I am currently looking at law schools and I know that prestige is important when choosing a law school but why? Should I be aiming for a T14 school and spend a lot of money or is a top 50 school have enough prestige where I could try and get some scholarship and not spend as much money?

It’s not about inherent prestige, it’s about getting jobs.

The typical outcome when I was in law school: multiple job offers from large law firms each summer, with “summer associate” positions leading to job offers from large law firms by the start of your 3L year (and multiple job offers if you re-interview during your 3L year), doesn’t happen to everyone even in top-10 schools these days.

Anything outside the “T14” (which I never heard used when I was coming through) will incur a risk that you will graduate without a job and will have debt but no job, and in the mid- to lower- top 50, the risk is high.

I always assume that a person goes to the best law school that s/he can get into, and that where you go to law school indicates your academic potential–unless you go to a highly-ranked undergrad school and list a great law school scholarship on your resume from a mid-tier or better law school.

Thus if you go to a poorly-ranked law school, unless you do so in order to get a full ride scholarship, you’ll face an interviewer like me at some point and the name on the resume will hurt you.

If you go to a lower ranked law school you’ll need to be #1 (not #2) in your class to get offers from big firms.