I wouldn't reccomend it in most circumstances. It may sound cliche, but if you get into a top school, go for it. I'll be graduating from a t3 in May, and as of right now I honestly feel that my decision to take the full ride here over the t1s that accepted me is the worst decision I've ever made.
wow interesting. could you elaborate on you said? why you feel regret now?
Reasons I regret my decision:
1) I ended up paying full tuition during 2L anyway because I got a 2.9 during 1L. Just because your numbers are better than everybody else at your school does not mean that you will do better than them.
2) I still have yet to work a paying legal job. I worked an unpaid internship last summer, volunteered at legal aid last spring, and got stuck working in a book store the summer after 1L.
3) I am almost positive that I will not get a job until I pass the bar. The stress is killing me.
4) I'm originally from the D.C. area and am going to move back there, but this means that I will likely spend the first years of my career floating between temporary document review jobs not knowing where my paycheck will come from the next month while working for pompous young associates who went to schools I could have gotten into but probably didn't have to work as hard as I did during law school because they had their position at the firm lined up before the end of the first semester of 2L.
5) None of the firms that I want to work for will even give me an interview. I'm not just talking about big law firms. Actually, I haven't sent a single resume to a big law firm.
7) A good childhood friend of mine is a 2L at a t1 that I got into and he will be making $2500 per week this summer trying out different practice areas to see what he likes while I become desparate and start looking for a job with an insurance defense firm.
8 I simply don't have a fraction of the options that I would had I gone to the top school that I got into.
....I could probably think of more, but there's a start.