For the 10th consecutive year, the University of Iowa College of Law is named a Best Value Law School by the National Jurist's PreLaw Magazine.
Iowa Law has consistently been among the top contenders, and this year is no exception, earning the 12th spot in the nation.
Dean Kevin Washburn underscores the strengths of Iowa Law, stating, “Iowa Law is a small law school, and our employment outcomes are among the strongest in the country. We also have strong public funding and a large endowment, allowing us to provide support for many of our students.”
The 2023 Best Value report includes 52 ABA-accredited public universities and ten private law schools. These institutions have collectively earned cumulative grades of B+ or higher for their commitment to providing students with an exceptional return on investment.
The methodology for identifying top-value law schools includes a comprehensive assessment in three key areas: bar exam results, employment outcomes, and tuition costs. These factors are weighted and combined to calculate a final score for each law school. The bar exam performance is weighted at 15%, employment outcomes account for 30%, and the cost of tuition carries the largest share at 55%.
This year’s rankings mark a subtle but significant change in methodology. Instead of assessing schools based on their overall scores, PreLaw Magazine introduced individual grades for each category, culminating in an overall GPA. Despite this adjustment, the Best Value rankings saw minimal changes, with 18 of the top 20 schools maintaining their high positions.
Based on bar passage rates for Iowa Law graduates, it’s no surprise the school’s Best Value ranking remains high. Recent results from the Iowa bar exam reveal remarkable strides in the performance of Iowa Law graduates. This year’s alums achieved a cumulative bar passage rate in Iowa of 92% and a 93% success rate among first-time test takers. For Iowa Law graduates in New York, eleven out of eleven first-time test takers passed the New York bar exam.
The importance of graduate employment outcomes also holds significant weight in the Best Value score, and Iowa Law consistently stands out in the competitive job market. For the class of 2022, an impressive 98% of the graduating class found full-time jobs within ten months of graduation. These numbers placed Iowa Law in the top 10 law schools for full-time job placement (Reuters).
Finally, tuition and living expenses play a significant role in the Best Value ranking, and Iowa Law stands out for maintaining low costs. Last year's Best Value list showcased Iowa Law as having the lowest number of graduates with debt among the top 20 schools, with more than one-third of students graduating without any financial dues.
So, what's the secret to Iowa Law's consistent success? Affordable tuition, substantial investments in world-class academic resources and the ability to attract exceptionally talented students. These resources prepare graduates to excel on the bar exam and, ultimately, make them highly employable.
Click here for a detailed list of Best Value honorees and a comprehensive insight into the scoring methodology.