hoosier1508 wrote:Sannerbr wrote:I have heard that Iowa is likely to drop in the ranks. What do you guys think?
Probably. State schools have been taking a hit in the rankings recently. Also, Iowa's GPA/LSAT #'s are below their peers, so it's quite possible that they will fall further. I would assume they would settle in the Mid 30's eventually. The only thing keeping them above that has been peer assessment scores, which are arbitrary and fluctuate sometimes significantly from year to year.
Because Iowa's average GPA/LSAT is currently lower than their peer schools does make it "quite possible that they will fall further." The fact that their numbers are not as good of their peers IN SPITE OF having the same ranking means that there are other positive aspects to the school besides the stats of their incoming students but says nothing to future stats or rankings.
However, what DID concern me was when I sat in on the discussion with Dean Byrd (the break out Q&A session in the afternoon, for those who attended) where he talked about how the state requirement that 50% of the incoming class be Iowa residents is hurting their ability to bring in higher quality students. Because of the "brain drain" from the state of Iowa (I believe Iowa actually has NEGATIVE population growth, unlike some other states that have similar requirements), applications from Iowa residents are down every year (he said -17%[!!] this year, and currently only ~30% of apps are from Iowa residents) but they are still forced to accept enough Iowa applicants to maintain the 50/50 ratio. Thus, he said they have to admit lower quality in-state candidates. He also talked about how this requirement impacts Iowa in ways it does not impact higher ranked state schools with similar requirements, such that the state of Iowa is very small, relatively homogeneous state without other state school alternatives for law school.
Given that information, I think it's safe to assume that Iowa may drop in the rankings in the future UNLESS they are able to get rid of/loosen that requirement or make up for it in other areas relevant to the rankings (OR the "brain drain" stops, which is very unlikely IMHO).