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Constitutional Law Center Events

An integral part of the Constitutional Law Center's mission are the various lectures that invite the nation's top scholars, judges, and lawyers to campus.


Constitutional Law Symposium

The annual Constitutional Law Symposium invites scholars, judges, and lawyers from across the country to discuss a timely constitutional issue. The proceedings are published in the Drake Law Review.

2024 Constitutional Law Symposium
Saturday, April 13, 2024

8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., Room 213, Cartwright Hall

"Climate Change, the Environment, and Constitutions."


"Rights of Nature: Fact and Fiction"                                                              James Salzman, Donald Bren Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law with joint appointments at the Bren School and UCLA Law School

Watch the presentation here

"Speaking up to Stop the Climate Crisis: Environmental Justice and the First Amendment"                                                                                                     Abre' Conner, Lecturer, UC-Davis, Director of Environmental and Climate Justice Center, NAACP

Watch the presentation here

"Climate Indignities: Why Dignity Matters in Climate Litigation"                     Erin Daly, Professor of Law and Director, Dignity Rights Clinic, Widener University Delaware Law School

Watch the presentation here

"Anti-Constitutional Climate Claims"                                                          Jonathan H. Adler, Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law and Director, Coleman P. Burke Center for Environmental Law, Case Western Reserve School of Law

Watch the presentation here

"Commons, Climate and the Constitution"                                                     Jerry Anderson, Dean and Richard M. and Anita Calkins Distinguished Professor of Law, Drake Law School                                                    

Watch the presentation here

Principal sponsorship of the Constitutional Law Symposium provided by the Nathan S. McCay, LW’80, Endowment.  Additional support provided by the law firm of Hastings, Gartin & Boettger, LLP, Ames.

Approved for 4 Hours of CLE Credit

Standard Live CLE: # 406631

Live Webcast CLE: # 406633

Audio on Demand CLE: # 406632

Constitution Day Lecture

Each year, Drake University holds an event in honor of Constitution Day. The event usually involves a speech by a distinguished expert in constitutional law. The speaker also typically meets with the faculty at the law school. 

Thursday, September 19, 2024
3 p.m., Room 213, Cartwright Hall

Guy-Uriel E. Charles, 2024 Coif Distinguished Visitor; Charles Ogletree, Jr. Professor of Law and Faculty Director, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice at Harvard Law School

Read his bio here.

More detailed information about this lecture will be available closer to the date, including the title, registration link and CLE Activity Numbers.

Please see the listing of past events for more information. 

Judge James Grant Iowa Constitution Lecture Series

In 2012, the center initiated the Judge James Grant Iowa Constitution Lecture Series to feature prominent experts on the topic of the Iowa Constitution every other year. The event is made possible by the generous gifts of Patrick Grant, LW'76, and family. 

Thursday, January 26, 2023
3 p.m.

Virtual event

"The Challenge for Originalism from Precedent"
Michael Rappaport, Hugh and Hazel Darling Foundation Professor of Law; Director, Center for the Study of Constitutional Originalism, University of San Diego School of Law.

His research interests include originalism, administrative law, the separation of powers, federalism, the constitutional amendment process, and supermajority rules.  Read his bio here.

Watch the lecture.

Live Webcast event CLE Activity Number: 387711 (1 hour)
Audio on Demand CLE Activity Number: 387712 (1 hour)

This event is held every other year, please see the past events for more information.

Distinguished Lecture Series

The Constitutional Law Center's Distinguished Lecture Series brings to campus the nation's leading constitutional scholars to engage students and faculty on the important issues of the day. Speakers deliver a formal lecture, teach a class, and meet with students in informal settings.

Thursday, March 21, 2024
3 p.m.
Cartwright Hall, Room 213 (in-person)
Cartwright Hall, Room 206 (live stream)

Ronald Krotoszynski, John S. Stone Chairholder of Law and Director of Faculty Research, University of Alabama School of Law
Read his bio here.

Title: "Free Speech as Civic Structure: A Comparative Analysis of How Courts and Culture Shape the Freedom of Speech"

Watch the lecture 



Dwight D. Opperman Lecture series

In 1988, Dwight D. Opperman, LW'51, former chairman of West Publishing Company, endowed the lecture series to bring the country's top jurists and legal scholars to Drake. Since then, 11 U.S. Supreme Court justices have delivered the Opperman Lecture.

View a list of the Drake Constitutional Law Center's past events.

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