Iowa or Indiana (Maurer)?

Discuss comparisons of various school choices and the various metrics that inform them, including rankings, student life, location, etc.
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Iowa or Indiana (Maurer)?

Post by Jupiter98 » Wed Jun 03, 2020 11:10 pm

I am trying to make a decision between attending the University of Iowa College of Law and Indiana University's Maurer School of Law. I'm from Des Moines, Iowa, and don't have any significant ties elsewhere. I don't have any particular area/city where I would like to practice, but its likely I would remain in the Midwest. While I'm not completely sure on the area of law I'd like to practice in, I am very interested in international law. While Iowa seems to be the more highly ranked school, I am impressed by Indiana's more robust international law program. Additionally, I love Bloomington and would prefer living there for 3 years as opposed to Iowa city. However, I'm concerned by Indiana's lower ranking and potential lack of prestige. Which school should I pick? Thank you for any help!

IU Maurer: ~90k
U of Iowa: ~130k

I am fortunate enough to have parents who are willing to assist with paying for law school, so I don't anticipate having to take out loans. Still, I want to evaluate the cost of attendance of these schools so as to minimize the financial burden on my parents. Thanks again!

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Re: Iowa or Indiana (Maurer)?

Post by Stranger » Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:33 am

The relative prestige of these schools is negligible. Both have similar employment outcomes, and neither could be described as a member of a meaningful grouping the other doesn't belong in. Prestige shouldn't be a factor here.

The odds are that you won't practice international law, especially in the Midwest. It's a pretty small field, but if you want to study it to satisfy your intellectual curiosity, go for it. This isn't a disposition factor.

It sounds like this is a debt-free decision for you, so you can go with the option that will be better for you in the long run. The employment differences, especially averaged out, are negligible. If you really want to work in Iowa, your chances of that are better if you go to school there. But for Midwestern goals in general, you should be fine at either. So don't disregard the preference you have for Bloomington. If you're happy in law school, you can hopefully get more out of it. It's also nice that it's less of a burden on your parents. In your situation, I would choose Indiana.

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Re: Iowa or Indiana (Maurer)?

Post by pancakes3 » Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:25 am

- lsat/gpa? retake.
- "midwest" is a big place with different regional feeders for the various states.
- int'l law is not really a thing
- don't waste mommy and daddy's money.

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Re: Iowa or Indiana (Maurer)?

Post by Slytherpuff » Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:11 pm

To be blunt, "international law" is not something that you can pursue out of either of those schools. Do you want international arbitration? International trade? Cross-border M&A? Do you want to do immigration/refugee work? Are you just hoping to work abroad for a non-profit doing something vaguely human rights related? (And a lot could be encompassed in that last category of course, but unfortunately those jobs are rare and super tough to get.) Do you want to work for the State Department or USAID? You're not going to get a job in any of those fields (except for immigration work) at those schools. And if you took a class in college on "international law" then unfortunately I can say that you will not be able to practice any sort of law that relates to laws/rules between nations or whatever else you learned about in class.

If you really want something along the lines of "international law," I'd plan on reapplying for next cycle or the one after, and majorly boosting your LSAT score in the meantime. You really want to be at HYSCCN for one of the above fields, and Chicago is probably a good idea if you'd like to stay in the Midwest. And even then your best hope is probably an "international" field in big law.

If you just want to be a lawyer but are fine doing purely domestic work, then in theory you'd be okay at either of those schools. Indiana's job options aren't awful. I'd check out the LST reports for more info on their outcomes and what states they place their grads in. and

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Re: Iowa or Indiana (Maurer)?

Post by waldorf » Thu Jun 04, 2020 9:00 pm

If your parents are footing the bill, retake and go to a better school (I mean you should do this anyway but don’t have them pay for one of these, may as well get a more portable degree)

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Re: Iowa or Indiana (Maurer)?

Post by metroidbum » Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:59 pm

Don't waste 90k to 130k of your parents money on either school.

You can't do international law from either place, for all the reasons people have discussed above.

Both schools are reasonably regarded in their own states, and will carry no weight anywhere else, even in the midwest (there are a few regionally relevant midwest schools (not including the ones in the T14) but neither of these are in that group).

Iowa has slightly better jobs numbers, but they are pretty similar overall, in that roughly 35-40 percent of a class will get decent jobs and the rest will be scrambling. Go to Indiana if you want to live there, and Iowa if you want to stay there. Neither has meaningful pull in Chicago if that is what you are wondering.

Like everyone else is saying, you should probably retake your LSAT and reapply to get into better schools and get more scholarship money. Or you could just not go to law school and do something better with your life, many lawyers and law students are deeply unhappy and wouldn't go if they had a chance to do it over.

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