The Law School provides education about, opportunities for and recognition of student participation in pro bono activities through a variety of programs, including the Public Service Scholarship Program, Summer Public Service Internships, IOLTA Summer Poverty Law Internships, Public Service Speakers, Public Service Volunteer Opportunities, the Public Service Certificate, the Spring Break Volunteer Trip, and the Drake Legal Clinic. In addition, student organizations at the Law School, sometimes with faculty assistance, provide students with additional opportunities to engage in public service activities, both law and non-law related.
Since 1995, the Law School’s Public Service Scholarship Program has been a very successful program under the leadership of former Associate Dean and Professor Russell Lovell. The November 2008 issue of THE NATIONAL JURIST ranked Drake University Law School forty-sixth of Best Law Schools for Public Interest Law. Throughout most of the fifteen years, and every year since 2004, the Law School has annually allocated six full-tuition and four three-quarter tuition scholarships to students with strong academic credentials and a demonstrable public service background and commitment. Two full-tuition awards are made to entering students (for all three years of law school) and three-quarter tuition awards are made to two students upon completion of the 1L year (for the final two years of law school).
Each of the Public Service Scholars (and numerous other law students interested in public service and summer internship opportunities) are mentored by Professor Lovell and assisted in their search for employment. More information about the Public Service Scholars can be found here
Learn more about Drake Law School's commitment to public service by visiting the American Bar Association' Directory of Law School Public Interest and Pro Bono Programs
Public Service Certificate
The Drake Law School is committed to the graduation of outstanding lawyers who will promote justice, serve as leaders in their communities and the legal profession, and respond to the call of public service. It is the policy of Drake Law School to promote public service not only through its academic programming (e.g., coursework, clinics, and internships) but also through volunteerism without compensation or the award of academic credit.
The Law School recognizes the volunteerism of its students as a precursor to the pro bono obligations the profession expects lawyers to fulfill and for the inherent value of those services to the providers and the recipients. To promote public service volunteerism, the Law School, assisted by Equal Justice Works, will compile a non-exclusive list of public service opportunities in which students can engage. The Law School will recognize, with an appropriate certificate, any student who completes sixty (60) hours of public service during the student’s law school career.
Students must conduct 60 hours of public service using the guidelines below:
Any student desiring recognition must submit his or her application to the Assistant Dean specifying the particulars of the public service for which recognition is sought with documentation sufficient to demonstrate the time commitment has been met. This application must be filed by the first Monday in April preceding the student’s graduation date in order for the student’s name to be included in the graduation program.
The following “public service,” when performed without compensation or the award of academic credit, qualifies for recognition:
- Assisting in the provision of legal services to charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental, and educational organizations, as approved by the Assistant or Associate Dean, and under the supervision of an attorney or Drake Law School professor, or;
- Participating in activities for improving the law, the legal system, or the legal profession, or
- Providing non-legal services to persons of limited means, under the supervision of charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental, and educational organizations, as approved by the Assistant or Associate Dean.
If the Assistant Dean has a question whether a student’s application warrants recognition, the Assistant Dean may refer the matter to the Associate Dean for decision. If the Assistant Dean or Associate Dean determines that recognition is warranted, it shall be accorded.
Hours Log & Certificate FormAll students are encouraged to log their public service hours
even if they do not plan to pursue a Public Service Certificate. Hours may be recorded and submitted to Assistant Dean Hennan using the Public Service Hour Log
For students wishing to obtain the Public Service Certificate, the Public Service Certificate Form
must be used to record hours. Once 60 hours of public service have been recorded, students are to submit the Public Service Certificate Form to Assistant Dean Hennan for approval.
Public Service ScholarshipsReturning Student Public Service Scholarships
The Law School annually awards up to two full-tuition renewable scholarships to entering students who make a three-year post-graduate commitment to public service and up to two additional scholarships to 1L students upon the completion of the 1L year. Click here
for additional scholarship information.Drake Law Public Service Summer Scholarship
Current 1L and 2L Drake Law students participating in an unpaid summer internship with a non-profit organization, governmental agency, or similar public-service focused entity are eligible to apply. Click here
for the 2013 application. Application deadline is 4:30 p.m. on March 13, 2013.
Loan Repayment and Loan Forgiveness Opportunities
The College Cost and Reduction Access Act of 2007 contains two programs of which you should be aware:
- Income-based repayment for student loans
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
There are a variety of Public Service opportunities available to students. Click here
for a list of opportunities and applications.