« on: April 01, 2008, 10:50:25 PM »
Let me get a crack at this...
First, none of the three schools you listed have a great reputation of producing academics. Schools like Yale are factories when it comes to producing academics; either by choice or not, lower ranked schools have a hard time competing. With that said, you can still go the academia route if you intern for a prestigious judge (i.e. US Supreme Court). The published numbers (forgive if I can find the link right now) have shown that Northwestern holds a significant advantage in this area over the two other schools.
Second, Northwestern does present much better career aspects than Vandy. Whether or not it's worth $60K is a question you will have to answer for yourself. While the Vandy and GTown degrees will not hurt you, the NU degree will definitely open more doors (in location and career opportunities).
Lastly, the reputation score is a very slow moving animal. The people surveyed are graduates of certain schools, and they have vested interest in seeing those schools remain high in the rankings. Therefore, it is unlikely that the reputation scores will reflect the current changes going on in the legal world.