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2014

Drake Law students help local veterans
With such a strong history of public service, it is no surprise that Drake Law School students regularly participate in the local Stand Down event held annually for homeless or near homeless veterans.

Drake University volunteer opportunities collect fresh fruits and vegetables for Central Iowa families in need
Drake University Agricultural Law Center and the Greater Des Moines Buy Fresh Buy Local (BFBL) Campaign, a project of Drake University, will be assisting with efforts to put more fresh fruits and vegetables on the plates of Iowa families in need through two upcoming events: The Plant a Mile Volunteer Day, on Thursday, Aug. 7, and with Meals From the Market on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Preston Nicholson honored by Oklahoma State University's Spears School of Business
Drake Law’s very own Preston Nicholson, associate director for admission and financial aid, was recently honored by his alma matter, Oklahoma State University (OSU), as one of their Spears School of Business 100 for 100 as they celebrate their 100th anniversary.

Shannon Redd honored by National Bar Association
Shannon Redd, LW’10, has been recognized as a Trailblazer Under 40 by the National Bar Association (NBA). Redd currently serves as Staff Attorney and Training Manager D.C. Bar Association Pro Bono Program.

Professor Russ Lovell retires after 38 years
Russ Lovell’s dedication has had a tremendous impact on Drake Law School that will be felt for generations to come. Through the First-Year Trial Practicum, his service as associate dean and Legal Clinic director, Lovell’s tireless commitment and service to others has made both Drake Law and Des Moines a better place.

Drake Law alumni honored at ISBA Presidential Banquet
Several Drake Law connections were recently recognized at the Iowa State Bar Association’s (ISBA) Presidential Banquet. The banquet is held during the ISBA’s annual conference in June.

Peter Yu ranked #2 scholar for intellectual property law
Professor Peter Yu was recently ranked as the #2 Experienced Intellectual Property Scholar by Written Description, a patent and IP blog reviewing recent scholarship on patent law, IP theory, and innovation.

Drake Law to host Farmer Veteran Coalition’s Midwest Conference
Drake University Law School is partnering with the Farmer Veteran Coalition to host the Midwest Conference for Farmer Veterans on Friday and Saturday, July 25-26. The conference is sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University.

Dean Vestal honored with ISBA President's Award
Dean Allan Vestal was recently awarded the President’s Award from the Iowa State Bar Association (ISBA). The award is a tribute to an individual who has gone above and beyond in assisting the ISBA.

Professor Melissa Weresh concludes time as president of Legal Writing Institute
This month marks the end of Professor Melissa Weresh’s two-year term as president of the Legal Writing Institute (LWI). LWI is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving legal writing by providing a forum for discussion and scholarship about legal writing, analysis, and research. Weresh will move to the role of immediate past-president through 2016, after serving as president-elect from 2010-2012 and president from 2012-2014. During her final, two-year term, she will remain on the executive committee of the LWI board of directors.

Agricultural Law Center works with local organizations to increase fruit and vegetable consumption
The Drake Agricultural Law Center will be involved in upcoming efforts to increase the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables consumed by individuals who lack access to affordable healthy food due to health issues or income.

Moot Court Success
Since 1990, Drake’s teams have placed either first or second in the region – meaning a team has qualified to compete in the National Finals in New York City 19 out of 24 years, including a 2013 National Championship by the ABA Client Counseling team.

Allan Vestal passes dean's baton to Ben Ullem
Allan Vestal stepped down as dean on June 30 and Ben Ullem becamse the new dean effective July 1.

Professor Jerry Anderson co-authors law textbook
Professor Jerry Anderson, Richard M. And Anita Calkins Distinguished Professor of Law, recently co-authored a law text book with Daniel Bogart. The book is titled Property Law: Practice, Problems and Perspectives and is being published this month by Aspen Law School Wolters Kluwer Law & Business.

