First and foremost realize that anyone posting on this board or others is nothing more than an anonymous internet poster that knows nothing about you or your situation and has likely never attended or even been on the campus of any school you might bring up. So take anything you read here or on other boards my post included with a major grain of salt.
Before I go into much analysis if you want to live in Oregon go to law school in Oregon, keep it simple. However, for a detailed analysis read below.
With that intro I think you are making a common mistake of caring about the rankings. This is something I did as 0L, but it it is not a good idea to let a for profit unregulated magazine be the basis of a life altering decision. U.S. News has ranked Albuquerque, New Mexico as the best place to live. http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/slideshows/best-places-to-live
. I imagine you are not going to move to New Mexico, because a Magazine said it was the best place to live. Use the same logic when making a $100,000+, three year and career altering decision. You can use U.S. News as a tie breaker, but do not let it be the basis of your decision. If you were talking Harvard v. Lewis &Clark then maybe rankings matter, but both of these schools are perfectly fine and will provide you with a solid education as well any other ABA school.
One final point as to why rankings should not matter is that they change drastically year by year, based on nothing. The rankings are based on random people filling out scan trons there is no science behind it. Here is a chart showing the rankings of the schools over the past 6 years. http://www.top-law-schools.com/rankings.html
Lewis & Clark was 58th in 2012, but this year it is a 9 way tie for 94th. So the graduating class that enrolled in the 58th best school is now graduating from the 94th best.
Wisconsin was 28th best in 2012 and now it is 35th. They will change year by year by the time you graduate it is entirely possible that Lewis & Clark will be ranked higher than University of Wisconsin and I can guarantee you that nobody will care what either is ranked.
So with that tie raid about the rankings these are the following factors in order of importance, I think any law student should consider when choosing a law school. However, I am a guy on the internet who has gone to law school and am a practicing attorney however I like anyone else on these anonymous internet boards could be a crackhead in a public library or the Dean of Harvard Law School.
Here are the factors I think are important and if it makes sense to you then apply them to your situation, if you think it is crazy then more power to you. Factors:
(3) Personal Feelings about School
(4) The Reality of Legal Education
(5) Last and Least U.S. News Rankings.
Here is a good article summarizing these factors. http://www.legalmatch.com/choose-the-right-law-school.html
and I will offer a brief analysis of each below. (1) Location:
If you want to live in Oregon then go to law school in Oregon. Don't make it complicated, but below is a detailed analysis if you choose to read it.
Portland Oregon and Madison, Wisconsin are very different places and the City you attend law school is likely where you will end up. Friends, Family and a support group are important for law school as are your personal tastes in a City. Portland is a large urban and hippie City and Madison Wisconsin is a college town. If your into Vegan Diets and Bike Riding Oregon might be a better place for you and if your into College Football and a small community feel Madison. Although, law school is a difficult you are going to spend a minimum of three years of the prime of your life at the school you attend. If your goal is not to be in Portland or Wisconsin then don't attend either school. Professors and your school will have alumni faculty connections near the school, you will get internships in the City your school is located in and you will be more prepared to take the state bar of the school you attend. One side note is that Wisconsin offers its graduates the degree privilege so you automatically pass the Wisconsin Bar if you graduate from Marquette or UW. No other school or state offers that, which is a huge pro particularly if you want to live in Wisconsin.
Not to mention Midwest Weather v. West Coast weather is very different and to sum it all up law school does not exist in a vacuum all the things happening on or around you during law school will drastically impact your life and where you want to live is a question only you can answer. I live in San Francisco and I love it, but plenty of reasonable people would hate living in a big City. I would hate living in a small town, but plenty of people do and U.S. News knows nothing about you or what you want so don't let it make the highly personal decision of what City to live in for you.
Law School is expensive and although the rankings change year by year whatever you pay for law school does not change. $9,000 is great, but if you live in Oregon I imagine you are not a Wisconsin Resident and will have to pay out-of state tuition, which appears to be $40,000 per year http://law.wisc.edu/prospective/tuitionandcosts.html
, but if the school says it is $9,000 then that is what is, but confirm that.
It looks like Lewis & Clark charges $40,00 as well, but you will have free rent, which is nice. http://www.lclark.edu/offices/account_services/settling_your_account/calculating_costs/costs/law/
Add up the total costs and see what is cheaper and use that as a factor, but get detailed statements from the schools don't just assume X amount is what you will pay. (3) Personal Feelings about School:
Each school has a culture to it and the neighborhood it is located in is where you will be spending at least three years of your life. You should also talk to professors, students, alumni and see how people feel about the school. Again, I live in San Francisco and Hastings Law School is a well respected school in the area, but it is in the heart of the dirtiest most crime ridden part of San Francisco and it is in an area I hate being in, but plenty of people love the school that is my subjective opinion.
Visit both schools and see what you think. If you have been to Wisconsin and don't want to see the school before you visit then certainly do not attend. If you are able to visit Wisconsin and love it then consider it, but if you think it is to expensive and time consuming to fly to Madison think of you will feel during law school when you are separated from everyone you know in Oregon.
(4) Reality of Legal Education:
At any ABA Law School you learn the same thing. You will read Supreme Court Cases and the Supreme Court does not write separate opinions for different schools nor does the law change if you attend the 84th or 148th best school. Abortion is legal, because of Roe v. Wade you can't go into a court and say I went to Harvard please prevent this woman from getting an abortion my school is ranked higher than opposing counsels.
Your first year will consist of Torts, Contracts, Civil Procedure etc nobody where you go, but the one pro to Wisconsin is that you automatically pass the bar and don't have to take BarBri etc, but you will be in Wisconsin and not licensed in Oregon. If you want to be a lawyer in Oregon then Lewis & Clark will be far better at teaching you the minor nuances of Oregon Law. (5) Rankings
I already gave the rant, but please do not move to Wisconsin because a magazine said it was the 35th best school. If you like want to use a tiebreaker then choose Wisconsin, but don't separate yourself from your friends, family, the place you want to live, to develop relationships in a state you don't want to be in, because a magazine said so. Conclusion:
I am a guy on the internet and I could not possibly know what is best for you, but if you want to be in Oregon go to law school in Oregon.
Good luck and congrats on your acceptances.