Iowa vs. Utah

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Iowa vs. Utah

Iowa
11
65%
Utah
6
35%
 
Total votes: 17

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burndtscorcho
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Iowa vs. Utah

Postby burndtscorcho » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:51 pm

I'd like to hear what you guys have to say in regards to this scenario...

Background
I am originally from Michigan and am interested in practicing IP or becoming a JAG officer in the Midwest (Omaha, Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Des Moines, or St. Louis) or the Mountain West (Denver, SLC, or Pac Northwest), but only have connections in the Midwest and East Coast. (mainly in Michigan, Boston and Chicago). As far as deciding between IP and JAG, I figure law school will help me narrow down my path.

Beyond this, I just paid my last bit of undergrad loans and am a military veteran with 5 years professional work experience. I also have a reasonable amount of money saved up, no car payments and little credit card debt.

My family recently came into some money, and is offering to pay my loans while I am in school (odd, I know, but that’s what they have requested). I am planning to proportion heavier loan payments while in school, so I can offset some debt before I take over the payments 9 months after graduation. Whatever happens, I feel extemely fortunate to have this support and it should cut down on my debt load considerably.

Iowa
Pros
-Higher ranked than Utah (although I realize that when you’re considering the T25-50 range, geography usually plays more of an important role)
-Has a JD/MSEE program. I am interested in getting a Masters in Electrical Engineering along with my JD so I can sit for the patent bar and practice both hard and soft IP. In today's economy, this seems like a big plus.
-I like Iowa City and the general atmosphere. I am also a big college football fan.
-Cheap COL.
-I am seeking a large school atmosphere after my somewhat confined undergraduate experience at Berklee College of Music (a sense of belonging, large alumni base, and school pride). Iowa seems to have this.
-Decent JAG placement

Cons
-Iowa is considerably more expensive than Utah
-There is no guarantee that you can get in-state residency for 2L and 3L (although usually about 80% of students do by becoming an RA or TA)
-Typical TTT/job placement worries

Utah
Pros
-Affordable tuition and guarantee of in state after 1L (in-state is 13,000 a year)
-Reasonable COL in SLC
-Beautiful area, full of great outdoor activities (although I figure I won't have to much time for skiing and hiking in LS)
-Decent JAG placement

Cons
-Religious community in SLC. I have nothing against Mormons, but being a minority with vastly different values and views may prove difficult to deal with in SLC
-BYU is close by and does much better in the Utah job market than the U
-Commuter school atmosphere, spread out campus, less of a sense of belonging
-Far away from where I have connections
-Typical TTT/job placement worries

Thanks for your thoughts!

doclover
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Re: Iowa vs. Utah

Postby doclover » Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:49 pm

burndtscorcho wrote:I'd like to hear what you guys have to say in regards to this scenario...

Background
I am originally from Michigan and am interested in practicing IP or becoming a JAG officer in the Midwest (Omaha, Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Des Moines, or St. Louis) or the Mountain West (Denver, SLC, or Pac Northwest), but only have connections in the Midwest and East Coast. (mainly in Michigan, Boston and Chicago). As far as deciding between IP and JAG, I figure law school will help me narrow down my path.

Beyond this, I just paid my last bit of undergrad loans and am a military veteran with 5 years professional work experience. I also have a reasonable amount of money saved up, no car payments and little credit card debt.

My family recently came into some money, and is offering to pay my loans while I am in school (odd, I know, but that’s what they have requested). I am planning to proportion heavier loan payments while in school, so I can offset some debt before I take over the payments 9 months after graduation. Whatever happens, I feel extemely fortunate to have this support and it should cut down on my debt load considerably.

