Drake Law School

For complete information on Drake Law School and the admission policies and procedures, academic and graduation requirements, special programs and financial aid opportunities, contact the Law School Office of Admission toll-free, 800-44-DRAKE, extension 2782 or 515-271-2782.

Drake Law School offers a high-quality legal education that provides students with essential lawyering skills as well as opportunities for specialization. The Law School actively seeks to attract and admit students from a wide variety of backgrounds and accepts qualified students with undergraduate degrees in any academic area. Students need not have completed an undergraduate pre-law program to be eligible for admission.

The Law School's outstanding faculty members have all practiced law before teaching, and this law in action perspective enables them to bring a balance of theory and practice to their teaching and scholarship. They share a commitment to teaching, public service, and scholarship, regularly publishing books, chapters and articles. The school's first-class facilities include the award-winning Dwight D. Opperman Hall and Law Library and state-of-the-art Neal and Bea Smith Legal Clinic. The Law School has won national recognition for its instruction on legal ethics and professionalism throughout the curriculum, legal writing, intellectual property, and advocacy and dispute resolution, and its commitment to public service.

Drake Law School has been nationally recognized among the “Best Law Schools in Practical Training” with its experiential education courses striking the optimum balance between theory and practice. Drake Law Students have ample opportunities to use the legal theories they learn in class. They represent clients at the Neal and Bea Smith Law Center’s Legal Clinic and Joan and Lyle Middleton Center for Children’s Rights, and intern for state and federal judges at the trial and appellate levels, with state and federal administrative agencies, the Iowa Legislature, state prosecutors and legal aid programs; and work for insurance companies, law firms and private companies in Iowa’s capitol city. Des Moines serves as an excellent legal laboratory; approximately 85 percent of Drake law students either have clerkship opportunities or work part-time in the legal field during the education at Drake.

Refer to the Law School web site for more information regarding the Drake Law School.

Mission Statement

Drake Law School prepares graduates to promote justice, serve their communities, and uphold the ideals of ethics and professionalism.

We cultivate critical thinking and professional skills, provide opportunities to acquire global perspectives, and engage in public service.

We foster an exceptional learning environment in a welcoming and inclusive community distinguished by accessible and accomplished faculty and staff and a collegial student body.

Degree Programs

Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.)

The J.D. program is for students with a four-year bachelor's degree who wish to practice law in any state. Visit the Drake Law School for more information regarding admission, costs, financial aid, and other information pertaining to the Doctor of Jurisprudence degree.

Master of Jurisprudence (M.J.)

Drake's graduate law program is open to both American and international students on a full-time or part-time basis.  The Master of Jurisprudence program is open to students who have received a bachelor's degree, but have not earned a J.D. or its foreign equivalent.  Credits earned as an M.J. student are not transferrable should a student later decide to pursue the J.D. program.

Master of Laws (LL.M.)

Drake Law School's graduate law program, open both to American and international students on a full-time or part-time basis, allows each student to pursue an individualized course of study toward an LL.M. (Master of Laws) degree. Drake Law offers an LL.M. in Individualized Legal Studies, Intellectual Property Law, and Compliance and Risk Management. The LL.M. is an internationally recognized higher academic degree which establishes that the recipient has achieved an advanced understanding of U.S. and international legal principles and is qualified to compete effectively in the globalized legal environment. Any applicant who holds a J.D. (Juris Doctorate) degree from an ABA-accredited law school, an LL.B., or an equivalent degree from a foreign law school is eligible for the LL.M. An LL.M. degree is ideal for American students who seek an advanced curriculum that facilitates their transition to practice or for practitioners who seek to expand their practices into new areas. For an international student, an LL.M. attests to the student's knowledge and understanding of American law and culture, as well as to the student's English language proficiency. An international student who wishes to practice in the U.S. and who holds an LL.M. may, in some states, sit for the state bar exam and obtain a license to practice law in the United States.

Joint Degree Programs

3+3 Option

Under the 3+3 option, qualified Drake University undergraduate students in the College of Arts and Science, Zimpleman College of Business, and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication may complete both the undergraduate and J.D. degree requirements by enrolling for three years each in the undergraduate program and the Law School.

Admission to Law School under the 3+3 option is not guaranteed. Applicants are required to take the LSAT entrance exam and must meet regular admission standards. Candidates also must have completed substantially all undergraduate work and must be able to obtain the undergraduate degree through credited work completed in first-year law courses.

Candidates are advised to consult their undergraduate advisers concerning the undergraduate degree requirements.

Doctor of Jurisprudence/ Doctor of Pharmacy (J.D. / Pharm.D.)

Qualified students enrolled in the Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree program may complete both the pharmacy degree and the JD degree requirements in eight years rather than the usual nine. Students typically begin the law program in the summer following the third year of the pharmacy program.

Candidates are advised to consult both the Law School and the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences concerning the admission requirements for this option.

Doctor of Jurisprudence / Master of Business Administration (J.D. / M.B.A.)

Students considering careers in commercial or corporate law find this option useful. Both degrees can be completed in six semesters and two summers. The program is administered jointly by Drake Law School and Drake’s Zimpleman College of Business.

Doctor of Jurisprudence / Master of Public Administration (J.D. / M.P.A.)

This program, also administered cooperatively by Drake Law School and Drake’s Zimpleman College of Business, combines legal studies with a multi-disciplinary professional education in public management and policy. This program can be completed in six semesters and two summers.

Doctor of Jurisprudence / Master of Arts in Political Science (J.D. / M.A.)

This program is administered by Drake Law School in cooperation with the Iowa State University Department of Political Science. This combination of studies provides students with a firm understanding of law as well as the theories, concepts and tools of sophisticated political analysis that position them for a wide variety of career options.

Doctor of Jurisprudence / Master of Science in Agricultural Economics (J.D. / M.S.)

Students who combine the study of law and economics develop critical and analytical skills in both disciplines that can make them valuable to employers in business, financial institutions, labor and government. This program is administered jointly by Drake Law School and the Iowa State University Department of Economics and can be completed in six semesters and two summers.

Doctor of Jurisprudence / Master of Social Work (J.D./M.S.W.)

Students interested in family relations and working with low-income families find this option useful. Administered jointly by Drake Law School and the University of Iowa, whose courses are available in Des Moines, this program allows law students to receive up to nine credit hours for work in the Master of Social Work program.

Doctor of Jurisprudence / Master of Public Health (J.D. / M.P.H.)

This program, administered jointly by Drake Law School and Des Moines University College of Health Sciences, is a wonderful option for students interested in public health law. Graduates will be prepared to serve in a variety of settings, including federal health and human services agencies, state departments of public health, local boards of public health, public and private health care providers, private law firms, and public and private agencies and organizations devoted to health promotion and disease prevention.

Doctor of Jurisprudence / Master of Health Administration (J.D. / M.H.A.)

This program, also administered jointly by Drake Law School and Des Moines University College of Health Sciences, combines legal studies with a multi-disciplinary professional education in health services administration and leadership. Graduates will be prepared to serve in a variety of positions, including executive and management positions at hospitals, academic medical centers, other health care providers, and health care payors.

The information in this catalog does not constitute a contract between the university and the student. The university reserves the right to make changes in curricula, admission policies and processes, tuition and financial aid, academic standards and guidelines, student services and any other regulations or policies set forth in this catalog without giving prior notice.