Kids First, a nonprofit children’s law center, is seeking a full-time managing attorney who is passionate about providing quality legal representation to children in the Des Moines area.
Kids First is one of the few law centers in the United States with a focus on providing legal advocacy for children in family law cases. Kids First follows the best practices standards in Iowa and its attorneys are enthusiastic about being part of an innovative model of advocacy.
Position Summary: The managing attorney in Kids First Law Center’s satellite office in Des Moines will be the primary point person for that office. His/her main responsibility is to provide legal representation for children in high-conflict family law cases. The Des Moines team also assumes primary responsibility for the fundraising and administration of the local office. The team includes a full-time office manager and a staff attorney. A volunteer advisory board provides additional support, and back office support and mentoring is provided by 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
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
Consult and 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
Identify potential funding sources and write grant proposals
Engage in public speaking opportunities to promote the organization
Network with the community, prospective donors, and attorneys
Work collaboratively with the advisory board
Lead workshops for children of divorce
Application Process: Applicants should send a cover letter, resume, and list of references to: Jenny Schulz, Executive Director Kids First Law Center 420 6th Street SE, Suite 160 Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
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 attorneys in Des Moines are the face of Kids First in their community, candidates should have exemplary moral character. Ideal qualifications include a demonstrated interest in child advocacy or family law and public interest work as well as experience in public speaking. Applicants must be licensed to practice law in Iowa. Family law and litigation experience are preferred.
Additional Salary Information: Generous benefits including 6 weeks PTO, long-term disability insurance, sabbatical leave, and IRA contributions. Medical, dental, and vision insurance plans are also available.
About Kids First Law Center
Kids First Law Center is a nonprofit law center giving children a voice in divorce, custody, and other conflicts by providing focused legal representation and services for kids. Kids First opened in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 2005, added an office in Des Moines in 2017, and has grown to a staff of thirteen (including eight attorneys and a therapist). The attorneys provide holistic legal representation for over 250 children in high-conflict family law cases in Central and Eastern Iowa. Child advocates reduce the conflict kids are exposed to, strengthen family relationships, connect families to needed services, and make children's voices heard. The court appoints Kids First when parental conflict threatens a child's well-being. Attorneys remain involved with each child until the case is concluded, often a year or longer. During that time, the Kids First attorneys meet regularly with child clients, consult with teachers, link families to community resources, collaborate with other professionals such as counselors, facilitate dispute resolution by parents, work to keep children out of the conflict, and advocate the child’s position. Additional services provided by Kids First include worksho...ps for children of divorce, joint parenting sessions, and a restorative justice program being piloted in a Cedar Rapids middle school.