Director of Criminal Defense Clinic - Clinical Law Faculty - Law School

Drake University

Education-Teaching/Admin, Legal | Full Time | Onsite | Des Moines

Posted: 2/8/24

Job Description

Title: Director of Criminal Defense Clinic - Clinical Law Faculty - Law School - 999412

Position Number: 999412

Unit/Department: Legal Clinic

FTE: Full-time (12 month)

About Drake University Law School

Drake Law School combines a rich history with the latest technology and an innovative curriculum, including the nation’s only First-Year Trial Practicum. As the only law school in the capital city of Des Moines, Drake Law School provides a unique educational and practical learning experience through modern facilities, a top-ranked legal clinic, collegial faculty, and an exceptional relationship with the bench and bar.

Drake Law School was founded in Des Moines in 1865, which makes it one of the 25 oldest law schools in the country. The Law School was established by Iowa Supreme Court justices George Wright and Chester Cole, who aimed to teach law in proximity to the courts so students could witness the law in action.

From the very beginning, Drake Law School focused on real and practical experience. Today we continue to build on that tradition and provide opportunities for service, leadership, and the pursuit of rewarding careers.

Learn more about the Law School at:

About the Legal Clinic

Drake has long excelled in clinical education and is a pioneer in the area. Housed in the state-of-the-art Neal and Bea Smith Law Center, the Legal Clinic is an integral part of the Law School program and is supported by a multi-million-dollar endowment.

Learn more about the Legal Clinic at:

Position Summary:

Drake University Law School invites applicants from entry level and lateral candidates to join our collegial faculty and direct the Criminal Defense Clinic beginning in the 2024-25 academic year. The Criminal Defense Clinic is a pillar of our law school’s top-ranked Criminal Law program and has launched the careers of countless alumni who now serve as defenders, prosecutors, judges, and advocates across the state, region, and country. The Criminal Defense Clinic currently emphasizes representation of low-income clients in misdemeanor cases before the Polk County District Court. We encourage interested candidates to reimagine the reach and impact of this clinic, should the candidates so desire.

The Director’s duties include supervising and advising students in the direct representation of defendants in criminal law matters. Other responsibilities include: docket selection and clinic design, supervision and assessment, teaching a weekly skills development seminar for clinic students, engaging in community education, and directing system reform efforts. As an integrated member of the law school faculty, the Director will also participate in faculty governance and service.

The position begins July 1, 2024 and will be a twelve-month position. The faculty position can be tenure-track, tenured, or long-term contract depending on the candidate’s qualifications and preferences. Under either appointment rank, the faculty member will have faculty governance rights. Clinical faculty appointed on the tenure-track have a reduced scholarship requirement and the same rights and responsibilities of other full-time faculty, but with an emphasis on clinical teaching, professional competence and activity, research and creative work, and University and public service.


Candidates must possess a J.D. or comparable law degree and be admitted, or able to satisfy the requirements for admission, to the Iowa Bar. An exceptional academic record, distinguished record of clinical teaching or extensive practice-related experience, a demonstrated capacity for excellence in teaching, supervision and assessment, and service is preferred. At least three years of practice experience is required.

Salary & Benefits

The salary for these positions is competitive with peer schools and will be commensurate with qualifications and experience of the selected candidate.

At Drake, we are proud to offer our employees, their spouses, and eligible dependents a comprehensive benefits package, which includes a wide range of core benefits, perks, and discounts. If you are exploring a job with Drake University, we invite you to spend a little time with our digital benefits guide: Drake Benefits Guide (Plan Year 2024).

One of our very popular policies provides a tuition waiver for Drake employees, their spouses, and eligible dependents. Drake also participates in two tuition exchange programs available to dependent children. You can learn about both the tuition waiver policy and tuition exchange programs here: Tuition Benefits.

Special Instructions to Applicants:

Confidential review of applications will begin immediately with priority given to applications received by February 28th, 2024. The Faculty Appointments Committee will review applications made through the Drake University job board, accessible at

Please complete the online application and attach: (1) a letter of interest, (2) a complete CV, (3) teaching evaluations (if available), (4) a diversity statement, and (5) the names and addresses of at least three references.

Please do not attach additional documents at this time. Supplemental documents may be requested or required of finalists.

All job offers are contingent upon satisfactory completion of a background check, satisfactory reference checks, and proof of work authorization.

For questions about the position, please contact:
Professor Suzan M. Pritchett
Chair, Criminal Defense Search Committee
Drake University Law School

If you have questions about the application process, working at Drake University, or would benefit from an accommodation during the application process, we are happy to assist you. Contact Drake HR at

For faculty positions, selection will depend on the receipt of recommendation confirming the candidate's scholarly achievements and teaching abilities and/or on the candidate's satisfactory passing of a teaching demonstration if selected for an on-campus interview. For staff positions, selection will depend upon careful review of each applicant’s references, education, and, if applicable, experience.

About Drake:
Drake University is recognized as a top private university in the Midwest. Drake is a midsize university in Des Moines, Iowa, with an increasingly diverse student body. We are deeply committed to equity and inclusion and creating a sense of belonging for all members of the campus community—faculty, staff, and students alike. More than 900 faculty and staff are part of the Bulldog pack, a close-knit group of colleagues enthusiastic about preparing students to be global citizens and leaders, challenging assumptions. Drake University is not only an outstanding institution of higher learning, it is also a wonderful place to work. We are enthusiastically committed to welcoming new ideas and people into the fold, and to retaining and rewarding stellar employees.

All positions at Drake provide opportunities to contribute to Drake University’s core mission of creating an exceptional learning environment that prepares students of all backgrounds for meaningful lives and professional accomplishments.

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion at Drake:
At Drake University, we don’t just accept differences—we celebrate them, we support them, and we thrive on them for the benefit of our students, our employees, and our community. Drake University is proud to support an equal opportunity, diverse, inclusive, and welcoming workplace. In fact, the celebration of diversity and inclusion are embedded in our Core Values. Learn more about our DEI commitment and efforts here.

We welcome applicants of diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. If you are a member of a socially or historically underrepresented or marginalized group or you have actively demonstrated a commitment to diversity and inclusion, we strongly encourage you to apply. If you are a member of one of the equity groups identified by applicable law, we encourage you to self-identify, where requested in our online application system.

Drake University is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodations in its services, programs, activities, education, and employment for individuals with disabilities. If you would benefit from an accommodation at any point in the recruitment process (including using our online application process), please contact Drake Human Resources (ph: 515.271.3133; e: and let us know how we can assist you.

At Drake University, we highly value a diverse, inclusive workforce. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We stand firmly against discrimination including on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed, religion, age, disability, sex, pregnancy, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any characteristic protected by law.

Deadline to Apply 2/28/24


2507 University Avenue

Travel Required

Resume Required


Contact Person

Maureen De Armond

Deadline to Apply 2/28/24

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