Who are you?

I’m Emily Anderson. I grew up in Cedar Rapids. My husband Dan and I met in law school. We have three children.

Who do you represent?

I work for people who have been injured or killed because of someone else’s fault.

What led you to do this work?

I’ve always been tall, so everyone assumed I’d play basketball. Pretty early into middle school, it became apparent I wasn’t going to be a star athlete—not even an okay one. So my parents looked for another after-school activity to keep me busy. They found "mock trial"—a competitive activity where students act as attorneys and witness, and "perform" a civil or criminal trial.

RSH Legal attorney Tim Semelroth was one of my first coaches. As a result of mock trial, advocacy quickly became a passion of mine at a very young age.

My history with RSH Legal goes all the way back to my junior year in high school, when I was hired as the file room clerk. I worked for RSH Legal all through college. I had the opportunity to attend trials, hear our clients’ stories, and see how we helped people.

I knew that if I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity, I wanted to represent people, not corporations. I’m grateful that RSH has given me that opportunity.

What motivates you to do what you do?

When I was a teenager, I asked my parents for something--maybe a new pair of shoes or a later curfew – I don’t remember. What I do remember is that my request was denied, and when I countered with “that’s not fair,” and my dad responded with, “Life’s not fair, Emily.” I don’t think it’s fair to say it was that one interaction with my parents that launched my legal career, but whatever sense of justice that existed in my teenage self, still exists today.

An injury can turn someone’s life upside down. On top of dealing with pain, doctors’ appointments, and missed work, they are also trying to navigate the unknown and complicated world of insurance. A person who just suffered a life-altering injury should be able to focus on healing without the stress of taking on an insurance company. I feel strongly that injured people should have a level playing field. They should know their rights, have all the necessary information, and have someone advocating just for them—with their best interest at heart.

My dad was right. In my work, I see bad things happen to good people all the time. Often, it’s due to the carelessness of someone else. That’s not fair. But that’s not the end of the story. As a lawyer representing injured people, I get a chance to right the wrong—to make things fair. That’s what motivates me.

If you weren’t an attorney, what would you be doing?

I would probably be a high school English teacher—it was my favorite subject in high school and I went on to major in English in college. I coach high school mock trial, which is my outlet to interact with high school students, so I have the best of both worlds!