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Clinical Law Program

The College of Law's Clinical Law Programs reflect the richness and diversity of modern law practice and the College of Law's commitment to clinical education. The clinic operates as a law firm within the walls of the Boyd Law Building, offering students the opportunity to put their legal skills to use in a variety of practice areas and venues.

Student interns work on cases supervised by full-time faculty members, and have primary responsibility for the representation of their clients at all stages of the legal process, including interviewing and counseling, negotiation, fact investigation, depositions, drafting and briefing, and courtroom appearances. Most interns each semester have an opportunity to work on cases pending in state and federal trial or appellate courts, or administrative agencies.  Students also provide basic estate planning, document-drafting, and other transactional services to clients. Some projects involve interns partnering with, or representing, grassroots organizations, non-profits, businesses, individuals, and public officials to build capacity, create opportunity, strengthen communities, and to address recurring and systemic problems that cannot be adequately addressed through litigation or traditional legal methods.

Practice areas include consumer rights, criminal defense, disability rights and policy, domestic violence, immigration, workers' rights, and the representation of organizations, including entity formation, issues related to tax status, strategic planning, and systemic advocacy.

 

People

John Allen has been on the Iowa faculty since 1990. Allen and his students represent clients before courts and administrative agencies in a broad range of civil matters. Much of his work has focused on employment law, including employment discrimination, wrongful discharge, and unemployment insurance cases. He currently supervises the trial advocacy program and directs the Poverty Law Internship Program. Before entering teaching, he was a senior staff attorney with Legal Services Corporation of Iowa.

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380 Boyd Law Building

From 1989 until 1996, Professor Cox served as Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. She is a former board member of both the Iowa Civil Liberties Union (now known as the ACLU of Iowa) and the Iowa City Domestic Violence Intervention Program. She is admitted to practice before the state and federal courts in Iowa, before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and before the United States Supreme Court. During 2002-2003, she served as president of the Johnson County Bar Association. From 1997 until 1999, and again from 2008 until 2009, Professor Cox served as the University Ombudsperson.

Professor Cox joined the Iowa law faculty as a Visiting Professor in 1986. She was appointed to the faculty as Associate Clinical Professor in 1988 and promoted to Clinical Professor in 1992. Before joining the law faculty, Professor Cox was a staff attorney with the Legal Services Corporation of Iowa.

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380 Boyd Law Building

Provide administrative and class support for Clinical Law Programs faculty. Assist in preparation and submission of court documents for filing. Coordinate travel for Clinical faculty and Trial Advocacy program. Process expenses and reimbursements for Clinical Law Programs and Trial Advocacy program. Notary Public.

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380 Boyd Law Building

Professor Elias joined the clinic in 2014 and has directed the Clinic’s immigration practice since 2015.  He previously worked as an immigration attorney in private practice in downtown Iowa City, where his work focused on federal immigration law, removal defense, immigration-related family law issues in state court, and immigration-related post-conviction review and habeas corpus litigation in state and federal courts.  Professor Elias’s students practice before federal immigration courts and administrative bodies, the federal Board of Immigration Appeals, and state and federal courts at both the trial and appellate levels.

Professor Elias clerked for Senior Judge Dorothy Nelson of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for Judge Denise Casper of the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

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380 BLB

Professor Guernsey teaches in and directs the law school’s federal criminal defense practice area in the Clinic. Under her supervision, law students represent indigent individuals charged with federal crimes in the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa. Before joining the faculty, Professor Guernsey was employed as the Supervising Attorney for the Federal Defenders of Eastern Washington and Idaho, where she provided direct representation to indigent individuals charged with federal crimes at every stage of the criminal process, including bail hearings, preliminary hearings, jury trials, and sentencing. Her case types includes, drug trafficking and manufacture, firearms, fraud, child exploitation, serious violent/sexual crime under the Major Crimes Act (18 U.S.C. § 1153) and the Assimilative Crimes Act (18 U.S.C. § 13), and habeas-corpus petitions (28 U.S.C. §§ 2254 and 2255), among others. Professor Guernsey has also represented indigent defendants before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

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380 BLB

Daria Fisher Page teaches and directs the Community Empowerment & Development practice of the legal clinic at Iowa Law.  Her students represent individuals, nonprofits, and organizations working to strengthen their communities, create economic opportunity, and advance social justice in matters ranging from entity formation and strategic planning to coalition building and the design of advocacy plans.  Her research and scholarship currently focus on access to, and experiences of, justice; meaningful community engagement; and legal education reform.

Before joining the Iowa faculty, Professor Fisher Page was a Visiting Associate Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, where she directed The Community Justice Project, a clinic engaging poverty law issues through individual representation in litigation and organizational representation in transactional matters.  She was selected to facilitate Georgetown’s innovative Lawyers in Balance program, introducing students to mindfulness and meditative practices, and taught in two of the Law Center’s post-graduate programs, the Delaney Public Policy Residency and the DC Affordable Law Firm.  Earlier in her career, Professor Fisher Page taught courses on comparative refugee law and strategic human rights litigation at the Universidad de San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador, while she also worked on the legal team representing the plaintiffs in Aguinda v. ChevronTexaco.

Professor Fisher Page practiced for several years in the areas of immigration and refugee law, juvenile law, and human rights, both domestically and internationally.  She has extensive experience in the provision of legal services to trauma survivors at Africa-Middle East Refugee Assistance (AMERA), the Tahirih Justice Center, and Kids in Need of Defense (KIND).

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380 BLB

Len Sandler is a Clinical Professor of Law who joined the College of Law faculty in 1990. Professor Sandler advocates for and represents individuals and organizations and advises lawmakers, local governments, companies and community organizations. After stints as a U.S. Navy submariner and a newspaper reporter, he  received his law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law. A Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellow, he represented migrant farm workers, abused and neglected children, persons with disabilities, and low-income families before turning to clinical teaching. He has practiced law and taught at law schools in Maryland, Vermont and Iowa.

The award-winning Law and Policy In Action community-based projects he designs and supervises focus on disability, civil rights, healthcare, transgender rights, housing, transportation, and other matters. Noteworthy recent projects include the 2016 Special Report -- Where Do I Fit In? A Snapshot of Transgender Discrimination in Iowa; Proposed Amendments to the Davenport Civil Rights Ordinance and development of Commission Administrative Rules; Domestic Violence and Housing Roundtable to identify and fill gaps in laws, systems and supports for victims and survivors, and publish a handbook to help stakeholders in Waterloo and Black Hawk County navigate systems; amendments to Iowa's Human Trafficking Act; and the Iowa Guide to Changing Legal Identity Documents: A Handbook and Roadmap for Transgender Individuals Interested in Changing Their Legal Name and Gender on Government and Personal Records and Accounts. 

ADA accessibility and universal design in housing have been the centerpiece of many project activities. Project teams completed the Washington Court Housing Survey: A Report on Accessibility and Universal Design in Affordable Housing, which was published in the Journal of Affordable Housing and Community Development. They also have conducted facility and programmatic accessibility and compliance audits of shopping malls, houses of worship, colleges, sports arenas, parks, banks, businesses, schools, museums, and historic properties - for education, advocacy and litigation.

Sandler and clinic students also represent and provide transactional services for individuals on estate planning, guardianship, disability, and other legal issues.

Len Sandler has received many awards for his work on disability and civil rights and has served on several task forces, commissions and special government projects. He lectures extensively and has written or co-authored articles, legislation, codes and ordinances, a US Supreme Court brief, best practice materials and policies.

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380 Boyd Law Building