Hey these are some great posts. Thanks a lot.
Regarding Albany's LRPA program, the website states that grads working in the public sector (i.e. government, non-profit, etc...) can qualify for up to 10K a year loan forgiveness in the form of a check for the first three years of practice after graduation, provided you make under a certain amount. I guess that means that at most, one can get a total of 30K back within the first three years of practice. Now Albany's 32K a year, so figure at most 35K after books and fees, so 105K for the whole ride. Now, I know that Albany's damn cheap to live in (I live in Providence, which is a tad more expensive but still reasonable), especially compared to NYC. So it's attractive, especially since some of these posts say that Albany grads do indeed make it to NYC.
I see that Buffalo does rank in the Top 100, while Albany is a mid-to-high tier 3, but I don't think that the difference is that substantial at that point. The proximity to state government/courts should make up for it. Besides, couldn't it be that the only reason that Albany (& Syracuse, for that matter) is tier-3 is because EVERYONE wants to live in NYC, so it kinda pulls the more competitive applicants to schools like Brooklyn, St. John's and Rutgers Newark, to a degree? I certainly could be mistaken but that's how I see it.