To the OP:
I read an article once in which Justice Scalia was at a lower ranked Law School for some event. A student asked him what it would take for her to clerk at the Supreme Court. Scalia basically said it was impossible. He explained that he recruited from the top schools for his clerks because, "You can't make a sow's ear out of a silk purse."
Scalia reasoned that if the top schools recruit the best and brightest, then their graduates will be the best and brightest. He acknowledged that the level of instruction at the premiere law schools was not necessarily superior, but argued the quality of instruction was irrelevant. In the end he believed students were not going to be "ruined" by the instruction, so the most qualified matriculating classes would be also the most qualified graduating classes.
I'm not trying to argue whether or not Scalia's logic is sound, I'm trying to illustrate the mindset that exists. If it is a mindset at least one Supreme Court Justice holds, then there should be a reasonable risk that many employers will think the same way. Rightly or wrongly, the presumption will be that the reason you didn't attend a top school is because you couldn't get into one, which will then translate to the presumption you are less qualified.
I understand your education may be free, but there are no doubt opportunity costs that come along with dedicating three years to law school. If the employment prospects for your school's alumni are not good in general, what do you think a JD there will do for you specifically?
84Sunbird2000 wrote: that doesn't mean the T4 candidate demeans the profession simply by possessing a JD.
He didn't say they were demeaning the profession, he said they de-valued the degree. And the laws of supply and demand empirically support this.
Years ago having a BA guaranteed a steady job and a sure leg up on everyone when going on the job hunt. Then we went through a cultural revolution where it became the norm for most people to get a degree unless there was some circumstances forcing them to enter the workforce immediately after HS graduation. As a result everyone has a BA, and the mass pursuit of higher education hasn't given job security to all, it has merely pushed the bar higher in terms of minimum education for a lot of positions.
Of course there are a multitude of benefits to society from a more educated populace, but the point being made was that a degree loses earning power when supply outstrips demand. And we need look no further than the BA to see how this pans out.