Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Choosing the Right Law School => Topic started by: iahurricane on March 24, 2009, 11:25:37 PM

Title: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: iahurricane on March 24, 2009, 11:25:37 PM
Their website shows graduates all over the US. I'm sure their top 25% get biglaw like any other tier 1 school. Does anyone know the rest of their class places nationally? They only rank top 12%, top 37%, and everyone else is unranked. Is this a good or bad thing when looking outside the midwest for employment?
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: CTL on March 25, 2009, 04:21:17 AM
Iowa is a regional school like every other tier 1 that isn't a T10.
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: ,.,.,.;.,.,. on March 25, 2009, 05:42:50 AM
Totally regional.  You would be making a mistake in going there unless you want to work in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, or Davenport.

US News is criminally misleading when it comes to this school.
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: Resident CLS Troll on March 25, 2009, 05:56:00 AM
Their website shows graduates all over the US. I'm sure their top 25% get biglaw like any other tier 1 school. Does anyone know the rest of their class places nationally? They only rank top 12%, top 37%, and everyone else is unranked. Is this a good or bad thing when looking outside the midwest for employment?

The top 25% of tier 1 schools get biglaw?  I guess it could depend on how you define tier 1 schools and how you define biglaw but in general, I'd say this is way off even during the boom times, let alone in the current economic situation.
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: ncbkr on March 25, 2009, 09:14:18 AM
I'm sure their top 25% get biglaw like any other tier 1 school.

Have you seen this link before? It gives you a break out of the top 100 schools ranked by the percentage of graduates at the top law firms. The data is from 2005, so the numbers may have changed slightly. http://www.law.com/pdf/nlj/20080414employment_trends.pdf

As for their grade reporting policy, it sounds great if you think that you will probably not do that well and would otherwise be near the bottom of the class.
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: Contract2008 on March 25, 2009, 10:06:54 AM
There only 14 true national schools and some might even argue that Georgetown is really not a national school.

There are three or four semi-national schools and Iowa is not one of them. 
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: Remarq on March 25, 2009, 10:14:56 AM
It's a regional school, but the region is big. You arent stuck in Iowa. Lots of Iowa grads work in MI, WI, MN, IL etc. Iowa will give you plenty of options in the Great Lakes and Midwest.
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: iahurricane on March 25, 2009, 10:28:54 AM
It's a regional school, but the region is big. You arent stuck in Iowa. Lots of Iowa grads work in MI, WI, MN, IL etc. Iowa will give you plenty of options in the Great Lakes and Midwest.

I hate the midwest... so I guess this chart is misleading? http://www.law.uiowa.edu/careers/stats-alumni.php (http://www.law.uiowa.edu/careers/stats-alumni.php)
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: CTL on March 25, 2009, 10:35:16 AM
It's a regional school, but the region is big. You arent stuck in Iowa. Lots of Iowa grads work in MI, WI, MN, IL etc. Iowa will give you plenty of options in the Great Lakes and Midwest.

I hate the midwest... so I guess this chart is misleading? http://www.law.uiowa.edu/careers/stats-alumni.php (http://www.law.uiowa.edu/careers/stats-alumni.php)

If anything, it's at least not very informative.  It's top category is just 70+.  All of those states, except Iowa, could have just 70 alumni practicing within its jurisdiction(which, with an alumni base of 9,000, could be as low as 0.78%). 

If they showed where they had significant percentages of its graduates, say 1-5%, 5-10%, 10-15%, etc., that would give you a lot more confidence that they place well nationally.  As far as I can tell, that chart is just a sad attempt to game people.
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: Remarq on March 25, 2009, 07:18:14 PM
It's a regional school, but the region is big. You arent stuck in Iowa. Lots of Iowa grads work in MI, WI, MN, IL etc. Iowa will give you plenty of options in the Great Lakes and Midwest.

