I concur that if you had BC or BU on the table and really favor Boston, then you would have a clear choice. But with half tuition, and the huge gap in reputation between GW and these other schools, I would say GW is by far your best option now. I would not at any event take Northeastern with no money over GW with $$, no matter where I wanted to work. I would still expect GW to be competitive even with a softer curve. But at least if you work your ass off and make it into that top 1/3, then you get a real payoff in terms of mobility and choice. If you bust your ass at Suffolk or Northeastern, then the most you're buying is a shot at Big Law in Boston. As far as I can tell, the top 1/3 at GW will at least have a spot in line ahead of anyone at Northeastern or Suffolk for jobs in Boston, no matter how much street cred these local schools have. Lots of local school alumni get jobs in Boston of course, but it won't be at the expense of the top candidates that firms can lure from elsewhere.