Forgot to mention to the OP some great advice I received before making a decision: Imagine you will perform near the median of the class no matter what school you go to.It was suggested to me that if one cannot earn admission to a top 25 law school, the next best thing is to graduate in the top 10% of a school ranked 26 - 50. I am speaking of career prospects in a major urban center here. Does this make sense? Of course, I think this discussion will have to exclude the very elite schools. I'm not going to suggest that the top of the American University class will be viewed by hiring partners the same way as a Yale graduate.
The reason why I discuss this is that I am very seriously considering the University of Florida. I believe that I am a very good candidate for admission and the in-state tuition is ridiculous. I liked the area and the campus when I visited there. Plus, I really do like living in Florida. I do not, however, want to completely eliminate the prospect of employment in the Northeast, or possibly Chicago. I am not being so presumptuous as to guarantee my placement in the top 10% should I be given the opportunity to attend UF, but I am haunted by the thought that I will forever lose my freedom to choose to live elsewhere. Thank you for any feedback you can provide.
By Northeast, do you mean NYC and Boston? NYC is more forgiving to out-of-towners, and 10% would probably get you some interviews. Regardless, top 10% will get you a solid job in the Southeast and will not preclude you from going to NYC in the future if you desire.
Going to top 25 or so schools in the region you're interested in will allow you to place lower in your class to have the same career prospects as someone from outside the region. But keep the cost in mind, especially if you are financing your education with loans. In my opinion, better to have little to no debt from Florida than full tuition/nonresident loans from Iowa, Minnesota,
WUST, Vanderbilt, Fordham, George Washington, Boston College, Boston University, Notre Dame, Illinois, etc.
I have to disagree. Some of those schools you mentioned are just outside the T14 and are worth the extra debt. Law school is a life long investment.
Better as corrected? Regardless, if you have $150K in debt from these schools and then decide you hate billing 2000 hours a year, you are locked in to a lot of unhappy work. I think having no debt keeps the options open more, but again, it's just a matter of opinion.
And that's exactly, it, it's a matter of opinion and different people will have different ideas. Not just in employment as well, but what happens if you attend one of the higher cost schools and find out you hate it? Or, as the other poster said, you go to a lower cost, less prestigious school and find yourself losing out on employment prospects.
If you're in a law school you hate, your grades will suffer, hurting your prospects as well, something tot hink about.