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Cady Law Opportunity Fellow Program

Drake Law School's Cady Law Opportunity Fellow Program provides internships, mentorship, and leadership training for high-achieving, students from underrepresented backgrounds.

Drake Law School selects up to five qualified students each year to participate in the Cady Law Opportunity Fellow Program, formerly known as the Law Opportunity Leadership Program. The program is named in recognition of the late Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady, LW'78, and his commitment to diversifying the legal profession. 

"The program allowed me to make connections with local attorneys and mentors very early in my legal career and introduced me to different areas of practice. The program also led to an internship offer at a firm for my 2L summer. I definitely appreciated the opportunities provided throughout my time in the program."

- Jenny Chavez-Rivera, Class of 2020

Leadership Program

Students selected to the Cady Law Opportunity Fellow Program participate in a mentorship program for fellows throughout their first year of law school.

Students also attend weekly leadership training sessions during the summer after their first year.

Guaranteed Paid Internships

Each student is placed in two five-week internships with Des Moines-based sponsor employers (one company and one law firm) during the summer after their first year of law school. Both are paid positions.

The internships provide students the opportunity to gain legal experience and an understanding of each employer's culture. Drake Law School attempts to match each student with the company and law firm that most closely aligns with his or her interests.

2019-2020 Sponsor Employers

"We are proud to partner with the Cady Law Opportunity Fellow Program. A diverse workplace is important to the firm and expected by our clients. Additionally, working with high-achieving students in our profession only helps to improve the practice of law."

- Anjela A. Shutts, Member Attorney, Whitfield & Eddy Law

Law Firms:

  • Ahlers & Cooney, P.C.
  • Bradshaw, Fowler, Proctor & Fairgrave, P.C.
  • Davis Brown Law Firm
  • Nyemaster Goode, P.C.
  • Whitfield & Eddy Law

Companies:

  • EMC Insurance Companies
  • Meredith Corporation
  • Principal
  • Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield
  • Wells Fargo

Eligibility

The program seeks students whose enrollment will significantly contribute to the diversity of the Drake Law student body or who have overcome a significant disadvantage. Drake University is commited to diversity, equity, and inclusion

Students must achieve at least a B- grade in the Legal Research and Legal Writing courses in the first semester of law school to be eligible for the internship portion of the program.

Apply

Drake Law School selects up to five students from underrepresented groups for the program each academic year. Students will be chosen by Drake Law School’s Admissions Committee based on superior academic credentials, information contained in their Drake Law JD application and diversity statement, and a personal interview (to be conducted on campus or remotely).

To apply, follow the steps to complete the Drake Law JD application on the Application Instructions webpage.

As part of the application, students must also submit a diversity statement. Instructions can be found on the Drake Law JD application under "Diversity or Disadvantage."


Prospective students: Contact Alicia Hilligas, Assistant Director of Admission and Diversity Initiatives, at 515-271-2483 or alicia.hilligas@drake.edu.

Community partners and current students: Contact Brooke Axiotis, Director of Academic Success, at 515-271-3184 or brooke.axiotis@drake.edu.

 
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