Regarding the job market for recent law school graduates, I have seen some analysis that I cannot quickly find and cite here but that might be relevant anyway.
First, I have seen a report that demonstrates that there are two market rates for law school graduates. For the upper tier associates at Big Law firms, the market rate beginning salary is around that $140,000-160,000 that so much is written about. If a new graduate does not get into that market, then the other market rate is somewhere around $45,000-$55,000 +/- per year. If one were to create a graph illustrating the distribution frequency of starting salaries, there would appear to be two bell-curves side by side. Jobs with starting salaries between the high $150K range and the low $50K range are surprisingly infrequent.
Second, I have also seen some people suggest that there is wisdom to going to a school where you are more likely to graduate at the top of your class rather than going to a more prestegious school if, at the end of the process, you will graduate at the bottom of the more prestegious class. Of course, graduating at the top of a T-14 school is the best of both worlds.
The best advice that I can give anyone is to 1) make absolutely certain that they work harder during the first year than they have ever worked, 2) make sure to have a job lined up for the summer after the first year, and finally 3) get involved in worthwhile activities with people whom you enjoy. In other words, do it right and make friends.