Proposed $100 Attorney Fee to Fund Legal Aid Fuels Debate

To hire more attorneys, Iowa Legal Aid has championed a proposal to require most Iowa attorneys to pay a yearly $100 fee to support its budget.

News Story, Video (Iowa)

Grant Rodgers
Des Moines Register
December 10, 2014
Link to story

Tags: Funding: State & Local

Organizations mentioned/involved: Iowa Legal Aid


Shawn Larson felt the end of her marriage approaching, but couldn’t afford to pay attorney fees for a divorce and custody dispute over four children.

“The minimum fee everybody was asking for was a $2,000 retainer, and then it depends on how complicated it gets,” she said. “It just never was going to be feasible.”

Larson, 40, turned to Iowa Legal Aid, just as she had seen other people do in her job at a Marshalltown center for victims of domestic and sexual abuse. From 2008 to 2012, Iowa Legal Aid closed an average of 23,000 cases a year for low-income Iowans like Larson, dealing largely with issues involving family, housing and consumer law.