Roxanne Conlin, LW’66, was the featured speaker at the Judge James Grant Iowa Constitution Lecture Series at Drake Law School on Thursday, Oct. 23.
The free public lecture was titled “Does the Iowa Constitution Provide a Remedy in Damages to Individuals Who Have Been Harmed by its Violation?”
Conlin established the law firm of Roxanne Conlin & Associates, P.C. in Des Moines. She exclusively represents people who have been injured, whether by discrimination, products, doctors, or vehicles. She entered Drake University in 1961, when she was only 16, and graduated from law school with honors five years later at the age of 21.
From 1969 to 1976, she was an Assistant Attorney General for Iowa, where she was head of the Iowa Civil Rights section and brought race and sex discrimination claims on behalf of Iowans. In 1977, she became one of the first two women ever to serve as a United States Attorney.
She has been named by the National Law Journal as one of the fifty most influential women lawyers in America, as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America, and as one of the top 10 litigators. The Des Moines Register named her one of the Fifty Most Influential Iowans in 2000. Her achievements have brought such honors as the Alumni Achievement Award at Drake University, induction into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame and national attention such as selection in 1975 as one of the “44 Women Who Could Save America.”
In 1982, Conlin ran as a Democrat and was narrowly defeated in her effort to become the state’s first woman governor. She also ran for Iowa’s seat in the U.S. Senate in 2010. She has had many other firsts. She was the first woman president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, a 60,000 member organization of consumer attorneys. She was the first woman to chair the Roscoe Pound Foundation, a trial lawyers think tank. She was the founder and first chair of the Civil Justice Foundation, which provides direct support to grass roots organizations and disabled individuals.
The Drake Constitutional Law Center introduced this lecture series to feature prominent experts on the topic of the Iowa Constitution. Previous speakers have included Iowa Supreme Court Justices Cady and Appel, along with national expert Sanford Levinson, of the University of Texas School of Law. The inaugural lecture of the Judge James Grant Iowa Constitution Lecture Series was held on March 8, 2012, and is made possible through the gifts of Patrick Grant, LW'76, and the Grant family.
The event is free and open to the public. Conlin will speak in Cartwright Hall, Room 213, at 3 p.m. One hour of Iowa and federal CLE credit is available for those interested.