Real Madrid wrote: Clearly the only tiers that matter are T3 and T14.
This is probably the closest thing to true we can say with the stereotypical nature of this process. The T14 is the T14 for a reason--it's been that way for quite a long time now. HYS, in a more recent time frame, has pretty much solidified itself as the place where you will find most of the 1,000 most elite applicants per year. In a field where prestige is pretty stubborn, the most important distinctions become the most durable. Yes, T6 has been T6 ever since Michigan sort of fell off the wagon a little bit, but the distinctions between CCN and the lower T14 are small enough to the point where regional differences matter more relative to the other distinctions. While I'm sure there's a fair number of those claiming "I'm a Wachtell first year associate and we'd never hire a grad of NorthwesTTTern", the region of practice for schools 4-14 is a much better predictor of how well a grad of School X will place, rather than its actual number. Yes, there are differences between the others, but they're very small and only matter in the context of hyper-competitive places where little differences are magnified. (Slightly OT: Did we ever figure out why Cravath went years and years without hiring a Stanford grad?)
Or, to speak broadly, HYS are the schools where you are usually first in line for anything you want. T14 are the schools where you will usually have a nationally-portable degree.