Professor Yu joins corporate counsels of major fashion houses in discussing brand protection
On Saturday, May 10, Peter K. Yu, Kern Family Chair in Intellectual Property Law, spoke at the "Charting the New Frontiers of Intellectual Property Protection of Fashion Brands and Designs" Conference in Hong Kong.

Paige Fiedler, LW’94, and Professor Shontavia Johnson honored by Iowa Organization of Women Attorneys
Each year, Iowa Organization of Women Attorneys (IOWA) gives two awards, the Arabella Mansfield Award and the Gertrude Rush Award. This year’s honorees both have ties to Drake Law School.

Professor Cathy Lesser Mansfield composes piece for Heartland Youth Choir
The Heartland Youth Choir will soon be premiering a piece Professor Cathy Lesser Mansfield, professor of law at Drake University Law School, wrote for them. The World Songs concert will be held on Sunday, May 11 at Drake’s Sheslow Auditorium at 4:30 p.m.

A letter from Dean Vestal
I announced this afternoon that I will step down as Dean of the Law School on June 30, 2014. This will mark the end of my fifth year as Dean. It had been my intention to serve through the 2014-2015 academic year, but some medical challenges made it appropriate to step down at the conclusion of this year. I will take a sabbatical next year and thereafter will take great pleasure in serving the Law School as a member of the faculty.

Drake Law partners with Des Moines Metro Opera
Drake Law School is partnering with Des Moines Metro Opera to present “The American Death Penalty as Reflected in the Opera ‘Dead Man Walking’: Age-Old Themes, Emerging Trends, and Recent Developments.”  

Matt Russell, State Food Policy Coordinator, involved in national conversation on climate change
Climate Change and U.S. Food Production: New Reports Highlight Growing “Food Security” Worries for Iowa, Rest of Nation

Secretary Vilsack visits Agricultural Law Center
U.S. Secretary Tom Vilsack visited the Drake University Agricultural Law Center on April 22 to meet with Prof. Neil Hamilton, director of the Center, to discuss current projects and to reaffirm the historic relation between USDA and Drake University.

UPDATE: Mock trial team places 5th at nationals
At the regional competition in Omaha in March, two Drake Law teams competed successfully at the American Association for Justice (AAJ) Student Trial Advocacy Competition, with one team advancing to Nationals.  At Nationals in Santa Monica, the White Team placed 5th nationally, falling just one point shy of the semifinals.

Drake Law School hosts 77th Annual Supreme Court Celebration
During Supreme Court Celebration week at the Drake University Law School, law students had the opportunity to celebrate the Iowa Supreme Court as well as become more familiar with appellate court procedure and arguments through the Supreme Court Competition.

International judicial professionals visit Drake Law
Drake recently hosted a group of international visitors who were selected to participate in the State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). This program brings mid-career professionals to the U.S. who have been selected as having contributed or the potential to contribute toward significant progress in their fields.

Professor Shontavia Johnson receives award from International Trademark Association
The International Trademark Association (INTA), the law firm of Ladas & Parry, and the chair of the Ladas Memorial Award project team, Kevin McDevitt (Neal & McDevitt), recently awarded Professor Shontavia Johnson this year’s Ladas Memorial Award in the Professional Category.

Judge Eisenhauer named Alumnus of the Year at Drake Law School
The Honorable Larry Eisenhauer, LW'75, was honored as the Drake University Law School’s 2014 Alumnus of the Year during the annual Supreme Court Banquet in early April.

Middleton Center for Children's Rights and Legislative Practice Center collaborate on juvenile justice reform
Through a collaboration Drake Law’s innovative Legislative Practice Center and the Middleton Center for Children's Rights, students were able to amend current juvenile record sealing law to make it more equitable.

2014 Constitutional Law Symposium to examine "Obamacare" and LBJ's Great Society
The Drake University Constitutional Law Center will again host the Constitutional Law Symposium with the support of Nate McCay and the law firm of Belin McCormick, P.C. on Saturday, April 12. This year’s symposium will bring together acclaimed historians, authors, and political experts to discuss the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” and the 50th anniversary of LBJ’s Great Society.

