Deciding where to go to law school is a difficult decision. But slavishly following the annual U.S. News & World Report ranking may not significantly increase one’s large-firm job prospects. With demand for elite graduates outstripping supply, many top firms recruited deeper into the classes at elite schools: In 2007 a bigger percentage of students graduating from top schools took jobs at NLJ 250 firms than in 2006. Most applicants might do better by focusing on lower debt load rather than higher ranking.

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