« on: May 29, 2008, 07:59:56 AM »
Well, it's the question that we all face (those of us not going to a T-14, anyway).
By your calculations, which are probably close to being correct, you would have a 2.5x chance at getting a "desirable" job at Rutgers than at Toledo. I guess the question then is: what makes you think it would be easier to be in the top 10% at Toledo vs. the top 25% at Rutgers?
Debt is obviously an issue, but even going to Toledo, you'll still have some debt (living expenses and the like). How much? Sure, you might graduate around the median and have to work $40K/yr for the next 5 years, and that would suck worse than having extra debt, because that's it: that's your career. Game over.
Here's the thing though: there's a difference between being realistic and being a pessimist. You seem to assume you're going to end up around the median. At either place, that's not going to cut it. I would say Rutgers would give you a slightly better chance to land a decent job, maybe with some extra networking and footwork, than Toledo. Regardless: if you're so convinced that you will only be able to be a 2nd tier student at a 2nd (or 3rd) tier law school, why even go that route?
Personally, my opinion is that I want to give myself the largest window to succeed, and that means going to the best school I got into, with debt as a secondary, not primary, consideration. Within reason, of course. Rutgers with instate is pretty darn cheap, all things considered. It would also give you the best shot to land a job that can propel your legal career. Isn't that what this whole process is about? If you were hell-bent on living in Toledo, or SL, than I would say otherwise, but it seems like you're putting the cart before the horse. Sure, you might have less debt, but you'll still be 3 years older and 40K in the hole. Imagine the regret if you graduate from Toledo in the bottom of the 1st quartile and can't find a job.
I think you're smart to be weighing options, and you can't really go "wrong" at either place given your situation, but don't outsmart yourself.