It's down to two private schools for me - or not going at all. I got no scholarships.
St. Thomas is a good school, on a par with other 3rd/4th-tier Minnesota schools and slowly climbing (I think). How far it will climb is an unknown I cannot bank on. Otherwise, location may be the big differentiator for me, and William Mitchell is much closer to my St. Paul home. An hour in traffic is an hour lost.
I am ambivalent about the Catholic orientation of St. Thomas and not yet convinced that it churns out attorneys who are more ethical, vs. drawing students who already consider themselves ethical and behave nicely. Feel free to share any relevant stats about graduates. It's not like other schools encourage bad behavior.
Beyond encouraging grads to play nice, one way St. Thomas could promote social justice would be to lower barriers (financial) to public sector work. I cannot pay off $100k+ in school debt plus cover family needs on a token salary. Short of a scholarship, tied if necessary to doing good, I anticipate having to start in a local firm doing whatever clients need, a mercenary, and I doubt that the average client rewards niceness in a lawyer. Professionalism, sure, but that's universal. I don't see how my attending a Catholic school changes this. St. Thomas students may be nicer, but law school isn't summer camp. It's boot camp.
Sounds like I'm talking myself out of the profession, to which some may say good riddance. More to ponder, and two weeks to ponder it. Thanks, everybody, for the advice. I will read Scott Turow's "One L" before deciding on this.