Look, there are certainly some turds out there in terms of law schools, but are we really supposed to believe that the overwhelming majority of schools blow in the monumental way that the typical poster contends? Save yourselves the time of quoting this and responding with the yes that you believe will be a really clever answer. The answer is not yes. There are some legitimately attractive aspects to some lower ranked schools depending on your career goals and personal ideology. In fact, it could be argued that it is literally impossible to properly and honestly adress the merits of attending a school without taking those factors into account.
While crapping all over these schools, usually with no more ground to stand on than the original poster, you are failing to take into account an amazing number of factors. Let's look at just three that you schmucks are constantly forgetting about:
1) some people are not THAT concerned with income. Look at this statement:
Doing public interest work doesn't make sense in a city with a high cost of living? WTF? Believe it or not, some people want to give back and do something to help others. Even if it means sacrificing a bit in terms of lifestyle. Sure, debt needs to be taken into account, but stop assuming that everyone else wants to plan their future with the sole purpose of maximizing their income. In fact, you may want to consider doing the same yourself.If you don't mind doing public interest work in SF (which doesn't make sense given the high COL in the city) than go for it.
2) not everyone can afford to sit out a year and take courses to improve an LSAT score. I keep reading statements such as "you should absolutely wait a year, improve your LSAT score and apply next cycle." How the hell can so many people assume that any of those things are easy to do? Waiting a year requires finding the means to support yourself during that period, which may seem like no big deal to someone who just went shopping with daddy's black card, but isn't. Also, a substantial improvement in LSAT score is possible, but not all that likely without taking a course, which also needs to be paid for.
3) People do well, both in terms of income and overall happiness, after graduating from schools outside the top-14, top-50, and yes even the top-100 (GASP!). Would a more prestigious name on your degree make things easier? Sure. However, the notion that anybody who graduates from one of these lower ranked schools is perpetually screwed is preposterous.
Original poster, I am also considering Golden Gate with a 158 LSAT and also have some extenuating circumstances regarding GPA that makes me a bit of a crapshoot at schools with higher rankings. I did research and find the public interest aspects of the school pretty intriguing. Do the research and make a decision based on what matters to you, not the pretentious, money-hungry, stereotype confirming a-holes that litter these pages. Law school will be what we make of it.