The Agricultural Law Center's curriculum focuses on agricultural and food law issues and how the legal system shapes our food system.
Drake Law School offers courses not only on agricultural and food law but also on agriculture's effect on a state or country's social, economic, and political systems. Courses include Intro to Agricultural Law, Environmental Regulation of Agriculture, Food and the Law, and more.
For more information, see Drake Law School's course descriptions.
Drake was the first American law school to offer a specialization in agricultural law. In association with the Agricultural Law Center, students can earn a Food and Agricultural Law Certificate. The certificate program consists of 21 credit hours of coursework, a major legal research and writing project, and an internship.
Learn more about Drake Law School's certificate programs.
Students have numerous internship opportunities in the field of agricultural and food law.
Interns often work with state and federal institutions, including the USDA Farm Services Agency, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, the farm division of the Iowa Department of Justice, and the Office of General Counsel of the USDA in Washington, D.C. Many students also clerk for private law firms that represent farmers and agricultural businesses.
As part of these internships, students might help develop and implement government farm programs, identify and protect wetlands, and provide legal information about farm debt relief.
Graduates of the Agricultural Law Center go on to practice agricultural law with government agencies, businesses, and financial institutions in addition to private practice, where they represent farm, ranch, and agribusiness interests domestically and internationally.
Learn more about Drake Law School's internship opportunities.
In January 2012, a group of Drake Law School students became the first U.S. legal group to visit Cuba to study agricultural law.
Since then, Drake Law students visit Havana, Cuba, each year to study Cuban agricultural development and law. Led by Professor Neil Hamilton, students visit the United States Embassy, meet with agricultural lawyers, tour cooperative organic farms, and more while also experiencing the culture and history of Cuba.
Learn more about studying agricultural law in Cuba.
Drake Law School is the only accredited law school in the nation with a student-published legal journal focusing solely on agricultural law issues.
The Drake Journal of Agricultural Law features articles written by professors, lawyers, and students analyzing new legislation, reviewing case law, and exploring cutting-edge concepts.
Learn more about the Drake Journal of Agricultural Law.
The center has hosted distinguished agricultural law scholars from all over the world—including Costa Rica, Italy, and France—to teach Drake law students and share their unique cultural perspective on food and agricultural law.
The center’s annual Summer Agricultural Law Institute features a series of one-week law courses for students and attorneys.
National and international agricultural law scholars teach and participate in the institute, which has featured couses such as Farmland Preservation, Legal Issues in Biotechnology, Introduction to Doing Business in Italy, and Legal Issues in Direct Farm Marketing.