Graduation Requirements
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To be eligible to receive the Juris Doctor degree from Drake University Law School, a candidate must have completed 90 semester hours for law credit within 84 months of entering law school (including a minimum of 69 semester hours in regularly scheduled class sessions); must have completed all required courses, including the advanced writing requirement and a designated professional skills course; must have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 on all law work attempted; and must have earned six residence credits. For a complete list of graduation requirements, see Student Handbook § 5.2.


All graduates must earn a minimum of two credits through completion of a writing requirement, in addition to the first-year research, writing and appellate argument program.


Students who began law school prior to Summer 2015 must take two (2) credit hours of skills courses prior to graduation.  Students who began law school in or after Summer 2015 must take six (6) credit hours of skills courses prior to graduation.

The following courses are skills courses:
  • Advanced Criminal Defense Trial Clinic 
  • Advanced General Civil Practice Clinic
  • Appellate Advocacy Clinic
  • Business Planning
  • Children’s Rights Clinic
  • Contract Drafting
  • Criminal Defense Clinic
  • Criminal Motions Practicum
  • Elder Law Clinic
  • Employment Discrimination Litigation
  • Environmental Practice
  • Estate Planning
  • General Civil Practice Clinic
  • Health Care Practicum
  • Income Tax Clinic
  • Juvenile Delinquency Clinic
  • Legal Interviewing and Counseling
  • Legislative Practice
  • Mediation
  • Negotiations
  • Pretrial Advocacy
  • Real Estate Transaction Drafting
  • Sustainability and the Law
  • Trial Advocacy
  • Transactional Clinic
  • Will Drafting
A student may not count one course towards both the skills requirement and the advanced writing requirement.


Drake Law School requires that each student must successfully complete a course of study in residence of not fewer than 90 credit hours of instruction time, including a minimum of at least 69 credit hours of instruction time in regularly scheduled class sessions. The following courses will not count toward the 69 credit-hour “regularly scheduled class session” minimum, but will count towards the 90 credit-hour graduation requirement: 

       1. Internships;
       2. Independent Study, Law 615;
       3. Interdisciplinary and Joint Degree Credit;
       4. Drake Law Review and Agricultural Law Journal;
       5. Moot court, mock trial competitions, and related competitions.

PORTFOLIO REQUIREMENT - Student Handbook § 5.2.11

All students will be required to submit at least one document and at least one video which, together, show sufficient evidence of competency in the following areas: 

        1. A well-organized writing sample (no more than 5 pages) exhibiting ability to
                a. Write concisely
                b. Explain legal concepts
                c. Analyze cases, statutes, rules and apply concepts to problems
                d. Persuade 
                e. Research
                f. Problem-solve, and
                g. Draft legal documents 

        2. A short video (less than 2 minutes) exhibiting any of the above skills. Videos may be created as part of a class, moot court, mock trial, clinic, or internship. Sessions used to prepare for competitions or law practice, including simulations of interviews, counseling, hearings or other legal proceedings may also be used. No videos of actual legal proceedings may be posted and client information must be redacted to protect confidentiality.

Although students will have numerous opportunities to record in-class activities to fulfill this requirement, presentations, speeches and similar activities performed outside of the classroom may be sufficient as well.

In order to graduate, each student will be required to obtain certification from his or her advisor that the student has met the competency requirements listed in §5.2.11(1). Students who are graduating in May or August must submit final certification by April 1 in the year the student will complete his or her studies. Students who are graduating in December must submit certification by November 1 in the year the student will complete his or her studies.

This Portfolio requirement will take effect for the Class of 2016 beginning in the spring of 2014.

Portfolio Certification Forms can be found on the registration forms page of this website.

INTERNSHIP/CLINIC RULE - Student Handbook § 5.2.3

Students may not credit more than 15 hours of internships and 15 hours of clinic classes, or a combination of clinic and internship classes totaling more than 18 hours toward the 90 credits required for graduation.

RESIDENCE CREDITS – Student Handbook § 5.2.6

Students need 6 residence credits to graduate. One residence credit is earned in each Fall or Spring semester in which a student is enrolled for at least 10 credit hours. If a student enrolls for less than 10 credit hours in the fall or spring, the student will earn the number of credits enrolled divided by 10 (e.g. – 5 credits = ½ residence credit). In the summer, students can earn ½ residence credit for 5 or more credits and ¼ residence credit for 3 or 4 credits. No more than ½ residence credit can be earned in any summer.


Students must submit a completed Graduation Checklist to Krista Magill in the Deans' Suite prior to graduation.  Students are also encouraged to use the applicable Graduation Checklist to monitor their graduation requirements as they progress through law school.

     1. Students commencing law school prior to 2013 should use Graduation Checklist 2011 & 2012.
     2. Students commencing law school in 2013 should use Graduation Checklist - Catalog 2013.
     3. Students commencing law school in 2014 should use Graduation Checklist - Catalog 2014.
     4. Students commencing law school in 2015 should use Graduation Checklist - Catalog 2015.

This is merely a summary of graduation requirements. For a complete and binding explanation of the requirements, please see the applicable Law School catalog.

Last Modified: 3/22/2016 4:42:00 PM by Andrea Charlow