Iowa Court Rule 31.15 allows law students enrolled at ABA law schools to represent clients as part of a law school clinic program.
Qualifications and Restrictions
Law students must:
- Be enrolled or a graduate of any American Bar Association (“ABA”) approved law school.
- Have completed at least three semesters.
- The law school Dean must certify that the law student has completed three semesters of legal studies.
- Law students that have completed only two semesters at an ABA approved law school are permitted to appear before an administrative agency under the direct supervision of an Iowa licensed attorney who is personally present.
- Law students cannot receive compensation other than general compensation from an employer attorney or from a law-school administrative fund.
Law student practice is limited to:
Civil and Administrative. Law students may participate in matters that are not criminal or appellate matters under the general supervision of a licensed Iowa attorney. The Iowa attorney does not need to be present unless required by order of the court.
Criminal Law. Defense counsel in a criminal matter in any court is restricted to misdemeanors only and must be under the direct supervision of an Iowa licensed attorney who is personally present.
Appeals Courts. Appeals before the Iowa Court of Appeals or Iowa Supreme Court must be under the direct supervision of a licensed Iowa attorney who is personally present.
Other Matters. All other matters shall be under the general supervision of a licensed Iowa attorney. The Iowa attorney does not need to be present unless required by order of the court.
Requirements and Filings
The following requirements apply:
- The law school Dean certification must certify that the law student has completed the required amount of semesters at an ABA approved law school.
- The law student representation must be part of a clinical program. The educational program must be approved by the law school faculty and not disapproved by the Iowa Supreme Court.
The Iowa Court Rules do not provide for additional requirements or filings.