dingbat wrote:OP Don't listen to all this. A school's ranking is very important. If you get into a school ranked 27, don't go to one ranked 28. If you get into a school ranked 45, no amount of scholarship is worth attending one ranked 46 instead.
Ur so fucking cool.
Not sure I agree with this. Yes if you can get into T-14 go for it, but this does not guarantee success. School prestige and good grades will really only guarantee not having your resume tossed out early in the process. You actually have to be an someone who has the skills that the firm is looking for both personally, how well you write, your work ethic, etc. Even Yale grads at the top of their respective classes are finding this job market rough.
When deciding between what law school to go to it really is not a big deal if you have options within 5-10 places (ie 25-35, 45-55, etc) or even larger splits. It all depends what market you are looking for. For example, if you want to work in Arizona going to Emory instead of Arizona State just because they are ranked higher is not a good move. You go to Emory because you want a job in Georgia or the surrounding area. Branching out to bigger cities is a risk, and you need to have a good idea of where you want to work before you select a school. Then pick the best school in that area you can get into.
Santa Clara is a great school if you want to a) work in Silicon Valley and/or b) do patent law in California. Even if you want to do patent law the better option is to go to USC because there is more opportunities especially with On Campus Interviews. Firms have limited time and they are going to dedicate themselves to the bigger schools to set up interviews. if you have a full ride to Santa Clara (and is not contigent on being in the top third) then that may be the better choice, but still realize that if you are not in the top 1/3 of your class it is going to be a struggle.
Hope this helps