g he W ocket
Neal and Bea Smith Law Center/Drake Law School Legal Clinic November 2002, Vol. 1, Number 1
Lessons in law equal lessons in life
by Tim Gar rick
Student lawyers at student lawyers at Drake’s Legal her 11-year-old daughter,”
Drake’s Legal Clinic write briefs, argue and set- Julstrom remembers.
tle cases assigned to them as Julstrom was concerned about
Clinic learn more part of six different programs. the girl and worried about how
than how to prac- The legal education and faculty her client would react to the accu-
tice law. They supervision they receive have led sations.
learn the impact of to the Clinic being recognized as “It’s intense being in the court-
law. a leading national program. room during a situation like that,”
But few students are aware of she says. “I didn’t want to say or
LuAnn Julstrom received a tele- the non-legal issues they grapple do anything that would make
phone call at Drake’s Elder Law with when taking on these com- things worse.”
Clinic one afternoon informing her plex cases. Fortunately, she says, the girl
that she needed to be in court the “It’s hard to know that your part was escorted out of the court-
next day. is going to help, but it’s not going room, and her client said nothing.
Much to the third-year student’s to fix the problem,” Julstom says The woman’s attorney was suc-
surprise, her first case at the of her first case. cessful in calming her down
Clinic was going to be a hearing.
enough that the hearing could
And, although she felt prepared to
go before the judge, Julstrom had
As a result of the hearing,
no idea how she was going to
Julstrom’s client got all that she
help a family whose problems
asked for, “but she still has many
extended beyond the courtroom.
non-legal issues to deal with,”
The case involved a family dev-
says Julstrom. “The case had a
astated by Huntington’s disease,
lot of impact on the family. It gave
a genetic, degenerative brain ill-
them some relief.”
ness that strikes its victims midlife
The case affected Julstrom, too.
leaving them physically depend-
While she was happy to see
some good come out of it, she
The client, the proposed
was glad to leave it, she says.
guardian of her sister-in-law, who The problems seemed to esca- “This case brought home in a
suffers from the disease, and her late at the hearing. Everything very real way that, while Clinic is
11-year-old niece, sought counsel was going well, Julstrom says, a learning experience for me, the
from Julstrom. until she asked her client about impact on my clients is very life-
Julstrom felt helpless when she her plans to care for her sister-in-
met her client’s niece two weeks altering,” says Julstrom.
before the hearing. She had The Huntington’s patient In future cases, Julstrom says
stopped by the girl’s home to see refused going to a nursing home, she’ll be better prepared for simi-
how she was dealing with the but Julstrom’s client had found no lar situations.
case. home-care alternative. “I’ll explore a little more what is
“I saw this 11-year-old with a 50 “When it became clear that a likely to be the reaction in situa-
percent chance of getting a dis- nursing home was in the picture,” tions like this one, and how it will
ease that’s taking her mom from says Julstrom, “the proposed affect the family members,”
her,” Julstrom recalls, fighting ward pretty much lost control.” Julstrom says. “Next time, I’ll
back tears. “I got in my car and The woman became visibly expect just about anything.”
said a prayer for her that she upset and began making accusa-
wouldn’t get it.” tions against Julstrom’s client. Tim Garrick is a Drake University
senior majoring in journalism and
As part of their Clinical training, “She fell apart right in front of mass communication.
criminal defense program NEWS spotlight on BOB RIGG
The Trial Clinics The CDP Newsletter
The introductory Criminal The fall edition of the Criminal
Defense Clinic and Advanced Law Newsletter is being edited by
Criminal Defense Clinics are at third-year law students Korissa
full enrollment this fall. Newell and Lindsey Moore. Once
A total of 12 student-attorneys again, the Newsletter is a com-
are representing individuals who prehensive review of Iowa
are charged with simple, serious statutes and cases, as well as a
and aggravated misdemeanors. summation of United States
The Clinics have opened over Supreme Court Cases touching
100 files. The cases range from on criminal law issues.
minor thefts to a number of
Advocacy Education Robert R. Rigg is a visiting
felonies. Students second chair Associate Professor of Law and
felony cases. A significant number On Nov. 6 and 7, the Criminal Director of the Criminal Defense
of clients assigned through the Defense Program and the Iowa Program. He received his J.D.
State Public Defenders Office are Association of Criminal Defense from Drake Law School in 1978.
incarcerated and have multiple Lawyers hosted the Criminal
charges. Defense Advocacy Course. The Q. Why did you become a
The clinic is also representing two-day course explored the lawyer?
an individual who is charged with parameters of expert testimony. A. I grew up in a small farming
murder in the first degree. The Guest speakers included experts community in central Illinois and
case, State v. Travis Wolfkill is set in DNA, forensic psychiatry and was fascinated by Abraham
for trial on Nov. 12 at the Polk toxicology, and eyewitness identi- Lincoln. In particular, his person-
County Courthouse before the fication. al history and his career as an
Hon. Joel D. Novak. Following the first day of the attorney.
The case has already led to course, Des Moines attorney I went to law school not know-
several pretrial motions including John Sandre was presented the ing what type of law I wanted to
three motions to suppress, a John Adams Award for a career practice. After I saw a trial, I
motion to dismiss as well as dis- committed to excellence in repre- knew I wanted to be involved in
covery motions and a motion to senting individuals charged with litigation. I watched the impact of
retain an expert witness to review crimes. Judge Mark Bennett pre- law on people and wanted to
DNA evidence. The estimated trial sented the award. engage the practice at that level.
time is a week to 10 days.
technology UPDATE Q. Whom do you admire in your
The Appellate Clinic
profession and why?
