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Diversity & Inclusion

Drake Law School is committed to creating an inclusive community that celebrates diverse perspectives and talents.


Drake Law School has proven its dedication to diversity and inclusion since its inception.

One point of pride is alumnus Charles Preston Howard, LW’20, who co-founded the National Bar Association after African Americans were excluded from membership in the American Bar Association. Drake Law School now houses the National Bar Association archives.

Read More about Diversity & Inclusion at Drake

Welcoming Environment

Des Moines is #4 on Vocativ's list of America's Most LGBT-Friendly Cities after Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. The city also earns high scores on the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index.

Des Moines provides opportunities for cultural exploration and learning through events such as I’ll Make Me a World in Iowa, CelebrAsian, and the Latino Heritage Festival.

Scholarship Opportunities

Drake Law School offers generous scholarships to achieve a diverse student body.

Opportunity Scholarships are awarded to entering students with financial need who are from educationally, economically, or socially disadvantaged backgrounds or whose enrollment will significantly contribute to the diversity of the student body.

Law School Scholarships

Cady Law Opportunity Fellow Program

Up to five qualified students are selected for the Cady Law Opportunity Fellow Program each year. The program provides paid internships, mentorship, and leadership training. 

Learn more about the program. 

Diversity Initiatives

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

In 2016, 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 was also one of four participating law schools in the CLEO Legally Inspired Cohort, a program to increase access to law school for minority students.

Drake was presented with a Diversity Award from CLEO in 2012 and was inducted into CLEO’s inaugural group of William A. Blakey Diversity Pipeline Architects in 2013.

Drake Law School also partners with the Law School Admission Council’s to host semi-annual pipeline program 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 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 numerous student organizations dedicated to providing support and leadership opportunities for diverse students. These student organizations include:

  • Black Law Student Association
  • Drake Law Women
  • Drake Outlaws (LGBT Student Organization)
  • Hispanic Latino Law Student Society
  • Older Wiser Law Students (OWLS)

Learn more about Drake Law School's student organizations.


Additional Resources

Diversity in Law School - LGBT 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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