In my opinion, the location of the schools is rather minimal. I have been accepted at BC, waiting on BU and have done some research on places to live. From pretty much every source I can find, most BU and BC students live in the same area of Boston (Allston/Brighton/Brookline). It is true that these areas are closer to BU, but in fact many BC students seem to live in the same area and either use public transport or have a car. This means a longer commute inorder to get to BC, but I don't think that students' lives are all that different in terms of location. If you attend BU, you could probably live in many other parts of Boston and commute, but it seems that most BU/BC students live on the western edge of Boston.
In regards to prestige and career options I see BC and BU as essentially the same, with BC getting a slight upper hand in Boston. There is an interesting study done about 2L offers over at the XOXOHTH board. The results show that BC is slightly better than BU in Boston. Outside of Boston, the two schools are pretty much identical in terms of offers made to 2L's during OCI. I have always heard that BU is a better school for NYC and slighty more national, but I don't think I really buy it anymore. BC's dropping in the USNEWS was probably due to two factors (student faculty ration and their placement stats). It seems that BC is more heavily tied to the Boston legal market than BU, and the Boston legal market is going through some rough times. I will be very interested in seeing the new rankings that come out in a few weeks to see if anything changed. Traditionally, BC has a stronger program according to USNEWS. Whether this is changing for the good or is merely a few years of exception, I don't think anyone knows.
All in all I have been very impressed with BC. Before I received my admission offer, I was thinking I would like BU more than BC. Now, I honestly don't know. BC seems like they are top notch professionals (unlike Brooklyn, whose numerous marketing materials have put me off). I am also impressed with the level of alumni support for BC. To me the facilites at a university say a lot about how the alumni, greater university, etc. view the law school. Thus, I am a little concerned about BU's facilities. Where are the alumni that want to help the school?
Hopefully I will get some good news from BU soon. But, I don't know if they can win me back from BC (although I don't know if I am even going to one of these two schools yet!).
I agree with this as well-- BC places as well nationally, but better locally than BU. The facilities are nicer. From what I have heard, there is significantlly less competition among students at BC. Students from both mostly live in the ghetto of western Boston where it is relatively cheaper.
They are both great schools, and I think that anyone deciding between the two should forget about rankings (because I am sure that the two schools will be switching leads for years to come) and focus on which school is a good fit. Personally, I am turned off by BU's icky (and I mean icky) facilities, the fact that the the average of matriculation is 23 (I have been out of school for a cuople years), and the fact that the building is in the middle of the undergraduate campus (home to possibly the most obnoxious undergraduates in America). On the flip side, I have heard that BU has great profs and that the people are pretty down to earth.
Regardless, anyone choosing should visit. The campuses give off very different vibes, and I am sure one will be more appealing to any single person than the other.