If you’re in the process of looking at law schools, you’ll notice that there are some which are fully integrated into larger universities (like BU,) and some others that stand alone (for example, Vermont Law School). This post is about everything I know about how BU Law is integrated into the larger university, and how I’ve found that useful.
First – let’s talk about what’s not included. Law students generally don’t get BU meal plans. No one I know has any kind of BU meal plan, but it’s probably possible to do if you want to. You can put money on your Terrier Card to use at BU dining facilities, or you can pay in cash at those facilities. We law students tend to live off campus with other grad students or young adults & grocery shop/feed ourselves. In all honesty, I eat (and see others eating) so many frozen meals. Amy’s Organic Kitchen is basically located in my microwave.
Second – there are, however, a number of BU facilities and services to which you will have access as a BU law student. For example, you can get seen by a doctor or nurse practitioner at Student Health for free. I just had my yearly physical and had my annual prescriptions renewed at Student Health – they’re great.
You can take BU gym classes for credit for no money, or you can sign up for classes for a fee with a student discount. You get free access to the BU gym and athletic facilities, but will need to pay for a gym locker and/or towel service if you want it. There is purportedly a lazy river at one of these facilities. I haven’t seen it yet. This semester I’m taking Intro to Golf for .5 credits, and a weekly Pilates Yoga Fusion class for $107 for the semester. I had golf this morning and it was a nice way to start the day, plus I hope it will be a useful thing to know. I have friends at BU law who have taken Tae Kwon Do, swimming, and sailing for credit.
Some graduate student housing is available through BU, though your lease on such apartments starts a month after you sign – so, you have to wait until July to sign for an apartment you want to start living in in August. It doesn’t give you a lot of wiggle room if such an apartment is not available by July. BU Law students are also eligible to apply to be Resident Assistants or Resident Directors of BU undergraduate housing. These positions usually include housing and sometimes meal plans, in exchange for the work you do as an RA. You must apply to these positions early, so if you’re interested, make sure you keep your eye on the deadlines.
Third – you will also have some limited options for taking classes outside the law school. If you sign up for one of the dual degrees, you will definitely take classes at the other relevant graduate school – e.g., the business school, the school of public health, the medical school, etc. You can also take classes from BU law’s graduate programs in Tax or Finance. (I’m taking 6 credits in graduate tax classes this semester and aiming for the 7-semester JD/LLM in Taxation, myself.) Outside of these, you may take elective graduate-level classes from any school at BU, though how many of these will count towards your law degree is limited. If you are interested in taking such classes, make sure you do some careful planning, as it may limit how many credits you can receive from classes taken Pass/Fail or from externships and clinics. Finally, it is my understanding that you can take a class at Boston College law school if they have a class BU does not offer.
Fourth – other things. As a BU student, you can get a Boston Linkpass (which gives you access to all busses and trains on the T system in Boston,) for $250 a semester. I highly recommend this. It costs slightly less than a Linkpass bought at a station, lasts 3-4 months, and if you lose it, you can apply to have it replaced (which is not true of normal Linkpasses.) You can also get a parking space through BU Parking & Transportation. Unless you waive it to save a few hundred dollars, you also get a BU Sports Pass as a student, so you can go and watch BU’s sports teams at home games. BU law students are involved in a few of the school’s intramural sports leagues.