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Author Topic: My review of Indiana-Bloomington  (Read 2270 times)

Stuje1

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My review of Indiana-Bloomington
« on: February 25, 2006, 11:59:02 PM »
My previous review of Wisconsin got a great number of responses and interesting array of side topics, so I thought I would try and start another one.

I visited IU-Bloomington this weekend for their mini-admitted student open house.  There were about 12 of us and the day included a panel with staffers, a tour with a student (broken down to groups of 4), lunch with students, and a sit in on a con-law class.

As so many before me have said, the staffers at IU are great.  They are all super friendly, outgoing and very helpful.  They all were all very interested in us as individuals (they all knew my name and everything after saying it once) and were able to give helpful/informative advice. (On a side note, one interesting bit of info they gave us is that this is shaping up to be one of the most competitive classes they have ever had and that apps are up around 17%, while we know they are down at most schools).  They were able to joke around a bit too and I could tell that I would clearly be friendly with them if I became a student.  They seemed like they could all be "my buddy."  After the day was over, one of the adcomms invited us to talk further and a few of us went up and just shot out questions for another half hour or so. 

The law building is very nice. I can't tell if it is old or not, but it must have been renovated a lot if it is.  It is very clean and has lots of new furniture, so it looks newer then it probably actually is.   It has nice wood flooring.  When you walk in, there is a little open area with black leather couches in a square (good study area).  I really liked the library (ranked #1 in National Jurist Magazine): it had really big windows looking out into the wooded area behind the library. The big windows and the skylight resulted in lots of natural light, making it seem very conducive to studying.  It is 4 floors with lots of seating and tables all around.  The student lounge is pretty nice...the regular part is pretty typical but they have another room connected to it with couches and a big tv, so it really is a "lounge" area and not just a study space.   There were a few downfalls.   There seemed to be a lack of classrooms, but that problem will be remedied in the next year or two with their new mini-building across the street and some new classrooms they are building in the library (approximately 4 new classrooms).   The actual student area seemed a little small.  The only real "student space" is the library, the little area when you come in and the lounge.  Just seemed a little lacking on places to be and might get crowded for studying space during busy times.   There is no cafeteria in the building, but there are restaurants right outside the school and a deli being built in the new mini-law building across the street.

The campus area is a very big plus.   The law school is right in the heart of the campus, about two buildings over from the main area.  All throughout the campus is lots of green space and wooded areas (with streams).  It is very pretty and would be great for studying outside or taking nice, relaxing breaks.  All the buildings are done in old stone, and it truly looks like an Ivy campus.   The Union is really big (supposedly biggest in country) and has lots of food choices, a hotel and full bowling alley. It is about a 3-5 minute walk from the law school.  The main street, kirkwood, ends right where the campus starts and is about a 2 minute walk from the law school.  It has a ton of stores, restaurants, bars, etc.   It is really conveniently located.  I ate at a really cool bar which featured 80 different kinds of beers!   The downtown area is very nice and reminds me a lot of other big ten schools (like Madison, my UG).   Outside of the downtown/campus area, I don't think the rest of bloomington has too much to offer, but I don't really think you need to leave the immediate vicinity.   80% of the law students live within 8 blocks of the school.

The students who visited with me were a good mix, from all over.  I guess 60% of IU law students are out-of-staters, which is almost unheard of for a state school.   The conlaw class was good and very interesting, but I think it's hard to judge the quality of all their classes based on one sit in.  What I did notice was that the students had extremely excellent questions.  They were jyst very thoughtful and creative questions that really made me think about things in clever and different ways.  I could tell they were very intelligent and that I would learn a lot from being in classes with them.  I attended the finals of their moot court competition that night and it was very well attended (full) and very exciting.  They had a great judging panel (including a fed. appeals judge) and the whole thing was very intense.  Great thing to experience…also VERY intimidating….takes guts to get hammered by fed and state judges (and partner at top firm).   

Well I have babbled on long enough.  After visiting, I would say IU is definitely still one of my top choices.   I am sure I would be happy to spend my 3 years there.  We'll have to see how the competition stacks up now.  Please let me know if anyone has any questions, I'd be glad to answer them!
 
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The Poster

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Re: My review of Indiana-Bloomington
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2006, 12:11:15 AM »
Wow, thanks for that great review! As always, very informative. (I was darkwing duck before, in case the new name confuses you). You confirmed a lot of things I suspected about IU-B. At the moment, this school and Wisconsin are my only choices and I am not looking forward to having to choose between them. Both are in the midwest in places I have never been and probably won't be able to vist beforehand. How would you say they compare with each other?