Iowa
Pros
-Higher ranked than Utah (although I realize that when you’re considering the T25-50 range, geography usually plays more of an important role)
-Has a JD/MSEE program. I am interested in getting a Masters in Electrical Engineering along with my JD so I can sit for the patent bar and practice both hard and soft IP. In today's economy, this seems like a big plus.
-I like Iowa City and the general atmosphere. I am also a big college football fan.
-Cheap COL.
-I am seeking a large school atmosphere after my somewhat confined undergraduate experience at Berklee College of Music (a sense of belonging, large alumni base, and school pride). Iowa seems to have this.
-Decent JAG placement

Cons
-Iowa is considerably more expensive than Utah
-There is no guarantee that you can get in-state residency for 2L and 3L (although usually about 80% of students do by becoming an RA or TA)
-Typical TTT/job placement worries

Utah
Pros
-Affordable tuition and guarantee of in state after 1L (in-state is 13,000 a year)
-Reasonable COL in SLC
-Beautiful area, full of great outdoor activities (although I figure I won't have to much time for skiing and hiking in LS)
-Decent JAG placement

Cons
-Religious community in SLC. I have nothing against Mormons, but being a minority with vastly different values and views may prove difficult to deal with in SLC
-BYU is close by and does much better in the Utah job market than the U
-Commuter school atmosphere, spread out campus, less of a sense of belonging
-Far away from where I have connections
-Typical TTT/job placement worries

Thanks for your thoughts!


I'm not sure that I can do a good job comparing Iowa/Utah in terms of Law programs, but I am intimately acquainted with the University of Utah culture/campus and can offer the following information:

- Salt Lake City is a lot more liberal than the rest of Utah and usually votes democrat - I certainly understand your concern about values differences but SLC is different than the rest of Utah.
- 55% of the population in SLC is not Mormon, and a lot of those considered Mormon on the record (baptized at 8 years old) aren't practicing
- Certain neighborhoods such as the Avenues and Sugarhouse are close to the University and interesting
-BYU probably does better than the U when you compare UG programs, but I would imagine prospects for law school graduates at both schools are pretty similar within the UT market
- Awesome skiing/snowboarding
- Utah football is getting exciting. Not a great year last year, but it was the first year as a part of a major conference (PAC 12).

With all of that said, it sounds to me like you're leaning towards Iowa :) Good luck with your decision!

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joemoviebuff
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Re: Iowa vs. Utah

Postby joemoviebuff » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:02 pm

It sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders. You should visit both of these places and see which place you'd rather end up in long term.

As an aside, I'm also from Utah, and while the poster above me is correct that SLC is more diverse than the rest of the state, the LDS presence is still quite pervasive (you'll have to get used to drinking 3.2% beer also). That said, I'd still rather live in Utah than Iowa.

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bluepenguin
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Re: Iowa vs. Utah

Postby bluepenguin » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:18 pm

What is your military experience? Is 9/11GIB/YRP an option?

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burndtscorcho
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Re: Iowa vs. Utah

Postby burndtscorcho » Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:07 pm

Doclover- Thanks for the insightful points. I think I really need to get out there to visit before making a decision. I've already visited Iowa City, so I may be a bit biased. Whatever happens, I want to give Utah an equal shot.. for the price, it could end up being the better option.

Joemovie- Your perspective makes me curious as to the portability of a Utah degree versus that of an Iowa degree. What I've gathered so far is that Iowa does well throughout all of the Midwest, and Utah is fairly limited to the state. I could be wrong though. Thoughts?

Bluepenguin- Unfortunatly GIB won't be an option for me... I already used my 36 months on my undergrad. USCG vet by the way.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Iowa vs. Utah

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:15 pm

JD/MSEE program should be a highly significant factor in your decision based upon your career goals. Plus, Iowa City is a great college town.

Utah is moving into a new law school building in a year or two; I wonder if the current building is being a bit neglected in anticipation of the upcoming move. Although not a major factor, a run-down facility can be an unnecessary irritant.

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burndtscorcho
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Re: Iowa vs. Utah

Postby burndtscorcho » Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:02 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:JD/MSEE program should be a highly significant factor in your decision based upon your career goals. Plus, Iowa City is a great college town.

Utah is moving into a new law school building in a year or two; I wonder if the current building is being a bit neglected in anticipation of the upcoming move. Although not a major factor, a run-down facility can be an unnecessary irritant.


I feel like the JD/MSEE will end up being the the deciding factor in where I go. In the current legal market it could mean the difference between a great job and unemployement. From what I've heard people that can do IP (paricularly patents) are in high demand these days. Is this a fairly rational assumption?

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skers
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Re: Iowa vs. Utah

Postby skers » Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:16 pm

Absolutely visit both schools. SLC is a surprisingly solid city.

