Roxanne Conlin has her own law firm in Des Moines, where she exclusively represents people who have been harmed by others, 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 fought race and sex discrimination. During this time she rewrote Iowa's inheritance laws, toughened the state's assault laws, and blocked a merger of two major utilities that would have hurt the average consumer. In 1977, she became one of the first two women ever to be a United States Attorney.
Ms. Conlin founded and was the first chair of both the Civil Justice Foundation, which provides direct support to grass roots organizations and disabled individuals, and the Iowa Women’s Political Caucus. She also served as president and general counsel of the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, and was the first woman president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and the first woman to chair the Roscoe Pound Foundation.
In June of 1982, Ms. Conlin won a three-way primary and became the Democratic nominee for Governor of Iowa. She was narrowly defeated in her effort to become that state's first Democratic governor in 14 years, and its first woman governor.
Her achievements have brought such honors as induction into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame and, in 1995, induction into the Inner Circle of Advocates. She has been named by the National Law Journal as one of the fifty most influential women lawyers in America, one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America, and one of the top 10 litigators. Recently, she was thrilled to have a law school scholarship named after her at the University of Missouri.