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Drake Law School: 150 Years of Preparing Students: Overview

Drake Law School


"Drake Law School traces its roots and purposes to 1865 and the vision and continuing work of two Justices of the Iowa Supreme Court. . .George Wright. . . [and] Chester Cole."

-- David S. Walker, Teaching and Learning Professionalism in the First Year with Some Thoughts on the Role of the Dean, 40 U. Tol. L. Rev. 421, 447 (2009).

The Iowa Law School, founded in Des Moines in 1865, was eventually transferred to Iowa City and affiliated with the University of Iowa. In 1875, the justices re-established a Des Moines law school, the Iowa College of Law, which affiliated with Drake in 1881. Read more in a brief historical sketch from 1906.

Use the tabs above to explore some of the reasons why Justice Cole felt so passionately that the law school should be located in Des Moines and to learn how Drake law students have been making a positive difference in their communities and for their clients for 150 years.

Guide Creation

This digital display, created by Karen Wallace, Circulation/Reference Librarian, Drake Law Library, celebrates the first 150 years of Drake Law School. Source materials came from the Drake Law School archives, the Drake University Archives and the Drake Digital Collections at Cowles Library, Drake University Communications, and Drake faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Thanks to all who assisted in the creation of this display. Although the display is complete, the Drake Law School archives continue to grow. If you have materials you would like to donate, please contact Prof. Wallace.

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