Okay, let me preface this by saying I know absolutely nothing about Chicago-Kent. I mean, I could Google it and do a little research, but I'm not from that area and I haven't attended the school, so I couldn't offer anything valuable. Therefore, my response will be focused on what I know about Pepperdine and what my experience has been. The first thing that comes to mind when I think about Pepperdine is how amazing the people there are. The faculty are incredibly accessible (which I've heard can be an issue in law school); you can literally walk down the hallway, find an open door (there are many) and pop in for a chat. The professors are interested in us as human beings as well as future attorneys, which can make the law school experience that much more bearable. My 1L Contracts professor went to London for a week (he was the program director for the London study abroad program) during the fall semester and wrote our entire first year section postcards and left them in our mailboxes. Each one said something different. He also brought us treats on holidays (as did our Property professor). Our Crim professor invited us up to his office to try some cookies that his wife had baked (he made some, too...they were the burned ones). My Property professor (who is also my faculty mentor) held workshops for us: (1) how to prepare for finals (she even gave us a schedule to follow); (2) what to do/where to work your first summer; and (3) how to pick your 2L classes. She also held an ice cream social for us at her house at the beginning of the year. My Torts professor held a chocolate and cigars "conference" for us at the end of the year. Students are similarly amazing. We're all very driven and competitive, but we manage to do it without back-stabbing or being at one-another's throats. People are friendly and supportive. It makes for a much more productive atmosphere, I think.
It's true..Malibu is beautiful. To be honest, I rarely even think about that or notice it when I come in each morning. I generally don't think that should be a deciding factor, although it could be if you think the physical environment might have a significant effect on your academic performance (I know that some people really internalize their physical environment).
Jobs...I have two jobs this summer (one with the D.A's office as a law clerk and one as a research assistant...I think I overcommitted a little) and I have an externship with a bankruptcy judge in the fall (and I had two other offers from Bankruptcy judges, one from a District judge, and several other offers to interview). I'm not top 10% and I haven't had problems thus far. I hear similar things from other students. For more on this topic, however, I would contact our CDO directly. They have all the numbers and the info..and. let me tell you, they're amazing. They're with you every step of the way (I got about five emails a day from them during the school year...we're down to about one a day now that it's summer) and really help you package and promote yourself and make connections. Case in point: I decided (pretty late in the game - they consider people from Feb to May and I applied the second week of April) that I wanted a judicial externship for the fall 2008 semester. I didn't have a resume that was up to professional standards and I have absolute writer's block when it comes to cover letters (the bane of my existence). Aymara Zielina in the CDO worked with me for several days to get everything all set. She helped me brainstorm for my letter and went through and helped me edit my resume and letter (we're talking HOURS here). I got everything done and sent out within a week and started getting calls for interviews in the next 2-3 days.
So...I'm not ignoring the rest of the issues of might want addressed. I just have to get back to work. Hope this helped!