That is an important point for anyone coming in with full rides. Law school is nothing like other graduate schools or undergraduate programs. You will be surrounding by students that are just as smart if not smarter than you and all grades are curved. When you go into a final it is not about who knows the material better: everyone knows the material. The top grades will be those who can a) frame the better arguments concisely and clearly; b) come up with the more intricate issues; and most importantly c) what the professor is specifically looking for in answer/writing style.
My goal is not to scare everyone, but bring a little bit more clarity to your scholarships. I think the stats are (Tyler you know more about this than I do) 60-70% enter 1L with a scholarship of some sort. By the end of the first year at least 50% will have lost them. Now having said this Iowa does have one of the lowest in state tuitions of the top 30 law schools. It is also easy to get in-state tuition after your first year by getting a RA job with a professor. This makes Iowa Law one of the more affordable law degrees.
To be honest, if I can't stay in the top 3rd maybe law school isn't the right fit for me. I will decide after my first year. I make decent money at my current job, and have some room to grow. It's not something that I'm super passionate about and that's why I'm looking into law. It's also something that I could use if I ever decide I want to take over our family farm.
I mean this to be helpful, but I think there are some red flags in this post. First, the notion that "if [you] can't stay in the top 3rd maybe law school isn't the right fit for [you]." I don't imagine anyone actually in law school supporting the claim that grades have anything to do with how much you will like practicing law. I am sure there are students in the top 10% who will hate practicing law and eventually leave the field and students in the bottom third who will like it and make good careers out of it. Not sure what you're getting at with the fit/grades correlation here.
Second, law school as a backup to a job that is "not something [you] are super passionate about" is a red flag. I couldn't in clear conscience tell anyone to go to law school as some kind of default fallback plan. I think a law student should have some kind of affirmative desire to attend law school and practice law. You're going to spend 40-70 hours a week studying one subject. You're going to have to want to do it at least a little bit or you'll be completely miserable in law school and beyond.
Third, law school as something you could "use" in running the family farm is misguided. Other than a very basic understanding of property law, you won't get much practical info about operating a farm out of law school. Put it this way: all of the relevant information you learn in three years of law school regarding farm ownership, you could learn in a month or two of reading things on the internet/from a few books. Law school doesn't teach a lot of practical knowledge; you mostly learn that on the job after school.
Fourth, a $50k job might not be a legit fallback plan for leaving law school. Even with a scholarship, you may take on significant debt (assuming no other person is supporting you) for living expenses. This will have two effects. It will create "sunk costs" and a psychological barrier to you leaving law school, especially combined with the year minimum that you'll plan to invest. It will also create debt that you have to pay back if you go back to a $50k job. Combine those two, and just know that up and leaving law school isn't going to be an easy choice. It's a lot more likely that you won't quite know what to think and what to do. You might not know much better after a year than you do now, so I'd have a pretty good idea of your goals before you matriculate.