MoS wrote:I understand your point, I wouldn't say Iowa is a ticket to riches, but if you work hard you will get a law job and one that pays decently, median is 100k now. Which is pretty good.
Plus your definition of "top rated" is excessively restrictive, it leaves out Stanford, Michigan, Berkley, Georgetown, and YALE. I am just saying that its not all about the money.
I think a good definition would be schools that allow students to do what they want, where that is work for a government agency, a big law firm, get a clerkship, or return to their home town and open up a solo practice. Those stats are hard to come by, if they even exist. But that is really how you should be measuring a school. And I think Iowa, while not the best, allows many, if not most, students to do what they want with their law degree.
My guess, and this only a guess, is that the $100k "median" is not a number you should rely on as your starting salary upon graduating. My experience is based on the market a few years ago, when hiring was hot, and I would guess that maybe 15% got jobs above that median, maybe 5 people got jobs in DM or KC at median and the other 83% of the class was below median, many pretty drastically below. I think the employment surveys are self selecting (I know I never got one and none of my friends ever got one either so I don't know where the info came from) but I would guess that the response rate is substantially lower than 100% of the class. I don't want to rain on anyone's parade or anything, but I remember looking at that median and average and thinking I had a golden ticket, but during the orientation week when I started talking to 3rd year students, I quickly realized that I was going to have to bust tail to get good grades.
As for top rated, amend the "and" in my definition with "or" - Yale, U of C, Berkely, Michigan, etc. are all top schools (although I know quite a few un and underemployed Michigan peeps).
You'll see what's up when you talk to the 3rd years in a few months when you are on campus. If you really want to be a lawyer, Iowa's a great place to go to school because it is a lot cheaper than many other schools, but my two biggest pieces of advice are to get really good grades and keep your debt as low as possible. Barring a drastic rebound in the economy and transactional activity, the job market could still be pretty bad for Iowa grads in a few years, so when you break out the credit card at the bar, don't tell yourself you'll be getting $100k in a few years, assume something more like $40-50k. I got VERY lucky and landed at a big firm and haven't gotten the ax (yet), but a lot of my classmates weren't so lucky.