Sara J. Sersland is a member of the firm's Litigation Department. She currently serves in an of counsel role in the workers’ compensation practice area.
A special focus of workers’ compensation law for Sara has been mental stress claims. She represented the Iowa Association of Business and Industry as amicus curiae in the Iowa Supreme Court case of Dunlavey v. Econ. Fire & Cas. Co., 526 N.W.2d 845 (1995), which established special standards of proof for workers’ compensation claims alleging a mental disability resulting from a mental stimulus. She also authored Mental Disability Caused by Mental Stress: Standards of Proof in Workers’ Compensation Cases, 33 Drake L. Rev. 751(1984). In addition, she has lectured on the topic at the American Psychiatric Association’s Annual Meeting in New York City, the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law’s Annual Meeting in San Francisco, the Iowa Association of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers’ Annual Seminar, and the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Advisory Committee’s Annual Symposium. Sara has also given presentations on a number of other topics relating to workers’ compensation at various seminars.
Sara is a past President of the Iowa Association of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, Inc., and past Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the Iowa State Bar Association. She has also served on the Board of Governors of the Iowa State Bar Association and the Board of Directors of the Polk County Bar Association. A graduate of Drake University Law School, she earned the honors of Order of the Coif and ranking first academically in her class. She also served as Executive Editor of the Drake Law Review.
Fellow, American Bar Foundation
Professional and Community Affiliations
American Bar Association
Iowa State Bar Association
Member, Board of Governors, 2004-2008
Workers' Compensation Section Chair, 1991-1992; Newsletter Committee Chair, 1990-1991; Section Council, 1990-1992
Polk County Bar Association
Member, Board of Directors, 2004-2008
Iowa Association of Workers' Compensation Lawyers, Inc.
Member, Board of Governors, 1990-present
Rules Committee Chair, 1993-1995
Rules Committee 1996-2002
Co-chair of Annual Seminar, 1991-1992
The Iowa Workers' Compensation Commissioner Task Force regarding the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, Sixth Edition, 2008.
Board of Counselors, Drake University Law School, 2006-2009
Friends of the French Chefs, DMACC Culinary Arts Program, 2001-present
Luther College Strategic Planning Committee, 2000
Second Injury Fund Task Force, 1992 (established by Iowa Legislature)