Open main menu

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.

Drake University Law School
DeanJerry Anderson
LocationDes Moines, Iowa, US
Coordinates: 41°36′08″N 93°39′11″W / 41.60216°N 93.65306°W / 41.60216; -93.65306



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. In time, Drake Law alumni would fill the ranks of all branches of Iowa local and state government.


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 SeriesEdit

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.

Drake Law ReviewEdit

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 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 alumniEdit

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.[10]


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.[11] Drake Law School offers both guaranteed and conditional scholarships, that latter of which 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.[12]


  1. ^ "Law Journals: Submissions and Ranking". Retrieved 2015-09-22.
  2. ^ "Drake Law Review". Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Iowa Legislative Services Agency. "State Representative Daniel J. Jay". Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-11-08. Retrieved 2013-11-08.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Biographical Directory of Federal Judges Fagg, George Gardner". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved September 2, 2012.
  8. ^ "Justice David Wiggins". Iowa Judicial Branch. Archived from the original on 15 October 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Employment Statistics".
  11. ^ "Costs & Financial Aid".
  12. ^ "Drake Law School ABA Required Disclosures" (PDF).

External linksEdit