I hate the midwest... so I guess this chart is misleading? http://www.law.uiowa.edu/careers/stats-alumni.php (http://www.law.uiowa.edu/careers/stats-alumni.php)

I don't think it's misleading, but it doesn't tell you a lot really. It doesn't take much for an old school with 9K alums to have 70 in a state. I think people should keep in mind that there is a lot of self selection at Iowa. Most Iowa people love Iowa. They got cheap in-state tuition so they don't need to get a big Chicago or Twin Cities job to survive.
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: Ninja1 on March 25, 2009, 10:06:14 PM
Lots of schools have a few alumni everywhere. FSU claims to have alumni in every state except South Dakota, for example.
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: SamE397 on March 26, 2009, 06:27:30 AM
According to ABA data only a third of the 2007 graduating class stayed in Iowa but FWIW Iowa was the biggest placement market and there was 7% unemployment. I wouldn't say it's crazy to go Iowa and aim to land to a job in say Chicago but if you're primarily interested in big markets outside of Iowa it's hard for me to see what Iowa would offer that would make it better than a school that's closer to or in one of those markets like Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, or IU Bloomington. 
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: likewise on March 26, 2009, 03:54:25 PM
According to ABA data only a third of the 2007 graduating class stayed in Iowa but FWIW Iowa was the biggest placement market and there was 7% unemployment. I wouldn't say it's crazy to go Iowa and aim to land to a job in Chicago but if you're primarily interested in big markets outside of Iowa it's hard for me to see what Iowa would offer that would make it better than a school that's closer to or in one of those markets like Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, or IU Bloomington. 


FWIW, Minneapolis / St. Paul and Bloomington are all further from Chicago than Iowa City.

Iowa is highly regarded in the Chicago market.
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: mmc on March 26, 2009, 05:39:45 PM
I'm an Iowa Law alum.  Some of my law school friends practice in Iowa - Des Moines, Quad-Cities, etc.  Some went to Phoenix, some to Minneapolis, some to Austin, some to DC, some to NYC, one was an assistant DA in Boston, and I'm in-house corporate counsel at a Fortune 500 company in Silicon Valley. 

While many stay in the midwest, some of us do escape.  (I'm actually fond of the midwest.)

The alumni notes give a sense of where some Iowa alum are now:  http://www.law.uiowa.edu/advocate/ISSUES/volume-47/summer-08/pdfs/alumni-news.pdf
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: vap on March 26, 2009, 07:26:36 PM
Iowa is not a national school because, if you don't have stellar grades, you must have ties to an area outside the Midwest to get a job in that area.

For example, you could go to a top 10 school and probably get a job in any major market without prior connections to that market and without stellar grades.

The same can not be said for Iowa nor any other generic tier 1 school.
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: SamE397 on March 27, 2009, 10:09:25 AM
According to ABA data only a third of the 2007 graduating class stayed in Iowa but FWIW Iowa was the biggest placement market and there was 7% unemployment. I wouldn't say it's crazy to go Iowa and aim to land to a job in Chicago but if you're primarily interested in big markets outside of Iowa it's hard for me to see what Iowa would offer that would make it better than a school that's closer to or in one of those markets like Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, or IU Bloomington. 


FWIW, Minneapolis / St. Paul and Bloomington are all further from Chicago than Iowa City.

Iowa is highly regarded in the Chicago market.
The Bloomington comparison was a mistake and I was thinking of Minneapolis/St. Paul as also being a larger market in the context of my statements. Granted it's not Chicago but it's not Des Moines either.

I'm sure Iowa's a solid school but if your target is to be in  a big firm it's hard for me to see what it offers that would make it better than most other similarly ranked schools. IMO the major benefit from a career prospective of going to Iowa would be that it would give you better positioning in Iowa. On the other side there are of course other issues that are not strictly speaking career related such as debt that should factor into where one chooses to go to school.

I guess what I felt like I was hearing from the original poster and the question being asked was basically that he liked university of Iowa but didn't want to stay in Iowa after graduation. If that's the case money aside I say why not just go somewhere else where you would be more happy staying after graduation? 

I'm sure it's possible to go to Iowa and land a job outside of Iowa but that shouldn't be the question the question should be how does one school stack up versus another in terms of helping someone achieve goals. 
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: iahurricane on March 27, 2009, 05:44:51 PM
According to ABA data only a third of the 2007 graduating class stayed in Iowa but FWIW Iowa was the biggest placement market and there was 7% unemployment. I wouldn't say it's crazy to go Iowa and aim to land to a job in Chicago but if you're primarily interested in big markets outside of Iowa it's hard for me to see what Iowa would offer that would make it better than a school that's closer to or in one of those markets like Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, or IU Bloomington. 


FWIW, Minneapolis / St. Paul and Bloomington are all further from Chicago than Iowa City.