It is my impression from my research that Wisconsin is has a better national rep. compared to IU-B, and probably has a much better chance for internships and the like being right there in the state capital. Both seem to be nice and friendly places, with IU-B having more of a small town feel, because it is a small town, tho like you said it sounds like there isn't a shortage of stuff to do on campus. Oh, and even tho I'm sure the IU-B campus is fairly liberal, I would imagine that the rest of bloomington and most of the state of indiana is more to the right of things. Does that all sound about right, and do you have more to add to it? Thanks.
quote Stanley J. Watson III
you are doomed in the fated sense, but that's completely irrelevant because that's only from the viewpoint of someone who is not constrained by time. since you are temporal, for all intents and purposes you have the power to change your future

Stuje1

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Re: My review of Indiana-Bloomington
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2006, 12:48:31 AM »
Wow, thanks for that great review! As always, very informative. (I was darkwing duck before, in case the new name confuses you). You confirmed a lot of things I suspected about IU-B. At the moment, this school and Wisconsin are my only choices and I am not looking forward to having to choose between them. Both are in the midwest in places I have never been and probably won't be able to vist beforehand. How would you say they compare with each other?

It is my impression from my research that Wisconsin is has a better national rep. compared to IU-B, and probably has a much better chance for internships and the like being right there in the state capital. Both seem to be nice and friendly places, with IU-B having more of a small town feel, because it is a small town, tho like you said it sounds like there isn't a shortage of stuff to do on campus. Oh, and even tho I'm sure the IU-B campus is fairly liberal, I would imagine that the rest of bloomington and most of the state of indiana is more to the right of things. Does that all sound about right, and do you have more to add to it? Thanks.

Thanks Dredd! (BTW, why the name change?)  I like writing about my impressions and know it can be helpful to others (as so many posts on this board have been helpful to me).    IU-B versus Madison is a very tough decision...especially since one can end up being my UG and one my Law school alma mater.  It sounds like you have done quite a bit of research as you sound right on on many of your points.   IU is definitely a liberal town in a very red state.   Madison is not that much different though, as besides madison and  milwaukee, it is a conservative state (that seems true of most states though....citites and college towns are liberal and rural areas of state are conservative).  The rural areas of Indiana are probably not somewhere I would want to practice.  Besides Indy and bloomington (prob not many jobs in bloomington) I wouldn't want to stay in-state.  60% of grads go out of state though.

Bloomington definitely had a more "small town" feel than Madison.   UW has the capital and the UG buildings are spread out throughout the campus/city and it is just full of major streets and stuff throughout the campus.  IU-B is more of a campus area that is seperated from the little downtown area. IU has lots of green space and wooded ares too so it makes it feel smaller than Madison.  I don't think IU has any built up areas around it besides the downtown/campus areas.  Madison has big suburbs to the east and west with tons of major stores, movie theaters and malls.  It makes Madison spread out a good 30-45 minute drive wide (although the actual campus/downtown is probably only 10 minutes to drive across).

I feel like Madison generally has a little bit more to do and offer, people seem friendly at both, Madison is a bit less Frat/Soriority oriented, very pretty girls at both, IU has green space and woods while Madison has the lakes, IU is a bit warmer, Madison has 3 good sports to attend while IU only has basketball (though they are obsessed with it), Madison does seemt to have a better national rep (probably due partly to their undergrad rep), law school buildings are comparable in space and area and both in midle of campus, (Wisc with a more "modern/tech feel to it as it is more open and has a "metal" feel as opposed to the "wood" feel of IU), UW's state street is pretty unique/unbetable, housing cheaper and more convenient at IU, parking a pain at both, IU more pet friendly, unions both great, madison more in-staters.  Can't think of more off the top of my head.  Feel free to keep the questions coming.  :)
8) Boston College
;D Colorado $, Wisconsin, OSU $, Indiana $, Case $$, Tulane $$$, Davis, Iowa, Hastings, UWashington
:-\ GW, WUSTL, Emory, WashLee, BostonU, Ariz, Minnesota
>:( Gtown, Mich, Nwestern, UIUC, Berk

The Poster

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Re: My review of Indiana-Bloomington
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2006, 01:13:00 AM »
Stu, the name change is just part of the fun we have over on the off-topic side of the board. Check it out sometime, if you dare. Thanks for responding so quickly, that is great info! It sounds to me like the only major differences are the fact that one is in a small town and one in a city, and then probably cultural things here and there. Oh, and you say the housing at IU-B is cheaper than at Wisc.? Like how much cheaper? Wisc. prices looked pretty good from where im coming from. Another thing about the IU-B area that worries me is that it is near the "south" and in that part of the country where I imagine people are very religious. Somehow I don't imagine that being as much the case in Madison, then again I could be wrong on both counts, in which case I hope you would set me straight.

