Dawn Hernandez holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Human Services, and attended law school at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Licensed to practice law in the state of Iowa, she focuses her practice primarily in immigration law, mediation, low-conflict family law, and increasing access to the justice system through unbundled (limited scope) services.
Dawn values family relationships as the main building block of society, and is therefore acutely aware of the effect each legal circumstance can have on individuals and families. Even when the family unit is experiencing change through divorce, separation, or the adjustment of custody and visitation agreements, Dawn believes in maintaining dignity and respect through the process. Dawn zealously advocates for her family law clients while simultaneously helping them move toward healing and closure, keeping the best interests of any children involved in the forefront at all times. Even in many of the most difficult and contentious family law cases, Dawn believes that through mediation and creative solutions her clients can keep control of their outcomes and walk away from a painful experience with their heads held high.
Dawn Hernandez’s passion for issues involving immigration began when, as a child, she lived in close proximity to many migrant farm-workers in Eastern Washington State. Throughout her youth she gained a unique perspective of the complexities of our immigration system and its effect on individuals, families, and employers. That experience fueled her desire to become fluent in Spanish to better support immigrant families as they transition into life in the United States, and U.S. employers who desire to hire foreign workers.
Before attending law school, Dawn worked with immigrants in various professional capacities. She spent time as a Bilingual Outreach Coordinator for the Postville, Iowa school district where she helped families understand the importance of continuing education beyond middle school. She also worked as an outreach specialist for the Iowa State Migrant and Seasonal Farm Worker program, coordinated English classes for adult learners, and provided freelance interpreting services to local law enforcement, emergency, educational, and mental health professionals. Subsequently, Dawn provided a unique immigrant-aware perspective during her time as a City Council member in Postville, Iowa. Dawn hopes to use her passion, experience, and education to help strengthen immigrant families and assist her business clients with finding high-quality employees by helping them navigate the often counter-intuitive immigration processes available to them.
In addition to her experience working with immigrants, Dawn has also held positions that have allowed her to interact with individuals from demographic groups that have often had disproportionate access to our legal system. As the Co-Department Head of the Allamakee County Substance Abuse Prevention department of Allamakee County, Iowa she facilitated positive engagement groups for at-risk youth, a Moms Off Meth support group for mothers recovering from all types of addiction, and coordinated early-intervention home-based mental health and counseling initiatives for at-risk youth and their families. In her role as an Outreach Specialist with the New Iowan Centers through Iowa Workforce Development, Dawn was privileged to assist adults from all walks of life as they worked to better improve employability and independence. She assisted with resume writing and job skills training, coordinated adult-education courses and community focus-groups for local under-served populations, and worked with disabled adults to take full advantage of local resources. These experiences have cemented her desire to look beyond the surface with each client. This deepened perspective helps clients have increased access to the legal system and the local resources that can make the legal process feel less arduous.
Stella Roederer grew up on a farm in North English, Iowa and holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and History, and a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership, both from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, IA. She attended Drake Law School in Des Moines, IA and is licensed to practice law in Iowa. Stella focuses her practice in immigration law, low-conflict family law, estate planning, agricultural law, and is passionate about increasing access to the justice system through unbundled (limited scope) services. At the root of Stella’s practice is people in their time of need. Whether it is guiding farm produces through USDA programs, assisting people through a VISA application with USCIS, creating estate plans, or empowering people to take charge of a divorce, Stella focuses on each client as a person of dignity worthy of respect.
It is incredibly easy to put off creating an estate plan because the time of needing one feels so far off, and quite frankly, no one likes to think about their death. While people may not like to plan for this, Stella believes it is the single greatest thing a person can do for those they love and she is pleased to help clients develop estate plans that reflect their individual needs, goals and desires. These decisions have to be made and the only question is whether to make the decisions now or leave it for your loved ones to decide when they are grieving. Stella prepares wills, trusts, and power of attorneys.
Prior to law school, Stella worked as a liaison between local non-profits and university students in Davenport, IA at St. Ambrose University. In this role, she was responsible for meeting with non-profits to build a mutual network of service. By understanding what needs were at the top of the non-profits’ priority lists, Stella was able to connect the students interested in service and social justice with non-profits. This provided a vital opportunity for students’ growth, as well as an opportunity of assistance for the non-profits in the area.
Stella’s journey to being an immigration lawyer was not a straight path. Growing up in rural Iowa provided the most basic of backgrounds in understanding that each year migrant workers make their way throughout the agricultural sectors of the United States. But it wasn’t until after graduate school while volunteering with an immigration advocacy group that she began to take a deeper look at immigration policy and laws.
Through this work, Stella has come to believe in the importance of serving humanity, and her main goal is to be of service in a meaningful way. The legal world is complex and often times unforgiving but Stella is committed to assisting people through their legal issues with competent compassion. By unbundling our services, Stella and Solutions Law Firm believe clients can take control of their circumstances and walk out on the other side of the legal issue healed and whole.
Trisha Floyd Nielsen
Trisha Floyd Nielsen started her path towards law in high school in Des Moines, Iowa. At that time, she studied Italian at Des Moines Central Campus and Spanish at Lincoln High School. She decided to go to the University of Iowa specifically to study Italian, however she added a second major in Russian while she was there. Being around so many native speakers of other languages, she was introduced to immigrants from many other nations. This would turn her towards law school, because she knew she wanted to help more people come to the United States to live, work, and study.
While in law school, she took an immigration course, as well as an advanced immigration law and policy course, which further cemented her desire to become an immigration attorney. She was lucky to have the opportunity to work in the University of Iowa College of Law’s Legal Clinic in the immigration department. Then, she had a summer internship at the Omaha Immigration Court.
Since then, she has worked with children, adults, and companies in various immigration matters such as helping a company hire workers they can’t find in the U.S. and keeping families united. She loves to solve problems, advocate for others, and help guide people through legal processes. Her personal and professional experiences have taught her that she values genuine connections and hearing about other people’s lives and businesses.
In addition to immigration, Trisha practices in estate planning and probate. She believes that all families deserve to have a plan for their loved ones, and follow through on the plans in the event of disability or death.