realworldescapee wrote:I think you just have to look at which school offers you the best opportunities that match your career goals. Rankings mean very little when you take into account your personal preference. If you want biglaw, you should go to the school that gives you the best opportunity to practice in biglaw (in this case the opportunities correlate with the USNWR). If you want international stuff, you should go to the program that will give you the most attention and the best connection to what you want to do. If you want to practice in Spain, then go to the school that gives you the best chance to do that. The school that gives you the best opportunity to do that may or may not correlate with the USNWR rankings.
The tricky part of course is going to a school that you would be comfortable going to if you changed your mind. This is of course why you have to look at what you want to get out of the program now and the quality of the program as a whole. The benefit of more well-regarded is that they tend (or should) to have better back-up options to your career objectives. But for anyone debating between two schools with a ranking divide and similiar scholarships, I'd say its more important to focus on what you want to get out of law school and where you want to go than to just "go to the highest ranked school because it has a lot of open doors."
This is actually my current dilemma. I know that I want to work in the broad field of "international law," but I am not sure if I wish to become an immigration attorney here in the US (in which case CWRU would be a better choice because I would be able to intern with the immigration prosecuting attorneys) or if I want to live in Spain and/or practice in the EU. I am also weighing the cost of the entire dual degree program, which would possibly be more than Case. There is also the difficulty of constantly moving myself, pets, and fiancé between the US and Spain every year. 1L would be at Stetson, 2L at Granada, 3L at Stetson, 4L at Granada, Study Period and Bar exam at Stetson, then return to Spain for their Bar exam. I am also afraid that by doing the Spain program I would possibly limit myself by not being able to take advantage of various internships and other programs (such as trial team or law review) because I would not be in one place long enough. However, having the option of moving to Spain (which I have wanted to do for a long time) would definitely be fantastic. Ugh... I hate decisions.