True the reality is if you go to law school and don't pass the bar your J.D. is almost useless. The ABA - regulates the bar and makes sure any ABA school they accredit is capable of having graduates pass the bar at a high rate. It is not a perfect system, but it is better to have to go through some kind of regulations etc to become a certified to appear in court and be a "Real" lawyer.
People can make it from CBA schools or Massachussets School of Law. The ABA regulates the CBA schools by making students pass the Baby Bar after their first year as they should. No school should let someone blow through 100,000 and 3 years of their life if it is pretty obvious they can't pass the bar. The ABA prevents that from happening at an outrageous number although it does still occur.
I know we both share the same opinion on low ranked ABA schools, that they are still ABA schools and are of good quality. But it is very rare for the student to come through only a regionaly accredited law school to make a huge impact, and I do feel that it is because of a lesser quality education. If the school was a good school, it would be accredited. The ABA has minimum guidelines that are set forth that determine if the school will be accredited. If you can not make the cut, it is because you can not meet MINIMUM guidelines. It is set to protect students who should not be law students from being screwed by a school like the California School of Law that requires a transcipt (just to look official) and a down payment and your in! There are too many degree factories out there that are not ABA, and unfortunatly, there are not enough jobs for ABA schools, never mind regionally acredited.
I don't want to sound cold saying law isn't for everyone, but its not. Whether you go to Harvard or Cooley, you are recieving an education that the ABA deems as satisfactory to the future of the field, however, if you go to a regionally accredited school, you need to recieve a waiver to sit at the bar (and it is usually only a few state bars you can sit at). The ABA protects you from scams, and most nonABA schools are scams.
You CAN go there and do well for yourself, I am not delusional. There are intelligent people that go there, but very few lawyers go there. Don't equate being a lawyer with intelligence, its not always about that. If you have a job lined up that requires to practice only in one state and its perhaps your brother's firm, sure, it might be a good investment (even though most operate on a C scale in order to prevent going a year then transfering), but overall, they are just poor investments.
I would say (though you might not need to listen to me) that unless its an ABA school, it is not worth it.