How to Become a Lawyer in Iowa 2024

Table of Contents

Top Schools and Colleges for Lawyers in Iowa 2023

  • University of IowaIowa City, IA
    In-State Tuition: $9,942Students Enrolled: 21198
  • Drake UniversityDes Moines, IA
    In-State Tuition: $45,912Students Enrolled: 2857

Best College Majors for Lawyers in Iowa 2023

Lawyer Salary in Iowa for 2023

Average Annual Salary: $103,130 Hourly Rate: $49.58

Data sourced from the U.S. Department of Labor via the ONET Web API. Updated at December 8, 2023

Reasons For Becoming a Lawyer in Iowa

If you have a passion for justice, enjoy critical thinking and problem-solving, and have excellent communication skills, a career as a lawyer in Iowa might be the perfect fit for you. Here are some compelling reasons why becoming a lawyer in Iowa can be a rewarding and fulfilling career choice:

  • Advocacy: As a lawyer, you have the opportunity to advocate for your clients' rights and interests. Whether it's representing individuals, businesses, or organizations, you can make a difference by fighting for justice and helping others navigate the legal system.

  • Prestige and Respect: Lawyers are often highly respected professionals in their communities. The knowledge and expertise they possess command respect from colleagues, clients, and the general public.

  • Intellectual Challenge: The legal profession is intellectually stimulating. It requires critical thinking, research skills, and analytical reasoning to solve complex legal issues. If you enjoy intellectual challenges, being a lawyer can provide constant mental stimulation.

  • Opportunities for Specialization: Law offers various areas of specialization to cater to your specific interests. Whether you're passionate about criminal law, corporate law, family law, environmental law, or any other field, you can find your niche and focus on becoming an expert in that area.

  • Financial Reward: While it's not the sole reason to pursue a legal career, lawyers in Iowa often enjoy competitive salaries. As you gain experience and establish your reputation, your earning potential can significantly increase.

  • Skills Transferability: The skills acquired as a lawyer are highly transferable across different industries and sectors. Legal training equips you with critical thinking, problem-solving, negotiation, and research skills that can be valuable in various professional settings.

  • Opportunity for Impact: Lawyers have the power to shape laws and influence public policy. By participating in legal advocacy, pro bono work, or engaging in public service, you can make a positive impact on society and contribute to the betterment of your community.

Now that you're aware of the reasons why becoming a lawyer in Iowa can be a rewarding career choice, let's explore the educational requirements and programs available in the state.

Law Schools and Programs in Iowa

To become a lawyer in Iowa, you must first earn a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from an accredited law school. Here are some reputable law schools in Iowa:

  • The University of Iowa College of Law: Located in Iowa City, the University of Iowa College of Law offers a rigorous legal education with a focus on experiential learning and interdisciplinary studies. It is consistently ranked among the top law schools in the country.

  • Drake University Law School: Located in Des Moines, Drake University Law School provides a comprehensive legal education with a strong emphasis on practical training. The school offers clinics, externships, and simulation courses to prepare students for real-world legal practice.

  • The University of Northern Iowa (UNI) Pre-Law Program: While UNI does not have a law school, it offers a pre-law program to help students prepare for law school admission. The program provides guidance on course selection, LSAT preparation, and application assistance.

Bar Admission and Certification

After completing your J.D. degree, you must pass the Iowa Bar Exam to become licensed as an attorney in Iowa. The exam is administered by the Iowa Supreme Court Board of Law Examiners and consists of both a written portion and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE).

Additionally, lawyers in Iowa have the opportunity to obtain certifications in various practice areas. These certifications demonstrate expertise and can enhance your professional credentials. The Iowa State Bar Association offers certifications in fields such as Civil Trial Law, Criminal Law, Family Law, and Workers' Compensation Law.

By pursuing a legal education, attending a reputable law school, and obtaining the necessary certifications, you can embark on a fulfilling career as a lawyer in Iowa.

