I'm in the middle of my class at a top 20 school.
The problem with thinking of yourself as an average student at both schools is that your probability of being an "average" student depends on the level of students at the school. Suppose you've been accepted at two schools--Harvard (where you barely got in) and the University of Missouri (where you're far more qualified than your fellow applicants). Should you ask yourself, "How does the average Harvard grad do as compared to the average University of Missouri grad?" No. At the University of Missouri, you won't be in the middle of the class, you'll be at the topof it. At Harvard, you're more likely to be toward the bottom of the class. You should ask how the best students at Missouri do compared to the lower-ranked students at Harvard.I realize that few people are making a decision between such widely varying schools. I also realize that you can't really predict how well you'll do in law school with any certainty. Still, it seems reasonable to consider this sort of thing.
I am facing a similar dilemma and am completely obsessing/stressing over this! USC has offered no money but is at #18. They have great alumni network and 97% hire rate. I know I am not interested in BIGLAW but I am interested in judicial clerkships. I have no firm specialty in mind although entertainment law and international law intrigue me. USD at #67 has offered a renewable (depends on class rank but decreases incrementally) 90% scholarship. This school is #22 in Leiter's rankings though, and was considered a "great value" according to another site (I can't remember now but it gave list of top 20 best values for private schools and then for public schools) and has 93% hire rate. The thought of living in LA worries me and San Diego sounds great (I currently live in podunk NM). So, I think, I will definitely go to SD. Then I look at USC's web site and I just HAVE to go there. Then I think about the projected $150,000 debt load and how it will limit my choices after graduation and I think, I have to go to SD because that kind of debt is terrifying. Then I think, well yeah, it is terrifying but I will be offered better prospects and so can pay it back. And around, and around I go.Okay sorry that was so long... I guess the trouble is I want my cake and to eat it too! Why couldn't USC offer me a huge scholarship too Seriously though - what would you do?