Two New Attorneys Join Dickinson Law
Posted on 01/31/2023 at 03:12 PM by The Newsroom
Dickinson, Mackaman, Tyler & Hagen P.C. is happy to announce that attorneys Nicole Proesch and Elissa Holman have joined the firm.
Nicole brings over 18 years of experience with her, having served in a variety of legal roles as a private attorney, a Story County prosecutor, and as a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Des Moines. Prior to joining Dickinson Law, she gained extensive knowledge in the areas of Employment and Education Law as General Counsel and Investigator at the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners, and as the General Counsel and Administrative Law Judge at the Iowa Department of Education where she spent nearly eight years.
“I’m elated to be joining Dickinson Law,” she said. “The firm and attorneys in the firm are highly respected in the legal community. I am fortunate to be joining this excellent team. After working with Education and Business stakeholders in state government for over a decade, I wanted to shift my work and represent those individuals as they lead their employees and communities in day to day issues that impact Iowans.
While at the firm, her practice will focus primarily in the areas of Employment Law, Education Law, and Administrative and Licensing Law.
“Throughout my career, I have advocated on behalf of children, juveniles, families, defendants, law enforcement, state agencies, the State of Iowa, federal agencies, and the Department of Justice,” Nicole said. “I look forward to putting my collective experience and passion to work as I advocate for my clients, both in and out of the courtroom.”
Nicole obtained her Juris Doctorate degree from Drake University Law School, and she graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Criminal Justice & Graphic Design from Mount Mercy University. She is involved in a number of legal organizations, including the Blackstone Inns of Court and Iowa Council of School Board Attorneys. She was the 2019 Doug Bates Distinguished Service Award recipient from the National Council of State Education Attorneys. She also served on the National Association of State Boards of Education from 2016-2017.
Nicole grew up in Cedar Rapids where her interest in the law began young when she became an avid fan of the TV show “Law & Order.” “I’ve been interested in being a lawyer ever since,” she said. I really wanted to work in a profession where I could help others and do justice. In my free time, I listen to legal podcasts, and I’m a big fan of true crime books and movies.”
Outside of the office, she is a busy wife, mom of two, and the owner of two active dogs. Nicole regularly attends arts and sports events for her children, and she enjoys working on art projects and photography. She also enjoys running 5Ks and half marathons, among other athletic activities.
Volunteering is important to Nicole; she finds time to participate in events like the Principal Charity Classic, Muscular Dystrophy fundraisers, and serving on various boards, including OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) of Iowa.
For more information on Nicole’s practice, visit her bio page here.
Elissa joins the firm with nearly two decades of combined professional and legal experience, including three years working as a litigator in Employment Law, Personal Injury, and Defamation Law.
Prior to becoming an attorney, she climbed the corporate ladder at Bank of America for 16 years where she held various roles as a Senior Vice President in the HR arena. Elissa’s predominant focus during her tenure was in leadership development, executive coaching, training and development, and assisting in the direction and execution of HR operational processes and services for more than 200,000 employees across the globe. Following Elissa’s exit from Bank of America, she served as a consultant for Fortune 500 companies focusing on the customer and associate experience.
Elissa’s practice at Dickinson Law will focus around Employment Law and Civil Litigation.
“I grew up in the business world before transitioning to law school,” she said. “I spent two decades working for and with Fortune 500 companies, and I understand the critical role it takes to manage a business and the difficulties that can arise when working through many life cycles of a business. I also spent half of my career in the corporate space working in the global human resources arena with a predominant focus on leadership development, executive coaching, and training and development. I speak the language of corporations and business owners and understand, often times firsthand, what a company is experiencing – and that sets me apart.”
She chose Dickinson in her career path so she could leverage her background in her practice.
“I want to help businesses get in front of issues, in a proactive manner, to avoid litigation. I know that is not always possible, but if we can guide our clients on the front-end we can save them a lot of money and headaches in the future.”
Elissa is a Des Moines native and obtained her Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law, and a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree (Cum Laude), also from the University of Missouri Kansas City. Prior to joining Dickinson, she was a trial attorney at Newkirk Zwagerman, P.L.C. “I have lived in St. Louis, Dallas, and Kansas City before moving back to Iowa in 2018; I’m coming back to my roots,” she said.
Like Nicole, her interest in becoming a lawyer was piqued thanks to the power of TV; she watched “LA Law” as a young girl. “The bottom line is I like to be the rock for people during difficult times. I want to be there to shepherd them along, provide solid legal advice, and options to a path of resolution. I also want to be the person that people lean on to prevent them from expensive and time consuming litigation – let’s work to prevent litigation. I have had success in the courtroom and hope to keep that track record on a positive trajectory. I understand the value and importance in resolving matters prior to trial but I do not shy away from a trial. I welcome it.”
In 2021, after practicing law for just two years, Elissa was named as a Rising Star of the Great Plains by SuperLawyers, and again in 2022.
Outside of the office, Elissa likes to spend time with her family and two children, as well as her beloved dog, Archie.
For more information on Elissa’s practice, visit her bio page here.
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