It is far from perfect and by no means a guarantee, but again neither is anything else.
One more time- you are making the wrong comparisons. If you just look at the numbers (actual numbers) you will see that even with the market correction, there are too many law school, admitting too many unqualified people, with too few jobs available. This is not a matter of opinion- these are facts.
Saying things like, "Don't worry, you can be the guy (or girl) that spends $260,000, and then doesn't work for five years, but, dadgummint, you can persevere and after five years, you too might get your entry level job in the law" just isn't correct.
Do you know how long five years is? More importantly, would *you* hire someone that is five years out of law school and has no legal experience? I know I wouldn't. That's the killer. The longer you don't work in the law, the worse it becomes- it's a spiral of doom. The hardest job to get is the first- and the longer it takes, the harder it becomes. Just toss in the added factor that if you were one of the people that didn't get a job to begin with, it is likely for a reason (didn't pass the bar, didn't do well at a lower-ranked school) - and those reasons aren't going to get much better.
So we start with those base propositions; there are too many law schools, with standards that are too lax, admitting too many students, with too few jobs. Which means that if you are a student admitted to a law school with extremely law standards (that's a good way to put it, right), and that school is not offering you a scholarship ... don't become one of the statistics. We have enough of those.
Yes, there are different cases. Someone might want to practice in Maine and go to UMaine Law School. But for generic advice, it's best to tell a person to run ... not walk ... away.