Nicole Proesch

Nicole Proesch
Tel/Direct 1:
Tel/Main 1:
801 Grand Ave.
Suite 3700
Des Moines, IA 50309
Support Team

515-244-2600 x597



With over 18 years of experience, Attorney Nicole Proesch has a practice that focuses on Employment Law, Education Law including Student Athletic appeals, Licensing & Administrative Law, Boards and Commissions, Local Government and Whistleblower Law. She represents a variety of individuals as they lead their employees and communities in day to day issues that impact Iowans.

In the span of her career, Nicole has served in a variety of legal roles including 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 Bradshaw, she gained extensive knowledge working with Education and Business stakeholders in state government for over a decade in the areas of Employment and Education Law. She served 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.

As the spouse of a railroad employee, Nicole also understands the unique challenges that railroad workers face. In her practice, she represents individuals in the area of Railroad Employee Injuries in relation to the Federal Employer's Liability Act (FELA), which was was enacted by Congress in recognition of the inherent dangers associated with employment in the railroad industry. 

Among the honors she has received, Nicole 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.

Education & Background


  • J.D., Drake University Law School (Advanced Litigation Course Sequence, Torts, & Criminal Practice)
  • B.A., Mount Mercy College (Cum Laude) 

Prior Experience

  • General Counsel/Investigator, Iowa Board of Educational Examiners, 2021-2022
  • Vice President, Government Relations & Legal Counsel, Iowa Hospital Association, 2020-2021
  • General Counsel, Iowa Department of Education, 2012-2020
  • Story County Attorney/Assistant County Attorney, 2011-2012
  • Special Assistant United States Attorney (SAUSA), United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa, 2007-2011
  • Assistant Attorney General I, Iowa Attorney General’s Office, 2006 -2007
  • Madison County Attorney/Assistant County Attorney, 2005-2006
  • Attorney, Proesch Law Firm, 2004-2005
  • Law Clerk, Roxanne Conlin & Associates, 2002-2004

Honors & Awards

  • Recipient, 2011 Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Outstanding Investigations Award, “Sinaloa” Investigation 

  • Recipient, 2019 Doug Bates Distinguished Service Award – From the National Council of State Education Attorneys (NCOSEA)


Admitted to practice in the following states:

  • Iowa

Admitted to practice before the following federal courts:

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit 

Reported Cases and Representative Matters

Cases as Administrative Law Judge


  • In Re: Open Enrollment of J.C., 29 D.o.E. App. Dec. 154 


  • In Re: Good Conduct of O.D., 29 D.o.E. App. Dec. 36 
  • In Re: Open Enrollment of N.H., 29 D.o.E. App. Dec. 1 
  • In Re: Transportation Bus Stop, 28 D.o.E. App. Dec. 435 
  • In Re: Personnel Decision, 28 D.o.E. App. Dec. 532
  • In Re: Expulsion of M.F., 28 D.o.E. App. Dec. 175 
  • In Re: Open enrollment of H.T., 28 D.o.E. App. Dec. 257 
  • In Re: Open enrollment of L.T., 28 D.o.E. App. Dec. 169  


  • In Re: Open enrollment of K.M., 28 D.o.E. App. Dec. 523 
  • In Re: Open enrollment of T.L.U. & T.L.U., 28 D.o.E. App. Dec. 77 
  • In Re: Open Enrollment of Open Enrollment of T.J.U., T.R.U., T.A.M.U., T.J.U., T.L.U. and T.R.U., 28 D.o.E. App. Dec. 158 
  • In Re: Post-Secondary Enrollment Options of J.Z., 28 D.o.E. App. Dec. 008  
  • In Re: Dissolution of District M.K., 28 D.o.E. App. Dec.  12  


  • In Re: Open Enrollment of B.P. 27 D.o.E. App. Dec. 717 
  • In Re: Open Enrollment of M.R., 27 D.o.E. App. Dec. 697
  • In Re: Expulsion of M.K., 27 D.o.E. App. Dec. 694 
  • In re: Expulsion of Student A, 27 D.o.E. App. Dec. 276 
  • In re: Dissolution Appointments, 27 D.o.E. App. Dec. 733 
  • In Re: Discretionary Transportation, 27 D.o.E. App. Dec. 742
  • In Re: Suspension of Student A., 27 D.o.E. App. Dec. 749 
  • In Re: 21st Century grant Funding, 27 D.o.E. App. Dec. 805 
  • In Re: Student A, 27 D.o.E. App. Dec. 954 
  • In Re: E.M., 27 D.o.E. App. Dec. 960 


  • In Re: Religious Music, 27 D.o.E. App. Dec. 609 

Memberships & Activities

  • Member, Academy of Rail Labor Attorneys, 2023-Present
  • Board Member, OCD of Iowa, 2021-Present
  • Ambassador, Ankeny Area Chamber of Commerce, 2023-Present
  • Board Member, Diocesan School Board of Des Moines, 2017-2020
  • Member, St. Josephs Catholic School Finance Council, 2017-2020
  • Barrister, Blackstone Inns of Court, 2018-2019 
  • National Council of State Education Attorneys (NCOSEA) 
    • Chair, 2016-2018
    • Secretary & Treasurer, 2015-2016
    • Officer & Program Chair, 2014-2015
    • Member, 2012-2014
  • National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) 
    • Past Board Member, 2016-2017
  • Member, Iowa Association of Administrative Law Judges, 2012-2020
    • President, 2018-2020
    • Vice President, 2016-2018
  • National Association of Administrative Law Judges
    • Board Member, 2019-2020
    • Member, 2013-2020
  • Member, Story County Bar Association, 2011-2012
  • Member, Iowa County Attorney’s Association, 2011-2012

Articles, Presentations, and Publications


  • Author, Supreme Court’s Harvard Decisions Rewrite History for Fair Hiring PracticesIowa Employer Law Blog, October 25, 2023
  • Author, New Website Announced for Iowa Workforce Development & New Link for Notice of Unemployment Insurance for Employers, Iowa Employer Law Blog, October 5, 2023
  • Presenter, "Emergency Preparedness: Investigating and Responding toe Employee Crimes in the Workplace," and "The Employment Law Forecast: 2023 Legal Updates," Dickinson Law Employment Law Seminar, West Des Moines, Iowa, May 24, 2023
  • Presenter, "The Teacher Next Door," Iowa Board of Educational Examiners, Various Stakeholders, 2022
  • Presenter, "The Changing Landscape of Curriculum  Transparency & Impact on Professional Practices," NASDTEC – Professional Practices Seminar, 2022
  • Presenter, "BOEE Ethics," School Administrators of Iowa, July 2022
  • Presenter, "BOEE Ethics," Various Stakeholders, 2021
  • Presenter, "Advocacy 101," Iowa Hospital Association, 2021
  • Presenter, "Free Speech for Professional Practices," Iowa Council of School Board Attorneys, 2021
  • Presenter, "The Teacher Next Door," Iowa Department of Education, 2019
  • Presenter, "Legal Nuts and Bolts for School Counselors," Iowa School Counselors Association, 2017
  • Presenter, “Evolution of the School Bully”, AEA 267 School Counselors and Southeast Polk Professional Development Day, 2015
  • Presenter, “Protecting Yourself While Protecting Your Students”, AEA 267 School Counselors, FEAST at the Forum, SAC City Professional Development Day, 2015