Also, there are of course differences in program offerings (from what I have seen, IU seems to have more of a business law focus in general). The woodsy feel of IU-B is something I would like, but I have a feeling that between the two schools, Wisc. would be a better fit for me in a lot of ways. Of course, if Davis came calling I would head there. Which brings me to ask, are you going to visit out there? I know this is an IU-B thread, but I have to say that from my visit to Davis it has most of the good things you said about IU-B with the plus of being near two major cities and much warmer weather (and better rep. I would say, tho it is far more expensive tuition and cost of living wise). Just wondering where Davis stands in your consideration of schools.
quote Stanley J. Watson III
you are doomed in the fated sense, but that's completely irrelevant because that's only from the viewpoint of someone who is not constrained by time. since you are temporal, for all intents and purposes you have the power to change your future

Stuje1

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Re: My review of Indiana-Bloomington
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2006, 05:30:40 PM »
Thank you Stu for such a thorough review!

If you have time, I have two questions for you: Did you happen to talk to anyone who did Indiana's summer-start thing?  And, more importantly, what is the name of that wonderful-sounding place with 80 kinds of beer?

Your welcome! lol, the name of the place with 80 beers is called the crazy horse and is about a 10-15 minute walk from the law school down kirkwood avenue.  They even have a club were you get a t-shirt if you have all 80 beers in 6 months.  ;D 

As for the "important" info, none of the students we spoke with themselves had done the summer start but they knew people who had (obviously) and the staff talked about it too.  It sounded like everyone who did it was really glad that they did.  It is a ncie transition to law school and frees up your schedule fall semester a tad (you take a 3 credit ethics course instead of 4 credit con-law and then you will have an extra elective 2nd year when non-summer starters take ethics class).  They said it has become very popular and will likely fill up this year (had 68 of 70 spots filled last year).  It works on 1st come 1st serve, so if you are interested, might want to see how many people have committed to summer start at this point.   One thing about summer start that made me unhappy was its effect on the social dynamic of the law school.  The students who hadn't done summer start admitted it was weird the first few weeks of school because a third of the class already knew each other and had friends there and the other 2/3 were just starting.  If I don't do summer start, that concerns me a little as i don't like being put in a place where people already have friends when I won't know anyone.   All the students did say that the summer starters were open to meeting new people and they did become friends with them later on, but that it was just a little weird in the beginning.


Oh, and you say the housing at IU-B is cheaper than at Wisc.? Like how much cheaper? Wisc. prices looked pretty good from where im coming from. Another thing about the IU-B area that worries me is that it is near the "south" and in that part of the country where I imagine people are very religious. Somehow I don't imagine that being as much the case in Madison, then again I could be wrong on both counts, in which case I hope you would set me straight.

Where you coming from Dread, a major city?  I'm sure both are cheaper than big cities.  Wisc is appx $550-800 for a one bedroom and probably $400-600/person for a two bedroom.  I have only a few examples from IU, so I'm not sure if they are just atypical, but the students we spoke with said it is dirt cheap and quoted us around $500-650 for a one bedroom and $300-500/per person for a two bedroom.  They have a whole packet of housing places that you can get from IU that I forgot to take with me, but it looked very helpful and informative.

As for religious conservatives, I'm sure they exist in wisconsin, but you are probably right when you say not as much as in Indiana.   It might just be a perception, but Wisconsin is squarely in the mid-west while Indiana is almsost "the south" as it borders Kentucky (which i consider a purely southern state).   It is hard to know though as I really don't spend time in places in wisconsin besides madison and milwaukee.  and while some kids at UW probably have religious, conservative parents, their opinions are quite  different because of their stays in Madison.   I think the same would be true of bloomington and that you wouldn't need to interact with areas outside of bloomington and Indy all that much.

Also, there are of course differences in program offerings (from what I have seen, IU seems to have more of a business law focus in general). The woodsy feel of IU-B is something I would like, but I have a feeling that between the two schools, Wisc. would be a better fit for me in a lot of ways. Of course, if Davis came calling I would head there. Which brings me to ask, are you going to visit out there? I know this is an IU-B thread, but I have to say that from my visit to Davis it has most of the good things you said about IU-B with the plus of being near two major cities and much warmer weather (and better rep. I would say, tho it is far more expensive tuition and cost of living wise). Just wondering where Davis stands in your consideration of schools.

