Iowa v. Drake

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
citrus2010

New
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:03 pm

Iowa v. Drake

Postby citrus2010 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:51 am

Most would call this a NO-BRAINER, but I would like some opinions.

Iowa has a lot of problems lately (no money, bailing faculty, and what's with the dean?). I admittedly know none of these facts for myself. They are the concerns I've found through my research.

Drake, on the other hand, has a very competent faculty with prestigious names behind them. They do not have the money problems. They have a solid dean. AND they are in Des Moines which puts them smack dab in the middle of the action.

Drake will mean a lot less debt given my scholarship also.

I want to stay in the midwest to practice. And I've lived in Iowa for 5 years so I'm sold on the quality of life.

So, pros and cons? I'm not entirely convinced the schools are as far apart as the rankings suggest.

User avatar
RickyRoe

Bronze
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:53 pm

Re: Iowa v. Drake

Postby RickyRoe » Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:59 am

citrus2010 wrote:Most would call this a NO-BRAINER, but I would like some opinions.

Iowa has a lot of problems lately (no money, bailing faculty, and what's with the dean?). I admittedly know none of these facts for myself. They are the concerns I've found through my research.

Drake, on the other hand, has a very competent faculty with prestigious names behind them. They do not have the money problems. They have a solid dean. AND they are in Des Moines which puts them smack dab in the middle of the action.

Drake will mean a lot less debt given my scholarship also.

I want to stay in the midwest to practice. And I've lived in Iowa for 5 years so I'm sold on the quality of life.

So, pros and cons? I'm not entirely convinced the schools are as far apart as the rankings suggest.


I was actually just talking with my dad who lives in Iowa. He was trying to push Drake on me even though he said it was the school his frat brothers went to when they couldnt get into Iowa. Costs being equal going to Iowa is a no-brainer. However, if you want to stay in Iowa and Drake offers you a full scholarship you might consider it.

Is Iowa expected to start dropping in the rankings? I know they took a huge financial hit after the floods a few years back, but they are still ranked pretty high. I havent heard much about their faculty or dean. Could they take a nose dive into the 30's or even low 40's next year?

citrus2010

New
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:03 pm

Re: Iowa v. Drake

Postby citrus2010 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:05 am

I don't know how solid their ranking is, but they lost four of their great faculty last year and can't recruit any fresh talent. Becoming stagnant in a down market isn't going to help them. I agree though, that they are still a great option.

Drake isn't a full-ride, but it's enough to make me think twice. Drake places well from everyone I've talked to in Iowa.

User avatar
evilxs

Bronze
Posts: 389
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:21 pm

Re: Iowa v. Drake

Postby evilxs » Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:45 am

I would like to weigh in since I am in the exact same boat. I chose Drake. They don't know it yet, but I am going to place a seat deposit with them. The reason why I chose them is because in Des Moines they are a very respected law school and the only one in town. If you want a judicial clerkship geez you have everything you could dream of here in town. And you're likely to get it too.

Every few months a post comes up about regional law schools who are not high ranked but who are very respected in their market and Drake always comes up.

I visited both Iowa and Drake. Drake gave me more money and I really, really liked the first year trial practicum. They are the only university in the nation that does that and one of only four constitutional law programs established by congress.

I went to the admitted students day and really liked the faculty I spoke with and the environment. I also liked their approach to financial aid. If you have a very high class standing you are likely to get more merit scholarship awarded to you for 2L, 3L. Most offers I got were concrete for all three years of school with the minimum gpa requirement or class standing. No mention of the ability to be automatically considered for more.

Iowa I felt like was in a regional environment that had an awful lot of students for the number of jobs available over there. More like a college town atmosphere. In Des Moines Iowa students do not have an edge over Drake students as far as job placement. In other parts of the state especially heading towards Chicago or Minneapolis they do have an edge.

Eazy E

New
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:24 am

Re: Iowa v. Drake

Postby Eazy E » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:33 am

I'm an Iowan, and it seems like the top students at Drake do well in Des Moines and around the state. Iowa's advantage seems to be that it's *supposedly* portable to Chicago and Minneapolis, but I think that's only true for the real gunners (law review, moot court, etc).

