I'm actually from D.C. and would live at home during school at AU to save money. I've been with the SO for almost 6 years. I don't necessarily want BigLaw. I'd rather work for the FBI or some other gov't agency.
Miami is my favorite city in the world, if that makes any difference.
Going to American, and living in DC in general, is going to place you in a better position to work for government. I don't get why you would leave your family and your SO of 6 years in order to attend a peer school. Am I missing something here?
PS: It makes no difference that Miami is your favorite city. The city of Gainesville is the complete opposite of Miami and is also located 5 hours away from Miami.
I thought your remarks were spot on up until the PS. If the OP likes Miami and wants to work there, it makes a difference. UF, while 4-5 hours away from Miami, will provide the OP with the opportunity to work in Miami. The OP may not get biglaw there, but he will still get to live in his favorite city.
Additionally, UF may cost less than American for the full 3 years. I believe FL residency remains easy to obtain, which would mean 2L and 3L are very inexpensive. American's tuition is probably just under $20k, so three years will run you $60k if you live at home. UF's cost for 1L is just under $30k tuition and roughly $6k for housing. Tuition for 2L and 3L (assuming you get residency) is $9k each year. This computes to $48k in tuition and $18k housing for a grand total of $66k. Still, attending UF comes at a cost - stress on the relationship with the SO. Outside of the relationship the both schools will likely cost roughyl the same amount.
Another consideration is that P/T students aren't the equivalent of F/T students. If you were admitted into American as a F/T student, I'd conclude that your options are between two similar schools. However, P/T is a notch below both UF and F/T American. Most employers think that you're PT because you didn't have the scores to get in as a FT student, which means that they look for even better credentials from PT students. Still, American even at PT provides more federal gov't opportunities than UF, but you'll have better overall employment prospects from UF.
If I had the same options, I'd go to UF and try to persuade the SO to come with me. If I couldn't get her to come with me, then this would turn into a question of whether you're willing to jeopardize the relationship for law school at UF. I'd have to go with the SO if I saw a future there and just attend American. (Note: if you were in at American as a FT student, I'd go with American over UF.)