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Nicholas Hay

Nicholas Hay

I am a wholly mobile law firm representing clients in NE Iowa.
  • Criminal Law, Business Law, Civil Rights ...
  • Iowa
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&A

I have called Iowa home my entire life. My first job offer out of law school brought me to NE Iowa for the first time in my life, and I was disappointed it took me 25 years to see it with my own eyes. I worked for a small general practice firm in Waukon for about 4 years before I left to become my own boss. I have been living the dream and operating my own firm, Hay Law, P.L.C. since June 2015. The vast majority of my time practicing has been dedicated to criminal law whether it is fighting about traffic tickets or the police cutting corners and violating a citizen's civil rights, zealously defending the accused has been my passion. In April 2015 my beautiful and dashing wife and I got married. We met in law school and she decided early on she would not be a soulless attorney, and she has never looked back. We moved to Decorah in May of 2016, and it was at that time I decided to make my law firm completely mobile. I travel to you or we can find a mutually agreeable location to discuss what I can do for you. Do not wait another minute, call now for a free consultation.

Drake University Law School
J.D. (2011) | Criminal Procedure, Consumer Protection, Criminal Law, Legal Clinic (Practicing real law with real clients under the supervision of a licensed attorney)
I did not grow up dreaming of becoming a lawyer. I did not even know that I wanted to go to law school until my senior year of college. The decision to continue with law school was solidified by the economy beginning its spiral in early and mid 2008. It was a very challenging three years because we had to approach problems differently than we had been taught our whole life. I am more than willing to discuss the prospects of becoming a lawyer, law school, and then having to take the bar to anyone who wants some advice on the subject.
Activities: I helped co-found of the Consumer Protection Group at Drake University Law School. Our primary purpose was to help educate the general public about traps companies use to take advantage of consumers, their rights as consumers, and what specific information companies were required to provide to make sure that a consumer was being provided accurate and complete information. I was chosen to participate in the Neal and Bea Smith Criminal Legal Clinic my final semester at Drake Law School, and it was by far the most useful course that I could have ever hoped to take. It was an opportunity for students with so many credits to actually handle real criminal cases. We were restricted from handling felony cases. We were practicing in Polk County, and I believe we had approximately 6-10 cases in total. It taught me how to actual practice law, how to be in front of a judge, and how to interact with clients. On top of teaching the practice of law, there were prosecutors that made us fight for everything tooth and nail. It was an invaluable experience, and it was the only course that gave me practical legal skills over three years.
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Simpson College
B.A. (2008) | Mathematics & Political Science
I was undecided for my first year of undergraduate at Simpson College. I decided to go with math because I am a very analytical person, it requires tremendous attention to detail, and a set of rules and bounds to stay within. I had not idea what I wanted to be when I chose my major, and I had absolutely no idea how much mathematics would help in me excelling in the practice of law.
Activities: I thoroughly enjoyed my years as an undergraduate. When I was away from studying and boisterous socializing, I involved myself in other productive areas of society. I volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. I also volunteered at the local humane society branch, Kiya Koda, and I was responsible for walking dogs; greatest gig of my life. I was involved in Pre-Law Society, and I was elected president my senior year. I also participated in the Mathematical Modeling Competition during all four years of undergrad, and it is absolutely as nerdy as it sounds. Oddly enough, it did help prepare for the physical exertions of law school because the Mathematical Modeling competition was a weekend long 3-person team nationwide contest. Every team locked themselves in a classroom for a weekend, worked on one math problem, and binged on caffeine. Law school was essentially the same thing except it was a more regular occurrence and your entire grade for the class depended on how well you did on that one problem, worst gig ever. I also volunteered weekly with a K-2 special needs class in Des Moines as a senior at Simpson, and that was the first time that working with children actually became a legitimate interest of mine.
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Professional Experience
Attorney at law, Owner & Boss
Hay Law, P.L.C.
- Current
I own and operate my own law firm, Hay Law, P.L.C. I am a completely mobile law firm. Iowa is the first state in the country to have a completely electronic filing and document management system. There is no longer a need for a store front or an office. I work wherever I can sit with my laptop and meet with my clients wherever they feel comfortable.
Associate Attorney
Jacobson, Bristol, Garrett, & Swartz
I was a general practice attorney but the majority of my clients were criminal cases, just like they are today. I handled divorces, custody cases, tax law, contract drafting, workers compensation, IRS filings, and just about any odd problem that walked through the door or called the office number. The firm was a partnership that was about to implode, and I took the opportunity to start my own firm and be my own boss. The experience with small claims law, civil law, juvenile law, and administrative law was invaluable and I am extremely grateful I was provided the opportunity to work at the firm right out of law school.
Excellence for the Future Award
Computer Assisted Legal-Instruction
Awards provided to top grade in a course in participating law schools.
Professional Associations
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Current
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Iowa Association for Justice
- Current
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Iowa State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division
- Current
Activities: I recently became involved in a task force on Student Loan Debt and young attorneys because despite how we are portrayed the vast majority make slightly more than the average salary in our particular county. This is especially true in rural areas. Think of it in terms of this: the average recent college graduate has student loan debt equal to or slightly more than their average starting salary. The average recent law school graduate has student loan debt that is 300% more than their average starting salary.
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Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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  • Free Consultation
Practice Areas
Criminal Law
Criminal Appeals, Drug Crimes, Expungement, Fraud, Gun Crimes, Internet Crimes, Sex Crimes, Theft, Violent Crimes
Business Law
Business Contracts, Business Dissolution, Business Finance, Business Formation, Business Litigation, Franchising, Mergers & Acquisitions, Partnership & Shareholder Disputes
Civil Rights
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Discrimination, Employment, Fair Housing, Police Misconduct, Privacy Law
Consumer Law
Class Action, Lemon Law
Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence Criminal Defense, Domestic Violence Restraining Orders, Victims Rights
Education Law
Family Law
Adoption, Child Custody, Child Support, Father's Rights, Guardianship & Conservatorship, Paternity, Prenups & Marital Agreements, Restraining Orders, Same Sex Family Law
Juvenile Law
Landlord Tenant
Evictions, Housing Discrimination, Landlord Rights, Rent Control, Tenants' Rights
Traffic Tickets
Suspended License
White Collar Crime
Legal Answers
Q. If I'm a 15 year old girl and a lesbian can I date a 17 year old who is about to be 18 ?
A: Yes. If you are 15 years old, then any sexual act between you and someone who is less than 4 years older is legal. Since you are 15, you would be able to date an 18 year old. In Iowa, the age of consent is 16, but if you are 14 or 15, then a sex act is a felony if the other person is 4 years or more older than you.
Q. If my niece been adopted but now want to be with her real family how do I go about getting custody.
A: Your options are few and very difficult to achieve. You could attempt to establish a guardianship in Iowa if that is where she is living. Her parents would have to consent to the guardianship if you can't prove that they are unfit. Even though she is 16 it doesn't mean she gets to pick where she lives. If you want to adopt, the window for that option practically closed when she was adopted. To adopt, her parents would have to have their rights terminated. Unless they consent to that it is unlikely that is going to happen. If there was an adoption that took place before, then the department of human services has likely been involved and would most likely become involved again if you attempted to terminate the adoptive parents' rights and then adopt the 16 yr old.

