Judge Adams served as a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of Iowa from 2014 until becoming Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge in 2017. Judge Adams is a frequent faculty member for the Federal Judicial Center. Judge Adams received her undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of Iowa in 1985, and her law degree from the University of Iowa in 1988, with high distinction and Order of the Coif. Judge Adams began her legal career as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge Harold D. Vietor in the Southern District of Iowa from 1988 to 1990. From 1990 to 2009 she practiced with the firm of Dickinson, Mackaman, Tyler & Hagen, serving as President of the firm on two occasions. In 2009 she joined the corporate legal department of Pioneer Hi-Bred International (now DuPont Pioneer) as associate general counsel, an international agricultural company.