first of all its a pretty large law school; almost 350 1L's i think. I was in the evening program, which was VERY laid back. Honestly, it was a great atmosphere, everyone was very supportive of one another. The day time program seemed alright from what I observed. Generally, pretty good vibe though.
As far as competition is concerned, it was fairly non existant within the evening section, and probably a little more competitive for the day time students. But it was not anything ruthless that you may see in the movies. However, the competition kicks in during 2L OCI, which is fairly limited at SU. With 300+ students look for jobs at the same time, and 95% in the same city, it may get a little tough.
I thought cost of living was outrageous, but i'm from the south. If you want something close to school, you may want to look at places in capitol hill or first hill. Personally, I would stay away from first hill; quite a bit of crime for such a small area. Capital Hill is a pretty cool place, VERY liberal. You can find some decent 1br or studios probably for 700-1000. I lived a couple miles from the school in the leschi/madrona park area on Lake Washington, which was awesome. Its a little more pricey though. Or, you can live in the Murphy apartments on campus, which is absolutely without a doubt the most economical thing to do.
The two things i liked most were 1) the building facilities and 2) the professors. The building is only a few years old and is very nice for a law school. THe professors are very accessible and experts in their fields. Dislikes? Honestly, I didnt really have any during my 1l year. I think its a great school and well respected for the attys it produces. I can imagine if I was still there that I would have some complaints in terms of finding a job though. I think if you're coming out of SU, networking in the city is the KEY. You can't rely on SU OCI/Career Services, not that it is horrible, but again with 300+ studnets, it only really helps out the top 10% or so.
le me know if you have any other q's