Roxanne Barton Conlin


"Roxanne Conlin is the name that immediately comes to the fore when you mention feminism in Iowa."
—Louise R. Noun, More Strong-Minded Women, 1992

Roxanne Barton Conlin founded and was the first chair of the Iowa Women's Political Caucus, the largest caucus in the nation for many years. She has also made major contributions to her profession. After graduating from Drake University College of Law at age 21, she worked as deputy industrial commissioner, assistant attorney general for the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, consultant to the United States Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year, and University of Iowa adjunct professor of law. She was then appointed United States Attorney for the southern district of Iowa. Conlin is the second woman in the nation to be appointed to this post and is one of only four to have ever served in this capacity. Born in 1944, Conlin lives in Des Moines. Conlin was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 1981.

UPDATE: Conlin became the first woman candidate for Iowa governor on a major party ticket in 1982. In 1983, she entered into private practice of law and now heads her own firm. In 1988, she became the first woman officer of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, a 60,000-member bar association, becoming its first female president in 1992. She served as chair of the Iowa Democratic Party in 1998, president of the Roscoe Pound Foundation from 1994-97, trustee in the American Jury Trial Foundation from 1993 to the present, and has served on numerous committees throughout her career. Conlin has been president and general counsel of the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund and president of the Civil Justice Foundation. She specializes in handling cases involving Women's issues such as employment discrimination, sexual harassment, rape, domestic abuse, and the failure to diagnose breast cancer. She is the author of numerous articles and treatises on legal issues. Conlin is the recipient of the 1998 Rosalie Wahl Leadership Award from the Minnesota Women’s Lawyers Association, was named in 1998 by the National Law Journal as one of “The Fifty Most Influential Women Lawyers in American,” was named the 1997 Woman of the Year by the Metro Women’s Network, was featured in the 1995-96 Best Lawyers in American, and was elected to membership in the Inner Circle of Advocates in 1995.