Drake University Law School

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Drake University Law School
Established 1865
Dean Jerry Anderson
Location Des Moines, Iowa, US
Coordinates: 41°36′08″N 93°39′11″W / 41.60216°N 93.65306°W / 41.60216; -93.65306
Enrollment 330
Website www.law.drake.edu

Drake University Law School is a fully accredited law school of Drake University, located in Des Moines, Iowa. The school has over 330 full-time students. The school is led by Dean Jerry Anderson. Drake Law School's curriculum includes the nation's only First-Year Trial Practicum. In 2016, the U.S. News and World Report ranked Drake Law School as the 111th best law school in the nation.


Opperman Hall - Home of the Drake University Law Library

Established in 1865 by Chester C. Cole, a justice of the Iowa Supreme Court, Drake Law is one of the twenty-five oldest law schools in the country and the second law school founded west of the Mississippi River after the University of Iowa. Justice Cole felt that having a law school located in the state capital would be advantageous. That notion proved to be correct. In time, Drake Law alumni would fill the ranks of all branches of Iowa local and state government. This alumni base, combined with the school's physical location as the only law school in the capital city of Des Moines, permit a large portion of the student body to participate in long-term governmental, corporate, and private practice internships.


In addition to the full-scale, three-year, Juris Doctor program, the law school features the following special programs:

  • Drake Law Review
  • Drake Journal of Agricultural Law
  • 5 Research Centers: Agricultural Law, Children's Rights, Constitutional Law, Intellectual Property, and Legislative Practice
  • Certificate programs in several fields
  • Civil and Criminal Clinical Programs
  • Multiple Moot Court and Mock Trial teams
  • Summer in France Program
  • Summer Institute in Constitutional Law (for entering 1L's)
  • LL.M./M.J. Program in Intellectual Property
  • M.J. Program in Health Law
  • LL.M./M.J. Program in Individualized Legal Studies (Concentrations in: Business Law, Criminal Law, Estate Planning, Family Counseling and the Law, Human Rights and Global Citizenship, Legislative Practice and Government Relations, Sustainable Development)

Opperman Lecture Series[edit]

After a beautiful renovation in 2013, Cartwright Hall houses classroom space, meeting space, cutting edge technology, and the faculy and administration of Drake Law.

The Dwight D. Opperman Lecture series, endowed by the former CEO of West Publishing and Drake Alumnus, is an annual event of national importance in constitutional law. Several Supreme Court Justices have visited campus to deliver lectures on American jurisprudence. Numerous current and former United States Supreme Court Justices have delivered the Opperman Lecture, including Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Antonin Scalia, Justice Samuel Alito, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, and late Justices Harry A. Blackmun, Lewis F. Powell and William H. Rehnquist.

Drake Law Review[edit]

As of 2014, the Drake Law Review is nationally ranked among the top 40 law journals for the number of times courts have cited its articles. The rankings, compiled by John Doyle of the Washington and Lee Law School Library, show the Drake Law Review had 56 citations, according to the 2014 data. Drake is in the top group of more than 1,640 journals in the rankings.[1]

The Drake Law Review is published quarterly by Drake Law students. In the past few years, the Drake Law Review has published articles by a number of distinguished legal scholars and judges, including: Erwin Chemerinsky, Cass Sunstein, Randy Barnett, Cheryl Harris, Paul Brest, Stephen Carter, Michael Gerhardt, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., and Stephen Rapp (Chief Prosecutor of the United Nations Special Court for Sierra Leone).

The Drake Law Review increased its online presence in 2015 with a new website. The site hosts articles, notes, and lectures published in the pages of the Drake Law Review. In addition, this site is home to Discourse, an online journal founded in 2012 by the Drake Law Review.[2]

Notable alumni[edit]

Drake Law has graduated numerous significant lawyers, including several state/federal judges and politicians, including:


According to Drake's official ABA-required disclosures, 68.4% of the Class of 2015 obtained full-time, long-term, bar passage required jobs 10 months after graduation. 5% of the Class of 2015 was unemployed 10 months after graduation.[11]


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at Drake for the 2014-2015 academic year is $58,146. The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $214,740. The average amount actually borrowed in law school by 2013-14 JD graduates at Drake Law School was $108,857.[12] Drake Law School offers conditional scholarships that depend upon the student maintaining a specific grade point average, rather than remaining in good academic standing. Conditional scholarships are controversial because courses are often graded on a strict curve. During the 2014-2015 academic year, 21 Drake law students had their conditional scholarships reduced or eliminated.[13]


  1. ^ "Law Journals: Submissions and Ranking". lawlib.wlu.edu. Retrieved 2015-09-22. 
  2. ^ "Drake Law Review". Retrieved September 22, 2015. 
  3. ^ http://www.iowacourts.gov/About_the_Courts/Supreme_Court/Supreme_Court_Justices/Chief_Justice_Mark_S_Cady/
  4. ^ https://legislature.idaho.gov/house/membership/
  5. ^ http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2013/11/01/newly-elected-state-rep-brian-meyer-d-des-moines-takes-oath-of-office-today/article
  6. ^ "Biographical Directory of Federal Judges Fagg, George Gardner". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved September 2, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Justice David Wiggins". Iowa Judicial Branch. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  8. ^ http://www.martindale.com/M-Flynn-Feeney/291440-lawyer.htm
  9. ^ http://www.courts.state.co.us/Bio.cfm?Employee_ID=164
  10. ^ http://www.af.mil/AboutUs/Biographies/Display/tabid/225/Article/107304/lieutenant-general-russell-c-davis.aspx
  11. ^ "Employment Statistics". 
  12. ^ "Costs & Financial Aid". 
  13. ^ "Drake Law School ABA Required Disclosures" (PDF). 

External links[edit]