COVID-19 Updates for Law School

Strategies for Online Learning

Academic Support Resources

Are you struggling with a class? Wondering if your notetaking or exam prep strategy is setting you up for success? Set up a virtual academic success meeting with Dean Lee Schneider by emailing Emily Fleming at

Strategy #1:
Introduce yourself to the Technology.  Spend some time in Blackboard before Monday’s classes.  Read each Professor’s memo about course delivery carefully and ask questions if you have any. 
Specifically, here are a few tips to master the technology: 
  • Use headphones.  The use of headphones will improve sound quality, decrease background noises for you and the other participants of the course or meeting. 
  • Mute your mic.  Many courses will be asynchronous and synchronous courses will likely be muted by your professor.  However, we expect that many interactions will be via online meeting platforms.  In those cases, muting your mic will decrease background noises for others.  
  • Download videos when possible.  This is particularly helpful if your internet is unreliable.  Once downloaded, a video is more likely to play without interruption. One student shared this tip: “I am home with my partner and kids and we are all using the internet. I’m going to download videos in the middle of the night so I can watch them during the day when they are all on the internet.” 
  • If you are experiencing technological challenges, please reach out to Dean Lee Schneider. 

Strategy #2:

Check your email, TWEN, and Blackboard regularly. Check your email at least twice a day.  Professors may also provide last minute instructions, so it may be helpful to check just before class.  Read every email coming from Drake, Drake Law, and your professors.    

Will your classes be synchronous, held at the same time online as they were regularly scheduled in the classroom, or will they be asynchronous, where material will be posted online for you to complete on your own schedule? Are there classes that will have to be made up because they were suspended during a transition period? If so, when and how will those classes take place? 

Strategy #3:

Plan Your Days.  Just because you are studying at home rather than at the law school doesn’t mean that you throw away your study schedule. To stay on track with what you need to learn and accomplish over the upcoming weeks, you must develop a study plan. But this isn’t something new – you already know how to do this. Things to consider when building a study plan: 

  • Hygiene: Shower, brush your teeth, put on the sort of clothes you would wear to class. You are more likely to feel like yourself if you start your day the same way as a normal day.
  • Class time.
  • Study time.
  • Time to reach out to your Professor to ask questions.
  • Exercise time.
  • Food preparation.
  • Plenty of breaks.  Online learning can sometimes be more self-directed and may be tiring.
  • Outside time.

Strategy #4:

Stay Engaged with Your Professors. Your professors are still among your most important resources in law school, and it’s important that you stay engaged with them. Come prepared to view or participate in classes. Fully participate in classes, discussions, and assignments.  Prioritize weekly review.  Consider using phone calls or conferencing technologies to interact with faculty. While email may be easy, you are eliminating an opportunity for contact and to engage in a deeper way with your professor and the material.  

Strategy #5:

Stay Engaged with Your Classmates. Your classmates can be your greatest resources and support system during law school, and remote learning has the potential to isolate you if you don’t take active steps to stay engaged. Continue to reach out and use your peer resources. 

Brainstorms ways to stay engaged with your friends or study group.  Use conferencing technology to have study sessions.  Use shared folders or Google Docs to collaborate on practice questions as allowed by course policies.   

Support each other, encourage each other, and as you find strategies that help you study effectively in the online environment, share those strategies with others. 

Strategy #6:

Prioritize your mental health.  This is a challenging and stressful time for all of us.  Take the time you need to process all that is happening around us.  Stay active, meditate, do activities that bring you joy and sleep.  Avoid things that may make you more stressed an anxious like social media, junk food, or alcohol. 

If you have concerns or just need to talk, please reach out to Dean Lee Schneider at 515-271-2948 or via EMAIL

Portions of this messaged used with permission of Susan Landrum, Law School Success, 6 Strategies for Successful Online Learning,  

Drake Law Students Blackboard Organization

There is a new organization in Blackboard that all Drake Law students have access to. It includes discussion forums that students can use 24/7 to connect with each other. There is a forum focused on mental health, along with mental health resources posted in the Content section. In the Content section you will also find an electronic suggestion box that allows you to leave anonymous comments. Instructions on how to access this organization can be found in the PDF below. 

Drake Law Women Emergency Fund- COVID-19 Response

Application for the Drake Law Women Emergency Fund

The Drake Law Women have set up an emergency fund to provide grants of up to $1,000 to assist students who have extraordinary expenses due to the pandemic. Students should apply via email to Terri Howard with the application attached to the email. (Note that the information requested has been narrowed and the process expedited to get funds to students as quickly as possible in this situation.  Checks will be mailed to those students who qualify.)

