Iowa v. Drake

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citrus2010
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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.

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RickyRoe
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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
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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.

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evilxs
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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
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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
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Re: Iowa v. Drake

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

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

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evilxs
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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
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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
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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
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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:




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