Iowa is highly regarded in the Chicago market.
The Bloomington comparison was a mistake and I was thinking of Minneapolis/St. Paul as also being a larger market in the context of my statements. Granted it's not Chicago but it's not Des Moines either.

I'm sure Iowa's a solid school but if your target is to be in  a big firm it's hard for me to see what it offers that would make it better than most other similarly ranked schools. IMO the major benefit from a career prospective of going to Iowa would be that it would give you better positioning in Iowa. On the other side there are of course other issues that are not strictly speaking career related such as debt that should factor into where one chooses to go to school.

I guess what I felt like I was hearing from the original poster and the question being asked was basically that he liked university of Iowa but didn't want to stay in Iowa after graduation. If that's the case money aside I say why not just go somewhere else where you would be more happy staying after graduation? 

I'm sure it's possible to go to Iowa and land a job outside of Iowa but that shouldn't be the question the question should be how does one school stack up versus another in terms of helping someone achieve goals. 

Well, the main reason I am interested in Iowa was because it is ranked the highest by far out of the 3  schools I applied to (SMU and Houston are the other). I also get instate tuition for Iowa.

From the searches I've done on this board it seems like tey do have some alumni that go to places like Phoenix, Miami, and Las Vegas- all 3 places I wouldn't mind practiing. However, if these placements require being near the top of the class, I would probably go to a Texas school instead. I would be satisfied if I finished in he middle of the class and practiced in a midsized firm in Texas. I would not be satisfied if I graduated in the middle of the class at Iowa and had to stay in the midwest. So my main question I guess was whether or not the middle of Iowa's class had mobility outside the midwest.
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: Bosox on March 28, 2009, 08:39:36 AM
Don't go to Iowa unless you want to work in Iowa.  You are not going to get BigLaw fro Iowa.  You should try to get into BC GW or ND if you can.  Iowa does not have the placement that these similarly ranked schools have.
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: nealric on March 28, 2009, 10:25:06 AM
Quote
There only 14 true national schools and some might even argue that Georgetown is really not a national school.

You can carp all you want about the placement at GULC as compared to the rest of the T14, but it is most certainly a national school in the sense that it allows for placement anywhere in the country. It is more national than Cornell (which sends a huge percentage of grads to New York).
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: CTL on March 28, 2009, 10:38:41 AM
Quote
There only 14 true national schools and some might even argue that Georgetown is really not a national school.

You can carp all you want about the placement at GULC as compared to the rest of the T14, but it is most certainly a national school in the sense that it allows for placement anywhere in the country. It is more national than Cornell (which sends a huge percentage of grads to New York).

They are both national.  I don't think one is MORE national than another.  You're either national, or you're not, if having national reach means '[allowing] for placement anywhere in the country'.  It's not fair to say Georgetown or Cornell are MORE national than one another.  And yea, GULC is without a doubt a national school.  Anyone who says that it isn't is seriously misinformed.
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: SamE397 on March 28, 2009, 04:40:23 PM
According to ABA data only a third of the 2007 graduating class stayed in Iowa but FWIW Iowa was the biggest placement market and there was 7% unemployment. I wouldn't say it's crazy to go Iowa and aim to land to a job in Chicago but if you're primarily interested in big markets outside of Iowa it's hard for me to see what Iowa would offer that would make it better than a school that's closer to or in one of those markets like Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, or IU Bloomington. 


FWIW, Minneapolis / St. Paul and Bloomington are all further from Chicago than Iowa City.

Iowa is highly regarded in the Chicago market.
The Bloomington comparison was a mistake and I was thinking of Minneapolis/St. Paul as also being a larger market in the context of my statements. Granted it's not Chicago but it's not Des Moines either.

I'm sure Iowa's a solid school but if your target is to be in  a big firm it's hard for me to see what it offers that would make it better than most other similarly ranked schools. IMO the major benefit from a career prospective of going to Iowa would be that it would give you better positioning in Iowa. On the other side there are of course other issues that are not strictly speaking career related such as debt that should factor into where one chooses to go to school.

I guess what I felt like I was hearing from the original poster and the question being asked was basically that he liked university of Iowa but didn't want to stay in Iowa after graduation. If that's the case money aside I say why not just go somewhere else where you would be more happy staying after graduation? 

I'm sure it's possible to go to Iowa and land a job outside of Iowa but that shouldn't be the question the question should be how does one school stack up versus another in terms of helping someone achieve goals. 

