Home Official News Releases Drake Law School ranks No. 2 as Best in Practical Training by National Jurist

Drake Law School ranks No. 2 as Best in Practical Training by National Jurist

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CONTACT: Tory Olson, 515-271-1834, tory.olson@drake.edu

Drake University Law School took the No. 2 spot as Best in Practical Training in the National Jurist Law School Rankings. The new rankings and the entire article are available online in the magazine’s September 2008 issue on pages 26-29.

In the rankings, Drake scored 45.7 percent on clinical
opportunities available per student to put the school in second place
behind Yale Law School. Drake tied for second with the University of

“Our longtime commitment to clinical education is consistent with
our mission to prepare students for the legal profession,” said Law
School Dean Benjamin B. Ullem. “We are pleased to be recognized for our
commitment and believe that our clinical programs are some of the
strongest in the country.”

The National Jurist used data from the Official Guide to
ABA-approved Law Schools 2008 Edition to generate the rankings. To
calculate each school’s percentage of clinical opportunities available,
the magazine divided the total number of full-time clinical course
positions offered into the number of full-time students.

Students benefit from key clinical opportunities

The article highlights Drake’s Trial Practicum program in which
first-year students observe — from start to finish — an actual
criminal or civil trial. As the trial progresses, students join
professors, judges and veteran attorneys in discussion sessions that
focus on evidence, litigation practice, professionalism and procedure
— as well as the law involved in the case. At the end of the trial,
the students debrief participating attorneys as well as jurors and the
judge who tried the case. It is opportunities like these for
experiential education that add to Drake’s hands-on learning culture. 

Robert Rigg, associate professor of law and director of the
Criminal Defense Program, was quoted in the article about the Law
School’s culture that values clinics.

“There is a real effort to allow students to immerse themselves in
not just theory but practice of a given area of law,” Rigg told the
National Jurist.

The article noted that unlike most law schools, Drake has faculty who have actually practiced law.

“As a result, each faculty member appreciates and supports the
clinical experience that our law school offers to our students,” said
Jerry Foxhoven, executive director of the Drake Legal Clinic and
director of the Joan and Lyle Middleton Center for Children’s Rights.
“The substantive courses regularly integrate the clinical and other
‘hands-on’ opportunities that are offered to our students.”

Students recognized for pro bono work for hurricane victims

The National Jurist’s September issue also featured seven Drake
law students who spent their spring break helping victims of hurricanes
Rita and Katrina in New Orleans. Read “The Calm After the Storm” on page 17 online. 

The Drake students joined volunteer private attorneys and students
from nine other universities and the Student Hurricane Network. They
helped with civil cases concerning homelessness and consumer and family
law issues for clients who couldn’t afford legal services.