Associate Attorney

ABOUT THE FIRM

Ag & Business Legal Strategies (ABLS) is a small but rapidly growing law firm located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. By leveraging a highly entrepreneurial culture with cutting edge technology, the firm is able to help farmers get creditors off their backs, preserve assets, and minimize taxes like no other law firm in the country. The specialized expertise that defines this firm has landed the owner in venues from Congress (championing changes to how the bankruptcy code impacts taxes owed by “right-sizing” farmers, increasing the debt limit for Chapter 12 bankruptcy, as well as the proper locations for businesses to file their reorganization cases – close to the customers they serve) to the United States Supreme Court, to appearances on various radio programs popular within the farming community across the Midwest.  The owner is a frequent presenter at legal education seminars and ag financial industry training seminars.

ABLS exists to help farmers and business owners, providing them with cutting-edge services in debt restructuring negotiations and bankruptcy. Its client-centric model aims to help farmers and businessmen understand the depth of their problems and explore all possible solutions available to them, including any available options that may not be particularly popular with them.  The goal is to help our clients develop strategies to address and solve their complex problems, not merely kick the can down the road.

ROLE OVERVIEW

The primary responsibility of a Junior Associate Attorney is to handle all aspects of a client’s case, as directed by the Managing Attorney, including communicating with clients, accountants, creditors, and other counsel; evaluate the overall financial, tax and legal position of the client; assist client in determining realistic goals, then designing a strategy to be executed to meet those goals; participate in negotiations to resolve debt issues; draft pleadings, conduct discovery, prepare for and attend court hearings, conferences, and prepare for and attend trials.  Most matters are resolved through negotiations with multiple creditors instead of through litigation.  Though the Junior Associate’s caseload is determined by the Managing Attorney, the Junior Associate should always look to relieve the owner of cases to allow the owner to focus on the big picture goals and vision for the firm.

This is an exciting opportunity for a right-fit candidate to work directly with one of the leading experts in the country in this space and grow into increasing levels of authority and autonomy as the firm grows. An ideal candidate will be excited by the opportunity to live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; work with and learn from one of the foremost experts in this field; embrace technology and a systems-driven entrepreneurial law firm culture; and have a passion for tax law – specifically, how income tax law impacts farmers and the agricultural industry.

DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES

Legal Duties

The Junior Associate’s primary responsibilities will be to handle all aspects of the case for any client to whom the Junior Associate is assigned, including, as relevant to the individual client and matter:

  • Maintaining consistent and timely communications with the client, accountants, creditors and other counsel about all key developments of the case.
  • Collaborating with the client, owner, Managing Attorney, accountant, and the Chief Financial Strategist on the likely outcome for creditors both with and without restructuring negotiations.
  • Participating in complex negotiations with creditors of clients seeking an out of court resolution of the client’s financial and tax problems.
  • Conducting legal research, drafting pleadings, conducting discovery, preparing for and attending court hearings, conferences, and preparing for and attending trials.
  • Submitting relevant work, expenses, and time entries to get all invoices to clients in a timely manner and following up as required to ensure all fees owed are collected timely and evergreen retainers are promptly replenished.

EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE

Education

At a minimum, the Junior Associate Attorney must have a law degree from an accredited law school and be licensed in the state of Iowa or have the ability to be licensed in the state of Iowa within six months. Attorneys licensed in the state of Illinois are encouraged to apply.

Experience

At a minimum, the Junior Associate Attorney must have at least two years of practice experience, which can include a judicial clerkship. Preference will be given to candidates who have completed a bankruptcy clerkship. An ideal candidate will have at least five years of experience in at least two of the subject areas outlined below.

An ideal candidate would have subject matter expertise in the following three areas, listed in order of importance:

  1. Income Tax.
  2. Knowledge and familiarity with the agricultural industry.
  3. Bankruptcy & Commercial Law.

TECHNICAL SKILLS

An ideal candidate will possess the following core technical skills, listed in order of importance to this role:

  1. Negotiation practice.
  2. Understanding of how income taxes affect businesses struggling to survive and considering partial of complete liquidation.
  3. Ability to evaluate probable outcomes in bankruptcy scenarios.
  4. Ability to determine the priority of liens on real and personal property.

COMPENSATION

The compensation package for this position will consist of a base salary and incentive compensation, contingent on experience and hitting clear, defined, benchmarks. It includes a generous benefits package and significant opportunities for professional development. ​

HOW TO APPLY:

To apply for the Junior Associate position, e-mail your resume and cover letter to recruiting@ablsonline.com. In the subject line, type your last name in all caps and one adjective to describe you. In your cover letter, answer the following questions: What do you enjoy about working with family owned businesses? What do you find most challenging about this type of client? You should be detailed in your response, but don’t go over two paragraphs. You should also tell us in another paragraph why you think you would be a good fit for this firm. In the last paragraph of your cover letter, tell us what you liked about our ad and what you did not like about our ad. Also, please include salary requirements in this paragraph. You can be honest; we will not hold it against you.

Thank you for taking the time to read this entire ad. If you decide to apply and follow the instructions, we look forward to following up with you.