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American Bar Association

  Children's Rights Litigation




420 6th St. SE Suite 160
Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
Telephone:       (319) 365-5437
Fax:                 (319) 366-3308
Website:          www.kidsfirstiowa.org


100% Children’s Law
Does Use Volunteer Attorneys


Kids First Law Center began in January, 2005. Currently three attorneys each represent 40 to 50 children a year in high-conflict family law cases. Kids First court-appointed attorneys represent children in Linn, Johnson, Iowa, Benton, Jones, or Cedar County. Cases are received from social service agencies, schools, other attorneys, or family law court. Approximately 30 private attorneys in Linn County currently provide pro bono representation through Kids First. The offices utilize volunteer law students to handle administrative work, research, memos, interviews with parents, and briefs. The Center also trains volunteers to help facilitate workshops for children of divorcing parents.



2621 Carpenter Ave.
Des Moines, IA 50311
Telephone:       (515) 271-3851
Fax:                 (515) 271-4000
Website:          www.law.drake.edu/centers/middleton


100% Children’s Law


The Joan and Lyle Middleton Center for Children’s Rights began in 2001. The Center has four components: legal services, multidisciplinary training, public information and public policy formation. The Children’s Rights Clinic employs one staff attorney who supervises 10 student attorneys to handle approximately 80 cases a year. The clinic is an interdisciplinary clinical education program in which representation teams are comprised of student attorneys licensed to practice law under a provisional license rule, a practicum graduate student in social work from one of the major state universities, graduate students in special education or counseling students from Drake’s Graduate School of Education. This enables the clinic to provide a holistic approach to case management and provision of services to children in abuse and neglect cases. The clinic employs an in-house social worker as well. The clinic does accept calls from children and the public seeking legal information.


In addition to the Clinic, the Middleton Center trains attorneys, judges, teachers, social workers and other professionals working in the juvenile justice system. The program provides not only instruction in relevant law and legislation for non-lawyers, but also the latest medical and social research on child abuse for lawyers and judges. Beginning in 2003, the Center works to improve laws pertaining to children. Law School students identify issues, draft legislation and work with lobbyists to pass the legislation.



300 Walnut St., Ste. 295
Des Moines, IA 50309
Telephone:       (515) 244-1172
                        (800) 728-1172
Fax:                 (515) 244-4370
Email:              info@youthlawcenter.org
Website:          www.youthlawcenter.org


100% Children’s Law
Does Use Volunteer Attorneys


The Youth Law Center was founded in 1978 to provide legal representation to children in a wide range of issues. The Center is a full-service nonprofit law office for children, combining the skills of specially trained and experienced attorneys and caseworkers to help victimized and troubled children. Clients are referred from Juvenile Court, social service agencies, schools, health care professionals and other attorneys. Volunteer lawyers are recruited through local bar associations and law schools. Training is offered to law students. The Center also operates a state-wide toll-free hotline for youth law issues and a list serve for child advocates. The Center also works on state legislative issues affecting children.