Schools and Programs for Becoming a Lawyer in Iowa

1. Iowa Law Schools

- Drake University Law School: Located in Des Moines, Drake University Law School offers a Juris Doctor (J.D.) program that prepares students for the practice of law. The school provides a strong foundation in legal principles and practical skills.

- University of Iowa College of Law: Situated in Iowa City, the University of Iowa College of Law offers a J.D. program that emphasizes hands-on learning and interdisciplinary approaches to legal education. The school also offers joint degree programs, such as J.D./MBA and J.D./M.P.H., for students interested in combining their legal studies with other disciplines.

2. Online Law Schools

- Concord Law School: As the first online law school, Concord Law School provides a flexible and accessible option for individuals who cannot attend traditional brick-and-mortar institutions. The school offers a J.D. program that allows students to study at their own pace while still receiving a comprehensive legal education.

3. Certification Programs

- Iowa State Bar Association (ISBA): The ISBA offers certification programs for lawyers in various practice areas, including family law, criminal law, and estate planning. These certifications demonstrate a lawyer's expertise and commitment to their specific field of practice.

4. Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Programs

- Iowa Continuing Legal Education (ICLE): ICLE offers numerous CLE programs throughout the year to help lawyers stay updated on changes in the law and enhance their professional skills. These programs cover a wide range of legal topics and provide valuable networking opportunities.

5. Professional Associations

- Iowa State Bar Association (ISBA): The ISBA is a professional association that offers resources, networking opportunities, and continuing education programs for lawyers in Iowa. Membership in the ISBA provides access to a vast network of legal professionals and opportunities for professional development.

6. Bar Exam Preparation Courses

- Various bar exam preparation courses are available in Iowa to help aspiring lawyers prepare for the Iowa Bar Exam. These courses provide comprehensive study materials, practice exams, and guidance to ensure that students are well-equipped to pass the exam and obtain their law license.

Please note that the information provided is subject to change, and it is advisable to visit the respective websites of the schools, programs, and associations mentioned for the most up-to-date information.

List of Online Resources For Becoming a Lawyer in Iowa

If you're considering a career as a lawyer in Iowa, it's essential to gather the necessary information and resources to help you navigate your journey. Here are some online resources that can provide valuable insights into becoming a lawyer in Iowa:

  • Iowa State Bar Association (ISBA): The ISBA is a professional organization that supports and promotes the legal profession in Iowa. Their website offers a wealth of information, including resources for law students, bar exam preparation materials, and networking opportunities.

  • Iowa Judicial Branch: The official website of the Iowa Judicial Branch provides information about the court system in Iowa. This resource can help you understand the structure of the legal system and the various courts in the state.

  • University of Iowa College of Law: The University of Iowa College of Law is one of the leading law schools in Iowa. Their website offers detailed information about their programs, admissions requirements, and faculty members. It also provides resources for prospective law students, such as virtual tours and online information sessions.

  • Drake University Law School: Drake University Law School is another prestigious law school in Iowa. Their website provides information about their JD program, joint degree programs, and experiential learning opportunities. Prospective students can find details about admissions, scholarships, and financial aid options as well.

  • William Mitchell College of Law: Located in St. Paul, Minnesota, William Mitchell College of Law offers an evening program in Des Moines, Iowa. Their website provides comprehensive information about the program, curriculum, and admissions requirements for Iowa students who prefer a part-time option.

  • Clinical Law Programs in Iowa: The University of Iowa College of Law offers various clinical programs that allow law students to gain practical experience. This webpage provides an overview of the available clinical programs and the areas of law they cover.

  • Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Admissions: This resource provides information on the requirements and procedures for admission to the Iowa Bar. It includes details about the character and fitness evaluation, the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE), and the Iowa Bar Exam.

  • American Bar Association (ABA) Pre-Law Resources: The ABA offers a wide range of resources for individuals considering a legal career. Their pre-law resources can help you explore different legal professions, understand the law school application process, and prepare for the LSAT.

Remember that becoming a lawyer requires dedication, hard work, and a commitment to lifelong learning. These online resources will provide you with a solid foundation to start your journey towards a successful legal career in Iowa.