You should contact an attorney in or around the county that your niece is living in with her parents. There is no simple answer to your question, and the battle you would have to fight would be steep and long if there is any resistance whatsoever from the parents about her custody and placement.
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Q. If I am 16 and want to hangout with a guy that is 4 years and 8 months older than me can my parents call the cops on him
A: Not likely, as long as you two are not doing anything illegal including him having you out past a city or town curfew, and your parents tell you that you can't leave the house but you do to go hang out with him, it is unlikely he gets arrested for you two simply being in the same vicinity of each other and talking. He can get arrested for just talking to you if he is a registered sex offender or there is a valid no-contact order in place preventing him from contacting you or speaking to you if you contact him. I always tell my clients you don't have to do anything wrong to get arrested, so if he contributes to you breaking the law or a city ordinance he could be arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

It is unfortunate that you are in your current position. At 16 you deserve a little more freedom, (especially considering how strict your parents sound) and the last thing any one would want is an international incident over a seemingly innocent relationship. Your parents reaction will probably only cause you to keep more from them about your social life as you get older. I always urge my clients to look through the other sides eyes' to help gain perspective. Your parents have been dreading the day you turn 16 and start showing serious interest in sexual activity. In their minds, the scenario that is causing them dread is you falling for another 16 or 17 year old boy. So, they see the typical signs of you texting and all that stuff and their freak out meter starts rising and then they find out there is a 21 year old on the other end. Don't forget, they are parents so nothing you are doing with the opposite sex is as innocent as talking. They find out he is 21 (almost) and they are losing their minds right now, and that is probably why they are not acting rationally and going straight to the police call option.

I do not have any children myself, but I am sure there are a lot of attorneys who might see your question and think there is absolutely no way I am going to tell my 16 yr old daughter that it is okay to do anything with a 21 yr old because it automatically seems suspect. Just keep in mind their freak out is actually coming from a good place, and that a 21 year old cannot be arrested for talking to a 16 year old as long as he is not a registered sex offender and there is not a valid no-contact order in place preventing him from contacting you.
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Websites & Blogs
Hay Law Online
Contact & Map
Mailing Address
308 5th Avenue
Decorah, IA 52101
Cell: (563) 568-7728
Fax: (563) 594-5246