The University of Iowa

Dave Bright

Class of 2001

Dave earned his BS in 1992 from the University of Iowa and his JD in 2001 from the University of Iowa College of Law. While in law school, Dave was hired by Professor Sandy Boyd as a Research Assistant to help with the formation of the Larned A. Waterman Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center. He and two fellow students assisted with a survey of Iowa nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations to help determine the programs, publications, and activities of the Nonprofit Center. Through his graduation in 2001, Dave worked as a research assistant for Professor Boyd and the Center.

Prior to rejoining the Center in 2022 as its Associate Director, Dave was in private practice for over 20 years with a focus on land use and real estate development; business transactions; franchising and distribution; nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations; estate planning and probate; and art and museum law. While in practice, Dave earned Martindale-Hubbell’s top “AV” Peer Review Rating and was recognized by The Best Lawyers in America© for Franchise Law for 2022 and 2023. He also authored the Iowa section of the American Bar Association’s Franchise Desk Book.

Dave currently serves as a Senior Advisor to the American Bar Association’s Art & Cultural Heritage Law Committee and regularly contributes to its section of the American Bar Association’s Year in Review publication. He is a frequent speaker at colleges and universities, local businesses, museums, and continuing education events on topics including business formation, estate planning, nonprofit and tax-exempt governance, and art and museum law. Dave is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the College of Law, where he teaches Art, Law, and Ethics; Cultural Property/Heritage; and Art & Entertainment Law.

Dave is active in the local community through volunteering and board service. He presently serves on the boards of the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art (Treasurer), Iowa Museum Association, Iowa Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (President), Surface Design Association, and YMCA Camp Wapsie (Chair). He previously served on the boards of the Bur Oak Land Trust, Friends of the Animal Center Foundation (President), the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation (President), Legion Arts, the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art, and the YMCA of the Cedar Rapids Metropolitan Area. Dave lives in Iowa City with his wife and two of their three children, with their oldest child nearby as a third-generation student at the University of Iowa.