Dean Allan Vestal
Drake University Law School is one of two U.S. law schools selected competitively to host a 2011 Summer Regional Institute for the Council on Legal Education Opportunities (CLEO).
CLEO’s six-week pre-law institute gives minority and economically disadvantaged students the opportunity to explore their interest in a legal education and develop the skills needed to succeed in law school.
Some 40 students from across the nation will participate in the program at Drake next summer. Participants must have obtained a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university prior to the start of the summer institute, plus they must be eligible to attend an American Bar Association-approved law school at the completion of the program.
The selection of Drake "is a reflection of our innovative curriculum and our long-standing commitment to a diverse and inclusive community," according to Allan Vestal, Dean of Drake Law School. "The successful CLEO proposal reflects a number of the strengths of our full curriculum, including intensive writing and conferences, small group class experiences, our innovative trial practicum and involvement with lawyers and judges."
Drake Law School and the second host, Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, were chosen for the 2011 institute through a competitive process in which the national organization evaluated competing schools' proposals and their ability to present an innovative and effective program.
Hosting the CLEO summer institute follows from Drake's commitment to diversity and inclusiveness, according to Dean Vestal. "This is a natural extension for us; our selection is a well-deserved confirmation of the consistent and creative efforts of Assistant Director of Law Admissions Erin Lain, Director of Law Admissions Kara Blanchard and Associate Dean Andrea Charlow."
Success in the CLEO competitive selection process was also the result of support from the Drake central administration.
"We could not have successfully competed for the CLEO summer institute," Vestal said, "without the support of Provost Michael Renner, Vice President Victoria Payseur, Vice Provost Wanda Everage, and Dean of Students Sentwali Bakari; they amply demonstrated the centrality of Drake University’s commitment to diversity and inclusiveness."
Drake Law School faculty members will teach the institute courses, and will offer four spots in the entering class of 2011 to qualified students who complete the institute.
"We are pleased to have been selected to host the CLEO summer institute," Dean Vestal said, "and we are looking forward to welcoming the CLEO students to Drake and Des Moines."