People often ask me: Is it better to publish in the main journal at a school ranked, say, #40 in the U.S. News rankings, or in a specialty journal at a school ranked about #10? Of course, they also keep asking me this about, say, #100 main vs. #30 specialty, and so on.
One possibility is to look at the Washington & Lee law library citation rankings, but I'm not sure how helpful that it is -- it might reflect the quality of the articles the journal publishes, but authors tend to care more about the journal's reputation. They want to know what will look better on their resume, and what will help the article get noticed when it's one of twenty articles that comes up in a Westlaw or Lexis search. And that turns mostly on what the public thinks of the journal, not on what the citation counts say.
Another possibility is that this varies considerably from field to field -- for instance, my sense is that specialty journals are considered especially reputable in international law -- so I advise students to ask a professor who works in the field.
Another possibility is not to worry so much about these things, and to focus instead on the likely quality of students who'll be editing the piece: Students who are interested in the specialty and are at the #10 law school will, on average, do a better job than students who aren't that interested in the specialty and are at the #40 law school (is that so?).
Anything more helpful I should tell students? Is this even an answerable question?