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Drake’s legal writing program ranked in top 20 by US News

March 21, 2017

Drake University Law School’s legal writing program has been ranked 18th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

The ranking was included in the publication’s 2018 Best Grad Schools list, which examines all 197 American Bar Association accredited law schools in the country. Legal writing is one of several specialty area rankings based on nominations by legal educators at peer institutions.

According to the U.S. News website, “Legal writing is a vital skill for any practicing lawyer. Through these courses, students learn to perform legal analysis and to write clearly and persuasively.”

Drake Law School has a strong commitment to developing students’ writing and research skills. The Law School’s required first-year Legal Writing I and Legal Writing II courses involve creating law office memoranda, trial litigation documents, and appellate briefs to prepare students for success in the legal profession.

In addition, each Drake Law student is required to complete an advanced writing requirement course before graduation.

Drake Law faculty are active in the legal writing community nationwide. Professor Melissa Weresh has served as president of the Legal Writing Institute, and she authored the textbook Legal Writing: Ethical and Professional Considerations.

In January, Weresh was honored with the prestigious Thomas F. Blackwell Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Legal Writing. She is also a recipient of the Warren E. Burger Writing Competition Prize and was named the Galen Distinguished Guest in Legal Writing at the University of Oregon School of Law.

“We are excited to be recognized as one of the top 20 legal writing programs in the nation,” said Jerry Anderson, dean of Drake Law School. “The U.S. News ranking is a testament to our efforts to promote legal writing skills as part of our curriculum and to graduate professionals who are ready to excel in the real world.”

Drake Law School has also consistently been ranked as a Best Law School for Practical Training by The National Jurist and as a Best Value Private Law School by preLaw magazine. In addition, the Law School’s employment rate for jobs that require bar passage or prefer a JD degree is in the top 30 in the nation.

For more information, contact the Drake Law School Office of Admission and Financial Aid at 515-271-2782 or law-admit@drake.edu.