Up to this point I have had no trouble finding paying internships etc granted that is not the same as associate positions and maybe that will be different, but this far into it I think law school rankings are idiotic and you should take the money at lower ranked schools unless you get into a top 25 maybe top 50 school. With a 165 he will have some pretty good opportunities.
One other thing to save a few hundred bucks on applications fees is you should go to an LSAC forum or just register for it and he will get a ton of fee waivers. There is one in Houston on November 20th I think that is the date. I did that and got a million e-mails that just said stop by our booth and you will get a fee waiver. Just going to that one event saved me probably 400 bucks in application fees and I got to talk to admissions officers. Some schools impressed me more than others and I figured if they didn't impress me at an admissions event then I really wouldn't be impressed with the school.
Don't apologize for the "long rant" as you say. We definitely need this information and I am glad that you are willing to share. That Houston forum sounds great! He didn't know that you could register and not have to go (although going is the intention). From what I understand he's already registered to get all the email (and junk mail) from the LSAC, but I'll check with him on that again. You really have been a wealth of information for us. Thank you so much!