top of page



Mary Kate (“Maka”) Pilcher Hayek is a Cedar Rapids native. She received her B.A. at the University of Notre Dame in 1998 where she received the award for "Outstanding Contribution to Intellectual Life of Arts and Letters" and studied at the Fundación de Ortega y Gasset in Toledo, Spain. She received a Master's degree in Education at the University of Notre Dame in 2000. She graduated from the University of Iowa, College of Law in 2003.

Before attending law school, Mary Kate served in AmeriCorps for two years in Mobile, Alabama. In Mobile, she taught high school English and Spanish. In addition to her law practice, Mary Kate is member of the Iowa City Community School District School Board and an outspoken advocate for public education. She is also a board member of the Iowa City Downtown District. Mary Kate maintains a general law practice in and outside of the courtroom. She is a firm believer in client-centered counseling and balancing consensus with advocacy.

In 2014, Mary Kate argued before the Iowa Supreme Court in Thomas v. Gavin, 838 N.W.2d 518 (Iowa 2013). Her successful argument resulted in a change to the Iowa Code concerning governmental tort immunity.

Mary Kate is admitted to practice law in Iowa state courts.

Her article, "U.K. Asylum System Discriminates Against Roma" is published in the Journal of Transnational Law (J. Transnat’l L, Vol. 12, No. 2, Fall 2002). Mary Kate's published cases include: Thomas v. Gavin, 838 N.W.2d 518 (Iowa 2013), Saghir v. Schenker Logistics, 501 Fed. Appx. 609, 2013 WL 1580315 (8th Cir. 2013), In re G.P., 2009 WL 3337641 (Iowa Ct. App. 2009), In re N.D.R., 735 N.W.2d 203, 2007 WL 1345833 (Iowa Ct. App. 2007).

bottom of page