First off, anyone who bases their opinion on Cooly's rankings should have their head checked. According to their own rankings, Cooly is ranked higher in overall ranking then Stanford, UCLA, and Penn. I just throw that out there.With that said, I am recent grad from Suffolk and work in a small Cambridge law firm. So here is my two cents...Both NESL (4th Tier) and Suffolk (3rd Tier) have decent reputations in Massachusetts, southern New Hampshire, and around Providence RI. Outside those regions however, the job prospects will be hard to find. In comparison, Suffolk does have a more beautiful building (which is important to some) and has a more established alumni base around New England. But outside of that there isn't that much of a difference in reputation or education between the two once you get out of law school and into the real legal world. In Boston, I feel the perception is that there are two tiers of schools in the city. The top tier obviously being Harvard, BU, and BC. The bottom tier being Northeastern, Suffolk, and NESL. And to the comments made by penni_rose earlier, Suffolk does not compete with Harvard in reputation in Boston. I mean believe me I wish it did.My advice: If you do want to stay in Boston after you graduate, pick either NESL or Suffolk. The other schools like Stetson, Drake, Baltimore and even Albany to a certain degree will not be a better choice, even over NESL, mainly because of a serious lack of local alumni. If this was 3 years ago I would say pick Suffolk over NESL. But with the economy on life support, a scholarship of 12k a year is not something to sneeze at. So to answer your question, attending NESL over Suffolk would not necessarily be a dumb move. You have to find what is best for you financially because remember living expenses will be quite pricey in Boston as well. Hope that helps.
people should also look at how many of the grads from harvard, BU and BC actually stay in MA, the numbers are pretty low