I really think you are overlooking Brooklyn - it has a solid reputation in NYC. I used to work at one of the largest corporate law firms and there are a good number of Brooklyn grads there - plus they are great attorneys and respected by their peers that went to Harvard, Columbia, etc. I know you said corporate law is not what you want, but Brooklyn grads end up with lots of jobs in New York ranging from big firms to clerkships to small firms, etc. I work at a non-profit in their legal department right now and both of my bosses went to Brooklyn. Definitely give it another look!
thanks for the advice... experienced & real advice!! .. i actually am considering brooklyn (but i guess i could just live in manhattan and go to BLS).. as far as jobs afterward.. i want to get an MPA as well, so what i really want to do (social justice/public interest) doesnt pay enough considering debt, but i think i found a niche that pays more but is somewhat rewarding; wills & estates with non profit giving as well as real estate, while doing more rewarding cases in pro bono work until i pay down the debt and can do more of what i would like. so i guess some of that area involves corporate law..ive noticed the big firms have non profit areas in their range of practice areas.
but NY schools.. in nyc; fordham, cardozo, brooklyn, nyls ... outside; i like syracuse too, but not really anywhere near nyc.