I wanted to jump in here to share some of my experience w/r/t this topic. I did BigLaw for ~10 years in a major city. Everyday, I was surrounded by people from Yale, Stanford, Harvard, Berkeley, etc. Lots of former federal appellate clerks, even some former SCOTUS clerks. These people were all brilliant and hard workers, but the truth is that the name of the law school on their resume is what opened doors for them - especially clerkships. Law at the upper echelons is a prestige game, and a self-perpetuating one at that. So while I think that where you go to law school certainly matters a great deal, it's far from the end-all, be-all. More on that in a minute.
As for me - I went to a T30 law school. I did not have a clerkship, and I did not graduate in the top 10% of my class. No one ever treated me as a lesser life form because I went to an "inferior" law school, including the Harvard Law School graduate to whom I directly reported for most of my career. This is because it was obvious that regardless of the law school I attended, I was just as capable and intelligent as my peers who went to "better" schools. So how did I end up playing ball with the big kids? I believe it was a combination of two things: 1) knowing my strengths and distinguishing myself in those areas and 2) networking. I CANNOT emphasize enough the importance of networking, not just for people outside of the top 3 or top 5 law schools, but for everyone. The bottom line is that lawyers and judges are people too, and I think you might be surprised how often hiring decisions are made on intangibles. It probably happens less at the entry-level of your career, but once you get past your first job, where you went to school DOES matter a lot less than your personal and professional reputation, and how you have distinguished yourself in your career so far.
If you are a top student at a lower ranked school - even a very low tier school - you can do very well for yourself, particularly in your home market. Every year, lots of top students at regional schools get prestigious clerkships (including federal clerkships) because the judges prefer to hire someone local, they know the Dean and the Dean recommended a particular student, etc. Someone I graduated from law school with went to a reception our 1L year, met a federal appellate judge who sits in her hometown, and hit it off with him. She externed with him that 1L summer, and he offered her a clerkship post-graduation. She was not a top student, but the judge can hire whomever he wants and he chose to hire her. From my experience, this type of thing is very common with clerkships, especially if you went to Yale/Harvard/Stanford, where the differences between the quality of the students is usually negligible to begin with.
So I guess the substance of my advice is this - if I could have gone to Yale, or Harvard, or Stanford, I would have. And I think you should too, simply because the OPPORTUNITIES that will flow from attending one of those schools is greater than at other schools, no matter what type of law you want to practice. But if you don't go to one of those schools, that does not mean that you are doomed to dwell in some lower-prestige (or lower income) career forever. As I tried to convey above, different opportunities will present themselves at different schools, and if you are ambitious and can network with the right people - both before and after graduation - you can distinguish yourself. Down the line, success in law is not entirely (or in my opinion, even substantially) about the school you attended, and the grades you received - it's about your individual skills, both personally and professionally. Even if you get off to a "slow" start (i.e., you don't land your dream job right out of law school), you can continue to succeed by networking. Get someone powerful in your corner who really likes you, and you're set. After your first job, most opportunities come through word-of-mouth, anyway.
I hope that is somewhat helpful. Good luck to everyone going forward.