The COVID-19 Emergency Grants will be available to all students and December grads through February 2021.

CARES Act Grants

As we plan for possible pandemic disruption in the fall, we want every student to be prepared for a switch to remote learning, if that again becomes necessary.  Therefore, each student should have a computer with a camera/microphone, along with an adequate connection to the internet.  If you purchased or need to purchase technology to meet these requirements, the University may have funding under the CARES Act to assist you. 

Important Phone Numbers


  • Drake Public Safety: 515 -271-2222
  • Drake Student Health Center: 515-271-3731
  • Drake Law School: 515-271-2824
  • Dean Lee-Schneider: 515-271-2948


Mental Health

  • Broadlawns Crisis Line: Call 515-282-5752
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-Talk (8255)
  • Crisis Text line: Text HELLO to 741741
  • The TREVOR PROJECT, LGBTQ Crisis Support: Call 1-866-488-7386 or Text START to 678678



  • Iowa Methodist Medical Center
    1200 Pleasant Street                                         
    Des Moines, Iowa 50309
    PHONE: (515) 241-5437
  • Iowa Lutheran Hospital
    700 E. University Avenue
    Des Moines, Iowa 50316
    PHONE: (515) 241-6212
  • Broadlawns Medical Center
    1801 Hickman Road
    Des Moines, Iowa 50314
    PHONE: (515) 282-2200
  • Mercy Hospital Medical Center
    400 University Avenue
    Des Moines, Iowa 50314
    PHONE: (515) 247-3121

State of Iowa & City of Des Moines

Local & State Updates

Polk County updates are being posted on their website.

The Iowa Department of Public Health has a COVID-19 is posting all updates to their website.

Iowa Food Pantries

If you need assistance accessing food the Food Bank of Iowa has a map feature that allows you to find resources based on your zip code. The map can be found at

Free Resources

Racial Justice Guide

Karen Wallace, Circulation/Reference Librarian, has created a special LibGuide to provide resources for learning more about Racial Justice. This guide is intended to provide educational resources on racial injustice in the United States with the hope that by knowledgeably working together, we can create a more just world.   We encourage everyone who wants to educate themselves to check it out: 


Des Moines Public Library: The physical library might be closed but its online resources are available to the public. It has posted a guide to ebooks and audiobooks. If you don’t have a card don’t worry, they have instructions for signing up for a digital card.

Library of Congress: Everyday Mysteries: Did you ever wonder why a camel has a hump? If you can really tell the weather by listening to the chirp of a cricket? Or why our joints make popping sounds? These questions deal with everyday phenomena that we often take for granted, but each can be explained scientifically. All of the questions presented on this site were asked by researchers and answered by librarians. There is even an online form for you to submit your own question.

The Story Corps App: Story Corps is an oral history project. You can use their app to record your perspective on this time in history or anything else you want to document. They have tips on safely recording interviews while practicing social distancing.

Fitness, Sports & Wellness

Down Dog: The yoga app is offering free school membership to college students through July 1st.

Headspace: The mindfulness meditation app is offering a collection of meditation exercises for free.

NBA: The NBA is offering a free preview of NBA League Pass allowing you to watch all archived games.

Music, Film & Theater

The Art Assignment: This project is an educational video series that introduces you to innovative artists that present you with assignments.

Google Arts & Culture: So many museums offer virtual tours. Google Arts & Culture has put together a collection of them in one place.

The Metropolitan Opera: The Met has begun streaming free encore presentations of its Live in HD series.

Playbill: a monthly magazine focused on Broadway shows has created a list of some of the best filmed Broadway shows and where to find them.

SXSW Film Festival: The famous film festival is offering screenings of short films.

The Tribeca Film Festival: With the festival postponed indefinitely the famous film festival is streaming one short film from alumni filmmakers a day.

Virtual Concerts: NPR has a list of musicians that are performing virtual shows. The list will be updated until no longer needed. Most performances are free but will include digital tip jars. NPR has also taken it’s Tiny Desk Concert series remote. With artists filming performances from home. You can also watch all of the previously recorded sessions for free!


Iowa By Trail: The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation has an app that allows you to look up nature trails by zip code. Trails are still open in Iowa and as long as you practice social distancing getting outside and enjoying nature is encouraged!

eBird: Birds are migrating! eBird is a free app that allows you to contribute to citizen science and conservation efforts!

Decorah Eagles Live Cam: The Raptor Rescue Project is in its 10th year of documenting the lives of the Decorah Eagles. Other popular animal live cams can be found at the Vancouver Aquarium  and the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.

Google Arts & Culture: Google has put together virtual tours of five different national parks. You can explore Alaskan fjords and Hawaiian volcanoes from your home.


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