The one thing I would caution you about the full tuition, is to know exactly what it takes to keep it for all 3 years. Getting, and maintaining a certain GPA throughout law school is an entirely different beast than in undergrad.
Law school will challenge you in each and every way - it will completely re-train you on how to think, what to think, and how to do things. My first year was pure hell - and I didn't have a kid. I actually just graduated from CUNY School of Law in Queens (a fabulous public interest school BTW) and with a kid there was no way to maintain my former GPA. I still have a decent GPA, but I never would have been able to keep a scholarship. I know several people who also were not able to keep scholarship money at different schools (and transferred to CUNY's cheaper tuition b/c of it) b/c getting and keeping a 3.5 or 3.8 is next to impossible in law school - particularly if you have family obligations and can't study around the clock.
I'm not trying to discourage you - but knowing what your financial obligation is if you lost the scholarship is very important as it could happen.
That said, going into public interest law is great - what exactly do you want to do? I agree with t2009 about figuring out what internships/externships/clinic's you want to do so that you can plan for it. Most public interest internships are unpaid, so you'll need to get fellowship money, or be able to volunteer in order to do them. That is what made it impossible for me to get internships while in school, and now, while I'd love to go into public interest law, my first obligation is to put food on my ds's plate, and a roof over his head. I can't live in NYC, work for $20,000/year, and afford life.
First year is truly the worst - it is so hard. Reading the cases is hard b/c you have to retrain your mind to think and see things differently than you ever have before. I didn't think it would be that hard b/c I have a really high reading comprehension, but its not about that - its about seeing the rule, and understanding what in that case is going to determine the outcome of future cases. Not so easy when you're reading something that was written 100years ago or more, in old english, and just in general makes no sense! Then you have to figure out what is going to be tested, and how and study for that.
Also, most law schools are incredibly competitive. I'm lucky, and the school I go to people are more than happy to share notes, outlines, and are happy to study together and share group study materials b/c its not a competitive place. It's a place that we all work together to get each other through. Most other schools people don't share outlines, work product, or do as much group study b/c its all about scoring the highest on the curve. You'll need to find someone that you trust to share notes with occasionally, b/c there will be days that your child is sick and you can't go to class. Your partner may not always be able to miss work so you can go to class if your child is sick - balancing family obligations with children is very hard. It caused my grades to go down last semester b/c my son was sick for almost 2 weeks - I never would have been able to keep a scholarship after that! I would also say, if you are going to have a child in law school, plan it so that baby is born in late May or early June. Then you have all summer to recover from birth, and get baby slightly less dependant on mom. I lost a semester when I had ds cause I could only take 6 credits. We did BF for 2 years (he just weaned recently), but it was really hard to have a brand new baby and be in law school. My professors were very understanding though, thank goodness, b/c my school's culture is like that.
You're location reads Brooklyn, NYC, so that means you are moving far away for law school (or that your location isn't accurate which is OK too) - does your partner have a job where you are moving? Do you have a place to live that is close to school? With young children do not attempt a long commute - it will leave you exhausted, living close by is the way to go. Do you have family nearby that will be able to help during final exam periods? Finals are KILLER in law school - most schools the only grading mechanism used is one final per class, meaning that if you fail that exam you fail the class.
Also, one last thing. St. Thomas has a reputation for admitting everyone and their mom - and then failing out 25% of the class. I was offered a scholarship to go there too - and didn't take it b/c they offered it to me without a personal statement or anything about me other than the my grades. I thought it was really weird. They were my "just in case no one else wants me, I'll go there" school. Then I got my first choice, and I don't regret it.
Ok, bar study time. be back later.