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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 opportunity to develop law school skills one course at a time before full-time study in the fall.

Participants have the flexibility to graduate one semester early if they elect to take courses in additional summers.


2020 Summer Start Program Course List

Due to COVID-19 the 2020 summer start program has been cancelled.

Studying the Law (0 credit)

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.

Faculty: Erin Lee Schneider, Assistant Dean for Student Services

Elements of Law (2 credits)

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 statutes. Readings include the topics of law and economics, critical legal studies, and comparative analysis.

Faculty: Natalie Banta, Associate Professor of Law
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The U.S. Supreme Court (2 credits)

This course focuses on the United States Supreme Court from an institutional perspective.  It emphasizes the forces and factors that have shaped the Court’s decision-making over the years.  Special attention is paid to changes in the Court’s composition, and to the views and personalities of individual justices, as well as the Court’s changing role in our political system.  Excerpts from about a dozen of the Court’s most consequential decisions are read closely and analyzed.  Accompanying commentary illuminates the historical backdrop, and the social and political milieu, against or within which each case was decided.  The focus or subject matter of the course changes from year to year to keep pace with the Court’s jurisprudential evolution.

Faculty: Hunter R. Clark, Professor of Law
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Race and the Constitution (2 credits)

This course will critically examine race from a legal standpoint from America’s colonial period to the present day. It will conclude with an analysis of the contemporary status of racial classification in the legal system and consider recent scholarly critiques of the law’s limitations over time. It addresses the racial definitions of major groups in the US including African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Latino/as, Native Americans, and Whites and examines the nexus between law and the construction of race as a concept.

Faculty: Erin Lain, Associate Provost, Campus Equity & Inclusion;
Associate Professor of Law
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Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for the 2020 Summer Start Program will be charged at a rate of $1,500 per credit hour. Tuition for 2021 will be released in late January.

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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