Well, the main reason I am interested in Iowa was because it is ranked the highest by far out of the 3  schools I applied to (SMU and Houston are the other). I also get instate tuition for Iowa.

From the searches I've done on this board it seems like tey do have some alumni that go to places like Phoenix, Miami, and Las Vegas- all 3 places I wouldn't mind practiing. However, if these placements require being near the top of the class, I would probably go to a Texas school instead. I would be satisfied if I finished in he middle of the class and practiced in a midsized firm in Texas. I would not be satisfied if I graduated in the middle of the class at Iowa and had to stay in the midwest. So my main question I guess was whether or not the middle of Iowa's class had mobility outside the midwest.
Yeah that is a tuff decision. Personally I would lean towards SMU because it seems to be the safer option but the difference in tuition is pretty large and Iowa may open more opprotunities if you're near the top of your class.





FWIW this site tracks where alums end up it shows Iowa no surprise as having the biggest university of Iowa alumni network but it also shows California as a surprisingly strong second and a spattering of Iowa grads in most major markets. I'm not sure where the data comes from but I'm pretty sure it's incomplete.

 http://www.avvo.com/stats/school_detail/university-of-iowa-college-of-law-625
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: Bosox on March 29, 2009, 09:25:53 AM
Outside of the T14, there are probably only three "national" schools, and even these are more regional:

GW
ND
BC
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: Contract2008 on March 29, 2009, 11:52:36 AM
Outside of the T14, there are probably only three "national" schools, and even these are more regional:

GW
ND
BC

You've included GW and BC, but not Vandy and UCLA? 
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: iahurricane on March 30, 2009, 10:19:56 AM
I'm an Iowa Law alum.  Some of my law school friends practice in Iowa - Des Moines, Quad-Cities, etc.  Some went to Phoenix, some to Minneapolis, some to Austin, some to DC, some to NYC, one was an assistant DA in Boston, and I'm in-house corporate counsel at a Fortune 500 company in Silicon Valley. 

While many stay in the midwest, some of us do escape.  (I'm actually fond of the midwest.)

The alumni notes give a sense of where some Iowa alum are now:  http://www.law.uiowa.edu/advocate/ISSUES/volume-47/summer-08/pdfs/alumni-news.pdf

Do you know how your friends working outside of the midwest placed in their class?
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: clark on April 28, 2009, 05:46:15 PM
According to ABA data only a third of the 2007 graduating class stayed in Iowa but FWIW Iowa was the biggest placement market and there was 7% unemployment. I wouldn't say it's crazy to go Iowa and aim to land to a job in Chicago but if you're primarily interested in big markets outside of Iowa it's hard for me to see what Iowa would offer that would make it better than a school that's closer to or in one of those markets like Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, or IU Bloomington. 


FWIW, Minneapolis / St. Paul and Bloomington are all further from Chicago than Iowa City.

Iowa is highly regarded in the Chicago market.
The Bloomington comparison was a mistake and I was thinking of Minneapolis/St. Paul as also being a larger market in the context of my statements. Granted it's not Chicago but it's not Des Moines either.

I'm sure Iowa's a solid school but if your target is to be in  a big firm it's hard for me to see what it offers that would make it better than most other similarly ranked schools. IMO the major benefit from a career prospective of going to Iowa would be that it would give you better positioning in Iowa. On the other side there are of course other issues that are not strictly speaking career related such as debt that should factor into where one chooses to go to school.

I guess what I felt like I was hearing from the original poster and the question being asked was basically that he liked university of Iowa but didn't want to stay in Iowa after graduation. If that's the case money aside I say why not just go somewhere else where you would be more happy staying after graduation? 

I'm sure it's possible to go to Iowa and land a job outside of Iowa but that shouldn't be the question the question should be how does one school stack up versus another in terms of helping someone achieve goals. 

***disclaimer*** I'm an Iowan, chose not to go to UI, and am a 1L at an east coast school.

Graduating in the middle of the class at Iowa will NOT get you into Biglaw (NLJ 250).  In fact, even graduating at the top of the class and being on the law review is no guarantee of Biglaw at UI.  Iowa places extremely well in Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, and Davenport.  Honestly, Drake places better in DSM.  However, with a little networking you'll be able to get to Minneapolis, Chicago, or KC without too much problem.