If you want to stay in Iowa, Drake is a fine option.

citrus2010

New
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:03 pm

Re: Iowa v. Drake

Postby citrus2010 » Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:15 pm

And gunners at Drake have little chance of a *portable* degree?

User avatar
evilxs

Bronze
Posts: 389
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:21 pm

Re: Iowa v. Drake

Postby evilxs » Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:36 pm

It is just the truth to say that a Drake degree just will not commandeer the amount of respect it does here in the mid-west. I think portability ends at Omaha, Kansas City, Moline, Minneapolis. Thats just my opinion and I live in Iowa as well.

Connect the dots on those cities and the square is great job prospects and outside of the square will be some Drake who? I left out Chicago because that market is so saturated with lawyers from all of the law schools there that a Drake grad would have a tougher time than an in town TTT.

Bottom line, if you're going to live in Iowa I think Drake is a great place to be. Very under-ranked for the education they provide. If you know you are not going to practice in the midwest I would think long and hard about going to ANY Iowa school.

To specifically address the "gunners". A top of the class student, who has performed well in moot court, done the law reviews etc etc probably has really similar odds in state. They just do. In a market like Chicago or Minneapolis Iowa is going to pull advantage over Drake but neither are as competitive as degrees from the local law schools.

The midwest really tends to be loyal to their local schools more so than other regions of the country.

Have you visited both schools? What did you think? I've been to both, and also gone to an admitted students day for Drake. I could share my insights, but this is such a personal decision. You know what you're looking for. I will agree with everything you brought up about Iowa. My honest opinion is that they are a grossly over-ranked school. They've had faculty problems lately and the natives are restless. I know a few 1L's from online who regret going to Iowa. Iowa has A LOT fewer opportunities for summer internships and clerkships doing what you want to do. Drake is luckily in the capitol and that just has a ton of opportunities. If you need a tier 1 school to land the job you want or will be leaving Iowa and getting a job in another state then take advantage of Iowa's tier 1 status. If not, the debt and learning environment just weren't for me.

Where are you at in the state/? If you're over near council bluffs have you thought of Creighton?

lsatbdog

New
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:50 pm

Re: Iowa v. Drake

Postby lsatbdog » Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:48 pm

citrus2010 wrote:Most would call this a NO-BRAINER, but I would like some opinions.

Iowa has a lot of problems lately (no money, bailing faculty, and what's with the dean?). I admittedly know none of these facts for myself. They are the concerns I've found through my research.

Drake, on the other hand, has a very competent faculty with prestigious names behind them. They do not have the money problems. They have a solid dean. AND they are in Des Moines which puts them smack dab in the middle of the action.

Drake will mean a lot less debt given my scholarship also.


So, pros and cons? I'm not entirely convinced the schools are as far apart as the rankings suggest.



Edit: PM'd

Eazy E

New
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:24 am

Re: Iowa v. Drake

Postby Eazy E » Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:59 pm

citrus2010 wrote:And gunners at Drake have little chance of a *portable* degree?


That's what I would think, but that's just my observation. A Drake degree itself just isn't going to impress employers outside the state, but a sparkling resume plus a Drake degree may give you more options. I think the consensus is that, for the state of Iowa, a Drake degree will serve you well. Outside of Iowa, you'd be better off going to a school in the region you want to work in.

And my opinion may be skewed in that I tend to think Iowa = Des Moines. I'm from Des Moines and don't know much about the areas that border Minnesota, Missouri, etc. For those areas, you may be better off with St. Thomas, Mizzou, etc.

FWIW, whenever I tell someone here I'm going to law school (lawyers included), they tend to go, "Oh, Drake, huh?" as if it were a foregone conclusions. People around here think quite highly of it, probably because most of the legal professions they know personally have a Drake background.

Tuski

New
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:07 pm

Re: Iowa v. Drake

Postby Tuski » Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:06 pm

Eazy E wrote:FWIW, whenever I tell someone here I'm going to law school (lawyers included), they tend to go, "Oh, Drake, huh?" as if it were a foregone conclusions. People around here think quite highly of it, probably because most of the legal professions they know personally have a Drake background.


