UF consistantly ranks about 10 below UGA in the us news rankings. What affect would that have on employment prospects? Also UF is the top law school in Florida where UGA is second to Emory in Georgia. Is that significant?
Can anyone comment on UF's decline in the rankings and if they think UF will bounce back.
I do not believe UF will fall below Tier 1, but here's the thing - if UF rises ten next year, falls five the year after, rises two the year following that ... it doesn't really matter. Schools within the bottom half of the Tier 1 will move around within the ranks because USNews' job is to spark controversy to sell magazines. Despite those schools' rankings volatility, your job prospects are going to remain the same.
Levin is still the top dog in Florida. FSU is catching up, but even if next year USNews decides that FSU is one rank higher than UF (not bloody likely), UF will still be considered the top school in the minds of the people who hire you.
All that to say this -- don't sweat minor rankings fluctuations because at the end of the day, it's still the same school.
My advice from before remains the same. You want a job at a modest firm in a mid-sized town, and you mentioned that you wanted to be near the beach. Well, Florida's got your coastline covered. From Pensacola to Key West and back up to Jacksonville, there's gotta be a town and a job you'll love.
EDIT: And besides, the Dawgs have Gatorbait written all over them.