So...if you really want to get Biglaw, consider this.  [My advice depends entirely on where your GPA/LSAT lie, b/c Iowa is much, much easier to get into than other schools nearby in the rankings.]

- If you have 164-165 on the LSAT you'll probably have the option of a BU/BC/GW type school.  In a good economy [**cough cough**] they WILL get you Biglaw.  However, you're probably going to have to borrow $180K, or have a trust fund.  You aren't going to get a scholarship.  Keep in mind that Biglaw for 95% of people lasts for 5-6 years.  It's needed to pay off the loans, but most don't make partner and are "managed out."

- If you don't have the LSAT to get a a scholarship... VERY IMPORTANT....The odds of you making Biglaw from Iowa DO NOT justify borrowing the full price of tuition and costs.  Avoid doing this for your own good.  Most Iowa grads make less than half of the $160K NY Biglaw starting salary.  You're better off taking a scholarship from Drake.

- If you don't think you have the stomach for Biglaw and are in-state (or have a scholarship), go to Iowa.  It's an excellent education, and there is little risk w/in-state tuition.  Most lawyers make less than $100K.  DO NOT borrow $150K if you aren't a good candidate for Biglaw.
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: Ninja1 on April 28, 2009, 10:25:53 PM
Not sure if anyone has bothered to point this out yet, but perhaps Iowa's good national reach is due in part to their high ranking that causes people to go there and then bail back home (or wherever) when they realize they don't want to live in Iowa until they die.
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: iahurricane on April 28, 2009, 11:58:11 PM
Thanks guys, I've already chosen SMU over Iowa during the April 1st deposit.
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: LawDog3 on April 30, 2009, 11:04:29 PM
Not sure if anyone has bothered to point this out yet, but perhaps Iowa's good national reach is due in part to their high ranking that causes people to go there and then bail back home (or wherever) when they realize they don't want to live in Iowa until they die.

 +1 That happens at other schools, too.
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: Ninja1 on May 01, 2009, 03:59:40 PM
Not sure if anyone has bothered to point this out yet, but perhaps Iowa's good national reach is due in part to their high ranking that causes people to go there and then bail back home (or wherever) when they realize they don't want to live in Iowa until they die.

 +1 That happens at other schools, too.

Right, but I feel like Iowa's relatively high ranking, low admissions requirements given their ranking, and the nature of the state of Iowa sort of form a perfect storm to attract a ton of people from all over the country that then spend 3 years in Iowa and realize why it is that Iowa doesn't attract more people with higher numbers, causing them to flee pretty much anywhere else that doesn't have "Dakota", "Iowa", or "Wyoming" in its name.
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: Ninja1 on May 02, 2009, 01:41:16 AM
Dude, screw you.  You're a good poster, but Iowa is a great f-ing state and I love it.  Some of the best times of my life were spent in Cedar Rapids, knocking down brew-skis with local yahoos from the Quaker Oats factory.

I like Iowa as well. But I also like The South, Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming, and I hate most of the Northeast and California. I don't pretend that most people share my outlook on things. ;)
Title: Re: Is Iowa a national or regional school?
Post by: LawDog3 on May 05, 2009, 06:11:30 PM
Whether you like Iowa or not depends on style and choice. So everyone's perceptions of quality of life are "correct".

As far as whether Iowa is national, that's a tricky question that depends on definition. Some people define it by a school's applicant pool. Three other groups might be career placement related to 1) BigLaw firms, 2) clerkships, or 3) geographical placement, in combination with at least one of the former.

Still, a fifth group might say it's defined by "reputation", which gets muddied by the reputations of the universities and colleges overall, their research and scholarly writings, histories, and public perception, which make things more difficult to assess.

I think all five could be correct, but the debate begins and ends with how much weight to give to the five metrics.

A school like Cornell may look "national" when putting reputation first, followed by applicant pool, but how national is it when considering that most Cornell grads stay in the northeast?

The Cali-4 are also great examples of this dynamic b/c people don't generally want to leave Cali. Is that to say that Vanderbilt is more "national" than Stanford or Berkeley? According to geographic placement, it might be. But in terms of reputation, the story changes.

I had this conversation with some Tulane thread posters. Tulane and WUSTL which are somewhat like Iowa in that few people actually want to stay in those respective markets after graduation. The real question is: "What defines 'national'?"