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Accelerated JD/Summer Start Program

With Drake Law School's Accelerated JD/Summer Start Program, you can get a jump start on law school and graduate in two and a half years.

Drake Law School makes the transition to law school easier by offering a Summer Start Program, with the option to pursue an accelerated JD program and graduate in only two and a half years.

Program Overview

Drake Law School's Summer Start Program is open to all entering first-year law students and counts toward the 90 credit hours needed for graduation.

The Summer Start Program offers many benefits, including:

  • A head start to law school curriculum.
  • The option to graduate in two and a half years.
  • The ability to choose an elective course in the first-year curriculum.
  • The opportunity to develop law school skills one course at a time before full-time study in the fall.

Participants have the flexibility to enroll in an upper-level class during the fall semester of their first year and graduate one semester early if they elect to take courses in additional summers.


2018 Summer Start Program Course List

Studying the Law (0 credit)
June 4-5

10-11:15 a.m. and 1:15-2:30 p.m.

This course helps incoming students develop core analytical, reading, and writing skills necessary for success in law school. Students will learn how to brief a case, identify rules from court cases, apply rules to new fact situations, and communicate this application on law school exams.

The Elements of Law (2 credits)
June 6-19
8:30 - 9:50 a.m. and 11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Final Exam: June 20

This course explores the legal process, focusing on the interrelationships between the various legal institutions and sources of law. Students examine the process of common law decision making, the operation of precedent, and the construction of statues. Readings include the topics of law and economics, critical legal studies, and comparative analysis.

Faculty: Keith Miller, Ellis and Nelle Levitt Distinguished Professor of Law
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Criminal Law (3 credits)
June 21-July 30
10:30-11:45 a.m.

(June 22: Class will be held between 3:30 - 5 p.m. instead of regular time. No class July 4. Two classes on July 5: 10:30 - 11:45 a.m. and 2:30-3:45 p.m.)
Final Exam: August 1

This required, first-year course covers the substantive law of crimes and criminal responsibility, emphasizing criminal law theory and its application, against a background of procedural and enforcement problems.

Faculty: David McCord, Professor of Law
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Constitutional Controversies (1 credit)
Aug. 2-8
2-4:30 p.m.
Final Exam: August 9

This class will introduce students to the fundamental principles of the constitution by focusing on one or two of the most controversial topics in the news related to constitutional law. This could include freedom of religion, affirmative action, hate speech, different concepts of justice, whether the constitution’s meaning can change over time, and other subjects.

It will also provide key background on historical events relevant to the constitution’s interpretation, such as the Civil War and the constitutional amendments that followed (the Reconstruction Amendments), the significance of cases such as Brown v. Board of Education, and the powerful role of the U.S. Supreme Court in American history. Further, the class will briefly discuss constitutional developments across the globe that are of interest in the U.S.

Faculty: Mark Kende, Director of the Constitutional Law Center; James Madison Chair in Constitutional Law; Professor of Law
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Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for the 2018 Summer Start Program will be charged at a rate of $1,427 per credit hour.

Financial aid is available. Students must file the FAFSA and complete a Drake University summer financial aid form, which will be sent to confirmed students via email.


If you wish to enroll in the Summer Start Program, simply indicate the "summer start term" when paying your seat deposit, or contact the Drake Law School Office of Admission and Financial Aid at 515-271-2782 or

Find more information about applying to Drake Law School.

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