Whitfield & Eddy P.L.C.

Anjela A. Shutts

Phone: 515.246.5536
Fax: 515.246.1474
Des Moines Office


Anjela Shutts, Family Law Attorney

Anjela is a member attorney in the Whitfield & Eddy Law Family Law Practice Group and has served as the Practice Group Chair and member of the firm’s Executive Committee.  Anjie established a practice representing individuals and families in family law matters since she joined the firm in 1996 and has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America and Great Plains Super Lawyers. Her focus is on domestic relations and she has assisted in complex dissolutions involving business owners, highly compensated executives, high net worth individuals and families, as well as highly contested custody matters.

Thorough Process and Action

She carefully guides her clients through the legal and emotional process involved in family law matters.  To build understanding and comfort with the steps involved and desired outcome, Anjie works with clients to gather important personal and family information to build the background and establish goals to use as an actionable plan. 

Anjie understands the importance of negotiation in family law matters and the difference that clients can experience between settlement and litigation in court over complicated and contentious matters.  Through her career as a family law attorney, she has a clear understanding of whether settlement or court would be the best alternative. Anjie has significant experience as a litigator, serving as an advocate in the courtroom for her clients.  

Collaborative Law and Divorce

In 2000, she was trained and certified to mediate Family Law by the Iowa Supreme Court and in 2005 was trained to practice Collaborative Law and Divorce, so she has significant experience resolving matters outside of the courtroom.

Resources for Clients

As a resource for her clients, she has a number of professional relationships that include Certified Public Accountants, financial advisors, business and compensation valuation experts.  When necessary, Anjie can also provide referrals for custody evaluation and therapists.

Through her professional practice, she understands the broad range of issues that arrive in matrimonial law including child custody, child support, and child visitation. Anjie also counsels clients on private adoption, both domestic and foreign.

Professional Leadership and Speaking

A Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Anjie demonstrates active interest and substantial experience in family law. She fulfilled the criteria and standards established by the AAML Board of Examiners and Board of Governors. Additionally, she is recognized by attorneys and judges as a leading practitioner.

Anjie is a sought-after speaker on topics for continuing education of Iowa Family Law practitioners.  She is a leader in the Iowa State Bar Association including being named to the Iowa Family Law Case Processing Reform Task Force Steering Committee and membership to the Iowa State Judicial Nominating Commission for Polk County.

Of Particular Note:

  • Admitted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML)
  • Trained and certified to mediate in Family Law by the Iowa Supreme Court

  • Trained to practice in Collaborative Law
  • Polk County Bar Association President, 2012

Awards and Recognitions

  • AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Polk County Bar Association Award of Merit, 2017
  • Named the Best Lawyers® 2015 Family Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Des Moines.
  • Selected for inclusion in the Family Law section of The Best Lawyers in America (2015-2018) 
  • Selected for inclusion in the Great Plains Super Lawyers in the field of Family Law (2007, 2009-2017)
  • Named to the Drake University College of Law "150 in 150" list of outstanding alumni in 2015

Experience & Professional Activities

Work Experience:

  • Member, Executive Committee, 2010 - 2015
  • Co-Chair: Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C. Family Law Practice Group
  • Adjunct Professor, Family Law, Drake University Law School, 2011-2012
  • Chair, Professional Recruitment Committee, 2008-2009
  • Co-Chair: Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C. Associate Professional Development Committee, 2006-2008
  • Member with Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C. since 2003
  • Associate with Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C., 1996-2003

Professional Activities and Affiliations:

  • Iowa Access to Justice Commission, Vice Chair 2016-
  • Iowa Family Law Case Processing Reform Task Force Steering Committee
  • Judicial Nominating Commission, District 5C (Polk County)
  • Polk County Bar Association (President 2013; Family Law Committee – Member; Social Committee – Member)
  • Polk County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project (Board Member 1997-2008, President 2003-2008)
  • Polk County Women Attorneys (Past President)
  • Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute
  • Des Moines Business Record’s Forty Under 40, Class of 2002
  • Iowa Organization of Women Attorneys (President, 2003-2004)
  • Iowa State Bar Association (Sections: Alternative Dispute Resolution; Family & Juvenile Law; Litigation; Family Law Section Council; Annual Meeting Committee; Chair: Women & Minorities Committee; Legal Aid Committee; Access to Justice Committee)
  • Drake Law School Board of Counselors (Past Member and Chair)

Seminars Recently Attended:

  • Iowa State Bar Association Annual Meeting, June 2017
  • Iowa Association for Justice Family Law Seminar, March 2017
  • American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers Annual Meeting, November 2016
  • Iowa State Bar Association Bench-Bar Conference, May 2016
  • American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers Annual Meeting, November 2015

Cases, Presentations & Publications

Selected Publications, Presentations and Teaching Appointments:

  • Presenter, "Limited Scope Representation and  You," Iowa State Bar Association Annual Meeting, June 2016.
  • Moderator, "Access to Justice: an Iowa Edge - Diagnosing and Dealing with Barriers," Iowa State Bar Association Bench-Bar Conference, May, 2016
  • Panelist, "Expanding Access to Justice In Iowa," Iowa State Bar Association Annual Meeting, June 2015
  • Presenter, “Financial Planners' Tools and Skills Which Can Improve Your Domestic Relations Practice,” and “EDMS and Your Family Law Practice,” Iowa State Bar Association Family Law Seminar, October 2014.
  • Presenter, “Preventing Critical Financial Mistakes in the Divorce Decree,” 21st Annual Family Law Seminar (Iowa Association of Justice), April 2011.
  • Presenter, “Negotiating the Best Possible Settlement for Your Clients,” National Business Institute, 2006, 2007, 2009.
  • Adjunct Professor, “Trial Advocacy,” Drake University Law School, Spring 2006.
  • Presenter, “Legal Ethics in Iowa,” Lorman Education Services, August 25, 2005.
  • Presenter, “Ethics in Divorce Cases,” ISBA Young Lawyers Division, May 2004.
  • Presenter, “Ethics in Divorce Cases,” National Business Institute, December 2003.
  • Presenter, “Ethics in Divorce Cases,” Iowa Trial Lawyers Association, May 2003.

Civic & Volunteer Activities

  • Polk County Volunteer Lawyers Project volunteer (1996-)
  • Des Moines Downtown School PTA (President 2013; Board Member 2012-)
  • Central Iowa Employment Training Consortium (Board Member, 2006-2008)
  • Iowa State Bar Association Public Service Project (formerly known as the Volunteer Lawyers Project)
  • Mentor Iowa (President: Board of Directors, 2000-2003)
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J.D. Drake University Law School, 1996 (National Mock Trial Team, 1996; Client Counseling Team; Recipient: Carlucci Award for Professionalism and Civility, 1996; President: Drake Law Women, 1995-1996)

B.A. Luther College, 1993

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