Sara Riley graduated from Drake University Law School in December 1985. After sitting for and passing the Iowa Bar Exam in January 1986, Sara joined the Tom Riley Law Firm.

Since 1986, Sara has represented clients who have suffered personal injuries, who have been injured as a result of medical negligence, have been subjected to discrimination in employment and whose civil rights have been violated. Sara has tried cases in both federal and state courts in Iowa. When necessary, Sara has successfully appealed cases on behalf of her clients to the Iowa Supreme Court. Sara enjoys the practice of law as it allows her to help her clients correct injustices.

Areas of Practice

  • Personal Injury and Wrongful Death
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Professional Negligence/Malpractice
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Civil Rights Law

Bar Admissions

  • Iowa, January 24, 1986
  • Iowa, 1986
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Iowa, 1986
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Iowa, 1986


  • Degree: Juris Doctor, Drake University Law School, Des Moines, Iowa, 1985Degree:B.B.A., University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, 1982Major:Business Administration

Representative Cases

  • Oswald v. LeGrand, 453 N.W.2d 634 (Iowa 1990)
  • Grahek v. Voluntary Hospital Cooperative Association of Iowa, Inc., 473 N.W.2d 31 (Iowa 1991)
  • Decorah State Bank v. Wangness, 452 N.W.2d 438 (Iowa 1990)
  • Slattery v. Iowa District Court for Johnson County, 442 N.W.2d 82 (Iowa 1989)

Classes/Seminars Taught

  • “Professional Liability in Surgery”, University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, May, 1991
  • Appeared on “Ask the Lawyer” segment of KGAN-TV Thursday morning news from November 2000-2002.
  • Appeared on KGAN-TV afternoon news program every Thursday during its “Ask the Lawyer”segment from February 2003 – 2007.
  • Speaker at “American Business Women’s Association” annual meeting September 27, 2006.
  • Appeared live bi-monthly on Thursdays on KWWL’s noon news during “Legal Advantage” segment from March 2007 through June 2008 when KWWL lost its Cedar Rapids office in the June 2008 flood.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Association for Justice (formerly ATLA), Member 1986 – Present
  • Iowa Association for Justice (formerly ITLA)
  • Board member of the All Saints Catholic School Board of Education 2001 – 2004
  • Board member of the Regis Middle School School Board of Education 2001 – 2004; Served as Vice President from 2002 – 2003; Served as President from 2003 – 2004
  • Advisory Board Iowa ACE, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Board Chair, Iowa Advocates, Des Moines, Iowa