Professor Peter Yu's proposal discussed in Hong Kong legislature
On March 17, the Panel on Commerce and Industry of the Hong Kong Legislative Council held a meeting to address the government's discussion paper on upcoming digital copyright reform. Several lawmakers questioned the government's position, relying on the proposal and publications of Peter K. Yu, professor of law and Kern Family Chair in Intellectual Property Law at Drake University Law School. His analysis of the government's paper was also introduced into the meeting record.

Justice Brent Appel speaker for Judge James Grant Iowa Constitution Lecture Series
On Thursday, March 27, Drake University will welcome Justice Brent R. Appel of the Iowa Supreme Court for the third annual James Grant Iowa Constitution Lecture to discuss some of the significant cases in the Iowa Supreme Court’s history and offer insight on current and future issues that may arise.

Two trials for 2014 First Year Trial Practicum
This year’s first-year law students have the great fortune of observing two trials during the First Year Trial Practicum; one regarding assault causing injury and the other possession of a firearm by a felon.

Professors Yee and Johnson honored
While Drake Law School is celebrating Diversity Week with, “One Drake, Many Voices”, two professors have been recognized for their impact on legal education.

Middleton Center for Children’s Rights Supports Right to Counsel for Abused and Neglected Children
The Joan and Lyle Middleton Center for Children's Right suppors the amicus brief filed by Baker and McKenzie on behalf of several children's rights centers across the country.

Professor Cathy Mansfield follows passion in Washington, D.C.
Professor Cathy Mansfield shares her experiences serving as a policy analyst at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Washington, D.C

Experts speak on Mandela's influence
The Drake University Legal Clinic hosted an event in collaboration with the Des Moines chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to recognize the extraordinary life of Nelson Mandela in celebration of Black History Month.

Drake Law places third at National Moot Court Competition
Drake University Law School’s National Moot Court team of Mara Jones, Kyle Mendenhall, and Louis Sloven competed last week in the national finals of the 64th Annual National Moot Court Competition.  

Drake Law students named “Best Team Oralists”
Drake Law intellectual property (IP) students were recently named “Best Team Oralists” during the Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition in Dallas, Texas. Team members from Drake included Tim Alberts, Kelsey Knight, Kyle Mendenhall and Madelyn Smith.

Professor Yu to discuss Obama's trade policy at Yale Law School


Agricultural Law Center offers experiential learning in Cuba
For three years (and counting), Drake students in the Agricultural Law Center have the rare opportunity to learn agricultural law in Cuba.

Drake Law to host Prospective Student Open House
Prospective students are invited to come to campus Friday, Jan. 31, for an open house.  The visit will give students the opportunity to observe a law school class, take a tour of Drake, get questions answered regarding admission and financial aid, as well as talk to current Drake Law students.

Ten honorees have Drake ties in Business Record’s “Forty under 40” list
Nine Drake alumni and one current graduate student landed spots on the Des Moines Business Record “Forty under 40” list. The group is made up of 40 local business leaders under the age of 40 who have demonstrated impressive career achievements and unparalleled community involvement.

Drake's promotion of rural jobs highlighted in National Jurist Magazine
The rising need for rural lawyers is making headlines. The National Jurist, the magazine for law students, recently featured an article emphasizing that need titled, “Wanted: Rural Lawyers”. Drake Law School Dean Allan Vestal was quoted regarding what Drake is doing to encourage the pursuit of practice in rural areas of Iowa.

Professor Peter Yu publishes piece on parodies in Hong Kong’s copyright law
Professor Peter Yu, Kern Family Chair in Intellectual Property Law at Drake University Law School, recently wrote an article for the South China Morning Post titled, “Many routes to allowing parodies within Hong Kong’s copyright law.”

Drake Law graduates featured in “14 to watch in 2014”
The Des Moines Register began the year by featuring 14 people in Central Iowa to watch in 2014. Among them, two Drake Law graduates: Larry James, LW’01, and Romonda Belcher, LW’95.