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Staff Attorney - Farmworker Rights Project


Staff Attorney


Iowa Legal Aid’s Farmworker Rights Project is seeking applicants for a staff attorney position. Our dynamic, collaborative 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 comfortable and competent practicing law in both English and Spanish.


Background:  The Farmworker Rights Project provides civil legal assistance to low-income agricultural workers throughout Iowa. Our clients include migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families. Farmworkers face many legal problems related to their status as agricultural workers, including issues related to employment, wages, health and safety, housing, education, domestic abuse, harassment, public benefits, immigration and language access. The Farmworker Rights Project has a robust outreach presence during the summer months, traveling around the state to reach workers where they live and work.


Founded in 1977, Iowa Legal Aid serves eligible clients in all 99 Iowa counties through our ten regional offices. Currently staff for this project is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Sioux City. We seek to expand our physical presence in Western Iowa to increase contact with our client population.


Position:  The staff attorney position involves litigation at all levels, from administrative to state and federal court, as well as direct outreach to farmworkers. In addition to legal representation, the person hired for this position will travel to areas where farmworkers live and work in order to educate them about their rights and to interview potential clients. The majority of outreach may occur on evenings or weekends during the summer months, although there are opportunities to conduct outreach year round.


Iowa Legal Aid will consider more than one office to house this position. However, Western and Central Iowa geographic locations are strongly preferred.


Qualifications: Applicants must be graduates of law school and licensed to practice law in Iowa, be eligible for admission on motion or be available for the next scheduled bar examination.  Prior experience practicing in federal courts or with poverty law issues is preferred.  Due to the composition of Iowa’s agricultural workforce, the ability to speak fluent Spanish is strongly preferred. 


Opening/Closing DateApplications are accepted on an ongoing basis.


Salary/Benefits: Current entry level salary is $53,000.  Non-entry level salaries are dependent on experience.  Excellent fringe benefits.


Applications: To apply, submit letter of application (indicate geographic restrictions), 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

1111 Ninth Street, Suite 230

Des Moines, Iowa  50314-2527



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