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Ded Precedent
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Re: Iowa vs. Utah

Postby Ded Precedent » Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:51 pm

The biggest question here is where do you have ties and where would you rather settle down. A JD from either of these schools is going to limit you regionally so you better damn well be prepared to stay put after graduation.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Iowa vs. Utah

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:59 pm

Disagree. The MSEE/JD combo with patent bar membership makes East Coast &/or West Coast placement a real possibility.

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Ded Precedent
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Re: Iowa vs. Utah

Postby Ded Precedent » Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:12 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Disagree. The MSEE/JD combo with patent bar membership makes East Coast &/or West Coast placement a real possibility.

Yeah I guess I don't know enough about that and totally skimmed over the MSEE part.

As far as Iowa City vs Salt Lake City I've spent substantial time in both. I have to admit in SLC you really don't notice the Mormonism as much as you might think you would. It just seems like a normal city but with less liquor stores. I'm not really familiar with the campus itself but the proximity to mountains/skiing is also a huge bonus.

As far as Iowa City goes I loved it. Huge football and nightlife scene. It's a smaller city so you have to travel like 10 minutes west to get to a decent sized mall/move theater but with the small size you get substantially cheaper rent. If I was in your position I would probably go to Iowa but I'm slightly biased and really, either area is great.

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bluepenguin
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Re: Iowa vs. Utah

Postby bluepenguin » Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:29 pm

burndtscorcho wrote:Unfortunatly GIB won't be an option for me... I already used my 36 months on my undergrad. USCG vet by the way.


I don't know if exhausting the GIB exhausts YRP, and I couldn't get a quick answer. But if you can use YRP (and the FAQ's incline me to believe you could) that'd be a guaranteed $15,000 at Utah vice maybe $2,200 at Iowa based on last year.

Ded Precedent wrote:I have to admit in SLC you really don't notice the Mormonism as much as you might think you would. It just seems like a normal city but with less liquor stores. I'm not really familiar with the campus itself but the proximity to mountains/skiing is also a huge bonus.


Oh, I disagree. I thought it was really obvious once I moved out there for undergrad. The City is centered on Temple Square, so much of the local news is focused on the church, they have Deseret Industries rather than Goodwill (at least I dont recall there being any Goodwill/Salvation Army stores). It might not be in your face, but it's definitely noticeable. That's not to say it's a bad thing. I loved the local culture.

CanadianWolf wrote:Utah is moving into a new law school building in a year or two; I wonder if the current building is being a bit neglected in anticipation of the upcoming move. Although not a major factor, a run-down facility can be an unnecessary irritant.


I applied pretty much just because I did my undergrad there, but I didn't know this. A new building would make a huge difference because the old facility is not nice at all, IMO. I took a tour and sat in on some classes. It was "bad" enough to give me serious reservations about attending based on that alone.

Emu Flu
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Re: Iowa vs. Utah

Postby Emu Flu » Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:35 am

burndtscorcho wrote:-Has a JD/MSEE program. I am interested in getting a Masters in Electrical Engineering along with my JD so I can sit for the patent bar and practice both hard and soft IP. In today's economy, this seems like a big plus.


Do you already have an undergraduate degree that qualifies you for the patent bar?

You should check the requirements for the exam. You'll need to try to get in via Category B or C. Category A is the easiest: a qualifying undergraduate (graduate degrees don't count) degree is an automatic permission to take the exam. The other categories require a certain number of semester hours in various subjects or the FE exam.

It would be horrible to get an MSEE only to find out you're not eligible!

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burndtscorcho
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Re: Iowa vs. Utah

Postby burndtscorcho » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:21 pm

Emu Flu wrote:
burndtscorcho wrote:-Has a JD/MSEE program. I am interested in getting a Masters in Electrical Engineering along with my JD so I can sit for the patent bar and practice both hard and soft IP. In today's economy, this seems like a big plus.


Do you already have an undergraduate degree that qualifies you for the patent bar?

You should check the requirements for the exam. You'll need to try to get in via Category B or C. Category A is the easiest: a qualifying undergraduate (graduate degrees don't count) degree is an automatic permission to take the exam. The other categories require a certain number of semester hours in various subjects or the FE exam.

It would be horrible to get an MSEE only to find out you're not eligible!


