Katie Ervin Carlson


Phone: (515) 254-1999
Fax: (515) 254-9923
E-mail: katie@employmentlawiowa.com

Katie has long been guided by the advice her dad gave her when she was just a young girl: “What is right is not always popular, and what is popular is not always right.” Katie knew early on that she wanted to be a lawyer, hoping that she could make a career out of helping others, doing the right thing and fighting for what she believed in.

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.

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.

Outside the courtroom, Katie continues to advocate. As a mother of two small children, Katie appreciates the difficult choices women often must 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. Today, she continues to advocate for and support working mothers in her employment law practice.

Katie grew up in the Quad Cities area (Eldridge, Iowa). An avid Hawkeye fan, she graduated from the University of Iowa and then Drake Law School. Katie lives in Des Moines with her husband, Travis and their two children. They are active volunteers at their son’s elementary school, where Katie is Vice President of the PTA.


  • State of Iowa (2006)
  • United States District Court, Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa (2006)


  •  Drake University Law School, Des Moines, Iowa. D. with Honors (2006)
  • Drake Law Review (2004-2005)
  • Drake Law Review: Student Note, A Study of the Effectiveness of Mandated State Contraceptive Coverage in Iowa and Missouri and the Case for a Federal Law, 54 DRAKE L. REV. 509 (2006 Insurance Law Annual)
  • University of Iowa, B.A., Communication Studies and Political Science, with Honors (2003)


  • Order of the Coif, Drake University Law School
  • Super Lawyers, Great Plains Rising Star 2013 -2016


  • Iowa Association for Justice, Amicus Curiae Committee
  • National Employment Lawyer’s Association (current Vice President of Iowa Chapter)
  • Iowa State Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law section, CLE committee member (2015, 2016)
  • Polk County Bar Association
  • Polk County Women Attorneys
  • Co-Social Chair (2007), Continuing Legal Education Chair (2008), President-Elect (2009), President (2010) and Past President (2011)
  • Iowa Organization of Women Attorneys


  • Tuning Up Your Caseload: Iowa Trial Lawyers Association’s 8th Paralegal Seminar, Discovery, May 2007
  • Iowa Association for Justice Annual Convention, Employment Law Refresher Course, November 2010
  • National Employment Lawyer’s Association, Iowa Chapter, Representing Multiple Clients, November 2010
  • HCI Care Services / VNS of Iowa, Recognizing and Addressing Implicit Bias, September 2015
  • Iowa Association of Legal Assistants.Paralegals Fall Seminar, Employment Law, September 2015
  • Iowa State Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Seminar, Moderator, Jury Instructions in State Court: How to Instruct the Jury and Avoid Error on Appeal, November 2015
  • Iowa State Bar Association, Discrimination in the Workplace, November 2015


  • Myers v. Hog Slat, Inc., 55 F.Supp.3d 1145 (N.D. Iowa 2014)
  • Dutcher v. Mid Iowa Regl. Hous. Auth., 2014 WL 1165856 (N.D. Iowa Mar. 21, 2014)
  • Ajuoga v. Adventure Lands of Am., Inc., 791 N.W.2d 427 (Iowa App. 2010)
  • Stevens v. Racing Ass’n of Cent. Iowa, 778 N.W.2d 66 (Iowa App. 2009)
  • Carter v. Racing Ass’n of Cent. Iowa, 778 N.W.2d 66 (Iowa App. 2009)
  • McQuistion v. City of Clinton, Iowa, et. al, 872 N.W.2d 817 (Iowa 2015) (IAJ Amicus Curiae)
  • Ackelson v. Manley Toy Direct, L.L.C., 832 N.W.2d 678 (Iowa 2013) (IAJ Amicus Curiae)