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Molly McDonnell ( Class of 2016)

Hometown: Davenport, IA

Undergraduate school and major: University of Iowa; B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication and English; minor in Psychology

What did you come to law school to become:

I came to law school to become "a do-gooder", aka a public interest attorney and public servant.

Your favorite Iowa Law memory:

I have many fond memories of my time at Iowa Law, believe it or not! However, I was the happiest when I was working in the Legal Clinic as a Clinical Law Student. Representing criminal defendants in real Johnson County cases, writing federal court briefs,

Current employer:

HELP Regional Office of Iowa Legal Aid


Davenport, IA

Job title:

 Staff Attorney

Description of what you do: Iowa Legal Aid assists low-income Iowans with a wide-array of civil legal matters. I mainly assist low-income Iowans with civil litigation in divorce, custody, guardianship, utility issues, small claims, garnishments, landlord-tenant issues, Federal housing issues, taxes, education, estate law, SSI/SSDI issues, Medicaid and Medicare issues, unemployment, expungement, public benefits law, and migrant farmworker issues. Also, I attend meetings of local advocacy groups, including domestic violence advocacy, on behalf of Iowa Legal Aid. I present around the community on a wide-range of civil legal topics pertaining to our work, especially housing law, tax law, and family law. Additionally, I assist at our local Iowa Legal Aid "pop-up" clinics, like our expungement clinic.

Your favorite part of your job:

Achieving successful outcomes for individuals who have no one else willing to fight for them and proving to the world that legal services attorneys are warriors.

Your interests outside of work:

Social Co-Chair of Twin Rivers Rotary After Hours; Member of the "A-Team" in Dillon Inn of Court; supporter of the local Scott County Democrats group; Chair of the Scott County Bar Association Barristers' Ball Committee; also enjoys: cooking, sketching, watching movies, and everything "cat" related.

What is your favorite movie:

The Departed

What do you wish your 1L/2L/3L self knew about the job search:

Every summer internship, class, and externship/clinic work will help solidify your legal foundation. That knowledge and experience, regardless of your position and type of work you perform/topic you study, will help you in your career. Gobble up everything you can and continue to stay curious about topics beyond your interests and out of your wheelhouse

What advice do you have for success in summer positions:

Stay in touch with your summer employers after your internship ends. These are the people who can help you secure full-time employment not only by serving as references but also by making connections beyond you, for you!