The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

UI law school ranks in top 50 for graduate career placement

Since the report from last year, the UI Law School’s national rank has gone from 45th to 35th.
John Charlson
The Boyd Law Building is seen in Iowa City on Sunday, April 14, 2024.

The University of Iowa College of Law was voted the 35th best law school in the country for graduate placement in jobs at the top 100 law firms in the country.

Since the last report, the UI has moved up ten spots.

The rank, released this March, was determined by the 2023 data reported to the American Bar Association and shows that the UI has the second-best law school in the Big Ten in terms of graduate placement behind Northwestern University, which scored first in the country.

UI Director of Career and Student Services Melissa Norman said the UI has always ranked well among Big Ten schools.

“We have really excellent students who work really hard, and they’re really smart people,” she said. “They have a lot of grit and determination.”

Alumni of the UI College of Law said this is no accident. Both UI professors and students put in a lot of work to ensure graduates go on to work in the top 100 law firms around the country.

UI law school alum Marcus Weymiller said the resources he took advantage of while he was at the university set him up for his job at international law firm Faegre Drinker, which is ranked 99th in the country by Vault Law 100. He was also able to get clerkships at the Minnesota Supreme Court and will clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

“A law degree from the University of Iowa carries great weight,” he said. “It opened up doors at distinguished law firms and clerkships, and that’s a result of the reputation that my law degree carries from the University of Iowa.”

Norman said her team’s resources help get students on track for strong careers. These services include resumé and cover letter writing help, job hunting, mock job interviews, Bar exam panels, and connecting students with alumni.

“The Career Services Office tries to support them in building relationships with these big firms,” Norman said. “We have some really wonderful alumni and faculty that do the same thing. They’re willing to advocate for students and help them build up relationships.”

Weymiller said UI law focuses on skills essential to a career in law, such as writing and problem-solving.

“The greatest value I think the faculty leadership, alumni, and other students provide is developing graduates who are driven, hardworking, kind, and team players,” Weymiller said. “I think that’s true of most Iowa law graduates and why they do well in a variety of fields in Iowa and across the country.”

UI College of Law alum Zachary Schroeder is an associate at Snell and Wilmer, ranked 32nd nationally by the U.S. News & World Report, and works with current students who are interested in joining his firm. He said he was afforded the same opportunity while he was a student, even before he enrolled in the UI’s law school.

RELATED: UI ‘writing school’ rank slips, nursing school fourth in the nation in latest report

“When I was considering law schools, Iowa connected me with an alum at Snell,” Schroeder said. “That convinced me and really helped shape my decision to go to Iowa. Iowa did a really good job of preparing you for law school, helping you get to where you want to be, and preparing you for the next steps.”

Schroeder also attributed his success in Big Law to the atmosphere students have cultivated. He said he was always able to collaborate with his peers and make close connections in study groups, which is not a common experience for most law students due to intense competition in many schools.

“It is very different from what I’ve heard a lot of other top-tier law schools are like because of the competition,” Schroeder said. “If someone else scores a better grade, then they have a better opportunity of getting the big law job, but I was not like that. It was very collegial, and it makes the three years a lot more enjoyable.”

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About the Contributor
Grace Olson
Grace Olson, News Reporter
Grace Olson is a first-year student at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications. She's a news reporter for The DI, reporting primarily on local government. She is from Denver, Colorado and worked on the pirnt publication from her high school prior to her work in college.