Home Law School News Drake Law student wins case before the Iowa Supreme Court

Drake Law student wins case before the Iowa Supreme Court

Drake Law School’s clinical programs allow students to build professional experience by applying classroom knowledge to real cases. As a student in the Advanced Criminal Appellate Clinic, Leslie Behaunek, a Drake Law 3L, recently had the opportunity to argue a case before the Iowa Supreme Court as a Student Legal Intern.

Behaunek won the case with the Supreme Court unanimously ruling that a wrongful denial of a preemptory juror challenge does not require a showing of prejudice to warrant reversal of a conviction. Justice Zager’s opinion may be found online.

As part of her clinic involvement, Behaunek has also drafted two appellate briefs and a petition for further review. She stated that she has “been challenged, time after time, to take a problem and find a solution with the legal research and writing tools that Drake has taught (her) to use.” These skills have been critical throughout her clinical experience, and have given her the confidence to be a successful Student Legal Intern.

In addition to her recent experience with the Iowa Supreme Court, Behaunek is currently writing an academic article with Iowa Supreme Court Justice, Edward Mansfield. She will present the article before the Iowa Supreme Court and the Drake Law School faculty in addition to submitting the article for publication.

Upon graduation, Behaunek will complete a two-year clerkship with Chief District Judge James E. Gritzner of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Iowa.