Other places to find legal help and information:
We want to share these phone numbers and links to additional information with you in case they may be helpful now or in the future.
Please remember as you read this information that it is not a substitute for legal advice. It can be especially important to communicate directly with a lawyer by phone, text, video conference or in person in situations where there may be abuse taking place. If you or your children are in immediate danger, please reach out for help by calling 9-1-1, one of these crisis lines or another resource in your area.
Iowa Victim Services Call Center: https://www.survivorshelpline.org/domestic-violence.php
Here is information about the Iowa Find-A-Lawyer program:
Lawyers who participate in the Iowa Find-A-Lawyer program charge between $0 and $25 for up to 30 minutes of initial consultation. Iowa Find-A-Lawyer is a website provided by The Iowa State Bar Association (ISBA). The website includes a searchable service directory that is designed to assist Iowa Find-A-Lawyer program participants and members of the public who are trying to locate a lawyer. You can search for lawyers by their practice area, county and / or city and complete a contact form for specific lawyers you select through the Iowa Find-A-Lawyer website. To access a contact form for a specific lawyer you find on the Iowa Find-A-Lawyer website, click on the “View Full Profile”, blue button, next to their profile information. If you use Iowa Find-A-Lawyer to find a lawyer to contact, please tell the lawyer that you are contacting them through the Iowa Find-A-Lawyer program.
Here is information about getting help from a lawyer with part but not necessarily all of your case:
This link to Iowa Legal Aid’s website provides information about getting help from a lawyer with part of your case, but not all of the case. This kind of help, called limited representation, limited scope legal services or unbundled legal services, may be a more affordable way to get help or advice from a lawyer. You can ask lawyers what type of legal services they provide and how they charge for their services.
Please note that you are under no obligation to hire a lawyer that you may speak with for any further representation. The ISBA does not endorse any specific lawyers.
Here is Iowa Legal Aid’s contact information:
Iowa Legal Aid is a nonprofit organization providing critical legal assistance to low-income and vulnerable Iowans who have nowhere else to turn.
Along with volunteer lawyers throughout the state, Iowa Legal Aid helps the legal system work for those who cannot afford help with legal issues.
If you are wanting to apply for legal help, go here.
If you are looking for an office location or fax number go to: the Legal Aid Directory
To find out if you may be able to get free legal assistance, please call Iowa Legal Aid at 1-800-532-1275. Hours for telephone intake are Monday-Friday from 9 to 11 am or from 1:30 to 3:30 pm, except Thursday afternoon. Offices are open 8:30 to 4:30 (emergencies taken when open). Information on how to apply is here: Applying For Help from Iowa Legal Aid.
Legal Hotline for Older Iowans
This program provides free legal services to Iowans 60 and over.
1111 9th Street, Suite 230
Des Moines, Iowa 50314
(800) 992-8161 or (515) 282-8161
To learn more about the issues that the Older Iowans Hotline can assist with, click here.
Muscatine Legal Services
Muscatine Legal Services (MLS) provides quality legal assistance to low- income residents of Muscatine County. MLS provides assistance in the following civil matters, but are not limited to: Dissolution of Marriage, Child Custody, Actions for Child Support, Paternity Actions, Family Law matters, Guardianship or Conservatorship, Unemployment claims, Social Security claims, Landlord-tenant disputes, and consumer complaints. In addition to these civil matters, MLS assists defendants in criminal misdemeanor cases that are appointed by the court. MLS also assists with children in need of assistance (CINA), or children who have been accused of delinquent behavior; both types of these cases in juvenile court. MLS partners with Family Resources to offer free representation in obtaining restraining orders through a Domestic Violence Victim Assistance program. In addition, MLS will provide no cost assistance to victims in divorce and custody actions, provided that they are separated from the abuser for a period of six months.
122 E. 2nd Street
Muscatine, IA 52761
Legal Aid Society of Story County is a non-profit corporation, formed in 1974 to provide legal assistance in civil matters to families who cannot afford to hire an attorney in private practice.
