If you want to go to law school in the land of corn and hawkeyes, then you are looking at Iowa. Your choices are between Drake University Law School in Des Moines or the University of Iowa College of Law at Iowa City.
Drake University Law School ("DU Law") is located in Des Moines, Iowa. The school was founded in 1865, making it one of the oldest law schools in the country. DU Law boasts that it has the only First-Year Trial Practicum, where first-year classes shift to a courtroom for a week to enable students to view an actual trial. This special program fits in with the desires of the founding Iowa Supreme Court justices who founded the school near the courts so that the students could see first hand the law in action.
DU Law is a private school with a third tier law school ranking, according to the U.S. News & World Report Law School Rankings. It's tuition rate is above average, as reported to the American Bar Association on the Standard 509 Information Report. This report also shows that the required LSAT scores range from 150 to 156. In 2016, the school had a student body population of 310 students.
The school offers the standard first year courses with the only additions being an Introduction to Law and the First-Year Trial Practicum, both offered for no credits today the J.D. degree. In addition to the required courses, DU Law offers an extensive list of specializations to choose from.
The University of Iowa College of Law ("Iowa Law") is located in Iowa City, IA. Iowa City is really a collection of communities that contains Iowa City, Coralville, and North Liberty. This collection of communities has been designated by UNESCO as a City of Literature and is proud to have been the location where Carl Sandberg, Robert Frost, E.E. Cummings and others met at a literary society in the 1930's. Iowa City claims Joseph Herbst, William Shirer, Kurt Vonnegut, and Flannery O'Connor as part of the world famous University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.
Iowa Law is a first tier law school, according to the U.S. News & World Report Law School Ranking. The ranking system used by U.S. News weighs twelve separate categories. Some of the criteria is subjective such as the assessments by peers and lawyers and some of it is based on quantifiable numbers such as LSAT scores and GPA.
Iowa Law is a public university and is accredited by the American Bar Association. The required ABA disclosures show that the average law school student body is about 400 students. The school has a required LSAT score range from 157 to 163. Tuition is above average for non-resident students and slightly below average for state resident students. The bar pass rate for first time takers was 89% in 2015.
The first year course of study at Iowa Law is mostly the standard required legal courses, but they do allow you to take one elective from an approved list in the spring semester. The curriculum in the second and third year are almost exclusively electives and legal clinics. They pride themselves on outperforming the national average in placing students in legal jobs.
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