President’s Message – December/January 2022

PCBA President
Debra Hockett-Clark

I am continuing my practice of beginning my President’s Letter with a joke.

A man in his 70s calls his son to tell him he and his mother are getting a divorce. “Dad, you can’t do this! You’re not thinking straight.” The son calls his sister to talk about it, and she is in agreement; their parents cannot do this. “Dad, we’re flying out there tomorrow. Do not sign any papers, contact any lawyers, or even think about going down to the courthouse.” After the dad gets off the phone, he looks over at his wife and says, “It worked. They’ll be here for Christmas and are paying their own airfare.”

I am sure that we would all agree that at the end of the day there is nothing more important than our family. As a family law attorney, the holidays can be a very stressful time for clients and their children. It can be difficult for parties to experience their first holiday being with their children only part of the time. This is why it is especially important that low-income clients have access to attorneys who can help them create a parenting schedule that maintains their relationships with their children. Many of the Polk County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project (PCBA VLP) cases involve family law cases so please contact Sonja or Carol about accepting a new case.

The holidays always bring the spirit of giving to others. I am asking that you consider giving to the PCBA VLP. There are many cases waiting to be placed and need your help. The PCBA VLP accepts cases for people who are low income but are not able to be represented by Iowa Legal Aid. The PCBA VLP is primarily funded through a grant from IOLTA. However, due to continued low interest rates, the grant has been drastically reduced. I am proud that the legal community in Polk County continues to be so supportive of the PCBA VLP. Another alternative during this month of giving would be to send a donation to the PCBA VLP. You can click this link and it will direct you to where you can make the donation, and as always, it is tax deductible.

In addition to a direct gift now, I would ask you to consider making a gift to the PCBA VLP as part of your estate planning. What a wonderful opportunity to make a significant impact on the ability for the PCBA VLP to continue to provide services for our community for years to come. Please contact Program Director Carol Phillips at or by phone at 515-243-3904 for information on how to make a donation to the PCBA VLP through your will.

You still have time to sign up to participate in Trivia Night on December 7. It is being offered either in person or online. I will be attending in person and look forward to seeing friends and colleagues for the first time in over a year. I wish you all good health and a happy holiday season.