Hah, might be true, but jetlagz28 comment was not well-thought out nor insightful. The point is not that private law schools are expensive--they very much are. The point is that there are not a great many law schools that make the cost worth it for the majority of its students. American is not one them. Neither is my school (hence why I would never have gone were it nor for the minimal debt I will be graduating with).
And second, the reason why *WCL gets a bad rap on the board is not because people 'regurgitate' what they've read here. It's a simple objective fact. I would encourage the 1L to approach his school's career services office to ask how many 2Ls received paying employment for the summer. I suspect the number will be very very low. Then what? You gonna try to compete with the Georgetown, GW, George Mason, etc etc kids that will own you in the clerkship application process?
Then what? Best case is 40k public sector if you can even get that, or 40k small firm job. Again, enjoy years of extremely tight and difficult living.
1.) Until you have actual numbers (ie-hard, supporting data) to your claim, your opinion on what the number is for 2Ls receiving paid employment, your opinion is just speculation.
2.) Regardless of the USNWR rankings, WCL has more lay prestige than GMU and actually has a pretty solid network within the DC area. Employers are probably more knowledgeable and respectful to American grads than GMUs. Take that as you will..
3.) People on here must remember that WCL doesn't have a BIGLAW focus and is aimed more towards clinical training, public interest, human rights, etc. So to compare American to a school such as GW or GMU (which leans more towards business/tax law, etc.) is basically comparing apples to oranges and is rather disingenuous.
Plus, those who make 40K qualify for LRAP/IBR payment plans, which forgive your your reminaing debt after 10 years. Just sayin'...
All in all, it is down to the OP to decide what fits his/her interests and make a decision accordingly. If OP wants BIGLAW, then, yes, there are better options. But for public interest/clinical training/govt., American more than holds its own in an uber-competitive legal market. And the school must be doing something right to be ranked in the top50, despite having bigger schools in its area.
OP, live the life you love. love the life you live.