Yeah, I think Indiana will give me more options overall, especially if I decide environmental law isn't my cup of tea. I've been checking out iucribs.com and the grad student organization homepage for housing options. I'm thinking about trying to move into a townhouse with another kid, but the landlord lives on the top floor and shares the living room and kitchen, which could be weird. Has anyone ever done that before? Otherwise, I'm looking at a couple of apartments.
Tacojohn or anyone else-- do you know anything about Colonial Crest or Woodbridge apartments? Good or bad? Thanks for the info on the Villas and the stadium area, I'll stay away.
Since I stayed in the dorms my whole time there, I don't know a whole lot about all the individual complexes, but if you tell me where they are, I can give you a good idea how they are.
Here's what I recommend. Get a house. Find a roommate or two and get your own house. It will be more expensive, but most of the rental houses in Bloomington are actually owned by professors and run by management companies. They seem to care a lot (from what I've heard) about you having a easy experience. Houses are much more likely to have grad student discounts than apartments, and are obviously quieter since you're normally not distrubed by day-to-day noise in your neighbor's house.
Places to Avoid: Hoosier Courts (both Henderson and Kinser Pike, really far from campus too), University Commons (also really far from Campus). I would also say Smallwood Plaza and 10th and College, but they are really the only options for downtown, full-amenity living. But they both are sort of loud, mostly on weekends though, and a bit expensive. They may also be sold out too, but I'm not sure.
I just dislike the Campus Mall area entirely because I love being able to get up and walk to class, rather than timing everything to hitch a bus.
Another thing to do: as soon as you have an id, apply for a parking pass. Just throw your name in for a C-pass. No guarantees, but grad students have a shot a these passes, which are the second best available. They allow you to park in the lot at the law school. Otherwise get an E or F pass. For law students, I would normally recommend an F pass. These allow you to park in non-24 hour spots after 5PM. So if you have early classes and leave the law school, you can drive back after 5 to study at the law school (or main library). E passes allow you park at the stadium. I don't really know why someone would want to park at the stadium, unless you live out at College Mall, and want to drive to the stadium to take the Stadium Express bus to the Union, then walk to the law school.