Allison’s practice focuses on criminal defense, criminal defense for immigrants, criminal appeals, family-based immigration, removal defense, immigration benefits for victims of domestic violence and other crimes (Violence Against Women Act and U-visa), Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), immigration benefits for juveniles (Special Immigrant Juvenile visas and related guardianships), immigration appeals, and family law cases. Allison is proficient in Spanish, and many of her clients are Spanish-speaking only. Allison is also currently a Clinical Teaching Fellow at Drake University Law School’s Refugee Legal Clinic.
Allison McCarthy is a May 2007 graduate of the University of Iowa. During her undergraduate years, she participated in the A. Craig Baird Debate Forum as a policy debater, and studied abroad in Amsterdam. She graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. With Distinction in International Studies. Allison is also a December 2009 graduate of the University of Iowa College of Law. During her time at the University of Iowa College of Law, Allison participated in the school’s VAWA project, helping immigrant victims of domestic violence apply for immigration benefits. Allison also participated in the Skylark Project, in which she helped prepare a successful application for commutation of sentence for a domestic-violence victim serving a life sentence for a first-degree kidnapping conviction. Allison wrote for the Journal of Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems, and her article, “The May 12, 2008 Postville, Iowa Immigration Raid: A Human Rights Perspective,” was published in the journal’s winter 2010 issue.
In addition to her experience in private practice, Allison has worked as a judicial law clerk for the Iowa Supreme Court, and a public defender in the Louisville, Kentucky area.
Allison is an active member of the Iowa State Bar Association, Polk County Women Attorneys, and the Iowa Organization of Women Attorneys.