Skip Sub Menu

Graduation Requirements

Students must complete certain requirements to be eligible to receive their JD degree.

To be eligible to receive the Juris Doctor degree from Drake Law School, a candidate must have completed the following requirements:

  • 90 semester hours for law credit within 84 months of entering law school (including a minimum of 69 semester hours in regularly scheduled class sessions)
  • Completed all required courses, including the advanced writing requirement and professional skills requirement
  • Cumulative grade point average of 2.25 on all law work attempted

See the Drake Law School Student Handbook for complete list of graduation requirements.

ADVANCED WRITING REQUIREMENT – Student Handbook Rule 2.2.2

All graduates must earn a minimum of 2 credits through completion of a writing requirement, in addition to the first-year research, writing, and appellate argument program.


Students must complete 6 credit hours of skills courses.

The following courses are designated skills courses:

Appellate Advocacy
Applied Immigration Law and Policy
Contract Drafting
Criminal Motions Practicum
Environmental Practice
Estate Planning  
Legislative Practice
Pretrial Advocacy
Trial Advocacy

All Clinics:
Children’s Rights Clinic I
Children's Rights Clinic II
Criminal Defense Clinic
Advanced Criminal Defense Clinic  
Entrepreneurial/Transactional Clinic
General Civil Practice Clinic
Advanced General Civil Practice Clinic
Refugee Clinic
Advanced Refugee Clinic
Wrongful Convictions Clinic
Advanced Wrongful Convictions Clinic

All Internships:
Administrative Law Internship
Advanced Prosecutor Internship
Advanced Polk County Prosecutor Internship
Athletic Compliance Internship
Children's Rights Center Internship
Disability Rights Iowa Internship
Environmental Law Internship
Ethics Internship
Farm Bureau Internship
Federal Public Defender Internship
Honors Judicial Internship
Independent Internship
Insurance Law Internship
Iowa Attorney General's Office Internship
Iowa Center for Children's Justice Internship
Iowa Civil Rights Commission Internship
Iowa Legal Aid Internship
Iowa Public Information Board Internship
Iowa Secretary of State Internship
Iowa Workers Compensation Internship
Judicial Internship
Juvenile Court Internship
Juvenile Law Appellate Internship
Juvenile Law Internship
Legislative Internship
Legislative Practice Internship
Polk County Prosecutor Internship
Prosecutor Internship
Public Defender Juvenile Practice Internship
Reintegration Advocacy Project Internship
Securities Law Internship
State Public Defender Appellate Internship
State Public Defender Internship
Supreme Court Administrative Internship
US Attorney's Office Internship
USDA Internship

Note: A student may not count one course towards both the skills requirement and the advanced writing requirement.


Drake Law School requires that each student successfully complete a course of study in residence of not fewer than 90 credit hours of instruction time, including a minimum of at least 69 credit hours of instruction time in regularly scheduled class sessions.

The following courses will not count toward the 69-credit hour "regularly scheduled class session" minimum, but will count toward the 90-credit hour graduation requirement:

  • Internships
  • Individual Research, Law 615
  • Iowa Supreme Court Scholar Research Opportunity, Law 201
  • Interdisciplinary and joint degree credit
  • Drake Law Review and Drake Journal of Agricultural Law
  • Moot court, mock trial and related competitions

INTERNSHIP/CLINIC RULE – Student Handbook Rule 2.2.3

Students may not credit more than 15 hours of internships and 15 hours of clinic classes, or a combination of clinic and internship classes totaling more than 18 hours, toward the 90 credits required for graduation.

DISTANCE EDUCATION RULE – Student Handbook Rule 2.8

Students may not receive credit for more than 15 credit hours toward the JD degree for courses qualifying as distance education. No more than 3 credits in distance education courses may be taken outside of Drake Law School. See handbook for additional limitations.


Students must submit a completed Graduation Checklist to Krista Magill in the Deans' Suite of Cartwright Hall prior to graduation. Students are also encouraged to use the checklist to monitor their graduation requirements as they progress through law school.

Note: This is a summary of graduation requirements. For a complete and binding explanation of the requirements, see the Drake Law School Student Handbook.

Law School Calendar 
Law School News