-graduate with the chance to enter biglaw and suffer the hours and pay.
-chance at federal or state law clerk positions
-if not big law... at least a law firm (medium size) that pays at least 70k pref. 80k up starting..
-areas of legal interest : Wills and Estates, Family law, PI, crim defense.. real practical law.. I'm not looking at international law or to change the world, just real law that I can turn around and apply to my own solo practice (something I intend to do in the future, but who knows).
-NOTE: the minimum I am willing to accept on my first real law job would be 70k up
I think think your assumption about the pay scale is somewhat unrealistic. I don't know anything about U San Diego or the CA market, but from what I know about other tier 2 schools and the legal market overall, you may be making a mistake. Like most similar schools, to break into Big Law, you'll need to be at the top of your class. Probably the top 10% for what most consider to be true big law. Maybe there will be some leeway for those ranked slightly lower for regional larger law firms that still have some sort of recruiting program, etc., but I wouldn't imagine you could rank any lower than the top 25%.
In any event, once you get out of Big Law, the average starting salary dips to well under $100,000 (and not just for public interest lawyers). Many people assume that if they can't score a job paying $140-160k, then the next tier of jobs will probably pay around $80 or 90k. This isn't the case. There's a chart floating around somewhere showing that law salaries are bimodal - A good chunk of people making 6 figures out of school and an even larger number making around $40-50k with very few making anything in between.
At my school, most people in small to mid size firms are making about $50-60k. It's not that it's impossible to do get higher paying jobs, but they're less plentiful. As for clerkships, state clerkships are usually available to people from almost any reasonably ranked school, but I'd be shocked if any pay $70k or more. Federal clerkship also (as far as I know) are relatively low paying, but they're usually very competitive. Chances are if you can get one, you can also get a biglaw gig (which usually follows most federal clerkships).
From what I can tell, here's the breakdown of salaries by poisition
Public Defenders: 20's to low 40's
Assistant DA's: Mid 30's to low 50's
Personal Injury: 40's to low 50's
Insurance Defense: 50's to mid 60's
Contract/Temp Doc Review: $70's to low 100 (High range includes overtime; no benefits)
It's important to remember that these are starting salaries, but if your sole goal is to make a big paycheck right out of law school, unless you're at the top of you class, it's going to be tough and there will probably be a few lean years. The real question is do you want to be a lawyer or do you just want to be a professional with a big paycheck. If it's the latter, there are easier paths to that goal than law school.