Haw bad is Drake really?

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DocHawkeye
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Haw bad is Drake really?

Postby DocHawkeye » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:02 pm

It is with some hesitation that I say the following - I am seriously entertaining the possibility of attending Drake University Law School. I am not fully sold on the idea so I am looking for some perspective.

The pros for Drake, from where I sit are that it is located in Iowa, my home state and the state in which I want to practice; I have been offered a decent scholarship, making the cheapest LS I've been admitted to (I could almost certainly get out with less than 75K in debt); anecdotal evidence suggests that Drake paces well in Des Moines and in Iowa overall, so employment in my target market looks promising.

The cons: Well, really there is only one - the T3 ranking. I know that if we don't get into a t14/T1 school, we're all supposed to swallow poison and slit our wrists but how big a deal is this really if I'm not looking for/expecting a $160K/yr. biglaw job? I'd be happy in a medium to small local/regional firm. Other publications look somewhat favorable on Drake including National Jurist and the Princeton Review. I have seen Drake ranked as high as 108th in the country so I wonder if its really that different from a T2.

FWIW, I have been accepted some top 50 schools and am waiting on some decisions at other highly ranked schools but those would likely be at sticker price. Also, I am in my early 30's and an not willing to defer to another cycle or retake the LSAT to "improve my chances." I don't think my score is likely to move a great deal, so if that is the advice you intend to offer, don't.

***Edit: corrected spelling***
Last edited by DocHawkeye on Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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NZA
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Re: Haw bad is Drake really?

Postby NZA » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:03 pm

TL;DR

But if you have to ask...

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Patriot1208
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Re: Haw bad is Drake really?

Postby Patriot1208 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:12 pm

Dude, it's a D+ education, that doesn't sound good.

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thecilent
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Re: Haw bad is Drake really?

Postby thecilent » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:13 pm

Seems like you have all the reasons that make attending a T3 okay. I'd try to haggle for more money; otherwise, if you really want to practice law, I think Drake would be okay

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stintez
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Re: Haw bad is Drake really?

Postby stintez » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:14 pm

thecilent wrote:Seems like you have all the reasons that make attending a T3 okay. I'd try to haggle for more money; otherwise, if you really want to practice law, I think Drake would be okay

+1
im not sure what a D+ education means sounds like a douchy response.

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Patriot1208
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Re: Haw bad is Drake really?

Postby Patriot1208 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:15 pm

stintez wrote:
thecilent wrote:Seems like you have all the reasons that make attending a T3 okay. I'd try to haggle for more money; otherwise, if you really want to practice law, I think Drake would be okay

+1
im not sure what a D+ education means sounds like a douchy response.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/20 ... d-campaign

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stintez
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Re: Haw bad is Drake really?

Postby stintez » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:17 pm

Patriot1208 wrote:
stintez wrote:
thecilent wrote:Seems like you have all the reasons that make attending a T3 okay. I'd try to haggle for more money; otherwise, if you really want to practice law, I think Drake would be okay

+1
im not sure what a D+ education means sounds like a douchy response.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/20 ... d-campaign

I stand corrected touche good sir touche.

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DocHawkeye
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Re: Haw bad is Drake really?

Postby DocHawkeye » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:18 pm

stintez wrote:
thecilent wrote:Seems like you have all the reasons that make attending a T3 okay. I'd try to haggle for more money; otherwise, if you really want to practice law, I think Drake would be okay

+1
im not sure what a D+ education means sounds like a douchy response.


Its part of the worst marketing campaign in the history of higher education. About a year or so ago, for a short time Drake used a logo of the characteristic script "D" and a +, attempting to suggest a higher level of commitment from Drake.

From the local news: http://www.kcrg.com/news/local/Drakes-D ... 43754.html

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mpj_3050
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Re: Haw bad is Drake really?

Postby mpj_3050 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:18 pm

Couple of points: 1)what stipulations, if any? For example, I have a an out of state T3 offering 8k a year and guaranteed residency, top 60% stipulation which makes tuition 3k a year - if I can't get top 60% then I would drop out because I shouldn't be there in the first place. 2)75k in debt from Drake is still a good bit of money, especially if you have a family. 75k if you get federal loans then you have IBR which helps, but if you get something private practice it probably will pay 40k or so which could make things a little tough. If you try for government/public interest you could get a DA/PD, etc. position and have the debt forgiven at 10 years. I know you said law firm but you never know what the future will bring. 3)are you sure you want to stay in Iowa? You are 30 and settled but again you never know.

