Home Official News Releases Law Students to Visit Capitol for Introduction to the Legislative Process

Law Students to Visit Capitol for Introduction to the Legislative Process

CONTACT: Lisa Lacher, 515-271-3119, lisa.lacher@drake.edu 

Approximately 140 first-year students in Drake University Law School will visit the State Capitol on Friday, Jan. 19, for an introduction to the legislative process as part of Drake’s year-long orientation program for the first-year class.

The students will gather at 1:30 p.m. in the House Chambers for a welcome by several Drake faculty members, including former Republican Majority Leader Lawrence Pope, now professor of law and director of Drake’s Center for Legislative Practice.

At 1:45, Reps. Scott Raecker, R-Urbandale, and Geri Huser, D-Altoona, will discuss the role of legislators in society. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy will speak at 2 p.m. on the goals of the 2007 General Assembly. At 2:15 p.m., Rep. Jo Oldson, D-Des Moines, will address the students about her work as chair of the House Appropriations Committee.

Students also will meet with Drake Law School alumni who will discuss their careers in the legislative arena and conduct walking tours of the Capitol and legislative facilities for small groups of students. The students will then reassemble in the House Chambers at 3:45 p.m. for a discussion of 2007 legislative proposals.

The orientation is designed to help students understand the role and power of legislation as a source of law and its relation to the role of courts in interpreting law. In addition, the students will be introduced to legislation as a career opportunity both in the political sense and as a profession in bill drafting, lobbying and related roles.

“At Drake we strive to bring book learning alive through exposure to law in action,” said Russell Lovell, associate dean of Drake Law School. “This Friday’s field trip to the State Legislature, and an earlier field trip to the Iowa Supreme Court, build upon the exceptional experiential education Drake Law School provides and capitalize on Drake Law School’s great relationships with the three branches of state government and location in Iowa’s capital city. These field trips will be followed in February by the Trial Practicum, which – for the past ten years – has enabled every Drake first-year law student to observe an actual Polk County jury trial in our on-campus courtroom.”