Katie Ervin Carlson
Phone: (515) 259-7462
Fax: (515) 361-5390
Katie is a native Iowan. She grew up in a small farming community just north of the Quad Cities. After high school, she attended the University of Iowa. (She remains a dedicated Hawkeye fan. Her husband didn’t have to try very hard to convince her they should name both their children and their dogs after Hawkeye greats).
In law school, Katie’s coursework included civil rights law and history. She immediately became passionate about advocating for and protecting the rights of people who would not otherwise have a voice. As a student attorney, Katie worked for the Law School’s Legal Clinic Middleton Center for Children’s Rights, representing children in Polk County District Court, both as an attorney and guardian ad litem. In that role, Katie worked very hard to make sure that the children she represented were safe and well cared for.
For her entire career, Katie has represented clients in state and federal court involving discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and retaliation. She also provides clients with advice and counsel regarding severance agreements. She is a dedicated legal writer and helps lead the firm’s appellate practice, serves on the amicus curiae committee for the Iowa Association for Justice, and assists the ACLU with its amicus efforts. One of Katie’s greatest skills is her ability to put words to paper and eloquently help her clients tell their story.
Since 2013, Katie has been recognized by Super Lawyers as a Great Plains Rising Star, an honor reserved for those lawyers who exhibit excellence in practice. In 2019, Katie was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America. Most recently, Katie was selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for her work in Litigation – Labor and Employment.
Giving back to the community around her is part of Katie’s core. As a mother, Katie appreciates the difficult choices women often have to make concerning work and family. In 2010, she helped write and advocated for legislation in Iowa that would require employers to make reasonable accommodations for breastfeeding mothers. In 2016, Katie was part of the Iowa ACLU’s successful effort to reform the Iowa bar exam to allow breaks and appropriate spaces for breast-pumping test takers.
Katie is an active volunteer at her children’s schools and is a volunteer for the Des Moines chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. She is also a board member of the Des Moines Public Schools Foundation. In her free time, Katie spends time with her husband Travis and their two children. Together, they ride bikes, play with their dog, drink craft beer and coffee (the adults, not the kids), religiously watch the Hawkeyes and the Cubs, and make each other laugh–a lot.
State of Iowa (2006)
U.S. District Court Northern & Southern Districts of Iowa (2007)
Drake University Law School, Des Moines, Iowa, J.D. (2006)
High Honors, Order of the Coif, Drake Law Review
University of Iowa, B.A. Political Science and Communications (2003)
Professional Associations and Memberships
Iowa Employment Lawyers Association (former board member)
Iowa Association for Justice (Amicus Curiae Committee, Employment Law CLE Committee)
American Association for Justice
Iowa State Bar Association (Labor and Employment Law Section Council)
Polk County Bar Association
Polk County Women Attorneys (board member)
Iowa Supreme Court Grievance Commission (3-year term expiring June 30, 2020)