I don't have any personal experience with Empire, but I think the same caveats/potential benefits that apply to any CBE law school are applicable here, too. If you're not interested in biglaw, federal jobs, or leaving CA then Empire might be fine. I don't think there is quite the same pecking order for CBE schools that exists with ABA schools, I think they're all viewed about the same. That said, locality is probably even more important when choosing a CBE school. CBE reputations are probably very local, and your best chance to gain experience is likely going to be in the school's immediate vicinity.
Their first time bar pass rates for the last few administrations range from around 36%-50%. That's actually better than a lot of CBE schools, but for some of those exams the number of takers was extremely small (like 2-4), so I'm not sure if that really indicates anything.
It looks like a decent number of Empire grads have been hired by the local DA's office, which is good. It's possible that local govt jobs are less of an option now, however. I can't speak for Sonoma County, but I can tell you that here in Southern CA the govt offices have been hit with such heavy budget cuts that hiring is pretty much at a standstill. When a few positions do open, they get flooded with experienced applicants. If your plans include any kind of government work, you might want to keep that in mind.