|Rankings and Top 100 Profiles 3rd and 4th Tier Profiles Dean Interviews Discuss Your School TLS Stats TLS Programs International Profiles Law School Articles|
Drake University School of Law
Published June 2010
Des Moines, Iowa
Nestled in the heart of Des Moines, Drake University School of Law is one of only two law schools in the state, alongside the University of Iowa at Iowa City. Though only ranked in the third tier by U.S. News and World Report, Drake can be a solid option for students interested in remaining in Iowa to practice law.
Admission and Tuition
Drake’s statistics can be somewhat misleading. The school’s admissions percentage is a rather high 53.3%: of the 1078 applicants, 575 were offered spots. Out of those 575, 150 decided to attend – making the matriculation rate a mere 26%, again an unimpressive number. However, when looking at the grades and scores of those attending, Drake’s star burns a little more brightly. For the full-time class The middle 50th percentiles for LSAT were 153-158; for GPA, 3.12-3.64. Both of these statistics make Drake one of the more competitive schools in the third tier.
Being a private school, Drake charges both Iowans and non-Iowans the same tuition rate: $31,186, as of 2009-2010. Though on the cheaper side for a private school, said tuition is certainly more than most students can afford to pay out of pocket. With a median grant aid-package of only $14, 035, Drake students leave school with an average debt of $85,905 – a daunting figure, especially since Drake offers no sort of loan repayment assistance program to assist graduates who secure low-paying jobs.
Like most of its tier three peers, the first year at Drake law is predetermined; students take the typical Contracts I&II, Civil Procedure I&II, Torts, Criminal Law, Property, Constitutional Law, and Legal Research and Writing courses. In addition, first year Drake students take (for no credit) a fall Introduction to Law and spring Trial Practicum course. After the first year, students enjoy a great deal of freedom: only Constitutional Law II, Evidence, and Legal ethics and professional responsibility are required. Drake offers a wide variety of courses, including clinics and internships.
From an outside perspective, Drake is seen as a quality institution: it’s 2.9/5 assessment by lawyers/judges ties with several other institutions as the second highest in the third tier, behind only Marquette. The Drake Law Review, the school’s flagship journal, has spent four as one of the top 30 in the country, based on the number of times courts have cited its articles. Drake offers its students the opportunity to earn, concurrent with their J.D, either an M.B.A. or M.P.A.
Quality of Life
Though hardly Manhattan, life in Des Moines is not nearly as dull as many seem to think. The greater metropolitan area boasts a population of a little over half a million, and the city’s residents enjoy opera houses, museums, theme parks, historical landmarks, and much more. Living in Des Moines is also inexpensive, a mere 80% of the national average. Housing (one of a law student’s greatest expenses, after school itself) is particularly affordable.
One potential drawback to life at Drake: the homogeneity of the student body. Though there is roughly an even split between men (~57%) and women (~43%), the school is nearly 74% white. The largest non-white group at the school, African-American, comprises a mere 6.4% of the enrolled. Also, only 1.5% of students are international. Though Drake remains committed to diversity (http://www.law.drake.edu/students/?pageID=diversity), these statistics are certainly something to keep in mind.
Drake is also one of the country’s smallest law schools, with a total enrollment of only 467 students. To some, the ideas of small classes and more personal interaction with professors (student-to-faculty ratio of 14.5) are appealing. However, others may have a hard time finding like-minded peers. The issue is truly one of personality and preference.
Life After Graduation
In this area, Drake greatly outstrips its tier three peers. With 100% of graduates reporting, 96.8 are employed within 9 months of graduation – a statistic rivaling many schools in the first tier. The great majority (70.3%) of graduates stay in Iowa and the surrounding states to begin their legal careers, though Drake places at least a few students in every region of the country. Being one of only two law schools in the state of Iowa has its advantages, especially when one considers that Forbes recently ranked Des Moines the seventh best place for businesses and careers.
Like most schools outside of the top tier, most Drake graduates find themselves working in the private sector: 51% for law firms, 20% for business/industry. A high 12% work for the government, and the school’s alumni regularly hold Iowa’s most prestigious offices. 6% of graduates end up working in public interest, again a large portion when compared to Drake’s peer schools. Academia and clerkships still remain elusive, however: 2% of grads practice in the former, and a mere 1.7% clerk for an article III federal judge.
Successful return on investment is never guaranteed, particularly when one drops to the third tier. Drake has its share of issues – the school is not particularly diverse and leaves graduates deep in debt. However, for one interested in living and practicing in Des Moines (or anywhere in Iowa), the school provides excellent job prospects, both in the private and public sector.
Mercer University Law School
Stetson University School of Law
Chapman University School of Law
Cleveland State University, Marshall College of Law
Creighton University School of Law
UNH School of Law
Quinnipiac University School of Law
The University of St. Thomas School of Law
University of Wyoming, College of Law
William Mitchell College of Law
Florida International University College of Law
Florida Coastal School of Law
CUNY School of Law
Campbell University School of Law
Barry University School of Law
Oklahoma City University School of Law
Regent University School of Law
South Texas College of Law
Touro College – Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center
Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law
The University of Dayton School of Law
University of the District of Columbia - David A. Clarke School of Law
University of Detroit Mercy School of Law
University of North Dakota School of Law
Mississippi College School of Law
John Marshall Law School (Chicago)
Albany Law School
Appalachian School of Law
Ave Maria School of Law
Southern University Law Center
Southwestern Law School
St. Mary's University School of Law
St. Thomas University School of Law
Texas Wesleyan University School of Law
Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Howard University Law School
Texas Tech Law School
New York Law School
The University of Missouri – Kansas City
Northern Kentucky University – Salmon P. Chase College of Law
California Western School of Law
Pace University School of Law
University of Memphis – Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law
University of Montana School of Law
North Carolina Central University
University of South Dakota School of Law
Thomas Cooley School of Law
New England Law | Boston
Drake University School of Law
University of Akron School of Law
Vermont Law School
University of Mississippi School of Law
Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
University of Toledo (OH)
Wayne State University Law School
University of Idaho College of Law
Gonzaga Law School
The University of Maine School of Law
Golden Gate Law School
Pacific McGeorge School of Law
University of San Francisco School of Law
St. Louis University School of Law
Seattle University School of Law
DePaul University College of Law
Hofstra Law School