Any tips on apartment searching? I had friends who went to BU for undergrad who lived in Brookline and Alston. Brookline was really nice, and parts of Alston were as well, although I think I'd prefer an apartment that wasn't previously trashed by undergrads. But it would be really fun to get to play hipster bingo on the T everyday, so there's a plus.
Brookline is good, esp Coolidge Corner area. Stay away from Alston/Brighton as they are filled with undergrads.
Another good option is along the red line: Kendall, Central, Harvard, Porter,Alewife within Cambridge and Davis within Somerville. You can live at any of these places, and take the bus from Central Square to BU (#47). I believe this bus goes right by the law school.
Re: Malden and Medford, I would shy away from there. The commute will be much longer and they don't have nearly as much of a city feel as the places I listed here. They are basically suburbs.
Hope this helps.
I'd be glad to offer advice if you have nuanced questions about locations around campus, if I can help... I'm originally from the Boston area, studied one summer on the BU campus, one summer on the Tufts campus, and have lived in Cambridge (Central Square) for one year and the Financial District of Boston for another since undergrad. I liked all those locales. Right now, I'm not looking to leave Downtown and I'm looking at a 20 minute commute to BU every day from State Street-ish, which seems fine by me--definitely better than finding a place in the BU undergrad territory (although there are FAR fewer friendly/crappy/cheap pizzerias, something the Financial District could definitely benefit from after my long hours of studying next year). My boyfriend lived for the last few years a couple blocks off Coolidge Corner and we LOVED it, so I'd highly recommend the area. Even the interspace between Comm Ave and Beacon is ideal (it's slightly more residential and less student-ish than Allston/Brighton). If you're not looking to stay on campus, I'd also put a plug in for the North End (old, cute, Italian district with really tasty gelaterias...)
. It might not jump to mind as convenient, but you'd be within a few blocks of North Station (Green Line) and not far from campus (~20 min T ride, which is the same if you were commuting in from Brighton/Cambridge etc). The North End has a very "young professionals" feel, as opposed to "student" feel, which I like. I'd also say that you should stay away from the South End, as it's quaint but relatively inaccessible (not too much convenient public transit).
I'm also with EngLawyer on the whole ixnay-on-Malden/Medford thing. Unnecessarily far outside the city and you definitely don't want to be tempted to drive in. The cost-benefit analysis of a $500/mo. apartment in Malden doesn't seem to favor leaving Boston to me. Feel free to PM me with questions, too. LSN: MiddieMiss