I spoke today with a recent JM grad who works at a midsize Chicago firm as a lawyer where I intern. He thinks that JM's rep has gone down over the past ten years and says that JM is harder and more competitive than the better Chicago schools (DePaul, Kent, NW...) because you need to be in the top 15% to land a decent job. I too have been teetering between Chicago and California schools and he strongly recommends California, as does every other lawyer at the firm that I've talked to. My only issue is that California would be way more expensive than Chicago. But Chicago weather sucks 7 months out of the year so I dunno.
Eh,if you have to choose a 4th tier school I'd pick the one that doesn't have to compete w/T-14, T1, and T2 grads. If a state only has one school and it's a T3, it's probably easier to get a job out of that school than a T4 that competes w/a T2, and two T-14's.
Excellent point. Albany is a great example. Only law school in the state capitol of one of the largest economies in the US. There is guarenteed work, and you have the first crack at it by being there. Interestingly, i've seen there students even land some Summer associate slots at NYC biglaw. Anyway, nice laid back lifestyle and super-low cost of living. I was really tempted by some $$ they threw out. While I passed on the school, I think it's a great example of a T3 that could put you into a really nice life.
Good to hear....I'm trying to decide between JM and ALS myself. I don't consider USNWR when it comes to anything past the top 100, and JM ranks nationally in trial ad, int. prop, and legal writing. Albany has the afforementioned advantages that you brought up. So yes, it's a tough choice.