Criminal Defense Clinic
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The Criminal Defense Clinic contracts with the State Public Defender’s Office to represent indigent clients who have requested a public defender.  A judge then appoints the Clinic to represent them.  Cases may involve charges of OWI, assault, theft, drug possession, prostitution, public intoxication, and a variety of other violations.  Student attorneys, under the guidance and supervision of a professor who is an attorney experienced in this field, represent clients in all court appearances (including trials), depositions, and negotiations. 

The Advanced Criminal Defense Clinic offers students the opportunity to explore criminal defense in depth. Students represent clients charged with simple, serious and aggravated misdemeanors. Charges |typically handled by student attorney’s fall into five general categories: Crimes against persons; Crimes against property; Motor Vehicle Offenses; Drug Offenses; and other offenses including Child Endangerment, Prostitution, Perjury and Carrying Weapons. Students may also serve as second chair in a limited number of felony cases.

Contact Information:
Drake University Legal Clinic
2400 University Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50311
Phone: (515) 271-3851
Fax: (515) 271-4100

Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00am – 4:30pm

Faculty & Staff

Robert Rigg, professor of law and director of the criminal defense program, supervises/instructs second and third year law students handling criminal cases before the trial court.

Shauna Bury is the legal assistant for the General/Advanced Criminal Defense Clinic.

Prospective Clients

The Criminal Defense Clinic only works with court appointed cases.  Calling or walking into the Clinic will not assist you in becoming a Legal Clinic client.  If you need criminal representation, you have to request a Public Defender, either immediately after being arrested and taken to jail for booking or at some point shortly thereafter.  You also have to fill out the State’s paperwork to qualify for a Public Defender.


2012-2013 Newsletter

Last Modified: 10/23/2014 3:44:00 PM by Mara Deaton