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Do They Have Employment Non-Discrimination Laws in Iowa?

Happy Family Photo.jpgWe all know that it is difficult to get a job in this legal market. But an advertisement posted on the Minnesota state bar website makes it look like we are just one step away from genetic testing for junior associates. At least in Iowa.
The request for new talent starts off very earnestly:

DECORAH, IA plaintiff firm is seeking a brilliant hardworking lawyer who would rather do research and writing than be in court. Firm practices catastrophic injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death and is seeking a lawyer licensed or in the process of becoming licensed in Iowa and/or Minnesota willing to get licensed in both with a possibility of Wisconsin and California, who is willing to relocate to Decorah, IA. Position will be handling of the firm’s law and motion, discovery, legal research, and appeals (to work 50 hours per week, full time inside the office to prepare the firm’s trial lawyers who travel and spend most of their time in court). One month paid vacation per year, salary is negotiable and commensurate with experience and qualifications, the firm may be willing to provide housing in Decorah, IA. Writing samples, resume, and examples of briefs and projects worked on is required.

But then this plaintiff’s firm ad becomes … kind of creepy:

Much thought is going to be put into who will fill this very important position with the firm. Persons who are interested are requested to email a personal story of who the applicant is, what his or her political beliefs are, and what they believe about justice and personal injury litigation along with a recent personal and/or family photograph.

Political beliefs? A family photo? You know, this is one time where a little “X law firm is an equal opportunity employer …” tagline would be comforting.
What law firm put this advertisement together? Details after the jump.

If you think you can pass the family photo and political background check, you can apply for this job by responding to “” Alright. Throw “TL4J” into Google and you’ll soon come upon Trial Lawyers For Justice, a.k.a The Law Office of Nicholas C. Rowley.
We’ve seen the earnest part of the ad, we’ve seen the creepy part of the ad, now it’s time to bring the funny. From the TL4J About Us page:

The Law Office of Nicholas C. Rowley is among the few trial lawyer firms handling cases across the country. Using extensive air travel and modern day technological advances in communication and data storage/mobility, our clients often find us working in states outside California, and from coast to coast. While several of our members are fully licensed by the State Bar organizations of multiple states, we also typically are “associated in” by local counsel in our client’s area of residence or in the jurisdiction where the trial is to take place, applying to the local court for permission to practice there for the limited purpose of a particular case.

Anything I add here will just detract from the stand alone brilliance of that paragraph.
Nick has a personal story so compelling that only Jimmy Stewart could have played the role properly:

Nick Rowley was born in Stormlake Iowa, raised in a small town called Jefferson, population 4,000.
Years after a brutal divorce and custody battle, and living between parents, Nick moved out on his own at age 15. He graduated from high school at age 16 and finished his Bachelor’s Degree at age 19. Nick started law school at age twenty 20, graduated and passed the bar on the first attempt at age 24 and began arguing in Court at age 22 as a certified law student, which is allowed in California.

Rowley graduated from Park College in 1997, and received his J.D. from LaVerne University in 2000. But maybe we can understand Rowley’s desire to see a family photo from this little nugget in his bio:

Despite Nick’s young appearance, he is known throughout the country as an accomplished trial lawyer. He is one of a few proud graduates of the Trial Lawyers College, and is an active member of Gerry Spence’s (the founder of Trial Lawyers College) tribe. Nick believes that to be a great trial lawyer you need to throw out almost everything you learned in law school, take off the attorney hat and become a person again. You need to be 110% honest about everything. Rather than reading through depositions and medical records (which are often inaccurate or misleading), you learn more about your client by sitting at his kitchen table and breaking bread with his family — by becoming a part of that family. It is only by coming to truly know and care about your client that you can earn the right to ask a jury to do the same at the end of your case. Caring is contagious.

You know what, cynics be damned. If I get hit by a bus in a state that Nick can get to using his extensive knowledge of modern air travel, I’m calling him.

(hidden for your protection)

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