Yes that is somewhat correct, but that is true of any form of education. The world is getting more and more competitive, law school is outrageously priced, but you can make it up. You need to realize that education is a LONG TERM investment odds are if you go to a tier 3/4 you may start out making only 50k, which when faced with a 100k loan accruing interest seems sh***y. However, if you are a halfway competent attorney in a few years you will be more experienced and be paid more generally. That is the same with any education I have said this before, you could go straight from high school to working at a bank or grocery store and have no educational debt and if your working 40 hours a week, you will have way more money than anyone that is going to college those first four years and generally even a few years after graduation. Odds are your first job in any profession is going to suck a little bit, of course there are exceptions, but you generally have to start at the bottom and work your way up. However, if you get a M.D., M.B.A., J.D. whatever it may be you can more experience and grow. You cannot really grow passed cashier that is the end, so that is the reason for going to school in any capacity. Is there a risk that is might not work out absolutely, but that is life. In regards to these perceptions of schools they again apply to every single profession. A computer science major from San Jose State will not have the same doors open to them as a Stanford grad. That is the way it is, in time maybe the San Jose State guy will make more money or even be a better programmer, but I wouldn't bet on the San Jose State guy having a better career than the Stanford Grad. However, if the San Jose State guy likes computer programing odds are he will get a job in the field and if that is what he wanted to do it should work out. Bottom line education is a risk and yes Harvard/Stanford will open more doors than Timbucktu State.