profile headshot of Joe Leo


I strive to provide my clients with practical and timely legal advice.  I make my clients' business objectives the focus of my advice.  I believe that understanding your business is essential to providing you the legal services your business deserves.  I work hard to understand your business objectives and priorities and make sure your legal strategy matches those priorities and objectives.  I despise inefficiency.  My clients do not spend time on things that do not matter to their business and I work to make sure I do the same.

My Approach

I focus on helping my clients identify and execute on opportunities.  Put differently, I like playing offense more than I like playing defense.  I am most comfortable meeting with my clients for coffee or lunch to hear about their business before I even attempt to help them create a legal strategy.  I pride myself on finding creative solutions to problems.  I feel my duty is to help my clients understand and evaluate the legal risks they face and use that understanding to make the best decision for their business.  I also use my relationships and contacts to help my clients realize their goals and capture opportunities.  More than any other attorney I know, I use flat fee and alternative fee engagements to align my clients' need for efficiency and budget certainty with my results focused mentality.

More About Me

I never dreamed that I would be an attorney.  When I graduated from college I started my career running two federal business development programs for the Wisconsin Department of Commerce.  It was through this experience that I learned how much I love working with businesses.  In 2006 I received my J.D. from Drake University Law School with high honors.  I have worked at BrownWinick my entire legal career. 

I currently provide securities compliance services to four publicly reporting companies.  I am also very involved with Plains Angels, an angel capital group operating in central Iowa and I work closely with many companies in the Global Insurance Accelerator and the Iowa State Startup Factory. These relationships allow me to work with early stage companies from around the world. 

My Specialties

  • Corporate Finance / Securities
  • Start-up and High Growth Companies
  • Corporate and Business Law


Annual Minutes - Are They Worth It? YES.

11-28-2022 As we head into the end of the year, you are likely being bombarded with reminders of house-cleaning items you should address before the calendar turns over. Reviewing your insurance coverage, evaluating your healthcare options for next year, reviewing your retirement accounts, and scheduling time with your tax preparer are all important, and...
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One Step Closer to Hemp Production in Iowa

10-31-2019 Today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its interim final rule for nationwide legal hemp production. This is an important step toward hemp production in Iowa. Hemp production took a hiatus in the U.S. when, in the 1970s, it was classified as controlled substance. That all changed in the 2018 Farm Bill which legalized...
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BrownWinick Attorneys Named to 2024 Best Lawyers® List

08-17-2023 BrownWinick is pleased to announce that 33 lawyers have been included in the 2024 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. BrownWinick would like to congratulate the following attorneys named to the 2024 The Best Lawyers...
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Hemp Fields of Opportunities

10-21-2019 There’s a lot of hype around hemp these days. Hemp products, including CBD, or cannabidiol, seem to be all over the market. Indeed, uses for hemp seem endless. The hemp plant can be used for anything from paper to therapeutic oils to rope and have even been considered for food products. Legislation was previously passed allowing physicians to...
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Darci Clark



University of Wisconsin-Madison

B.S., Economics, 2000


Drake University Law School

J.D., with high honors, 2006


Iowa, 2006


Memberships & Associations

  • Polk County Bar Association
  • Iowa State Bar Association
  • Ames Chamber of Commerce
  • Iowa Institute for Cooperatives
  • Order of the Coif
  • Notes Editor, Drake Law Review