Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D.; a maximum of 6 credits may be applied. The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./M.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in political science), J.D./M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/ Master of Business Administration), J.D./M.P.A. (Juris Doctor/ Master of Public Administration), J.D./M.S. (Juris Doctor/ Master of Science in agricultural economics), J.D./M.S.W. (Juris Doctor/ Master of Social Work), and J.D./Pharm.D. (Juris Doctor/Doctor of Pharmacy).
The Law School offers concentrations in corporate law, criminal law, environmental law, family law, international law, juvenile law, labor law, litigation, securities law, tax law, torts and insurance, agricultural law, constitutional law, and public interest law. In addition, the law school’s clinical programs include the General Civil Practice Clinic, Criminal Defense Clinic, Elder Law Clinic, and the Middleton Children’s Rights Clinic. Generally, students must have completed 45 hours of classroom credit prior to enrolling; however, prerequisites vary. To enroll in seminars, students must have completed 30 hours with a 2.0 GPA. Generally, 1 to 3 hours of credit may be granted for a seminar course. Internships are available in administrative law, the legislature, the judiciary, insurance, environmental law, securities, probate, health law and others. Credit varies from 1 to 4 credit hours and prerequisites vary. Independent research may be undertaken for 1 to 3 credit hours and is graded on a credit/no credit basis. Special lecture series include the Constitutional Law Resource Center Speaker Series and the Dwight D. Opperman Lecture in Constitutional Law. Drake offers a 4-week summer abroad program in Nantes, France worth up to 6 credits; credit may also be accepted from programs offered by other law schools. The Academic Support Program is offered to all students. In addition, the Legal Writing Tutorial Services are led by an English professor and are offered to all students, while second- and third-year students offer tutorial services to first-year students and to upper-level students in Evidence. Special interest group programs include the Summer Institute in Constitutional Law and the Summer Institute in Agricultural Law. The most widely taken electives are Trial Advocacy, Client Representation and Litigation, and Advanced Client Representation and Litigation.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 90 total credits, of which 41 are for required courses. They must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the required courses. The following first-year courses are required of all students: Civil Procedure I and II, Constitutional Law I, Contracts I and II, Criminal Law, Legal Research, Writing, and Appellate Practice, Property, and Torts. Required upper-level courses consist of Advanced Legal Writing, Constitutional Law II, Evidence, and Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility. All students who have completed 45 hours of class may take the clinical courses as electives. The required orientation program for first-year students is 3 days and includes a formal welcome, registration instructions, law school tour, fee payment session, small group meetings, computer training, sessions on professionalism, and the noncredit Introduction to Law course.
In order to graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 2.0, have completed the upper-division writing requirement, and completed 6 semesters for residence credit and 90 hours for academic credit, and have satisfied the advanced writing requirement through either independent study or course work.