Yep, I get this too. In fact, one of my LOR writers (from work) actually wrote the whole letter referencing Drake specifically, because she assumed that's where I was going/applying. Luckily, she mentioned it to me before she mailed it off, and I was able to have her fix it. :shock:

Eggs

New
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2018 3:50 pm

Re: Iowa v. Drake

Postby Eggs » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:36 am

So, how did things work out for you guys? As someone making a similar decision right now, I'd like to see how viewpoints have changed over 8 years

RedPurpleBlue

Silver
Posts: 537
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:41 pm

Re: Iowa v. Drake

Postby RedPurpleBlue » Sat Dec 29, 2018 1:40 pm

Eggs wrote:So, how did things work out for you guys? As someone making a similar decision right now, I'd like to see how viewpoints have changed over 8 years


Iowa: 7.3% (unemployed) + 7.3% (Part-time/short-term) + 6.6% business = 21.2% not practicing 9 months after graduation
Drake: 13.7% (unemployed) + 8.4% (Part-time/short-term) + 11.6% business = 33.7% not practicing 9 months after graduation

All provided by Law School Transparency. This paints a pretty clear picture. If you want to look at upside, the picture is just as clear.

Iowa: 6.6% federal clerkships + 12.4% at firms of 101+ lawyers = 19.0% in highly desirable positions
Drake: 1.1% federal clerkships + 3.2% at firms of 101+ lawyers = 4.3% in highly desirable positions

Eggs

New
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2018 3:50 pm

Re: Iowa v. Drake

Postby Eggs » Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:44 pm

RedPurpleBlue wrote:
Eggs wrote:So, how did things work out for you guys? As someone making a similar decision right now, I'd like to see how viewpoints have changed over 8 years


Iowa: 7.3% (unemployed) + 7.3% (Part-time/short-term) + 6.6% business = 21.2% not practicing 9 months after graduation
Drake: 13.7% (unemployed) + 8.4% (Part-time/short-term) + 11.6% business = 33.7% not practicing 9 months after graduation

All provided by Law School Transparency. This paints a pretty clear picture. If you want to look at upside, the picture is just as clear.

Iowa: 6.6% federal clerkships + 12.4% at firms of 101+ lawyers = 19.0% in highly desirable positions
Drake: 1.1% federal clerkships + 3.2% at firms of 101+ lawyers = 4.3% in highly desirable positions

I understand what the numbers are. There’s a reason Iowa ranks higher. Obviously the clerkship numbers reflect that. I was looking for anecdotes from their experiences. How did the schools end up competing in Des Moines (the focus of the conversation). What luck did they have with summer internships (and where did Iowa students go for those). I have a suspicion Iowa’s large firm numbers are boosted by grads working in Minneapolis and Chicago, so the competition levels for getting a desirable jobs in Des Moines is an intriguing thing.

User avatar
UVA2B

Gold
Posts: 3508
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: Iowa v. Drake

Postby UVA2B » Sat Dec 29, 2018 5:03 pm

That's mostly wishful thinking, stop doing this to yourself.

You want an anecdote, the least reliable piece of data to base your research on. Do you expect that single anecdote to really answer all of your questions with anything beyond, you guessed it, anecdotal, information?

Depending on your goal in Iowa, Drake might be fine. But don't try to wish away the difference between the two by surmising Iowa grads are flocking to Minneapolis and Chicago (there will be one or two, but those numbers are statistically insignificant).

If this person, almost a decade later, came back and answered your questions, they would still only provide a single perspective from one Iowa/Drake graduate, which shouldn't be helpful for a prospective student, because anecdotes are the bastard children of statistics. Even if it's a similar decision you're hoping to make now, you can't rely on a single data point to confirm/deny your assumptions in the differences between the two schools.

If you want the best shot at a good outcome in Iowa, go to Iowa, plain and simple. If you want to convince yourself that Drake is just as good, go ahead and do that. No single perspective on that, positively or negatively, should change what you ultimately want to believe here, since the actual data is unpersuasive to you.

Eggs

New
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2018 3:50 pm

Re: Iowa v. Drake

Postby Eggs » Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:23 pm

I’m not an idiot. I’m able to look at LST and read statistics. However, I believe it is useful to acquire various methods of information. So, I won’t feel bad about asking around to people who have relevant experience. Is it 100% what my decision is based on? No, but it is a source.

