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Drake aims to make Law School one of the best in the Midwest

April 1, 2006
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David Maxwell

Drake President David Maxwell recently announced the University's commitment to ensuring that within five years the Drake Law School will be recognized as one of the best law schools in the Midwest and that it will be recognized for that distinction.


At the request of President Maxwell, a group of Law School faculty, staff, students and University trustees has recently prepared a strategic plan to achieve that goal. Faculty, students, alumni and members of the Board of Counselors are reviewing the plan this spring.


News Photo
David Walker

As part of Drake's effort to enhance fundamental strengths of Drake Law School, one new tenure-track faculty position will be added this fall and there will be an increase in admissions staff and a new tech support position. The Law School will also have increased resources for adjunct faculty, legal writing and library acquisitions. Two additional tenure-track faculty positions will be added in fall 2007. These new initiatives will be supported by an aggressive fundraising effort already under way.

Throughout this process, Drake Law School intends to preserve its traditions, including the focus on preparation for the practice of law, faculty interaction with students, the Constitutional Law Center, Agricultural Law Center, Legal Clinic, Middleton Center for Children's Rights, regular visits of Supreme Court justices and the school's partnership with the American Judicature Society.

"Drake Law School will maintain its very strong orientation towards the bench and bar, preparing students for the practice of law and the full and effective participation in the legal profession," said Law School Dean David Walker. "We integrate theory and practice because law is never static and because we are always concerned with the values expressed and the purposes served by the law. Most of our graduates go into the practice of law, and we know that leads naturally to further opportunities for leadership and service."

In the latest edition of U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Graduate Schools," Drake Law School was ranked in the third tier and improved in almost all categories, including the assessment score by lawyers and judges. The percentage of graduates employed nine months after graduation increased to 95.1 percent from 87.7 percent the previous year. In addition, Drake Law School's bar passage rate in Iowa climbed to 86 percent, matching the state's overall bar passage rate.

Additional information about the rankings is available at http://www.usnews.com/ and in "America's Best Graduate Schools" and the April 10 issue of U.S. News & World Report, both of which are on newsstands now.