Kids First is a nonprofit children’s law center that gives children a voice in divorce and custody conflicts by providing focused legal representation and services for kids. Currently, a staff of eight (including four attorneys and a therapist) serve over 800 children annually in Linn and Johnson counties. Kids First is seeking a full-time attorney who is passionate about providing quality legal representation to children in Polk County.

Kids First is one of the only law centers in the United States with a sole focus on providing legal advocacy for children in family law cases. Kids First follows best practices standards adopted by the ABA and its attorneys are enthusiastic about being part of an innovative model of advocacy.

Position Summary:  The first attorneys to launch Kids First Law Center’s satellite office in Polk County will establish the reputation and course of the Des Moines office. Their main responsibility is to provide legal representation for children in high-conflict family law cases. The Des Moines team will also assume primary responsibility for the fundraising and administration of the local office. The team will include a part-time office manager and a volunteer advisory board, but will also have support from the Cedar Rapids office.

Reports to: Executive Director, Jenny Schulz, in the Cedar Rapids office.

Case Responsibilities as Child’s Attorney:

  • Meet regularly with clients
  • Consult & collaborate with the child’s teacher, counselor and other professionals
  • Coach parents to improve communication and conflict-resolution skills
  • Acquire knowledge of community services and connect family members to needed resources
  • Develop and implement creative problem-solving and non-litigation strategies to lessen conflict in families
  • Initiate and participate in alternative dispute resolution practices
  • Draft pleadings and advocate the child’s position in court proceedings

Additional responsibilities:

  • Identify potential funding sources and write grant proposals
  • Engage in public speaking opportunities
  • Network with the community, potential donors, and attorneys
  • Work collaboratively with a local volunteer advisory board

Qualifications:  Kids First attorneys build a rapport with children and meet with them regularly, are comfortable interviewing children about sometimes difficult topics, and understand and advocate the child’s position. Attorneys should have excellent oral and written communication skills. They must be able to work constructively in high-conflict situations and help parents who reach an impasse by reframing conflict and focusing on resolution. Working at Kids First also means being a team player in one organization housed in two offices. Because the first attorneys in Des Moines will be the “face of Kids First,” candidates should have exemplary moral character. Ideal qualifications include a demonstrated interest in child advocacy or family law and public interest work. Applicants must be licensed to practice law in Iowa. Family law and litigation experience are preferred.

Salary Information:  $57,772 annually plus benefits including 6 weeks PTO, long-term disability insurance, and IRA contributions.  Health and vision insurance plans are also available.

 Application Process:  Applicants should send a cover letter, resume, references, and law school transcript (if in practice less than 5 years) to:
Jenny Schulz, Executive Director
Kids First Law Center
420 6th Street SE, Suite 160
Cedar Rapids, IA  52401

Or email: jenny@kidsfirstiowa.org