“With significantly fewer applicants to choose from this year, we were left with a decision: maintain the number of students in the incoming class or maintain the high quality of our student body,” Dean Gail B. Agrawal wrote in a letter last month. “You will not be surprised to learn that we chose to protect the caliber of the class, rather than its size."And what an excellent choice they made! Their decision, as we'll see, lacks no basis in reality except for letting other law schools live. Your charity feels so good, Gail!
As you can clearly see from Law School Numbers, the mean LSAT score at the University of Iowa is a 164, whereas the median applicant had only an LSAT of a 158.
Those six points are a difference of dignity, my friends! Or at least that's what they tell people. Iowa would apparently rather starve out of existence than take a single one of you pups who would sully the entire lot with your paltry performance on the LSAT. Down, you vulgarians! Down! Take your 159 LSAT to Drake!
Iowa will never be Harvard, but it sure as shit doesn't want to be third tier. This is America. They're bourgeoisie, and they love it.
What's especially applause-worthy about their bold rejection of those who didn't guess right on the last five questions - and why it's transparently awesome they're just trying to keep the scam alive - is that the LSAT has very little to do with the caliber of law student or attorney one actually is.
Anyone who has been out of law school for more than a few weeks realizes this. Thankfully, people like Gail B. Agrawal never really left the Borg (at least in spirit) and therefore they still have prestigitis and an absurdly harsh view of incoming students. Anyone above about a 150 or so has the potential to learn law, pass the bar, and become a decent attorney (depending, of course, on career roulette).
For Iowa to arbitrarily put its foot in the sand and say yes to the 161 and no to the 158 and shrink by over 50% is sort of like a guy sleeping with fat chicks but not obese chicks. Sorry, Iowa, your 163ers aren't going to be spitting out high-level analysis or clerking for John Roberts. At that point, you're looking to produce solid attorneys, which you can do just as easily at the 157 level.
So what is the effect of Iowa going on a thoroughly irrational diet?
-They lose tons of revenue for no reason whatsoever.
-They lose potential future donations from successful members of the bar
-They deny qualified candidates the opportunity to study at the only such public institution in the state.
-They let other law schools continue to eat.
Indeed, if Iowa had kept class size at the 2010 level, they would be taking 100 or so students away from other schools.
Protect the herd. God bless you, Iowa. You look so hot with your new slimmed-down body.
Also: They're looking for ways to expand.