Try and get Drake to give you more money and relax stipulations, if any. I probably could have sneaked into a T1 with a 3.5/160 applying early but it would be sticker, so I am trying to cut my losses and get some money. And Drake's 108 ranking doesn't matter at all so don't pay any attention to it. All that matters is how it performs in its area and how much debt it will leave you will.

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NZA
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Re: Haw bad is Drake really?

Postby NZA » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:19 pm

DocHawkeye wrote:
stintez wrote:
thecilent wrote:Seems like you have all the reasons that make attending a T3 okay. I'd try to haggle for more money; otherwise, if you really want to practice law, I think Drake would be okay

+1
im not sure what a D+ education means sounds like a douchy response.


Its part of the worst marketing campaign in the history of higher education. About a year or so ago, for a short time Drake used a logo of the characteristic script "D" and a +, attempting to suggest a higher level of commitment from Drake.

From the local news: http://www.kcrg.com/news/local/Drakes-D ... 43754.html


You, sir, have just made my day. That is the best thing I have ever seen.

TheGetUpKid
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Re: Haw bad is Drake really?

Postby TheGetUpKid » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:33 pm

I know people will get all fired up and post links to T14 Paradise when I say this, but Drake is actually very respected in Des Moines/IA and even in some surrounding smaller markets like KC. I have a family member in Des Moines (general counsel for a very large insurance company) who said that Drake grads are highly recruited in his industry. He also has attorney friends that went to Drake and are very successful. In his opinion, the 10 or so people he knows who went to Drake law school have all been very successful. They may not be BigLaw (maybe they are, I dunno), but if this family member is calling them successful, then they probably make a lot of money. I will also potentially weaken my argument by pointing out that they all might be in their forties, so maybe things have changed.

The issue I see on these forums is that people put so much stress on the ranking of the school as the only factor for success. I admit, there are statistics such as average starting salary and employment rate in BigLaw that makes it appear as though some schools provide better opportunities, and they do. However, I believe it's about finding the right situation for each individual. If you want to practice in IA, and Drake is offering scholarship, and you are a motivated person who does not have this mentality that people should offer you jobs just because you went to law school, you may be better served going to Drake than anywhere. Look at it this way, outside of T20 (or higher), schools are regional. Therefore going to a tier 2 school in California is not going to give you better job opportunties in IA than Drake. So if you like the region and are motivated to perform well and make the most of your opportunities, you can be extremely successful out of Drake.

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JordynAsh
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Re: Haw bad is Drake really?

Postby JordynAsh » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:35 pm

I've spent a good deal of time researching schools and on TLS and I've never even heard of Drake, so take that FWIW.

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DocHawkeye
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Re: Haw bad is Drake really?

Postby DocHawkeye » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:39 pm

TheGetUpKid wrote:I know people will get all fired up and post links to T14 Paradise when I say this, but Drake is actually very respected in Des Moines/IA and even in some surrounding smaller markets like KC. I have a family member in Des Moines (general counsel for a very large insurance company) who said that Drake grads are highly recruited in his industry. He also has attorney friends that went to Drake and are very successful. In his opinion, the 10 or so people he knows who went to Drake law school have all been very successful. They may not be BigLaw (maybe they are, I dunno), but if this family member is calling them successful, then they probably make a lot of money. I will also potentially weaken my argument by pointing out that they all might be in their forties, so maybe things have changed.

The issue I see on these forums is that people put so much stress on the ranking of the school as the only factor for success. I admit, there are statistics such as average starting salary and employment rate in BigLaw that makes it appear as though some schools provide better opportunities, and they do. However, I believe it's about finding the right situation for each individual. If you want to practice in IA, and Drake is offering scholarship, and you are a motivated person who does not have this mentality that people should offer you jobs just because you went to law school, you may be better served going to Drake than anywhere. Look at it this way, outside of T20 (or higher), schools are regional. Therefore going to a tier 2 school in California is not going to give you better job opportunties in IA than Drake. So if you like the region and are motivated to perform well and make the most of your opportunities, you can be extremely successful out of Drake.


