« on: December 15, 2014, 06:57:01 PM »
Hmm, I would be extremely careful about choosing a law school or city based on one particular clerkship. Chances are, if you are interested in it and know about it, so is and does everyone else. I also wouldn't choose it based on the assumption that you know what kind of law you really want to practice, after you get out of law school.
I suppose to me, it goes back to the old adage of "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." Your law firm sounds like as close to a sure thing as one can get in this uncertain legal market, barring a rich attorney relative with a firm. Lots of debt and no job is no joke.
Less crowded does not necessarily mean less competitive. If anything, the smallness of the legal market in SD makes things tougher. See Thomas Jefferson. And USD is widely considered to be superior to Cal Western. The same people from schools like Berkeley and Stanford or UCLA/USC that want to live in San Diego will still want to live in San Diego.
My personal recommendation would be do Loyola, assuming you get in. They have a decent track record of getting people into the DA's office. This also keeps you in the running for a job at your firm if, for whatever reason, the DA doesn't work out.
The tough part with this plan is that you'd ideally need to do a semester and summer externship at the DA's office. During the summer you could extern for credit part-time, but most are looking for full-time over the summer and you would want to do this ideally full-time summer after 2L to really maximize your experience, followed up during the semester 3L. The summer training program is usually more comprehensive and focused, so the tough part would be taking 10 weeks off of law firm work if you could. During the semester you can extern for credit half-time while still working part-time at the law firm.
Later on, either immediately after law school or after you have some experience, regardless of practice area, it will be easier to move to San Diego if you still desire.