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2507 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311
p. 800-44-DRAKE, ext. 2782
f. 515-271-1990
w. <IT>www.law.drake.edu<RO>

Law School

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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.


In the fall 2007 first-year class, 1204 applied, 592 were accepted, and 148 enrolled. Seven transfers enrolled. The median GPA of the most recent first-year class was 3.35.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. The most important admission factors include LSAT results, GPA, and undergraduate curriculum. No specific undergraduate courses are required. Candidates are not interviewed.

The application deadline for fall entry is April 1. Applicants should submit an application form, LSAT results, transcripts, TOEFL (for international students), a nonrefundable application fee of $40, 2 letters of recommendation are recommended, and a personal statement. Notification of the admissions decision is within 4 to 6 weeks after the file is completed. The latest acceptable LSAT test date for fall entry is June. The law school uses the LSDAS.

Financial Aid

About 98% of current law students receive some form of aid. The maximum annual amount of aid from all sources combined, including scholarships, loans, and work contracts, is $40,725. Awards are based on need and merit. Loans are offered on the basis of need. The school offers numerous scholarships, some based on merit; some on merit and need. Required financial statement is the FAFSA. The aid application deadline for fall entry is March 1. Special funds for minority or disadvantaged students include Law Opportunity scholarships, which are awards for entering students from educationally or economically disadvantaged backgrounds who demonstrate need. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application some time after admission and before a seat deposit is required.


About 45% of the student body are women; 13%, minorities; 6%, African American; 4%, Asian American; 2%, Hispanic; and 1%, Native American. The majority of students come from the Midwest (80%). The average age of entering students is 24; age range is 21 to 50. About 49% of students enter directly from undergraduate school and 8% have a graduate degree. About 8% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons; 92% remain to receive a law degree.

Students edit the Drake Law Review and the Drake Journal of Agricultural Law. Moot court teams are sent to the C. Edwin Moore Appellate Advocacy, National Moot Court, and National Appellate Advocacy competitions. Other competitions include the National Mock Trial Competition, Client Counseling Competition, Negotiations Competition and Environmental Moot Court. Law student organizations, local chapters of national associations, and campus organizations include the Student Bar Association, Drake Law Women, International Law Society, Student Bar Association, Delta Theta Phi Law Fraternity, American Bar Association-Student Division, Order of Barristers, and American Trial Lawyers Association.

The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full-time students are offered days only and must be completed within 6 years. For part-time students, courses are offered days only and must be completed within 6 years. New full- and part-time students are admitted in the fall and summer. There is a 7-week summer session. Transferable summer courses are offered.

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