Staff Attorney - Disaster Project

Authored By: Iowa Legal Aid


Iowa Legal Aid is seeking energetic and creative attorneys to join our Disaster Project.

Background: Founded in 1977, Iowa Legal Aid serves eligible clients in all 99 Iowa counties through our ten regional offices. For over forty years, we have provided hope, dignity and justice to low-income people, seniors, veterans, farmworkers, and other vulnerable groups through direct legal services and community education. Our primary practice areas include public benefits, housing, health care, domestic violence & family, education, employment, individual rights, consumer protection, and collateral consequences. More information about Iowa Legal Aid can be found at and

Disaster Project: Iowa Legal Aid has a long-standing Disaster Project with the primary goal of helping low-income survivors recover from disaster and build their resiliency.  We accomplish this by providing direct legal advice and representation, conducting outreach and educational events for survivors, partnering with other social services organizations in the community to help connect survivors with a wide variety of services and resources, and creating community resiliency for future disasters.

The 2019 flooding impacted 87 of Iowa’s 99 counties and caused an estimated $2 billion in damage.  This disaster was especially devastating for low-income Iowans.  As the only provider of free legal assistance to low-income residents throughout the state, Iowa Legal Aid is uniquely able to play a leadership role helping survivors of the flooding and the human services providers serving affected communities.

Project Responsibilities: The successful candidate will be responsible for helping to develop and implement the Disaster Project.  Building upon the considerable groundwork already laid by Iowa Legal Aid staff, the Staff Attorney will help build the project to full scale.  Responsibilities include coordinating with existing and future project partners and coordinating the activities of legal, social work, and other volunteers.

General Responsibilities: Staff attorneys provide free legal assistance and community legal education to low-income people. Assistance ranges from providing counsel and advice to representation before various agencies and courts. Areas of priority established by Iowa Legal Aid’s Board of Directors include income maintenance programs, housing, health care, domestic violence, education, individual rights and selected consumer issues.

Qualifications: Applicants must be law school graduates and licensed to practice law in Iowa, or be eligible for admission on motion, or be available for the next scheduled bar examination.  Prior experience in the practice of law or working with poverty law issues 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. The ability to speak more than one language is a plus.   

Closing Date: When filled.

Salary/Benefits: Currently, entry level salary is $46,114. Due to recent bargaining, salaries are expected to increase roughly $3,000 in 2021. Non-entry level salaries are dependent on experience.  Excellent fringe benefits.  

Applications: To apply, submit a letter of application (indicate geographic restrictions), updated resume, law school transcript (recent graduates only), recent representative legal writing sample, and names, addresses, and phone numbers of at least three professional references (external candidates only) to:

Arlys Kness

Iowa Legal Aid

1111 Ninth Street, Suite 230

Des Moines, Iowa 50314-2527




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