So here's the deal - I'm a senior at Ohio University's school of journalism (ranked in the top 3 or 5 in the nation). I want a JD to pursue a blended career in law and journalism. With a GPA of 3.8 and hopefully an LSAT score between 161 and 165 (only two weeks away), I have in the past wanted to attend the best school in legal writing possible. I'd like to enter as a clerk and eventually write briefs before moving laterally into legal journalism.
The best schools in the legal writing field - Georgia Mercer, Temple, Ohio State, to name a few in which I'm interested - would throw me into some considerable debt.
So should I apply to a smaller T2 or 3 law school that would give me a full ride? I'd still probably be able to enter the legal workforce in some respect, but I still only see that as a necessary stepping stone into legal feature writing. I guess it's between quality (which brings more job opportunities in the legal field and, in some sense, respect) and economy (free law school YEA!). Either way, it's a JD. Thoughts?
I'm not sure who gave you that list, but they may as well have had monkeys throwing darts at a dartboard to do it.
["Legal feature writing"] is, from what little information I have on it, a very, very small field, which tells me that it's also probably highly competitive. The only person I know of offhand who did what you propose to do is Emily Bazelon. She graduated from Yale. If you think you can compete in the same pool she swims in by going to Mercer, more power to you.
I understand your confusion, but legal writing is actually a field that US News and World Report ranks here: http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/legal-writing-rankings.
As far as what "legal writing" actually is, it's my impression that it's big-picture legal analysis coupled with a specific writing style used in appellate brief writing and legal academia.