Mos10 wrote:I think my fluency in Russian is what would matter, not the field of law I choose.
Sure, but since you enter the FBI through the various career tracks, one of which is language and one of which is law, I don't know why you need to go to law school if you already have the required language fluency. My point wasn't that there's any problem with going to UT, just that FBI is a tough career that doesn't seem to mesh with your other interests.
Anyway, yes, I went to a regional school, and IME you can in fact forge local ties by going to the local law school in a region where you have no ties (I'm more sanguine about this than many people here). I wasn't in TX, though, which sounds more pro-Texan than my state was pro-locals; many people here have commented on being grilled about ties to TX when interviewing with TX firms. It's anecdotal, but a pretty-well documented phenomenon. Personally, I think that interning/externing every opportunity you can (not 1L - 2L & 3L), joining local bar associations, and participating so you can get to know as many local lawyers as you can, are key.
Beyond the ties issue, I'm not sure there are any keys to succeeding at UT that are any different from succeeding anywhere else.