Well you are right about not knowing how you will do in the law school setting, you will be competing against people who have also been used to be the best academically. If you KNOW you want to live in Philly after you graduate and Temple has given you a full scholarship or something close, you should choose Temple. While there is no guarantee you will be in the top 25%, money will not be an issue for you once you graduate. BU will open more doors generally but I dont think it will open more doors than Temple would in the Philly area.
That said, I think going to school at Temple will be more difficult than going to school at BU. Being in the top 25% is more important in Temple than at BU, therefore people will be working harder to be in the top. I chose a higher ranking school over a school that offered a scholarship....today I think I would choose the school with the scholarship.
Well for one the school I chose was private so the tuition was really high. Additionally I wasnt in the top 1/3rd of the class so my chances at a big law firm job was severly diminished. I did participate in OCI and had a number of interviews, but again my GPA put me out of reach for most firms. Additionally, I had a callback at a firm from my hometown which would have occured even if I went to the local third tier which would have provided me with instate tuition plus scholarship.
With the disadvantages of the lower ranked school that you cited (ie. having to do better to get the good job, less doors being open, etc.) what is it that would compel you to make that choice today, exactly?