Kristy M. Latta
100 Court Avenue, Suite 600
Des Moines, IA 50309-2231
J.D. (High Honors), Drake University, 2005
B.A. (with Distinction), University of Iowa, 2002
Kristy serves as Practice Area Leader for the firm’s Education Law Practice Area, serving school district and community college clients. She has handled a variety of matters that arise in the education arena, with a focus on minimizing client risk through general contract and board policy reviews.
Kristy has experience in drafting and reviewing numerous types of agreements that are used by clients. She drafts and reviews school board policies and administrative rules on a consistent basis for clients in light of ever-changing laws and regulations. In addition, Kristy advises clients on education law issues and situations which arise in the day-to-day operation of their schools, such as those relating to student discipline, personnel matters and school board governance. She has represented clients in numerous appeals before the Iowa Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Education, and other state and federal administrative agencies.
Kristy has served as practice group leader for the Procurement/Contracting Practice Group, and as chair of the firm's Associate Development Committee, Recruiting Committee, Charitable Action Committee, and Art Committee. She is an Adjunct Professor of Legal Writing at Drake University Law School, which is recognized in the Top 10 nationally. After law school and prior to joining the firm, Kristy served as a judicial law clerk for Justice David S. Wiggins of the Iowa Supreme Court. While in law school, Kristy served on the Drake Law Review.
- Successfully represented school district client in challenge brought in district court relating to statutory process for sale of school district property and obtained dismissal of petition in favor of client.
- Successfully represented school district client throughout administrative appeal process and district court action in connection with challenge of school closing decision and obtained ruling and summary judgment in favor of client.
- Conducted multiple student expulsion hearings for school district clients, which involved open meetings/closed session issues, student due process rights, and school attendance laws, and authored the school boards’ written decisions on the matter.
- Handled and resolved various personnel matters on behalf of school district clients, such as employee termination proceedings, claims for unemployment insurance benefits, and responses to civil rights complaints.
- Engaged in comprehensive review of school district clients’ board policies in every series and provided necessary legal updates, recommended changes, and suggested additional policies for consideration.
- Drafted a variety of agreements for school district clients, including agreements for the sharing of school personnel/operations and 28E agreements for joint or cooperative actions, and reviewed and negotiated vendor contracts for school district clients for legal compliance.
American Bar Association
Iowa State Bar Association
Polk County Bar Association
Iowa Council of School Board Attorneys
National School Boards Association, Council of School Attorneys
Order of the Coif
Drake Law School, Adjunct Faculty member, Legal Writing Program, recognized in Top 10 nationally
Kristy's most recent speaking engagements include:
Iowa Association of School Business Officials, Fall Conference, "Stump the Attorneys," with Danielle Haindfield and Miriam Van Heukelem, September 2023
Iowa State University, Iowa School Business Management Academy, "Legal - Liability & Risk Management," May 2023
School Administrators of Iowa - School Law Conference 2023, "Employment Issues," February 2023
Iowa Association of School Business Officials, Spring Conference, "Hot Topics in Education Law," with Danielle Haindfield and Miriam Van Heukelem, March 2023
Iowa Association of School Boards, Annual Convention, "Conflicting Laws, Controversial Topics & Cohesive Boards," with panel, November 2022
Iowa State University, Iowa School Business Management Academy, "Legal - Liability & Risk Management," and "Top 5 School Legal Issues" with Katherine Beenken, Danielle Haindfield, and Miriam Van Heukelem, April 2022
Iowa Association of School Boards, "Mock Contract Termination Hearing," with Miriam Van Heukelem, March 2022
Iowa Association of School Boards, 2020 Employee Relations Digital Conference, “You Can't tell me What to Do: Managing Employee Freedom of Speech Issues in 2020,” October 2020
Ahlers & Cooney, P.C., Title IX Virtual Training Workshop for Clients, June 2020
- "Title IX Decision-Maker Training for K-12," with Carrie Weber
- "Training on Supportive Measures and Informal Resolution," with Rebecca Reif
ISAC, Spring Conference, "Records Retention and Board Policies: Legal Requirements," March 2020
Ahlers & Cooney, Employment Law Client Seminar, "Reporting Obligations," November 2019
Ahlers & Cooney P.C., Webinar, "New Proposed Regulations under Title IX," January 2019
Iowa Association of School Boards, Employee Relations Conference, "They Said What?! Applying Law & Policy to Employee Use of Social Media," October 2018
Iowa Association of School Boards, Annual Convention, "The Three Legged Stool: Aligning Board Policies with Employee Handbooks and Collective Bargaining Agreements," November 2017
Iowa Association of School Business Officials, Student Activity Fund Conference, "Student Activity Funds," August 2017
Iowa Council of School Attorneys, Summer Conference, "Unpaid Meal Charges," July 2017
School Administrators of Iowa Conference, "Social Media Policies and Guidance," February 2017
Published Articles & Books
The Urban Lawyer, "Recent Developments in Education Law: Student Searches," (co-authored with James C. Hanks), Summer 2012
Iowa Association of School Business Officials, "Counsel’s Corner, Fidelity Bonds: Protecting Your District from Dishonest Employees," 2009
Iowa Association of School Business Officials, "Counsel’s Corner, It’s That Time of the Year Again…[school election information]," 2008
Iowa Association of School Business Officials, "Counsel’s Corner, Playing by the New Rules Under the Family and Medical Leave Act," 2008
Professional, Community and Civic Leadership
Iowa Council of School Board Attorneys, Executive Committee (2016 – present)
Iowa Talented and Gifted Association, Board Member (2008-2010)
Kappa Kappa Gamma chapter, Drake University, Advisor (2006-2010)