Npret

Gold
Posts: 1802
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:42 am

Re: Iowa v. Drake

Postby Npret » Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:03 pm

Eggs wrote:I’m not an idiot. I’m able to look at LST and read statistics. However, I believe it is useful to acquire various methods of information. So, I won’t feel bad about asking around to people who have relevant experience. Is it 100% what my decision is based on? No, but it is a source.

I mean you can do this research yourself by going to websites and finding the recent grads.

My next advice you don’t want to hear is locking yourself into certain firms in a small market is risky. You have to expect you may not get that job. What will you do then?

You should go to the job with the best employment prospects so you are more likely to get a job.

Anonguy715

New
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:59 pm

Re: Iowa v. Drake

Postby Anonguy715 » Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:42 pm

I'll give a perspective from someone who went to Iowa and graduated a few years ago. There's quite a big gap between Drake and Iowa, even in the state of Iowa. Drake can compete with Iowa in Des Moines, but the competition is between the top Drake students and median/a bit above median Iowa students. The Iowa students who finish top 33% and above mostly end up in a larger market. An Iowa student that's like top 33% with LR is going to get the job they want in DSM, regardless of what Drake student interviews for it. The reality of the situation is just that few of Iowa's top students want those jobs. With that being said, Drake used to wait for Iowa to schedule its OCI and then purposely schedule its own OCI a week or two before, to ensure that firms in DSM would take a look at Drake grads before filling all their callback spots with Iowa students. When I was leaving, Iowa's career services was looking into making sure that didn't happen in the future. If Drake no longer has that time advantage, it certainly does not bode well for Drake students.

In Iowa but outside of DSM, Drake has considerably less power. Drake students essentially do not place into federal clerkships and very few Drake students end up in state clerkships above the trial court level. The one big exception here is Mansfield, who alternates hiring Iowa/Drake clerks on a year to year basis. When I was in law school, I was told (on good authority) that the only Drake students that he hires are literally at the very top of their class, whereas I know for a fact that Mansfield has at least interviewed below median Iowa students. Firms in the quad cities, council bluffs, dubuque, etc., tend to have very few Drake grads.

Outside of Iowa, I have never met a Drake grad, nor heard of one working with or against the people with whom I work. I know Drake places the occasional student in South Dakota and Nebraska, but anything beyond that is likely beyond Drake's reach. Iowa places a substantial amount of its graduates in Iowa as well. A student certainly should not attend Iowa unless starting their career in Iowa is a prospect they can swallow. Still, I know of many Iowa grads that went to Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Omaha, and New York City, and a non-negligible number that ended up in D.C., Texas, and California. To use a personal anecdote, I snagged a federal honors attorney position in BigGov during my 3L year, something that definitely would not have been possible had I attended Drake.

You should only choose Drake if you (1) are sure you want to practice in DSM, (2) are okay with ending up in a non-firm position (such as state gov), (3) were offered a full ride. Even then, I don't think Drake is a better choice than Iowa. 0Ls frequently make the mistake of underestimating the cost of existing in law school. Food, rent, clothes, utilities, electronics, nights out... those are expenses that really add up over time. Even with a full scholarship, you will burn through a lot of money in your 3 years. Paying for a Drake education + living expenses + Drake's expected outcomes is a recipe for disaster. Iowa will open doors both in the state and out of the state that Drake can't open for you, while giving you a higher employment floor. If your personal goals are something other than working in a firm, I still don't think the calculus changes much. There just aren't that many prosecutor/public defender positions in the state. PI work tends to be pretty immigration focused and, again, there just aren't that many positions. Going to Iowa gives you an immediate leg up. If you know there are limited opportunities, why limit yourself to one small market and why further limit yourself by going to the state's secondary school?

If you got into Iowa but didn't get any scholarship money, just sit out a year and re-take. Seriously. Iowa isn't worth sticker price, even if you want to stay in Iowa, regardless of what you want to do. There aren't enough positions in Iowa and the ones that exist don't pay enough to make law school at sticker price even remotely okay.

TL;DR

If the question is Iowa vs. Drake, the correct answer is Iowa on scholarship. Anything else is probably a mistake.



Return to “Choosing a Law School?

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot] and 16 guests