I graduated from IOWA in '07. Overall, I had a very positive experience. Almost all of my friends who wanted to work in BIGlaw were able to earn a position in Chicago or Minneapolis, but all of them finished in the top 25% or so. I have friends who finished outside of the top 25% who are working at very decent firms, but they are not making $140k+ their first year out (closer to $90k, I imagine). The faculty is solid. It is tough to find anyone better than Hovenkamp in Anti-Trust, and Hillary Sale is outstanding in Corporation Law.
I know some people who went to UWisconsin and had similar experiences to my own at IOWA, but I am uncertain of their overall placement. If you can earn a Research Assistant (RA) position at IOWA you get in-state tuition after your first year, but RA positions are competitive.
Despite some of the rants on this board, I think IOWA and UWisconsin are solid options. In fact, I know lots of people at these schools who declined offers from schools ranked #8-#15 in order to get $ (myself included). Also, my girlfriend went to IOWA and works at a BIG law firm, and the people in her year went to Penn, Michigan, Wash U., Duke, UChicago, Virginia, and Northwestern.
I hope this helps...
It does, thank you for the help. How is the Career Services Office at Iowa? You mention that the more successful grads are the ones who put in the legwork themselves and don't rely on OCI, which I can understand. But does the CSO help you in directing your personal career endeavors, lead you in the right direction, give you contact information, show you different options, etc?
What would be your best advice to someone who is choosing between these two schools? What would you call to their attention about both schools, have them think about. Since you've been through the rigors of law school you have a different perspective than many posters here.
Thanks for your time