Graduation Requirements

Students must complete certain requirements to be eligible to receive their JD degree.

To be eligible to receive the Juris Doctor degree from Drake Law School, a candidate must have completed the following requirements:

  • 90 semester hours for law credit within 84 months of entering law school (including a minimum of 69 semester hours in regularly scheduled class sessions)
  • Completed all required courses, including the advanced writing requirement and professional skills requirement
  • Cumulative grade point average of 2.00 on all law work attempted
  • 6 residence credits

See the Drake Law School Student Handbook for complete list of graduation requirements.


All graduates must earn a minimum of two credits through completion of a writing requirement, in addition to the first-year research, writing, and appellate argument program.


Students who began law school prior to Summer 2015 must take 2 credit hours of designated skills courses prior to graduation. Internships may not be used to satisfy the 2-credit requirement.

Students who began law school in or after Summer 2015 must take 6 credit hours of skills courses prior to graduation. Internships may be used to satisfy the 6-credit skills requirement.

The following courses are designated skills courses:

Business Planning
Contract Drafting
Criminal Motions Practicum
Environmental Practice
Estate Planning  
Legislative Practice
Pretrial Advocacy
Real Estate Transaction Drafting
Sustainability and the Law
Trial Advocacy
Will Drafting

All Clinics:
Children’s Rights Clinic I
Children's Rights Clinic II
Criminal Defense Clinic
Advanced Criminal Defense Clinic  
Elder Law Clinic
Entrepreneurial/Transactional Clinic
General Civil Practice Clinic
Advanced General Civil Practice Clinic
Juvenile Delinquency Clinic

All Internships:
Administrative Law Internship
Advanced Prosecutor Internship
Advanced Polk County Prosecutor Internship
Children's Rights Internship
Disability Rights Iowa Internship
Environmental Law Internship
Ethics Internship
Federal Public Defender Internship
Foreclosure Defense Internship
Honors Judicial Internship
Independent Internship
Iowa Attorney General's Office Internship
Iowa Civil Rights Commission Internship
Iowa Public Information Board Internship
Iowa Supreme Court Scholar
Iowa Workers Compensation Commissioner's Office Internship
Judicial Internship
Juvenile Court Internship
Juvenile Law Appellate Internship
Juvenile Law Internship
Legislative Internship
Legislative Practice Internship
Polk County Prosecutor Internship
Prosecutor Internship
Securities Law Internship
State Public Defender Internship
State Public Defender Appellate Internship
Supreme Court Administrative Internship
US Attorney's Office Internship
USDA Internship

Note: A student may not count one course towards both the skills requirement and the advanced writing requirement.


Drake Law School requires that each student successfully complete a course of study in residence of not fewer than 90 credit hours of instruction time, including a minimum of at least 69 credit hours of instruction time in regularly scheduled class sessions.

The following courses will not count toward the 69-credit hour "regularly scheduled class session" minimum, but will count toward the 90-credit hour graduation requirement:

  • Internships
  • Individual Research, LAW 615
  • Interdisciplinary and joint degree credit
  • Drake Law Review and Drake Journal of Agricultural Law
  • Moot court, mock trial and related competitions

INTERNSHIP/CLINIC RULE – Student Handbook § 5.2.3

Students may not credit more than 15 hours of internships and 15 hours of clinic classes, or a combination of clinic and internship classes totaling more than 18 hours, toward the 90 credits required for graduation.

RESIDENCE CREDITS – Student Handbook § 5.2.6

Students need 6 residence credits to graduate. One residence credit is earned in each fall or spring semester in which a student is enrolled for at least 10 credit hours.

If a student enrolls for less than 10 credit hours in the fall or spring, the student will earn the number of credits enrolled divided by 10 (e.g. 5 credits = ½ residence credit).

In the summer, students can earn ½ residence credit for 5 or more credits and ¼ residence credit for 3 or 4 credits. No more than ½ residence credit can be earned in any summer.


Students must submit a completed Graduation Checklist to Krista Magill in Cartwright Hall, Suite 135 prior to graduation. Students are also encouraged to use the applicable Graduation Checklist to monitor their graduation requirements as they progress through law school.

Note: This is a summary of graduation requirements. For a complete and binding explanation of the requirements, see the .

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February 2, 2018
Four alumni from Drake Law School were named to the Business Record’s 2018 Forty Under 40 list, which recognizes local business leaders in the Greater Des Moines area.