I went to Northeastern Law never intending to practice in the public interest sector. I hoped to work at a large Boston firm from day one.
Co-op (PRO!) The co-op system was amazing in helping me gain some fantastic contacts (fed. judges, DAs, etc.) in the New England legal community and I did very well during on campus recruiting for "Big Law" jobs. Though NUSL is a strong public interest school, employers in every area really appreciate students with experience and some knowledge of "real life" legal practice. Overall, law school is what you make of it. If you have a goal, crush first year, and learn how to distiguish yourself, you'll be all set.
Making money on co-op (pro!) I have been able to earn between $1000/wk - $3100/wk on three of my four co-ops (my first was an unpaid judicial clerkship).
The grades (pro & con) - Trust me, everyone in Boston and most of New England understands NUSL's system. While profs use "buzzwords" rather than traditional letters, they often write an entire page about your exam, writing skills, participation, etc. NUSL has co-op employers in nearly every state and 100+ countries, and everyone gets the system. It can be a pain for employers to have to read pages of evaluations, but I have found most employers appreciate the additional info.
Lastly, the Law Review (pro!) - NUSL now has a Law Journal http://www.nulj.org
for 2L's/3L's. The school knows that while many of its students go into public interest, a significant amount go into private practice, and we all need opportunities to distinguish ourselves. The school is working to create more opportunities, and the Journal is one of them.
Hope this helps. Good luck!!