2015 Iowa Women's Hall of Fame Honoree: The Honorable Linda K. Neuman
“While no career is defined by a single contribution, a single achievement can be, at times, so transformative that history can never be told again without including the achievement. Justice Neuman made such a contribution by becoming the first woman to serve on the Iowa Supreme Court.”
--Written by Chief Justice Mark S. Cady, Supreme Court of Iowa
Linda Kinney Neuman was born in Chicago, Illinois on June 18, 1948. Her family moved to Denver,
Colorado when she was eight years old. Neuman worked her way through college and law school at the University of Colorado where she met her future husband, Henry Neuman of Davenport, Iowa. Upon their graduation from law school in 1973, the Neumans moved to Iowa to establish a permanent home and raise their family. They went to work at Betty, Neuman, McMahon, Hellstrom & Bittner, a law firm established in 1906, where Henry’s father was a partner. In 1977, Linda Neuman became the first woman admitted to partnership in the firm. Three years later, Neuman became the first woman to serve as a part-time judicial magistrate in Scott County. In 1982, Neuman was appointed by Iowa Governor Robert D. Ray to serve as a district court judge for the 7th Judicial District of Iowa, only the second woman in Iowa history to be appointed to such a position. In 1986, after several years as a trial judge, Neuman was appointed by Governor Terry Branstad to the Iowa Supreme Court, the first woman to serve as a member of the court in its 150-year history.
Justice Neuman retired from the Supreme Court in 2003. She returned to private practice where she has focused on mediation and arbitration. She also joined the adjunct faculty of the University of Iowa Law School where she taught courses on Professional Ethics, Appellate Court Practice and Procedure, and designed and taught a course for law students serving as judicial interns in the state and federal courts.
Throughout her career Neuman has devoted herself to professional and civic organizations, both in her community and nationally. She has represented Iowa as a director of the National Association of Women Judges, the Judicial Division of the American Bar Association, and the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. In 2014 she received a President’s Award for her service to the Iowa State Bar Association. Closer to home she has served on many boards, including the Quad-Cities United Way, The Edgerton Maternal Health Center, Marriage and Family Counseling Service and, for 15 years, as a trustee of St. Ambrose University. She is currently a director on the boards of the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend, Quad-City Bank and Trust, and QCR Holdings. She serves, pro bono, as counsel to the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa, has held many leadership positions in her church, and volunteers as a reader for the blind on APRIS, the Augustana Public Radio Information Service.