If you've been around here awhile, you have seen 0Ls drag out the absurd rationalization of 'it's fine for me to go to this expensive T3 in a saturated market (ie, everywhere) because I don't want big law; I just want a nice 60K-80K job.' The whole "not everybody wants big law" thing is such a straw man. If there were a plethora of decent 60K-80K jobs out there, we wouldn't be having this discussion. Whether you want big law or not, you still have to have a plan of how you are going to finance law school. If you cross big law off the list, you are left with PSLF/LRAP and scholarships/savings/family money. (I am not including IBR bc it sucks and no one should be planning on using it; it is a safety net, not something to rely on to make someone feel better about borrowing six figures for a school with bad prospects). Relying on PSLF is risky because there aren't a ton of eligible jobs and they are competitive as people realize that they are the only way out other than big law. That leaves scholarships/savings/family money. That is why people are telling OP to retake/reapply>>>>>>>>>Creighton.
This is what has bothered me with this entire thread. People are continually equating schools like SMU, UGA, and Tulane as Tier Three Trash. There are hundreds of school's worse than the previously mentioned three, and none of those schools would be at full tuition. In the case of Tulane, its with an almost 3/4 scholarship.
Arguments lose validity when you are throwing out just extreme exaggerations. In what world is SMU equal to Ava Marie/Cooley/Charlotte? SMU has a 25% BigLaw/Federal Clerkship rate. UGA is in the similar range.
You're taking what I said out of context. I was responding to someone else who was playing the "not everybody wants big law" card and the reference to "T3" in my rendition of it was hyperbole. Other than that one reference to T3, though, everything in that paragraph you quoted applies to every single law student, from Yale to Cooley: you have to have a plan for how you are going to pay for it, and there are basically three reasonable options as I described. Further, the lack of 60K-80K jobs applies to everyone as well. There just aren't that many, period. It is kind of a moot point because you couldn't service 100K+interest in debt on 60K-80K anyway.
You are right that SMU and UGA are noticeably better than Ave Maria or Cooley...better chance of prestigious employment and better chance of employment, period. But that doesn't really matter if at the end of the day the average graduate cannot obtain a job with a salary that repays his/her debt. The average grad at UGA or SMU is definitely in a better place than the average Ave Maria grad because s/he probably actually has a lawyer job, but it is likely that it pays in the $40K-60K range, which falls way short of what is needed to finance the debt you are planning to take. That is why Creighton is better, IMO, although not a great choice. You increase your chances of failing to get a legal job, and if you do it will likely be in that 40K-60K range, but you can manage 40K in debt on that. If you don't get a legal job, you can probably find another professional job in the 40K range.
In making your decision, it doesn't make sense to focus on the 25% who get big law and clerkships from UGA. You need to be looking at the worst case scenario or, at least, as I did above, the middle-of-the-road scenario. If your don't like the idea of giving up on big law and clerkships, you should sit out and retake for better schools.