It is easy to understand, then, why many law students are encouraged to enroll at ABA-accredited law schools because they can maximize their professional flexibility and benefit from greater geographic mobility. Furthermore, many firms only hire graduates from ABA–accredited schools, and an ABA–approved education often guarantees a higher starting salary.
Going to a non-ABA accredited law program seems to greatly reduce the options law students will have in their legal career. However, for students who know they want to work in a state that has a more open policy with respect to law school accreditation and bar admission, enrolling in a non-ABA school may be the better way to go. Indeed, non-ABA accredited law schools tend to be cheaper and may have a good local name recognition and a strong alumni network. However, law schools that seek to obtain ABA accreditation tend to admit students with less than stellar scores in order to raise the money necessary to comply with ABA accreditation recommendations. The sad part is that many of these students struggle to pass the bar and still amass debt.
As we know, our generation may struggle to secure legal jobs. Many of us will in fact have to go wherever the jobs are. With that in mind, enrolling at an ABA-approved law school, such as the University of Oregon School of Law, seems to be a reasonable choice: we are paying for an education that will offer us a great deal of professional and geographic flexibility, which will undoubtedly serve us well in this current economy.