chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.
October 20, 2021

Iowa attorney Alan O. Olson receives 2021 GPSolo Making a Difference Through Community Service Award

CHICAGO, Oct. 20, 2021 — Alan O. Olson will receive a 2021 Difference Makers Award at 1 p.m. CDT on Thursday, Oct. 21, during the 2021 GPSolo Fall Meeting. The Making a Difference Through Community Service Award, presented by the American Bar Association Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division, honors an attorney, living or deceased, who made a significant lifetime contribution to the local community through community service.

Olson is a solo practitioner at Olson Law Office P.C., in Des Moines, Iowa, specializing in personal injury/wrongful death, civil rights and commercial law. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Iowa Legal Aid Foundation, and previously served as president of both the Drake University Law School board of counselors and the Iowa Legal Aid board of directors.

He was a clerk for Iowa Court of Appeals Judge Dick R. Schlegel from 1992-1993 and was assistant editor of the Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers handbook cumulative supplement in 1993.

Olson has been a member of Polk County and Iowa State Bar associations, having served on the Iowa State Bar’s board of governors, administrative committee and its scope and correlation committee, and he chaired its CLE division from 2005-2010. He was the Iowa State Bar Association ABA Bar Delegate from 2006-2013 and has served as the Iowa state delegate to the ABA House of Delegates since 2013.  

Olson has served numerous roles within the ABA, including on the standing committee on membership and the standing committee on CLE. He also was chair of the ABA House of Delegates technology and communications committee and chair of the resolution impact committee. He also served on the presidential appointments committee, the committee on credentials and admissions and the committee on rules and calendar.

Olson was chair of the ABA Young Lawyers Division and has served on the ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division Council since 2011, and as its budget officer since 2018.

Olson received the Iowa Association for Justice meritorious achievement award in 2005, and served on its administration committee from 2007-2013, including a term as president. He also was named the American Mock Trial Association national champion in 1989 and 1992, received the Chief Justice W.W. Reynoldson Award in 1993 and was inducted into the Judges Hall of Fame in 1999.

He was inducted into the American Board of Trial Advocates and the National Order of Barristers. Olson is also a fellow with the American Bar Foundation, a lifetime fellow of the Iowa State Bar Foundation, a fellow of the Iowa Legal Aid Foundation and the Iowa Civil Justice Foundation.

Olson earned a bachelor’s degree in 1989 from Drake University and a law degree from Drake University Law School in 1992. He has been admitted to the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit and the U.S. District Court, Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa. Click here for a photo of Alan O. Olson.

With more than 20,000 members, the ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division (GPSolo) is committed to providing unique resources exclusively for solo, small-firm and general practitioners, who represent half of the nation’s lawyers.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.