Definitely a great point. I checked the requirements of the patent bar (option B) and am in the process of cross-referencing them against the requirements of the MSEE. According to the admissions dean, a few people have done it before and qualified to sit for the exam, they just had to do some simple class scheduling adjustments.

Also, I've been doing a little homework and it seems like the cost of attendance is a lot less closer than I thought. What originally was looking like a $20,000 difference is more like a $2,000 one. Not to mention that my family has agreed to contribute $1000 monthly towards COL instead of paying for loans during school (should save me $12k a year or 36k total).

Check it out:

Utah
http://www.law.utah.edu/admissions/tuition/ ($60,000 for OOS at Utah)

Iowa
http://www.law.uiowa.edu/documents/fina ... cation.pdf ($62,000 for OOS at Iowa)

Finally, after talking with admissions at Iowa, it looks like I might even qualify for in-state.

Emu Flu
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Re: Iowa vs. Utah

Postby Emu Flu » Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:40 pm

burndtscorcho wrote:Definitely a great point. I checked the requirements of the patent bar (option B) and am in the process of cross-referencing them against the requirements of the MSEE. According to the admissions dean, a few people have done it before and qualified to sit for the exam, they just had to do some simple class scheduling adjustments.


Do you already have some undergrad credits that can count towards the requirements of Category B? I'm assuming you do because I don't think a graduate engineering program, especially a well-regarded one such as Iowa, would admit someone without some basics. I have an MSEE, and most MS programs by themselves wouldn't have enough coursework alone to satisfy the requirements.

Also, you don't necessarily need to be able to sit for the patent exam in order to practice hard IP. That's for patent prosecution (the people who draft patents). It can be helpful for patent litigation, but it's not necessary.

I'm just worried that you're going through a lot to get an MSEE which may or may not qualify you to take the patent bar and that you might not like patent prosecution. I enjoy patent prosecution, but most people hate it. It's not something you want to wish even upon your worst enemies.

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daddymike
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Re: Iowa vs. Utah

Postby daddymike » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:19 am

Keep in mind that Iowa Law has a strong presence in Utah. I'm a 3L at Iowa and can count of at least 10 Mormons in my class, not to mention another 5 or so who I know have graduated last year, and another 10 or so who are 1Ls and 2Ls. All this, and I'm not even a Mormon, so I can confidently bet that the actual number is higher. This is because Iowa City has a strong historical connection to the Mormons as a staging ground for their journey West.

Just food for thought in case you are worried about Iowa's presence in your home state.

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Ded Precedent
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Re: Iowa vs. Utah

Postby Ded Precedent » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:40 am

daddymike wrote:Keep in mind that Iowa Law has a strong presence in Utah. I'm a 3L at Iowa and can count of at least 10 Mormons in my class, not to mention another 5 or so who I know have graduated last year, and another 10 or so who are 1Ls and 2Ls. All this, and I'm not even a Mormon, so I can confidently bet that the actual number is higher. This is because Iowa City has a strong historical connection to the Mormons as a staging ground for their journey West.

Just food for thought in case you are worried about Iowa's presence in your home state.

Mormons have disproportionate representation in all grad schools, are you sure your anecdotal evidence isn't just a reflection of this? I've spent quite a bit of time in Iowa City and I don't ever remember anyone ever mentioning a strong historical tie to the LDS church. I could be wrong though.

hawkeye22
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Re: Iowa vs. Utah

Postby hawkeye22 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:50 am

FWIW everybody at Iowa that is out of state and wants an RA position gets one.

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skers
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Re: Iowa vs. Utah

Postby skers » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:05 am

daddymike wrote:Keep in mind that Iowa Law has a strong presence in Utah. I'm a 3L at Iowa and can count of at least 10 Mormons in my class, not to mention another 5 or so who I know have graduated last year, and another 10 or so who are 1Ls and 2Ls. All this, and I'm not even a Mormon, so I can confidently bet that the actual number is higher. This is because Iowa City has a strong historical connection to the Mormons as a staging ground for their journey West.

Just food for thought in case you are worried about Iowa's presence in your home state.


I doubt there are a lot of Mormons at Iowa because of a pioneer trail connection as most Mormons don't think of Iowa as a key part of that trek and even if they do I doubt that's their rationale. Mormons, especially Mormons from Utah, probably have a way easier path f getting work in Utah than other students at Iowa.




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