The thing is, UVA will provide more opportunities for public interest than Tulane. Public Interest positions where you have the ability to make a real impact are just as competitive as BIGLAW jobs.
Ok. So I’m not arguing either side. However, I want to point out something that may have been overlooked… summer positions.A few months ago while discussing transferring to a higher ranked school Googler (http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,51296.0.html) provided an example of a friend who has applied for positions in the NYC area but got no call backs. After the friend transferred to Cornell in July and reapplied for the same positions, they received some positive responses. Now keep in mind that well paying summer positions can net you tens of thousands.
I'm a rankings whore on the inside, but I don't let it make my decisions for me. I'll be at Wash U next year on a full scholarship (yay for the Olin Fellowship!) although I probably could have gone to a better ranked school with 3.65/169/very strong ECs. (I planned to apply to Fordham, Duke, Penn, Harvard, Yale, NYU, Columbia, and BU as well, but after finding out about my $25/year SOL award in October I only ended up applying to Wash U, NYU and Columbia)I honestly applied to NYU and Columbia because of their rank/prestige and location, not because I thought they were a good fit. I think deep down I was just hoping I'd be able to say I turned one of them down, because I figured I'd end up at Wash U either way. (At the moment I haven't heard from either, so probably bad news. However, doesn't really bug me)Sometimes it bugs me when people trash Wash U because it really is a great school, but who cares what others think?