Jennie Zwagerman headshotDrake University Law School announces the selection of Jennifer Zwagerman as the next director of the Drake Agricultural Law Center. Neil Hamilton, the Dwight D. Opperman Professor of Law, has served as the director since the founding of the center in 1983 and will retire later this year.

“Drake Law School leads the nation in the field of agricultural law, thanks to Professor Hamilton’s leadership and vision. I am confident that Jennifer Zwagerman has the knowledge, background, and energy to further our international reputation for research and teaching in this important area,” Dean Jerry Anderson says of the appointment.

Jennifer Zwagerman is a 2004 graduate of Drake Law School, graduating with her certificate in food and agricultural law. As a student she was recognized as an Opperman Scholar and served as editor-in-chief of the Drake Journal of Agricultural Law.

Zwagerman became director of the Career Development Office at the law school in 2011, and associate director of the Drake Agricultural Law Center in 2015. She initially taught courses at the law school as the Faegre & Benson Visiting Scholar in 2010 and has continued to teach since. Congruent with her director duties, Zwagerman has also been named assistant professor of law. Prior to joining Drake Law School, she was an attorney in the Des Moines office of Faegre & Benson (n/k/a Faegre Baker Daniels) with a national food and agribusiness practice and served as a law clerk to the Honorable David R. Hansen on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Zwagerman takes an active part in industry organizations and bar activities. She recently completed a term as the 2017-2018 president of the American Agricultural Law Association, continuing her service on the board now as immediate past-president. Zwagerman is currently on the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) Board of Directors and the Iowa State Bar Association Agricultural Law Council and Rural Practice Committees.

“I am honored to be chosen to continue the work of the Drake Agricultural Law Center and build upon the reputation established by Professor Hamilton,” shares Jennifer Zwagerman. “The Drake Agricultural Law Center is what initially brought me to Drake as a student, and I want to ensure that future students have the same opportunities and experiences I had to explore and contribute to this important area of law and policy.”

Zwagerman holds a Master of Laws in Food and Agricultural Law from the University of Arkansas School of Law, a Juris Doctor degree from Drake University Law School, and a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Communications from Michigan State University.

Drake Law School will officially welcome her in this new capacity beginning August 2019.

“I am very pleased the faculty selected Jennifer to continue Drake’s pioneering work on agricultural law,” comments Neil Hamilton. “I cannot think of anyone more suited to take on this role and I am very proud of her achievements.”

Drake Law School will host a symposium and dinner on March 29th honoring Hamilton and his significant contributions to the University, Law School, and the field of agricultural law. For details, visit



About the Drake Agricultural Law Center

The Drake Agricultural Law Center was founded at Drake University in 1983 to facilitate the law school’s certification program in food and agricultural law. The center is internationally recognized for its studies on how the legal system influences our food system and the agricultural sector. In conjunction with the center, the Drake Journal of Agricultural Law is a student-published legal journal that features articles by professors, judges, attorneys, students, and others in the international and domestic agricultural community. Learn more at