Aaron Hilligas

Tel/Direct:

515-246-0327

Tel/Main:

515-243-7611

Address:

100 Court Ave, Suite 600
Des Moines, IA 50309

Court Admissions

All Iowa Courts

 District of Columbia Court of Appeals

 U.S. Court of Appeals – Second Circuit

U.S. District Court – Western District of Wisconsin

Education

 J.D., University of Wisconsin, 2002

 B.A., University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1998

Bar Admissions

Iowa, 2017

District of Columbia, 2007

Background

Aaron Hilligas joined the firm in 2017 and is a member of the firm’s Public Law Practice Area, serving municipalities, higher education and K-12 educational institutions. He advises clients on a variety of labor and employment related matters and represents employers in collective bargaining contract negotiations, in cases before the Public Employment Relations Board and in other administrative hearings, and in grievance arbitrations. Aaron also assists employers in contract administration, the development and implementation of employee handbooks and policies, personnel issues, conducting workplace investigations, and the navigation of the labor nuances tied to the receipt of federal transit funds.

Prior to Ahlers & Cooney, Aaron worked in the Office of the General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Washington, DC. With the NLRB, he developed legal theories pursued by General Counsel, advised regions on litigation strategy, and represented the agency in injunction cases on appeal.

He has also worked in-house as an attorney with labor organizations representing a variety of industries in the public and private sectors. In these roles, he was involved in collective bargaining, contract enforcement and strategic campaigns, arbitrated and litigated disputes, and advised on policies, internal employee issues, regulatory compliance, organizing, employee benefits and internal governance.

While at the University of Wisconsin, Aaron served as Articles Editor for the Wisconsin International Law Journal, was a judicial intern with the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and got his start in labor and employment law by working as a law clerk with the employment law division of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Office of Legal Affairs.

Memberships

Iowa State Bar Association

Polk County Bar Association

Speaking/Presentations

Aaron's most recent speaking engagements include:

Iowa Association of School Business Officials, Webinar, "Collective Bargaining and Negotiations" with Ann Smisek, November 2018 & December 2017

Ahlers & Cooney P.C., Employment Law Client Seminar, "Chapter 20 Update & Public Records Under Chapter 22,"  October 2018

Iowa League of Cities, Annual Conference, "Public Employees and Off- Duty Speech" with Ann Smisek, September 2018

Iowa State Association of County Auditors, Annual Conference, "Off-Duty Employee Speech" and "Changes to Collective Bargaining" with Jim Hanks, July 2018 

Iowa Rural Water Association, Annual Conference, "Off-Duty Employee Speech" with Ann Smisek, February 2018

Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities, Municipal Utilities Law 101 Workshop, “Collective Bargaining,” October 2017

IAPELRA Annual Conference, "How Do We Respond to the Revised Chapter 20, Certification Elections and PERB Rulings" with Jim Hanks and Ann Smisek, "Chapter 20, HR Responsibilities in New Open Records Law, Weapons in Public Buildings" with Jim Hanks and Ann Smisek, September 2017

Professional, Community and Civic Leadership

Iowa Legal Aid, Volunteer Intake Attorney

Youth Baseball Coach, Beaverdale Little League and Raccoon Valley Little League