To partially answer your question as to two of the schools, Vermont has the best environmental law program in the country and is internationally recognized. Northeastern has the best public interest law program in the country (both rankings given by the same institutions that rank all law schools). That said, not really sure what such rankings translate in terms of job placement. As for Suffolk, places well regionally and the expense of operating a law school in a city like Boston is likely astronomical. Oh, and people are willing to pay. Myself, I will take a state school like Ohio State, Rutgers, or Wisconsin that leaves you with less debt and more options upon graduation (more options because you are not straddling 120K in debt).