937 6th Street
Nevada, IA 50201
Drake University Legal Clinic
Through the Neal & Bea Smith Legal Clinic, students have the chance to gain practical experience by working with actual clients. The clinic also serves the community by helping those who might not otherwise have access to legal assistance.
2400 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311
University of Iowa Clinical Law Program
The College of Law's Clinical Law Programs reflect the richness and diversity of modern law practice and the College of Law's commitment to clinical education. The clinic operates like a law firm within the walls of the Boyd Law Building, offering students the opportunity to put their legal skills to use in a variety of practice areas and venues.
Student interns work on cases supervised by full-time faculty members, and have primary responsibility for the representation of their clients at all stages of the legal process, including interviewing and counseling, negotiation, fact investigation, depositions, drafting and briefing, and courtroom appearances.
University of Iowa Law School
386 Boyd Law Building
Iowa City, IA 52242-1113
Polk County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project
625 East Court Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309
ABA Military Pro Bono Project
The ABA Military Pro Bono Project accepts case referrals from military attorneys on behalf of junior-enlisted, active-duty military personnel facing civil legal issues, and it works to place these cases with pro bono attorneys.
Please note that this information is current as of the date of its last review, update and publication on the websites linked here. The laws, policies and practices relating to this information and any information available via these links may change. Please conduct your own research before taking action.
Resources for Evictions
Iowa Legal Aid represents low-income, elderly, and other vulnerable individuals in a variety of civil legal matters including evictions. To find out if you are eligible for free legal help apply at iowalegalaid.org or call 1-800-532-1275.
A landlord trying to evict someone outside the court system is engaging in "self help eviction," which is illegal. Before filing an eviction, a landlord must serve a tenant with proper notices, and a tenant must have the opportunity to speak with a judge before an eviction will be ordered. If you receive a notice you may want to speak to an attorney about your rights. People who cannot afford an attorney may be eligible for services from Iowa Legal Aid.
If you are being evicted, you may have defenses. Often not being able to pay rent means you have another underlying legal issue. For example, you may need help getting another source of income, such as unemployment benefits, social security, or child support, or your rental housing may have repair issues that need to be fixed. A lawyer may be able to help with these issues. You may want to speak to an attorney about your rights. People who cannot afford an attorney may be eligible for services from Iowa Legal Aid. Iowa Legal Aid provides legal help to low-income individuals. To find out if you are eligible visit iowalegalaid.org or call 1-800-532-1275.
Additional Community Resources
The People’s Law Library of Iowa is meant to be an easy-to-understand, basic information website about the law. The assumption is that the user has no prior knowledge of law or legal topics. This website can be a good starting point for understanding some legal issues. It seeks to help users find primary law, so anyone can read the original text being summarized, and to collect and link to accurate, authoritative sources, like the Iowa Judicial Branch or Iowa Attorney General websites, for example. Lastly, because people learn and retain information in different ways, the website contains video explanations of some topics, as well as navigation and training videos for how to best use the website.
The People’s Law Library is not legal advice, nor is it a replacement for a lawyer. The contents should be read as providing basic, introductory information only. The law can be complicated and many aspects of the law change regularly. More information about how to find a lawyer, including free and low-cost options, is available here.
Iowa Area Agencies on Aging - Elder rights specialists may assist elder abuse victims.
Iowa Attorney General's Office – Consumer Protection Division - Consumer fraud investigations/prosecutions: (515) 281-5926
Information About Representing Yourself in Court
Court Forms that are Available on the Iowa Judicial Branch Website
There are currently three sets of Iowa Interactive Court Forms including: petition for a name change, small claims case or dissolutions of marriage that do not involve minor or dependent adult children. These interactive forms are filled automatically based on the answers that users provide to online questionnaires.
ABA Home Front
ABA Home Front provides legal information, resources, and a directory of legal programs for veterans, service members, and military families. Programs listed include military legal assistance offices, legal aid and pro bono organizations, lawyer referral and information services, and military-specific programs where available.