I started with Taft when I was in the military- then decided to go to an ABA school after pouring over various job postings on the web, etc. Many of the postings required the graduate to have come from an ABA school. I even thought about the possibility of going back in the military as an attorney... but the military requires their applicants to come from an ABA approved school as well. I think it is prejudicial, but unfortunately, that is what many attorney jobs require.
A non-aba J.D. won't put you out of the running for law firm jobs though. I thought I might until I started doing some research on the matter... I emailed a few folks that graduated from Taft. a few years ago, after finding them (several Taft graduates (J.D.) on the internet. I wanted to know the "real deal" about how the graduates faired after law school. Both had to take the California Bar twice, and both are now working at CA law firms.
You'll have to practice generally, for 5 years before being able to sit for bars in other states. The big drawback is, what if you don't want to practice in CA? Remedy? Pass the CA bar... THEN, go and get your LLM at a ABA school. Then you're good to go as far as taking the bar in whatever state <wink>.
Teila K. Day