Check out: http://outsidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-four-tiers-t13-trap-no-name-and-joke.htmlhttp://www.law-school-hacker.com/top-ranked-law-schools.html
For detailed data as to the above info and why they are saying that, take some time to check outhttp://www.lawschooltransparency.com
In terms of employment prospects, you can ROUGHLY
view the US News rankings as the following
T3 - Yale, Harvard, Stanford
These schools offer you as close of a "guarantee" for a job post graduation as you can possibly get. You will have the best chances to get most any job in almost any region and the strongest shot for big name Fed. Clerkships. This is NOT 100%, but as close to it as you can get.
T6 - Columbia, UChicago, NYU
As strong as T3 for employment minus the Fed. Clerkship boost.
T14 - The rest of the T14
A significant notch below T6 employment stats with not that great Fed. Clerkship prospects (i.e. you will need to be at the top 10-20% of your class for a shot at a fed. clerkships). These schools also tend to lean their employment to broad regions (i.e. The Mid West, The South, the east coast, etc), however, if you have connections to another region (ie your undergrad's city or your hometown), you probably have a good shot at landing a job there. You prob. will have little to no issue finding work in a small to medium sized law firm no matter your class ranking (assuming you don't completely fail).
"Honorable Mentions" - Vandy, UCLA, etc.
A big notch below T14 but these schools have ok prospects for big law in the school's same city. Very
good chances for small to medium sized law firms within the school's general region (state).
T14 - 120ish
For the most part, basically everyone (all 100+ schools) here are in the same/similar boat as far as employment stats are concerned. Sure, if you are at the top of your class at a top 30 school, you will prob. have a stronger shot at better paying work in your immediate region, but that's about it. Your best chances here (in general) at landing jobs are in the school's immediate region (i.e. same state for the higher ranked schools to the same county/city for lower ranked schools). Very difficult - if not near impossible - for big law, and fat chance for fed. clerkship. Good to okay
chances for small/medium sized law firms.
Sub T120 - Some ranked and all unranked schools
Beware. Unless you have family connections for a small law firm, you may face an uphill battle for jobs. Your best bet will be to open up your own practice. Get creative, network, and work your butt off. You should do the prior no matter what school you go to, but even more so here.
That is an immense oversimplification and generalization of US Rankings. You shouldn't base a decision on the above. The above is just a simplified view of employment stats. Although employment stats have gotten much more transparent over the past few years, they are far from perfect. Just because you get into a T14 school, it doesn't mean you will get w/e job wherever you want it. Likewise, just because you go to an unranked school, it doesn't mean you will never get a job.
The general take away is this... the lower in rank a school gets, the more region specific it becomes. Further, the lower in rank a school is, debt becomes more and more of an issue. i.e. Going into $120k of debt for Harvard and wanting to get a job in New York might be worth it. However, going into $120k of debt for the University of Puerto Rico and wanting a job in Chicago probably is not.
So.. you should base your decision on attending a law school on 1) where you want to live afterwards, 2) the debt you will face, 3) your feelings about the particular law school, and 4) as a tie breaker, refer to ranking.