319.291.6161 | 3112 Brockway Road, Waterloo, Iowa

Law Practice Areas


Working with an attorney experienced in adoption law will help ensure that your adoption proceeds as smoothly as possible. Whether you are looking to place your child for adoption or would like to adopt a child, Nelson Law Firm is dedicated to developing a successful adoption plan that meets the needs of each client, while maintaining the highest standards of ethics, competence, and professionalism. Ken Nelson has handled hundreds of adoptions, both intrastate and interstate and is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, a national association of over 300 attorneys.

Business Law

If you are looking to start a business or modify your existing business, Nelson Law Firm can provide the guidance and expertise required. Our attorneys are knowledgeable as to the appropriate entity to suit your needs, the documentation necessary to establish your business, and keep you up to date with reporting requirements and any changes your business may need over the years. An experienced compliance attorney can navigate you through the ever-changing laws, giving you more time to devote to your business and providing a sense of security that your company is in full compliance with all of the pertinent local, state, and federal laws, rules, and regulations. All of the attorneys at Nelson Law Firm are members of their local and state bar associations and stay up-to-date on all applicable state and federal rulings and case precedents within business law to best serve their clients. Nelson Law Firm represents small local businesses, large statewide businesses and every size in-between.

Collections, Foreclosures, Creditor Rights and Subrogation

Nelson Law Firm specializes in knowing the rights and responsibilities of creditors and the obligations of debtors. That includes assisting your business in obtaining the revenue you are owed in a professional manner while pursuing the fullest remedies under the law. Our attorneys strictly adhere to the values of professional, ethical, and responsible debt collection for the clients they represent, including but not limited to the areas of subrogation, retail and commercial collections, residential and commercial foreclosure, medical debt collection, and bankruptcy litigation. Ken Nelson is a member of the National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys and the Commercial Law League of America, national trade associations dedicated to serving law firms representing clients in matters relating to legal debt collection.

Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts and Probate

Most of the laws that govern what you can and cannot do with your personal property or estate in the event you become incapacitated or deceased vary greatly from state to state. Nelson Law Firm can assist you in planning for end of life, provide legal expertise in probating your estate and assist your loved ones in carrying out your wishes after death. Having an attorney with experience in this area of law is necessary to confirm that your wishes, whether they be during a time of incapacitation or at time of death, will be carried out in your will, trust, power of attorney, or other end of life planning documentation. Nelson Law Firm is dedicated to providing their clients with the tools they need to protect and disburse their assets according to their instructions.

Family Law

Family law is the very broad term used to describe the areas of law that encompass family-related matters and issues relating to domestic relations. This may be civil in nature, such as marriage and premarital agreements, divorce, and child custody, or it may be criminal in nature, as in the case of child abuse/neglect/abduction, guardian ad litem (when the court of jurisdiction appoints an attorney to represent the sole interests of a juvenile), or juvenile delinquency. Because of the dual nature (civil and criminal) of family law, it is important that the attorney representing your interests be well-versed in family law matters that are both civil and criminal. Further, mediation has become a commonly used resource in family law matters. As a Certified Mediator, Shannon Simms has the experience and expertise to assist parties in resolving family law matters without leaving it up to the decision of a judge.


Mediation is a different approach to resolving disputes and participants may attend with or without their attorney. You are given the opportunity to successfully reach your own agreement with the help and guidance of a mediator, rather than leaving the decision solely up to a judge. Mediation provides a non-adversarial environment for the participants to work together with the mediator as a neutral facilitator to explore alternative ideas and ways to reach agreement. Shannon Simms is a certified mediator in the state of Iowa and roster mediator for Black Hawk County.

Personal Injury

When you are injured due to negligence or the result of intentional infliction of injury by an individual or business, you are entitled to bring your case before a court of law to obtain damages that offset those injuries. Because laws and statutes of limitations vary based on location and injury-type, finding knowledgeable counsel is essential to obtaining a favorable settlement. The attorneys at Nelson Law Firm have a combined 40 years of experience in dealing with civil issues such as personal injury lawsuits.

Real Estate and Landlord/Tenant Law

Real estate law encompasses everything from a purchase agreement, contract, title opinion, liens, deeds, boundary and zoning disputes, landlord and tenant disputes, homeowner rights and responsibilities, land use issues, property sale issues, disclosure and contract-related matters, property tax assessment, and more. Shannon Simms is a member of the Real Estate Committee for the Black Hawk County Bar Association and are well-versed in real estate laws pertinent to the state of Iowa.

The determination of the need for legal services and the choice of a lawyer are extremely important decisions and should not be based solely upon advertisements or self-proclaimed expertise. This disclosure is required by rule of the Supreme Court of Iowa. Memberships and offices in legal fraternities and legal societies, technical and professional licenses, and memberships in scientific, technical, and professional associations and societies of law or field of practice do not mean that a lawyer is a specialist or expert in a field of law, nor do they mean that such lawyer is necessarily any more expert or competent than any other lawyer. All potential clients are urged to make their own independent investigation and evaluation of any lawyer being considered. This notice is required by rule of the Supreme Court of Iowa.

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