« on: April 19, 2011, 04:38:29 PM »
T1 (top 50) and T2 (51-100) schools are usually solid choices. Each place you want to live/practice has its own law school ranking in the opinions of local lawyers, and I don't know the Portland market. But, you can get a feel for it by researching the bigfirm websites and seeing where they are hiring from.
At either school, IMO, you will have little trouble finding a job if you can get into the top 25% of the class and get a little bit of law clerk experience under your belt (if you can make top 10%, your life will be much more easy). Your dilligence thus far suggests to me that it is an achievable goal.
The lower your class rank, the more important local contacts will be. If you find yourself outside of the top 25% consider working at a local law firm during school as well as the summer. I think that being in the top 25% of a top 100 law school, with legal experience, gives you solid odds in any economy.
The big caveat is that everyone thinks they will be at the top of the law class. But, you are light years above the average applicant. If you apply the same diligence to figuring out how to do well in law school as you have to admissions, I think you will do fine.