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Public Service Certificate

The Public Service Certificate prepares students to respond to the call of public service and give back to the community.

The Law School promotes public service not only through its academic programming such as coursework, clinics, and internships, but also through volunteerism without compensation or academic credit.

Volunteering as students is a precursor to the pro bono obligations the legal profession expects of lawyers, and the Law School recognizes the inherent value of those services to both the providers and the recipients.

To promote public service, Drake Law School—assisted by Equal Justice Works—provides a non-exclusive list of public service opportunities in which students can engage.


To be recognized with the Public Service Certificate, students must complete 60 hours of public service using the guidelines below.

The following public service, when performed without compensation or the award of academic credit, qualifies for recognition:

  • Assisting in the provision of legal services to charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental, and educational organizations, as approved by the associate or assistant dean and under the supervision of an attorney or Drake Law School professor.
  • Participating in activities for improving the law, the legal system, or the legal profession.
  • Providing non-legal services to persons of limited means, under the supervision of charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental, and educational organizations, as approved by the associate or assistant dean.

Note: If the assistant dean has a question of whether a student’s application warrants recognition, the assistant dean may refer the matter to the associate dean for decision. If the assistant or associate dean determines that recognition is warranted, it shall be accorded.

Logging Hours

All students are encouraged to log their public service hours, even if they do not plan to pursue a Public Service Certificate. For students who wish to obtain the Public Service Certificate, the Public Service Certificate Form must be used to record hours. The form must specify the particulars of the public service for which recognition is sought, with documentation to demonstrate the time commitment has been met. Once 60 hours of public service have been recorded, students are to submit the Public Service Certificate Form to Assistant Dean Liz Battles for approval.

Download the Public Service Certificate Form.

Find more information about Drake Law School's Public Service Program.

Program Director:

Liz Battles, Assistant Dean for Academic Services

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