Accelerated JD Program
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Summer Start Program

Law school is unlike any other learning experience. Drake makes the transition easier by offering a Summer Start Program with the option to puruse an Accelerated JD Program and graduate in two and a half years.

Benefits to students include:

  • A head start to law school curriculum

  • The option to graduate in 2 1/2 years

  • The ability to choose an elective course in the first year curriculum

The program provides a unique opportunity for first-year law students to develop their law school skills one course at a time before full-time study in the fall. Participants have the flexibility to enroll in an upper level class during the fall semester of their first year and graduate a semester early if they elect to take courses in additional summers.

Students enrolling in the 2016 Summer Start Program will complete the required Criminal Law course during the summer, therefore, they have the unique opportunity to enroll in a Prosecution and Defense class in the fall. This course provides an intensive introduction to the real world of criminal law practice and includes instruction from prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers. Course content focuses on the charges young lawyers most often prosecute or defend including assault, driving while intoxicated, drug and weapons possession, criminal mischief, and theft. Students not interested in enrolling in the Prosectuition and Defense class may instead choose to enroll in Legislation or Introduction to International Law. 

2016 Summer Start/Accelerated JD Program Course List

Program Orientation: June 2-3, 2016

Studying the Law (0 credit): June 2-3

This course helps incoming students develop core analytical, reading and writing skills necessary for success in law school. Students will learn how to brief a case, identify rules from court cases, apply rules to new fact situations, and communicate this application on law school exams.

The Elements of Law (2 credits): June 6-June 17

This course explores the legal process, focusing on the interrelationships between the various legal institutions and sources of law. Students examine the process of common law decision making, the operation of precedent and the construction of statues. Readings include the topics of law and economics, critical legal studies and comparative analysis.

Professor Keith Miller, Ellis and Nelle Levitt distinguished professor of law, received his B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and his Masters of Laws degree from the University of Michigan. His areas of expertise include torts, product's liability, gaming law and worker's compensation.

Criminal Law (3 credits): June 20-July 29

This required, first-year course covers the substantive law of crimes and criminal responsibility, emphasizing criminal law theory and its application, against a background of procedural and enforcement problems.

Professor David McCord received his B.A. from Illinois Wesleyan and his J.D. from Harvard Law School. His areas of expertise include criminal law, criminal procedure, and the death penalty. Before coming to Drake, Professor McCord worked as a criminal prosecutor in Arizona.

Constitutional Controversies (1 credit): August 1-8

This class will introduce students to the fundamental principles of the Constitution by focusing on one or two of the most controversial topics in the news related to constitutional law. This could include freedom of religion, affirmative action, hate speech, different concepts of justice, whether the constitution’s meaning can change over time, and other subjects. It will also provide key background on historical events relevant to the constitution’s interpretation, such as the Civil War and the constitutional amendments that followed (the Reconstruction Amendments), the significance of cases like Brown v. Board of Education, and the powerful role of the U.S. Supreme Court in American history. Further, the class will briefly discuss constitutional developments across the globe that are of interest in the U.S.

Professor Mark Kende, James Madison Chair in Constitutional Law and Director of the Drake Constitutional Law Center, received his B.A. from Yale University and his J.D. from the University of Chicago. Professor Kende is an internationally prominent scholar on comparative constitutional law and U.S. constitutional law.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for the 2015 Summer Program will be $1,336 per credit hour. Financial aid is available.  Students must file the FAFSA and complete a Drake University summer financial aid form. 

More Information

Drake Law's Summer Start Program/Accelerated JD program is open to all entering first-year law students, and counts toward the 90 credit hours needed for graduation. If you wish to enroll in the summer, simply indicate the "summer start term" when paying your seat deposit or contact the Drake Law School Office of Admission and Financial Aid at 515-271-2782 or email:

Last Modified: 3/3/2016 11:38:00 AM by Ann Allen