In other words, a position as an associate with a large firm is a “better” employment outcome than becoming a temp doc reviewer or even an associate with a small local firm. That might seem crassly elitist, but then again only the Biglaw associate has a plausible prospect of paying off his student loans.Take that for what it's worth. Back when I was in law school, turning away from big law firms was what the best people did. But there are different ways of being elitist, and I certainly agree with the proposition that people who pay law school tuition and put themselves through the grind of law school are doing it with the goal of getting an excellent (or at least a good) career in law.
In addition to placing a higher premium on “quality” (i.e., lucrative) job outcomes, we also acknowledge that “prestige” plays an out-sized role in the legal profession. We can all agree that Supreme Court clerkships and federal judgeships are among the most “prestigious” gigs to be had. Our methodology rewards schools for producing both.
In that light, the big red banner in the middle of the page over there says a lot: "44% of 2012 graduates did not secure a job in the law!" Now, there were 46,364 of these graduates, and 56% of them did find long-term employment in jobs that require admittance to the bar, so that's actually a lot of jobs. Any given student is betting on himself, so how bad are those odds? Of course, many of the people who get the jobs end up hating them. So there's that.
You've got to decide for yourself. Don't just bumble into law school because it's an obvious thing to do to get on a career track if you're reasonably smart and can't think of anywhere else to go. That was never a good idea. It's just a worse idea now than it used to be.