Volunteer attorneys needed to respond to disasters

Iowa Legal Aid provides free, high quality legal education, advice and representation to low-income and elderly Iowans with civil legal problems. Disasters occur quite often in Iowa with devastating consequences to those living in its wake. Having an attorney available to address the critical legal needs of those affected by the disaster can make a huge difference in disaster survivors’ ability to recover from the disaster. Iowa Legal Aid is looking to recruit and train volunteer attorneys from around the state now before a disaster strikes. This would allow Iowa Legal Aid and volunteer attorneys to react immediately in the event of a disaster. If you would like a meaningful, dynamic, and professional volunteer opportunity, please consider volunteering with Iowa Legal Aid’s Coordinated Disaster Response Project.


Disasters survivors face a wide variety of legal problems. Common areas that volunteers may be needed are to:

  • Assist with applications for disaster benefits and appeals.
  • Assist with housing issues for homeowners and tenants.
  • Assist with home repair and contractor issues.
  • Assist with buyouts, farm issues, bankruptcy, and tax.


  • Volunteers must be currently able to practice law in the State of Iowa.
  • Disasters are unpredictable and the need for attorneys will depend on when and where the disasters happen. Volunteers will need to be flexible and able to offer assistance on short-term notice in the event of a disaster.

Training and Support:

Volunteers will have access to:

  •  Trainings (in-person and webinar) on issue spotting common legal problems and substantive law trainings prior to any disaster.
  • Free on-line resources through Iowa Legal Aid’s website, www.probono.net/iowa, and Iowa Legal Aid’s mobile app.
  • Co-counseling by Iowa Legal attorneys in person, by telephone, and by email.
  • notifications of available trainings provided at no cost by Iowa Legal Aid

Volunteers will be covered under Iowa Legal Aid’s malpractice coverage.

Position Location:

  • Most cases are placed externally and service is provided by the volunteer attorney at his or her law office.
  • Volunteers needing office space to perform volunteer activities or wishing to only assist on internal cases may make arrangements with a regional Iowa Legal Aid office.
  • Iowa Legal Aid offices are located in Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Iowa City, Mason City, Ottumwa, Sioux City, and Waterloo.
  • Volunteers may be needed to staff tables at Disaster Recovery Centers and local community and agency resource fairs.

Time Commitment:

  • The time commitment will depend on the scope of the disaster, the volunteer’s ability and Iowa Legal Aid’s needs.

Position Benefits:

  • Work with dedicated, passionate, and collegial staff and volunteers.
  • Positively impact members of your community.


If you are interested in this volunteer position, please contact Iowa Legal Aid at 1-800-532-1275 (Jasmina Popaja) or at jpopaja@iowalaw.org. In Polk County, contact Carol Burdette at the Polk County Bar Association, cburdette@pcbaonline.org, or phone 515-243-3904.

For more information about Iowa Legal Aid, go to http://www.iowalegalaid.org/ and http://iowalegalaidfoundation.org/


Iowa Legal Aid is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Reasonable accommodations are available to qualified applicants upon request

Auxiliary aids and services are available in alternative formats