Russ Lovell Lovell joined the Drake faculty in 1976, after working at the Legal Services of Indianapolis and the Indiana Center on Law & Poverty. He is known for his unflagging energy and innovation. Throughout his tenure, Lovell served as associate dean twice and spent years developing programs to benefit law students and the community as director of clinical programs. He has had a career-long association with the NAACP, for which he has been honored repeatedly.
Russ’s many contributions to experiential education, most notably the First-Year Trial Practicum, were recognized this past Spring when he was chosen from 30 faculty nominees as the Drake University 2014 Outstanding Professor for Experiential Education.
“Russ Lovell’s impact on Drake has been, and will continue to be, long lasting. The innovative First Year Trial Practicum he developed provides Drake students with a trial experience that no other law school offers,” says John Edwards, associate dean for information resources and technology, and professor of law.
“His tireless work in multiple stints as associate dean and in serving as clinic director shows how willing Russ is to undertake challenging jobs when the law school needed him to do so.”
Two recent public service awards reflect the Iowa and Des Moines communities’ respect and appreciation for Russ’s civil rights work over 40 years: the Iowa Juneteenth Observance’s 2013 Iowa Citizen of the Year Award and the 2013 Des Moines NAACP Award to the Legal Redress Committee co-chaired by Russ and David Walker at its Freedom Fund Banquet.
Lovell’s colleagues say he has been a consistent voice for public service and is a powerful example of how an individual lawyer can make a difference.
“His commitment to public service helped instill that spirit in others, whether students pursued it as a vocation or participated in projects to make our community a better place,” Edwards continues. “Through his work on so many fronts, Russ has made Drake and Des Moines a much better place.”
In the months after his retirement, it did not take long for those who knew and worked with Russ to honor him with an endowed scholarship in his name.
Those who made gifts toward the scholarship offered the following: “We feel the best way to honor Russ is through the establishment of an endowed scholarship in Russ’ honor, by which the scholars would be known hence forth as ‘Professor Russell Lovell Public Service Scholars.'”
Leadership gifts were made within a few days of the idea coming forward. Special thanks to Max Schott, LW’87, and Jean Mauss, LW’99, whose gifts started the process of the endowed scholarship.