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Vilsack appointed visiting law prof at Drake Law School

Gov. Tom Vilsack accepts a Drake Law School sweatshirt and mug from law students at the news conference announcing his appointment as visiting distinguished professor of law.

Drake Law School announced recently the appointment of former Iowa Gov. and current Democratic presidential candidate Tom Vilsack as visiting distinguished professor of law for the 2007 calendar year.

Along with Neil Hamilton, Drake’s Dwight D. Opperman distinguished professor of law, Vilsack will teach a May interim course focusing on legal issues relating to rural development and renewable energy. The course will consider policies being proposed for the 2007 Farm Bill as well as current state and USDA rural development programs.

Vilsack will give the keynote address at Drake Law School’s Supreme Court Celebration on Saturday, March 10. He will also convene a major symposium on risk and responsibility in the 21st century this spring and present a public lecture next fall.

“I think there will be some very interesting conversations at Drake beginning in March with the symposium on risk and responsibility,” Vilsack said. “Many governmental policies are formulated as a result of a misunderstanding of risk — from issues involving Homeland Security to emergency management and everything in between. Risk is an extremely important component of making good policy. This symposium will help sharpen and clarify the issues. We’ll have some very interesting and controversial speakers discussing this.”

Vilsack shakes hands with Jason Yates, a second-year law student.

Vilsack will be in residence at the Law School for several days throughout the year to engage in the life of the Drake community through informal meetings with faculty and students.

Drake Law School recognizes in Gov. Vilsack a distinguished and outstanding lawyer, leader and public servant, said Law School Dean David Walker. “With his demonstrated record of leadership and broad background and experience in private practice and public service, he will enrich the learning experience of Drake for students and all of us. We are delighted to have him join us.”

Prior to being elected the 40th governor of Iowa in 1998, Vilsack practiced law with his father-in-law in Mt. Pleasant, served as an Iowa State Senator from 1992-98 and was the mayor of Mt. Pleasant from 1987-92. Vilsack received a bachelor’s degree from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., in 1972 and a law degree from Albany Law School in 1975.

Click here to listen to the news conference held at the Law School.