for all regional offices. 

Special Projects: Each year, Iowa Legal Aid serves thousands of clients in a variety of ways, including through several state-wide special projects including our Community Schools Project, Legal Hotline for Older Iowans, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, multiple Medical-Legal Partnerships, and the Parent Representation Project.  Office availability varies by project and project assignments are often combined with other staff attorney work.

We currently have a particular need for a Staff Attorney to support the following special projects:

Derecho Project:  The Derecho Project provides civil legal assistance to low-income survivors still experiencing issues from the storm event in Central and Eastern Iowa in August 2020. Derecho survivors may face many legal problems including issues related to employment, contracts, housing, education, public benefits, and FEMA. The Derecho Project has a robust outreach presence in the 12 counties that received FEMA individual assistance: Boone, Story, Polk, Jasper, Marshall, Tama, Poweshiek, Benton, Linn, Cedar, Scott, and Clinton.

Eviction Diversion Project: Iowa Legal Aid currently operates six Eviction Diversion Project Help Desks at or near courthouses throughout the state. These help desks provide free legal assistance to eligible applicants, to help Iowans preserve their housing and avoid immediate homelessness.  Our help desks are particularly vital to our service to women, people of color, and individuals with a disability, communities that have been disproportionately affected by the on-going eviction crisis. Iowa Legal Aid has also partnered with local agencies that provide rental assistance so that people can access legal assistance and rental assistance at the courthouse. The Eviction Diversion Project Staff Attorney will be responsible for staffing and promoting the local help desk as well as providing grant support and coordination for our help desks statewide.  Preference will be given to candidates available to work in our Council Bluffs, Des Moines, or Waterloo offices.

Farmworker Project:  Our farmworker team fights to protect agricultural workers who are marginalized due to low wages, lack of adequate safety equipment, substandard housing, sexual harassment and discrimination, and labor trafficking. We empower workers to understand their rights through outreach and education. The ideal applicant has a strong commitment to social and economic justice, is passionate about working with low income and migrant farmworkers, and is competent practicing law in both English and Spanish.  Preference will be given to candidates available to work in our Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Sioux City, and Waterloo offices.

Rural Justice Project:  The Rural Justice Project strives to improve access for older rural Iowans.  Through outreach and legal advice/legal representation, the Project helps older rural Iowans to effectuate their rights and get the protection and help they deserve. Additionally, the Project strives to prepare older rural Iowans to respond to disaster.



Applicants must be law school graduates licensed to practice law in Iowa, eligible for admission on motion, or available for the next scheduled bar examination.  Prior legal experience is preferred.  Applicants must possess a demonstrated interest in poverty law and have a strong commitment to providing a full range of legal services to low-income people.  Excellent communication skills and the ability to work effectively in a fast-paced, collegial environment are required.  Individuals with Spanish or other language skills are encouraged to apply. 


To Apply: 

Iowa Legal Aid currently is accepting applications for all locations, with a particular focus on our Des Moines, Mason City, Ottumwa, Sioux City, and Waterloo offices.  To apply, submit a letter of application (indicate geographic and/or special project preferences), resume, law school transcript (recent graduates only), recent representative writing sample, and names, addresses and phone numbers of at least three professional references to:

Attn:  Arlys Kness
Iowa Legal Aid
666 Walnut Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50309

Iowa Legal Aid is an Equal Opportunity Employer.



Submission Deadline: 
December 31, 2023
Organization Information: 
Iowa Legal Aid
666 Walnut Street, 25th Floor
Des Moines, IA 50309
United States
Phone: (515) 24302151