I am NOT in the top of my class and at over 40, I have firms offering me summer positions. I have not had to look. Then again, I am not taking any of them because I want to take summer school and finish earlier.
Your value comes with your experiences and with the assumed difficulties you will experience as an older law student. But lest you think you are ancient or something... our class average this year was at 29. We have a half dozen over 45 just in my section. the other section has someone over 60.
All job prospects are tough... may as well be doing what you want to do!
I second and third THAT!
Although of course I think it is very un-smart to give up a known and paying career that is paying your bills thus far in this economy to go into law school with no idea of what law you want to do and what it's prospects are etc.
I am not even in law school yet and I knew environmental law is a bad field. I went around trying to offer myself for volunteer work at every lawyer's office i could find last year and an environmental lawyer let me know flatout that business is VERY slow in his field and if it wasn't for the fact that his secretary was his wife, he wouldn't even be able to afford her. He didn't have any work, not even for a volunteer to do!
Despite how I've read that immigration lawyers are basically the poor relations of the legal profession, the one place that DID call me back eventually (cause they had nothing up front either but remembered my presence and resume/skills when I came in) was an immigration law office. So for what it's worth, decide exactly why you want law, what form of law you want to practice, the job prospects for it coming out, and if it's your career that's truly what's not satisfying in your life or some other part of your life that is being neglected.
Environmental law seems very faddish to me. Take my advice with a grain of salt but if it's one thing this economy should teach people, it's to get professions that endure through it ALL. Unless you're the trumps or something. No fads!