Cahwc12, my opinion about AU's quality isn't based on rankings but rather on the opinions of those who have attended AU. My post warned about job prospects at AU because of the sheer number of lawyers seeking employment in DC. AU can improve its job placement stats by reducing class sizes by a third, but as I mentioned in my post, it can't shrink because it is relatively poor. The three top DC law schools are all relatively poor and largely tuition driven. Hence, the large student populations. When you have limited supply for jobs and countless job seekers, it is understandably going to be difficult to find jobs. Given the state of the legal economy, the competition for jobs only increases.
As you mentioned Cahwc12, the quality of law schools from Harvard to Cooley is largely the same given that most law professors attended the same set of elite schools. I'm not sure how you inferred from that comment to your comment about AU being a trashy school. My teaching assistants in undergrad who were AU law students all spoke fondly about their law school experience at AU. Of course, since they were hired to serve as teaching assistants, I'm assuming that their law school grades were excellent. This might have impacted their opinion of the school. It's okay to warn prospective students about the job market in DC and the competition that AU students will encounter after graduation, but AU is far from a trashy school. The warning about job prospects applies to all DC schools, yes even to GT, but more so to AU and GW where below median students stand no chance of landing interviews. When DC employers have countless number of young lawyers flooding the job market, they can afford to be selective.
Let's be real, most law graduates will not become biglaw lawyers. This was true even before the recession and even more relevant now. Anyone who goes to AU with the expectation of a biglaw is incredibly naive. About 17 percent of GW grads are getting biglaw jobs. Even Georgetown, a T14, is able to land less than a third of students in biglaw. Biglaw is incredibly hard to obtain and unrealistic for most law students.
AU has never claimed to be biglaw oriented. Most AU law students go into public interest work after law school. The level of animus against AU is absolutely ridiculous. AU has excellent academics. As long as you are aware that biglaw is extremely difficult to obtain at AU and at most schools outside the T14 and can afford the costs at AU, you should still consider AU.