In the Law Clinic at Iowa Law, students act as attorneys, not interns. They learn necessary skills that cut across practice areas, from client interviewing and case theory development to cultural competence and resilience.  Students have primary responsibility for the representation of their clients at all stages of the legal process and learn to use and trust their legal judgment.

The Law Clinic functions like a single law firm with six distinct practice groups: Federal Criminal Defense, Civil & Employment Litigation, Estate Planning, Law & Policy in Action, Immigration, and the Community Empowerment Law Project. The Legal Clinic is unique in that students can choose to focus on one area of law or explore different interests by participating in two practice groups.

Recent clinic students have:

  • Taken depositions and successfully represented clients in mediation to settle their employment discrimination claims

  • Conducted drive-in and outdoor will signing ceremonies during the pandemic

  •  Filed successful motions under the First Step Act of 2018 for reduced sentences based on crack-cocaine sentencing disparities

  •  Designed an advocacy plan that led to the creation and passage of Iowa City’s hate crime ordinance

  • Argued a case before the Iowa Supreme Court about preemption and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program

  • Advocated at the Iowa statehouse in support of legislation to strengthen protections for mobile home owners

Law Clinic Practice Areas

Federal Criminal Defense Clinic

Professor Alison Guernsey

Represent indigent individuals charged with federal crimes in the US District Courts of Iowa and engage in post-conviction and decarceration litigation in the US Courts of Appeals for the Eighth and Sixth Circuits.

Estate Planning

Professor Leonard Sandler

Provide basic estate planning and document preparation services for clients and families, as well as interactive workshops on wills, trusts, financial and medical directives, and guardianships and conservatorships.

Immigration Advocacy

Professor Bram Elias

Represent juveniles and adults in deportation/ removal proceedings and affirmative applications, including humanitarian relief, legal permanent resident status, and naturalization, and advocate on legal and policy issues affecting the civil rights of immigrants and their communities.

Community Empowerment Law Project

Professor Daria Fisher Page

Advance racial, economic, and social justice in Iowa through collaborative representation of organizations, communities, and government entities in transactional and policy matters, including strategic planning, design of advocacy campaigns, and legislative drafting.

Civil & Employment Litigation

Professor John Allen

Represent clients in a wide range of civil matters before Iowa state courts and administrative agencies, with a focus on advocacy for workers in employment matters, including race and gender discrimination, wage theft, and unemployment insurance claims. 

Law & Policy in Action

Professor Len Sandler

Partner with grassroots organizations, non-profits, businesses and public officials to solve recurring, systemic problems that cannot be adequately addressed through litigation.  Provide representation, research, policy analysis and legislative advocacy, and conduct workshops to empower communities, Combat discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals, children and adults with disabilities, and other marginalized groups, in housing, healthcare, transportation, education, employment, and other matters.

To learn more about eligibility and the application process, visit Law Clinic Registration Information.

Clinical Law Faculty

John Allen (3)

John S. Allen

Herschel G. Langdon Clinical Professor of Law
Professor 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.
Bram Elias (1)

Bram Elias

Clinical Professor of Law
Professor Elias has directed the Clinic’s immigration practice since 2015. His students represent clients in immigration proceedings and in state and federal judicial proceedings affecting immigrants' rights, and work with organizational clients engaged in advocacy related to immigration law and policy.
Daria Fisher Page (4)

Daria Fisher Page

Daria Fisher Page teaches and directs the Community Empowerment Law Project in the legal clinic at Iowa Law.  Her students represent individuals, nonprofits, and municipalities 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.
Alison Guernsey (2)

Alison Guernsey

Clinical Professor of Law
Professor Guernsey teaches in and directs the law school’s Federal Criminal Defense 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 and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Eighth and Sixth Circuits.
Leonard Sandler (3)

Leonard A. Sandler

Clinical Professor of Law
Clinical Professor Len Sandler joined the faculty in 1990 to direct one of the first HIV/AIDS law school clinics in the U.S. with students representing individuals. He later founded and directs the award-winning Law and Policy in Action Clinic to give law students experience solving recurring, systemic problems that cannot be addressed through litigation. They provide no-cost consultant services, technical assistance, legislative advocacy, and representation to nonprofits, community groups. governments, and business on disability, civil rights, housing healthcare, elder abuse, LGBTQ, and other issues. Sandler and his clinic students also represent and provide transactional services for families and present workshops on estate planning, guardianship, and other legal issues.