State does not provide attorneys outside of criminal cases. Continue to shop around. Attorneys can sign on for a limited appearance, but few like to do so.
We do not have a client/attorney relationship until you make an appointment, we discuss your case face to face, I accept a retainer, and we explictly agree to enter into representation.
First of all, you need an Iowa attorney if your case is in Clinton, IA. Next - You are not entitled to a court appointed lawyer. It does not seem that you are entitled to a pro bono lawyer either but you can certainly call legal aid offices in or near Clinton to see if you qualify. Also, it is unlikely you will find a lawyer willing to only represent you at trial since the entire case would have to be reviewed in order to prepare for the trial. A $3,500 retainer is very reasonable, given the few facts that you have given us, but you need to discuss your case in person with potential attorneys. Ask if you are entitled to seek interim attorney's fees from your opponent if you cannot afford a lawyer. We cannot give you much help here in this Illinois forum since it appears your case will be applying Iowa law.
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