Aberzombie1892 wrote:You claim that you want solo, and the best way to get experience doing solo would be to intern at a solo shop. I imagine that Birmingham has a lot more solo shops than Tuscaloosa, and that translates to less competition for the spots at those firms during the academic year. If Cumberland was significantly cheaper than Alabama, I would consider it, as (1) it's located in Birmingham (I think) and (2) it doesn't make sense to take on more debt than absolutely necessary if you want to open solo shop.
Other than the above, there is no real reason to go anywhere other than Alabama. So if Alabama would be cheaper for you than Cumberland after scholarship, then it would be the obvious choice even though it's located in a smaller city.
I don't think anyone should go to law school thinking they want to go solo right out of the gate, especially for criminal practice. I don't think it's ethical to defend a client charged with a crime if you've never done it before, and it's also going to be near-impossible to get clients. OP should be trying to work with a small local firm or a local solo practitioner who wants to hire an associate for a few years first.