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Diversity & Inclusion

Drake Law School Inclusivity Statement

Drake Law School is committed to an enduring culture of inclusion that supports diversity of backgrounds, perspectives, and ideas in an atmosphere of nurturing and respect that recognizes individuality.

We work tirelessly to ensure that our community of students, staff, faculty, alumni, community members and visitors feel welcome and respected. This unwavering commitment is fundamental to our continued excellence and success in promoting a justice system that provides equal access and eliminates bias, discrimination, and racism in the law.


Drake Law School has been dedicated to diversity and inclusion since its inception more than 150 years ago.

Our founder and Iowa Supreme Court Justice Chester Cole wrote the opinion in Clark v. Muscatine Board of Education in 1868 that held racial segregation of public schools in Iowa as unconstitutional - 90 years before the US Supreme Court issued the same ruling for the entire country.

Drake Law School counted persons of color among its graduates as early as 1868. In 1925, in response to the then segregated American Bar Association, Drake Law alumnus Charles Preston Howard co-founded the National Bar Association, which is now the largest national association of predominantly African American lawyers and judges. The Law Library at Drake is the proud home of the National Bar Association archives.

Read More about Diversity & Inclusion at Drake

Welcoming Environment

Des Moines is a thriving capital city with national headquarters for notable insurance, banking, and publishing companies, providing endless opportunities for young professionals. It is also one of the most inclusive cities in the country.

Des Moines is Ranked #4 on Vocativ's list of America's Most LGBTQ+ Friendly Cities (after Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco).

The city earns high scores on the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index.

Des Moines hosts cultural events such as I’ll Make Me a World in Iowa (a Black culture celebration), CelebrAsian, and the Latino Heritage Festival.

Diversity Initiatives

Drake Law's Diversity Committee sponsors events to facilitate learning, diversity, inclusion, and understanding. Events have included a diverse student reception during orientation and the Diversity Career Forum, a networking event for students and local attorneys to discuss the importance of a diverse legal profession. 

In previous summers, Drake Law School hosted the Council on Legal Education Opportunity Scholars (CLEO) Pre-Law Summer Institute, which helps diverse and economically disadvantaged students prepare for law school.

Drake Law School also partners with the Law School Admission Council's to host semi-annual pipeline events for racially and ethnically diverse high school students interested in the legal profession.

Diversity Week

Each year, Drake Law School's student organizations host Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Week. Past events include Gender and Sexuality Awareness Day, a roundtable on immigration and refugees, a panel featuring local diverse judges, and celebration of the Muslim experience in Iowa.

Student Organizations

Drake Law School has more than 25 active student organizations, including numerous organizations dedicated to providing support and leadership opportunities for diverse students. These student organizations include:

  • Black Law Student Association (BLSA)
  • International Law Society
  • OUTlaws (Drake Law LGBTQ+ Student Organization)
  • La Alianza (Previously Hispanic Latino Law Student Association)
  • Older Wiser Law Students (OWLS)
  • Asian Pacific American Law Students Association

Learn more about Drake Law School's student organizations.


Additional Resources

Diversity in Law School - LGBTQ+ Applicants
Diversity in Law School - Racial/Ethnic Minority Applicants
Diversity & Inclusion Committee of the Greater Des Moines Partnership
Hindu Temple and Cultural Center of Iowa
Iowa Asian Alliance
Iowa Civil Rights Commission
Iowa Department of Human Rights
Iowa Pride Network
Islamic Center of Des Moines
Italian American Cultural Center of Iowa
Latinos Unidos
NAACP Des Moines

For more information, contact the Office of Admission and Financial Aid at 515-271-2782 or

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