Thank you for this post. I’m looking for all of the advice I can get positive or negative so I can make an informed decision.
It seems worth noting that Drake seems to place well in government in Iowa as well. The current governor of Iowa is a Drake alum, as is the immediate past chief justice of the Iowa Supreme Court. The mayor pro-tem (vice-mayor) of Cedar Rapids (Iowa’s second largest city) is a Drake alum as well. Food for thought, I guess

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Patriot1208
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Re: Haw bad is Drake really?

Postby Patriot1208 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:41 pm

OP, if I was you, i'd retake and get in-state at Iowa. Iowa dominates the state.

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Jack Smirks
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Re: Haw bad is Drake really?

Postby Jack Smirks » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:44 pm

Op, what are your numbers?

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NZA
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Re: Haw bad is Drake really?

Postby NZA » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:45 pm

naterj wrote:Op, what are your numbers?


Highest LSAT: 159
LSDAS GPA: 3.3

In profile.

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thecilent
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Re: Haw bad is Drake really?

Postby thecilent » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:46 pm

Patriot1208 wrote:OP, if I was you, i'd retake and get in-state at Iowa. Iowa dominates the state.

I would def try to do this too.

Oh and the D+ campaign for Drake actually worked. I liked it.

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hokie
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Re: Haw bad is Drake really?

Postby hokie » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:49 pm

Patriot1208 wrote:OP, if I was you, i'd retake and get in-state at Iowa. Iowa dominates the state.


+1

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patrickd139
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Re: Haw bad is Drake really?

Postby patrickd139 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:52 pm

Came here thinking someone was calling out Drake (poster). Leaving disappointed.

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Jack Smirks
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Re: Haw bad is Drake really?

Postby Jack Smirks » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:53 pm

NZA wrote:
naterj wrote:Op, what are your numbers?


Highest LSAT: 159
LSDAS GPA: 3.3

In profile.

Sorry, I'm lazy. Yeah then it's feasible that OP could surpass median on a retake and get Iowa. I would retake.

EDIT: But to address the actual question of the OP, I would say that Drake is a legitimate option provided that:

1. You absolutely plan on practicing in the state of Iowa.
2. You receive a reasonable amount of money from Drake
and
3. The stips on your scholarship are removed or extremely lenient.

But again, I would personally retake and try for Iowa.

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DocHawkeye
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Re: Haw bad is Drake really?

Postby DocHawkeye » Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:11 pm

To clarify - I am still waiting on a decision from Iowa, thought I know it's a long shot on numbers. I'm hoping that resident status (a strong factor for Iowa), the fact that I have a graduate degree from the Graduate College at the U of Iowa, and that two of my recommenders are distinguished professors at Iowa (yes, that's their official title - distinguished professor) will tip the scale in my favor. So, I guess I'm hedging my bet a little here - I want to stay in Iowa and there is only one other way to do that. I am wondering how bad that option really is.
Last edited by DocHawkeye on Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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GATORTIM
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Re: Haw bad is Drake really?

Postby GATORTIM » Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:13 pm

Image

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Patriot1208
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Re: Haw bad is Drake really?

Postby Patriot1208 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:15 pm

GATORTIM wrote:Image


Image

TheGetUpKid
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Re: Haw bad is Drake really?

Postby TheGetUpKid » Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:29 pm

DocHawkeye wrote: I am wondering how bad that option really is.


Based on the situation you have outlined, I would say not really a bad option.

Someone had mentioned that you should try to see if they'll lift the stipulations on your scholarship. I was admitted with scholarship and called the admissions office to ask about my top 1/3 stipulation. In a very friendly way, they told me that the stipulation was not really flexible. You may have better numbers or more bargaining power, but I don't really see a problem with having stipulations on scholarship. For example, take a full ride with no stipulations and get a free education and not be concerned where your rank is in the class (hey, at least you're getting a free law education, right?). Now take your bottom 1/4 GPA and try to find a job... good luck. So you're not in debt, but you've lost 3 years of potential earnings doing something else, so it's like it cost you 3 years salary. Now, take a half scholly with top 1/3 stipulation.. Ya, the tuition put you in a little bit of debt, but finishing top 1/3 of your class, you were able to go get a salaried legal position and pay off the debt easily enough and set yourself up for a better career.

I realize there are some flaws and big assumptions in this logic, but my point is that there is nothing wrong with a little extra motivation to perform well. Look at the scholarship as a paid position to be a student. If you're doing your job well, you continue to get paid. If not, you're fired and don't get paid anymore.

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androstan
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Re: Haw bad is Drake really?

Postby androstan » Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:40 pm





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