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    May 27, 2015
Past Issues   

Staggering educational debt statistics confirmed in 2015 ISBA Economic Survey

Data from the 2015 ISBA Economic Survey confirms that educational debt is still a major issue for Iowa attorneys entering practice. According to the survey results, attorneys who have practiced for fewer than 10 years had $117,000 in educational debt on average at graduation.

More than 57 of the 288 respondents reported that there are 25 or more years remaining in repayment for their educational loans before the balances are paid in full. On average, respondents reported that there are 15.5 years remaining on the terms of their educational loans. Based on the responses, the average monthly payment on educational debt is $782.

These figures and more are included in the data from this year’s survey, conducted by Readex Research. Survey results also provide more detailed information on educational debt held by Iowa attorneys licensed for fewer than 10 years and average salaries for both new and more experienced attorneys based on a variety of practice factors including average overhead expense, average billing rates and average weekly work hours.

The complete 2015 economic survey report will be released at the 2015 Annual Meeting.

Students still looking for rural practice opportunities; financial assistance available

Approximately a dozen students from the law schools at Creighton, Drake and the University of Iowa are still hoping for an opportunity to spend the summer as a clerk or to be hired as a full-time associate in a rural practice. That’s based on surveys made by representatives in the career placement offices of the three schools last week.

Eight of the 12 are 3L students who graduated this year and are looking for full-time positions. Two are 2L students and two are 1Ls looking for summer clerkship opportunities. An additional 20 students, who had posted resumes on the ISBA Rural Practice Committee’s webpage, have not responded to the surveys, and their employment status is unknown.

Thus far, 11 students who expressed interest in a rural practice opportunity have been hired by rural practice attorneys either full-time or as clerks. The Rural Practice Committee would like to place at least 15 students this summer.

To hire a student as a full-time associate or as a summer clerk, review the resumes on the Rural Practice Committee webpage here. To have resumes emailed to you, please email

Students hired can apply for financial assistance if approved by the hiring attorney. Details on those programs are available on the Rural Practice Committee webpage. Click on "Application for Rural Practice Committee/Iowa Legal Aid Stipend Program,” and on "Grant Application – ISBA Rural Practice Summer Clerkship Program.


Join the YLD for the 2015 YLD Summer Quarterly Meeting

This year’s YLD Summer Quarterly Meeting and social events are too good to miss. Tuesday afternoon, June 16, YLD leaders will pass the gavel and welcome all incoming YLD Executive Council and Committee Chairs. This meeting is being held in conjunction with the 2015 ISBA Annual Meeting, June 15 – 18, which takes place at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center, formerly Vets Auditorium in Downtown Des Moines.

After the summer quarterly meeting, YLD members are invited to attend the Joint Presidents Reception where there will be hors d’oeuvres and drinks at 5 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom Atrium.Then, join the YLD at the Luau in the Lot at the ISBA Headquarters from 6 – 9 p.m. A variety of food and drinks will be available along with outdoor games and music to entertain guests while they mingle. Guests are encouraged to dress in Hawaiian shirts and grass skirts - no ties are allowed at this event. Festive party favors will be available to attendees while supplies last.

For more information about registering for the meeting or the social events, click here. Questions about the meeting and events may be directed to ISBA Meetings Coordinator Lisa Hanson at or 515-697-7876.

Drake Law School prof. to lead legal delegation to South Africa – educational travel opportunity

Drake Law School Professor Mark Kende will lead the People-to-People Citizen Ambassador Law Delegation to South Africa October 19 – 29. Delegates will learn about South Africa’s history, constitution and government. This delegation strives to provide a unique opportunity for participants to provide a global impact through interaction with experts and the creation of relationships with members of South Africa’s legal, governmental and NGO communities.

Launched by President Eisenhower in 1956, People-to-People Ambassador Programs’ mission is to offer extraordinary, life-changing, educational travel opportunities that bridge cultural and political borders through direct interactions and unique experiences for students, educators and professionals.

The deadline for registration for this delegation is approaching. To view a full itinerary, click here. Individuals with specific questions may contact Professor Kende directly at


In Other News ...

Iowa's judicial system could face budget cuts
Child support, divorces, paying fines, traffic tickets. Almost everybody uses their local court system for something. Now the Iowa legislature is considering cuts that could affect court services across the state. The Judicial Branch asked for 8.6 million in additional money for next year in order to keep operating the way they do currently… If millions of dollars gets axed from the state judicial system, judges could be forced to take days off without pay. It's same for the people who work in county clerk offices.

Dedication hits a homer
Life is bittersweet. If you strike out, you go back to the dugout in a deep funk. If you whack a homer, you’re king for a day. Rand Wonio, a longtime Quad-City attorney, knows it both ways on the diamond. But on a recent Sunday afternoon, he won his personal World Series. It was an overwhelming surprise for Rand, a long-ago third baseman who has been involved in Little League and Pony League for dozens of years. On May 3, he was invited to the ball diamond at Garfield Park, 1224 E. 29th St., Davenport. He didn’t have a Cracker Jack of an idea what it was all about. Hundreds were there. Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba spoke. So did Craig Malin, Davenport city administrator and baseball aficionado.
The Quad-City Times

Basu column on woman’s sentencing omitted facts
As a lifelong Iowan, a practicing lawyer since 1977, a former law clerk to a federal judge, and past president of the Iowa State Bar Association, I have a deep commitment to maintaining the integrity of Iowa’s courts. That’s why I took a leading role in defending our Supreme Court from unfounded criticism during the 2012 retention election. That’s why I agreed to chair the committee appointed by Sen. Chuck Grassley that recommended the nomination of U.S. Magistrate Judge Leonard Strand and Polk County District Judge Rebecca Ebinger for federal judgeships in Iowa. And that’s why I was dismayed to read the thinly veiled attack on Judge Ebinger in Rekha Basu’s May 17 column ("Woman went to prison for $20 theft”).
The Des Moines Register

Supreme Court adds protection for 401(k) investors
The Supreme Court ruling on Monday is expected to better protect people from high fees in their 401(k) retirement plan investments. By a unanimous vote, the court said that companies managing 401(k) retirement plans have to monitor investments and "remove imprudent investments.”
Iowa Public Radio

The Iowa Lawyer Weekly is an electronic newsletter published every Wednesday. Please submit comments, letters to the editor, articles, or photos, to Contact information should be included with submissions. The ISBA reserves the right to refuse any submission, but will take all submissions into consideration for future publication.


Legislative Report - May 27

May 15, 2015

No. 13-0917

On review from the Iowa Court of Appeals. Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Odell McGhee, Judge.

Petitioner appeals the denial of his petition for writ of habeas corpus. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS AND JUDGMENT OF DISTRICT COURT AFFIRMED.

No. 13-1877

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Johnson County, Paul D. Miller and Marsha M. Beckelman, Judges.

Plaintiffs asserting a federal civil rights claim against a city and a human rights commission appeal a district court grant of summary judgment in favor of the city and the commission. The city and the commission cross-appeal the district court’s decision to allow the plaintiffs to amend their petition. AFFIRMED.


The Iowa Supreme Court recently
issued orders denying applications for further review in 36 cases.



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