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Working for Fairness

Chris Luzzie of Iowa Legal Aid Receives Arabella Mansfield Award

Monday, June 23, 2008

  • Organization: Iowa Legal Aid

Chris Luzzie of ILA

The Arabella Mansfield Award was established in 2002 to recognize outstanding women lawyers in Iowa who have promoted and nurtured women in the legal profession. Arabella Mansfield, also commonly known as Belle Babb Mansfield, was the first woman lawyer admitted to practice law in the United States. Ms. Mansfield studied law in her brother's law office for two years and was admitted to the Iowa Bar in 1869. She was admitted despite the fact that Iowa law required an applicant for bar admission to be white, male, and over the age of 21.

The nomination of Chris for the Arabella Mansfield Award was submitted by Deb Tharnish, Vice President of Iowa Legal Aid's Board of Directors. The nomination included the following:

Chris' impact on Iowa Legal Aid and the practice of poverty law in the state of Iowa is immense. In over 25 years of working with literally hundreds of staff, Chris has had an impact on the development of many women attorneys. Her ability to help young lawyers spot and develop issues has resulted in some of the most significant casework produced by Iowa Legal Aid. Chris' direction has aided other attorneys before agencies and trial courts. Under Chris' tutelage, hundreds of cases have been appealed by Iowa Legal Aid staff to state and federal appellate courts in Iowa. Her guidance to staff has helped many of them to improve their written and oral appellate advocacy skills.

Chris has been an effective mentor for women attorneys interested in public service for over 28 years. She has led by example, has taught numerous women attorneys the basics of the practice of law, and has helped many women balance family and professional obligations. She has also emphasized the need for ethical and civil behavior in the profession.

Chris is a 1975 graduate of the University of Chicago College of Law. She has worked with Iowa Legal Aid (formerly Legal Services Corporation of Iowa) since 1980. Chris served on the Board of Governors of the Iowa State Bar Association and has served on various ISBA Committees. She currently serves as chair of the Appellate Practice Committee. She has taken a leadership role with the recently completed Joint Judges Association and Bar Association Task Force on Pro Se Litigants. She currently serves on the Supreme Court Pro Se Family Law Committee. Chris has served on the Iowa Supreme Court Rules of Professional Conduct Drafting Committee and the Iowa Supreme Court Rules Advisory Committee. Her work has been recognized by many organizations.

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National Practice Areas

Pro Bono and legal aid attorney resources - Pro Bono Net

A Statewide Poverty Law Practice Serving
Low-Income Iowans

In Partnership with Legal Services Corporation