Joanne Picray grew up in a working class family in rural Iowa, graduating from Emmetsburg Community High School. She then attended and graduated with a BA from Iowa State University in 1995. After working as a community organizer for Citizens for Community Improvement of Des Moines, in Des Moines, Iowa for 3 years, and spending time at home with her children, she attended Drake University Law School, where she earned her J.D. in 2008. She was admitted to the Iowa bar in September of 2008. While attending Drake, she volunteered with the MUNA Legal Clinic, part of the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence serving immigrant survivors of domestic violence, where she later interned. She was then hired as Clearinghouse Manager for ASISTA, a project of the Coalition that provides technical assistance nationally to service providers working with immigrant survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. In 2008, ASISTA left the Coalition and incorporated as a nonprofit organization in its own right, and Joanne went with it, taking on the new role as Clearinghouse Attorney, increasing her role to include writing and research for the organization. In 2009, Joanne founded Picray Law, a general practice law firm. In January 2011, Joanne left her position with ASISTA to pursue her practice full time. In addition to this work, Joanne has done cases for the Polk County Bar Association's Volunteer Lawyer Project, as well as volunteering at the HOLA Center's free Legal Clinic, held monthly to provide free legal advice to the Hispanic community in Des Moines.
The mission of Picray Law is to provide reasonably priced, quality, individualized, and compassionate representation to individuals and families in Iowa. Many hard-working individuals and families in Iowa struggle to make ends meet, and legal representation can seem out of reach, especially during a crisis, when it is most necessary. While legal assistance is available for many low income Iowans (for more information on these options, see the FAQ or links page), many working-class and middle-class families are not eligible for this assistance. Picray Law keeps costs low and passes these savings on to our clients by keeping rates lower than average. Additionally, the firm will work with clients to come up with arrangements that work with their individual circumstances. The firm also tries to provide holistic legal representation by listening to clients, building relationships, and working with them to improve their lives, providing referrals, advice, and counsel, and helping them deal with whatever crisis brings them to need legal representation. To help with this, Picray Law provides representation in a variety of areas of law that are the most common needs of everyday working people, and works to maintain relationships with are a attorneys who provide help in other areas. For more information on what we do, see our Types of Law page. This allows continued relationships with clients and their families, which goes with our business philosophy: the best advertising is word of mouth and repeat business by satisfied clients.