Are you planning on visiting IU and Wisc?  Davis is still in consideration, but not on the top of my list as of now.   Cali is just a bit far away for me, as my whole famliy is out east, which would make visits a big hassle.  I'm also a little concerned about Davis being "too small" for me as I like having a lot to do (although that will prob change in law school).  Did you find Davis to be too small feeling?   Also, it is hard for me to get a good feel on the rep of Davis being from the East and living now in the midwest.  Out here, IU and Iowa have a good rep and people don't seem to know all that much about davis and BC has its good name out east (and pretty good here in mid-west too, at least with the non-law community people I have spoken with).  Is the weather in Davis very good or just relatively a lot better than the midwest?  I don't know much about No. Cali weather.
8) Boston College
;D Colorado $, Wisconsin, OSU $, Indiana $, Case $$, Tulane $$$, Davis, Iowa, Hastings, UWashington
:-\ GW, WUSTL, Emory, WashLee, BostonU, Ariz, Minnesota
>:( Gtown, Mich, Nwestern, UIUC, Berk

queencruella

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Re: My review of Indiana-Bloomington
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2006, 06:23:06 PM »
Stuje1, just to clarify about IU-B (I went there for undergrad), I think you can easily find apartments for $450-500 1br and for far less than that if you share a house or larger apartment.

As for religion, Bloomington is not southern enough to be considered "Kentuckiana" and not north enough to have any of the extremely conservative townies that you might find in NE Indiana.  However, in UG, there were quite a few religious conservatives, but it wasn't anything that was overwhelming.  Plenty of liberal athiest/agnostic people go there.

Stuje1

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Re: My review of Indiana-Bloomington
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2006, 05:39:55 PM »
I went to IUB undergrad for 2.5 years.  Bloomington is as fun a town as advertised... maybe even too fun!  I think your review pretty much captures the heart of it, well done!

Thanks KU!   Just curious, you didn't leave IU because you didn't like it, did you?  Doesn't sound like it from your review, but just making sure there wasn't something about it that made you want to leave and transfer somewhere else.
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;D Colorado $, Wisconsin, OSU $, Indiana $, Case $$, Tulane $$$, Davis, Iowa, Hastings, UWashington
:-\ GW, WUSTL, Emory, WashLee, BostonU, Ariz, Minnesota
>:( Gtown, Mich, Nwestern, UIUC, Berk

Vannabunny

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Re: My review of Indiana-Bloomington
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2006, 01:05:34 PM »
I can't tell if it is old or not,

 The Union is really big (supposedly biggest in country) and has lots of food choices, a hotel and full bowling alley.

The main street, kirkwood, ends right where the campus starts and is about a 2 minute walk from the law school.

 I don't think the rest of bloomington has too much to offer, but I don't really think you need to leave the immediate vicinity. 80% of the law students live within 8 blocks of the school.

Ok, here are my comments. Yes, the bulding is veru old but was renoviated in the 1990s.]

It is the biggest Union in the country

It's so FUNNY that you think Kirkwood is Main Street!!!! The far side of town has a Walmart, Movie theatre, several home improvement stores, Kmart, and just about every chain resturant you could ever name.

The other side has a emdium sized mall www.simon.com and look for the B-town one, as well as several grocery stores, another movie theatre and a few strip malls, as well as some nice not-to-far-way housing options.

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Stuje1

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Re: My review of Indiana-Bloomington
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2006, 01:45:49 PM »
Yes, the bulding is veru old but was renoviated in the 1990s.

Yeah, that was the vibe I got.   Old building that was renovated...cause it looks nice, but has an "older" feel to it.

It's so FUNNY that you think Kirkwood is Main Street!!!! The far side of town has a Walmart, Movie theatre, several home improvement stores, Kmart, and just about every chain resturant you could ever name.

The other side has a emdium sized mall www.simon.com and look for the B-town one, as well as several grocery stores, another movie theatre and a few strip malls, as well as some nice not-to-far-way housing options.

Oops!   Guess I was a little off.   I think of Kirkwood as kind of the equivalent to Madison's State Street (if you know what that's like), am I wrong?  Like, is it the place with most of the bars and places that students hang out on campus?   Is the place with the chain stores/restaurants, movie theaters and malls walking distance from campus, or is it more of a suburb/off campus area?  What area would be considered the main campus/downtown shopping district?   Thanks for the info!   
8) Boston College
;D Colorado $, Wisconsin, OSU $, Indiana $, Case $$, Tulane $$$, Davis, Iowa, Hastings, UWashington
:-\ GW, WUSTL, Emory, WashLee, BostonU, Ariz, Minnesota
>:( Gtown, Mich, Nwestern, UIUC, Berk

Vannabunny

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Re: My review of Indiana-Bloomington
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2006, 01:47:54 PM »
Ok, Kirkwood and the square (the area Kirkwood connects with) are the basic hangout areas for most college students and older townies. The mall is on the East side, and it is possible to walk there, though it's a long trek. The West Side, with WalMart and all that, is a 10-15 minute drive away.
High Priestess of the P-Dub Club




talking dirty to vanna is like... like... hitting on the pope or someting

IU-B grad student, working in corporate America