Wow, I am amazed at all the 0Ls giving so much advice on something they no little about. Go where you want and look up stuff for yourself. I would ignore the advice of people who have never worked a day as an attorney. Good luck to you!
I fail to see how working a day as an attorney has anything to do with determining that the OP is shooting himself in the foot by deliberately going to a school that he is way overqualified for and that will likely handcuff his longterm career prospects.
Really, he should probably ignore our advice and do what he thinks is best. It is his life and making decisions that can potentially harm you is a part of life. But, he asked for it, and we're giving it. You don't exactly post on this board because you want a lot of sound advice, just advice.
It's simple. Do you have any idea where graduates of the schools he has listed work? Have you ever practiced with any of them? Do you practice in an area where you have been exposed to Regent graduates or Ave Marie graduates (I point to these two because Liberty only recently has graduates, so we have no idea what type of attorneys they will make)? What do you know, in fact, about these schools other than they were founded by Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and the founder of Dominoes Pizza? You assume he will have a difficult time finding a job in what he wants to do. Do you know this for sure? Do you practice in Virginia or Michigan? Perhaps he is making a great career choice. Perhaps, the area he wants to live in has quitea few graduates from those schools. Maybe the local DAs office in his county is filled with Regent grads and he could get a job if he does well. You wouldn't think it, but I can name two Pennsylvania counties filled with nothing but Widner-Harrisburg graduates in their DAs Officer. They like to kick higher ranked school attorneys around the court room on a regular basis. I mean, I point these things about because BIGLAW which so many of you on this board covet, is having problems recently. Seems lots of attorneys are being laid off all over the place -- big, small and medium firms all over. Perhaps a devotion to public service is what he wants and the financially smart move for him.
Just because, some people want to be exposed to broad ranging points of view does not mean everyone wants to be. Many people, lawyers included, like to be surrounded with like minded people. That is why so many firms are riddled with complete assholes. Perhaps, he wants to be around individuals who may hold similar beliefs, because in that environment he would feel most comfortable which will enable him to perform better in courses.
All I am pointing out is there are more considerations to be given than just the arbitrary number on a US news ranking list. Yes, graduating from Harvard opens all sorts of doors. Everyone knows this. But outside the T14, life is hard for anyone who isn't in the top half, third or tenth in a class. If you need more evidence, I can give you names of plenty of graduates of T1 and T2 schools still looking for permanent work. I also will point out that someone who has never been to law school and never applied for post-graduate or summer jobs should limit their "advice" to areas they know something about. You could be reading this board next summer lamenting how no one hired you for pay or at all. Or, you could have washed out of school all together. But as you say, he asked.
PS to my fellow nittany lion zuckpsu -- good luck on the bar. I too should be studying, but after 10 hours I'm a little spent. Good luck!