In April 2020 Rob Poggenklass joined Legal Aid Justice Center, where he focuses on the criminal legal system, from youth justice to fines and fees. Before LAJC, Poggenklass led the Race Equity Project at Iowa Legal Aid, where he worked on reducing barriers to employment, housing, education and transportation for people with previous criminal legal involvement in his home state of Iowa. He previously worked on criminal justice policy as the Tony Dunn Legal Fellow at the ACLU of Virginia, and spent 3 and a half years as a public defender in Newport News, Virginia. Poggenklass has argued cases on behalf of low-income clients in both the Iowa Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of Virginia.
In 2010, Poggenklass was the Virginia State Bar’s recipient of the Oliver White Hill Law Student Pro Bono Award. He has also served on the Iowa State Bar Association’s Student Debt Task Force and the VSB’s Special Committee on Access to Legal Services. Before becoming a lawyer, Poggenklass spent four years as a small-town newspaper reporter and editor in Iowa. He teaches the Child Advocacy Clinic at the Law School.