Ron Bailey, a third-year stu- The Legal Clinic courtroom is A. The small firms and solo prac-
dent attorney, argued his first now one of the most technologi- titioners. I am constantly amazed
case before the Iowa Court of cally up-to-date courtrooms in the at the great work these lawyers
Appeals on Sept. 11, 2002. Bailey state. More user-friendly compo- accomplish without the accolades
represented Andre Jackson Jr., in nents and many unique presenta- and financial resources of large
appeal of his conviction for rob- tion options like touch-screen firms.
bery. monitors allowing complete court-
The case was assigned to room control from the judge’s Q. What’s the last book you
Bailey through the State Appellate bench and the lectern, have been read?
Defender Office and was super- installed. A. “The War of the Roses” by
vised by a member of their staff. An electronic component cart Alison Weir.
This is a continuation of a long has also been added to the
standing relationship between the lectern with an ELMO, a DVD Q. Who’s your favorite fictional
Criminal Defense Program and player, a touch-screen monitor legal character and why?
the State Appellate Defender and laptop connections. These A. I don't have a favorite fictional
Office allowing student attorneys upgrades will help law students legal character. I miss Bloom
to brief and argue cases before stay one step ahead with the County, a comic strip by Berke
the Iowa Supreme Court and advancing legal technology in the Breathed.
Court of Appeals. world outside of the law school.
MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR CLINICAL PROGRAM OVERVIEW
Recently, the Clinic staff and faculty had a much- Drake Law School’s clinical programs allow stu-
needed get-together to talk abut the various things dents to build valuable professional experience by
that were happening at the Clinic. applying classroom knowledge to work-world situa-
Afterwards, I realized how busy we have been. tions. Working with real clients with real legal prob-
So busy, in fact, that it is difficult for us to keep lems, students apply classroom theory to actual
track of all of the happenings that call the Clinic cases; sort through and analyze complex informa-
their home. tion; develop interviewing and other interpersonal
In an effort to better communicate to our alumni communication skills; research possible solutions;
and community partners about our goings-on, we develop advocacy strategies; negotiate and medi-
decided to kick off this--the inaugural edition of ate; and act in the best interests of their clients.
The Docket. We hope to be able to send you one Through clinic experiences, students discover
at least once a semester.
the benefits of assisting those who might not other-
With it, we intend to keep you in touch, let you
wise have access to legal assistance while becom-
know some of the exciting and new things happen-
ing at the Clinic and invite you to, in turn, stay in ing competent and self-confident professionals.
touch with us. Effective participation in a clinic program demon-
I hope you are as excited about all that is hap- strates to prospective employers that a student has
pening in the Clinic as much as we are. capably handled a variety of cases and will “hit the
ground running” when it comes to practicing law.
--Suzanne J. Levitt, Executive Director
middleton center for children’s rights NEWS
In 2001, the Drake Legal Clinic interdisciplinary. We are pleased to be able to
opened the doors of the Joan and Thus, the Legal Clinic teamed continue the unique work of the
Lyle Middleton Center for up with the Iowa School of Social Children’s Rights Center, with this
Children’s Rights, the newest of Work and Drake’s own School of unique interdisciplinary partner-
the clinic’s six clinical programs. Education to provide interdiscipl- ship.
The Center for Children’s inary advocacy teams for each A sincere thank you to those
Rights was made possible by the child the Center represents. who have, and continue to sup-
generous donation of $1 million The holistic approach provides port this work.
by Joan and Lyle Middleton, the child-client with multi-layered
alumni of the School of Education advocacy, and provided the stu- The Middleton Center for
and Drake Law School, respec- dent teams with different perspec- Children’s Rights filed an Amicus
tively. tives and skills of each other dis- Brief in the case of Planned
The mission of the Middleton ciplines. Parenthood v. Iowa District Court,
Center for Children’s Rights is This year, Joan and Lyle No. 02-1191.
three-fold: Middleton pledged $500,000 to The brief details a number of
provide direct representation of the School of Education for the objections to the issuance of a
children in the juvenile justice express purpose of assisting the prosecutor’s subpoena directing
system, while training students SOE in continuing the pioneering Planned Parenthood to surrender
how to effectively advocate for work being done in the Clinic’s the names and addresses of
them; Children’s Rights Center. patients who received pregnancy
provide training to practitioners The income from the endow- tests over a nine-month period of
in various disciplines about effec- ment gift will be used to partially time.
tive advocacy within the juvenile support the salary of one faculty In the brief, written primarily by
justice system; and member from the School of Professor Gregory C. Sisk, the
provide a resource center for Education so that he/she may Center urges the Iowa Supreme
child and family advocates in the continue to work with the Law Court to adopt a probable cause
community. School’s clinical program. standard before issuing a prose-
Importantly, the creators of the And, the Iowa School of Social cutor’s subpoena consistent with
Center for Children’s Rights rec- Work continues to coordinate the U.S. and Iowa Constitutions.
ognized that it would have the masters level social work candi-
most impact if its approach was dates to work with the Clinic.