Drake University Law School Promotes Elizabeth Battles to Assistant Dean of Student Services
Wednesday, February 7th, 2024
Drake University Law School is pleased to announce Elizabeth (Liz) Battles as the new Assistant Dean of Student Services. Liz’s appointment follows the departure of the previous dean, Erin Lee Schneider.
Liz earned her bachelor’s and Juris Doctor degree from the University of Iowa. She began her legal career at the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence, where she served as the Skylark Project Director, offering services and assistance to incarcerated survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. She remained in this position for over 12 years.
Liz joined Drake Law School in 2022 as the director of academic success. In this role, Liz worked with students to respond to their specific needs and issues. She met individually with students to help them reflect on their skills and give feedback on their progress. She also coordinated student-centered programming like Integrated Study Groups (ISG) for 1L students and Bulldog Bar Prep for alumni.
Dean Jerry Anderson noted: “Drake Law alums’ outstanding success on the Bar Exam in recent years is due in no small part to Liz’s efforts to help prepare and support them. She will bring that same innovation and thoughtfulness to this new role.”
As Assistant Dean for Student Services, Liz’s attention shifts to include structures that support all students. She tackles issues such as how to improve orientation to transition students smoothly into law school, streamlining final exam procedures to ensure they are seamless, secure, and clear, and how to increase students’ sense of belonging and positive connections to Drake Law School.
With Iowa’s recent adoption of the NextGen Bar Exam, Liz’s newest challenge has been deciding how to prepare students for the change. “I’m excited to help Drake navigate the shift to the NextGen Bar Exam over the next several years,” said Liz. “We’re considering how we can adapt classes to reflect changes in the exam like an increased focus on client counseling and lawyering skills. I think it will be a natural extension of Drake’s practice-ready ethos to incorporate more exercises that illustrate how the law works in the real world. Those opportunities make a classroom exciting and keep students motivated and focused on the reasons they came to law school.”