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Attorney Admissions

An applicant for admission must send to the Clerk of Court a verified petition and documentation as outlined below.

Attorney Admissions are governed by Local Rule 83.1.

Requirements for Admission to Practice in the Southern District of Iowa

Attorneys seeking admission to practice in the Southern District of Iowa must:

1) Be in good standing as an attorney admitted to practice in the State of Iowa courts and
2) Complete a minimum of six (6) hours of continuing legal education (CLE) in the area of federal practice within the previous two years.*

* Recent graduates may use credit hours earned in law school by submitting a law school transcript.

Documents Required to be Completed and Submitted for the Admission Application Process:

1) A Petition for Admission to Practice and the Oath of Applicant,
2) An Electronic Case Filing System Attorney Registration Form and
3) A document outlining the legal education course(s), seminar(s) or conference(s) attended. The document shall include the dates attended, location of event(s), subject(s) matter covered, and the number of approved hours.*

*Recent graduates may submit a law school transcript.

Quick Overview of the Admission Application Process:

1) Complete the required admission documentation and save in PDF format.
2) Submit a request for CM/ECF registration through the Attorney Registration System.
3) Counsel will receive an email for address verification, and must respond to this message.
4) The Admissions Specialist reviews the submission, verifies State of Iowa bar standing, and updates the CM/ECF user records.
5) Counsel will be emailed instructions on filing admission documents and how to pay the $181 filing fee. During this time counsel will have limited rights in CM/ECF.
6) Counsel will be emailed a notification of admission approval, and the Admissions Specialist will mail the admission order and certificate to counsel within one month.

Enter the Attorney Registration System below:

If you are an attorney with a login and password for the Southern District of Iowa, you may bypass the Attorney Registration System and file your admission documents directly in CM/ECF. You will need to call the Admissions Specialist at 515-323-2842 to obtain the required case number to file your registration documents.

Attorney Admission FAQ

  • Who may approve my Petition for Admission?

    A Federal Judge (including a Federal District Court Judge, Federal Magistrate Judge, or Federal Bankruptcy Judge), Justice of the Supreme Court of Iowa, Judge of the Iowa Court of Appeals, or a Judge of the District Court of Iowa may approve the application. The form cannot be approved by an Associate District Judge or State Magistrate.

  • Can I practice in the Southern District if I am already admitted in the Northern District?

    No.  The two districts have different filing processes, and therefore, you must file your application with each.

  • Does the notary who signs my form have to be from Iowa?

    No. The notary can be from the state where you reside.

  • Does Bankruptcy Court require separate admission?

    Yes. Bankruptcy is separate from District Court, but Bankruptcy requires prior admission to the District Court, so the above requirements would still apply.  For additional information on Bankruptcy admission requirements, please visit their website at or call 515-284-6230.