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Iowa is counted among the top ten states that have the lowest ratios of lawyers to residents in the United States. However, the relatively low number of attorneys in the state does not mean that these lawyers are not active. Rather, Iowa’s legal community is one of the most active communities in the country. Although the Iowa State Bar Association is a voluntary state bar, it boasts the highest membership rate of any voluntary state bar at 90% of all attorneys licensed to practice in Iowa. The Iowa State Bar Association supports the entire legal community of the state, especially those that are members, through a variety of means, including professional publications and social networking opportunities. Additionally, the Iowa State Bar Association provides significant help to the residents of Iowa in the form of free educational pamphlets and informative podcasts on legal topics, among many other means.
Aside from the Iowa State Bar Association, Iowa is also home to a number of statewide bar associations that serve only a specific portion of the state’s legal community. The majority of these bar associations supporting lawyers from all over the state are committed to certain practice areas, such as the Iowa Association for Justice and the Iowa Intellectual Property Law Association. These types of bar associations provide their members with an opportunity network with others working in the same type of law at various social events and a chance to stay informed of the latest developments in their practice area through continuing legal education programs that apply to the specific type of law being promoted by the relevant bar association.
There are also a number of bar associations covering the state of Iowa that are dedicated to aiding lawyers that are a part of demographic minorities, including the Iowa Chapter of the National Bar Association and the Iowa Organization of Women Attorneys. These minority bar associations not only work to advance the attorneys that are a part of the corresponding minority group but also the civil rights and liberties of that particular minority group within the state of Iowa.
In addition to the many statewide bar associations in Iowa, there are also several local bar associations providing support to the lawyers working in certain regions in the state. These local bar associations in Iowa base their geographic coverage on county lines, and they include the Linn County Bar Association and the Dubuque County Bar Association. Local bar associations in the state are dedicated to aiding the attorneys working in the relevant county through keeping them connected to one another via regular meetings and informing them of the latest news in the county’s legal community either on its website or through newsletters.