I'm moving to DC (or I'm going to law school)

…And yes, I already know law school is a risky investment these days.

I have been offered admission to George Washington Law (which I’ve accepted), and I am mostly content, considering my abysmal undergraduate GPA. Classes start August.

I’m moving there alone from South Korea and fortunately I’ve secured on campus housing for now since off campus housing could quite a pain, considering I’m an international student. The price is outrageous and that combined with the tuition is enough to for me to lose sleep.

But anyway, is there anything I should know before moving to DC? Or starting law school for that matter. Quite frankly I don’t even know what questions to ask.
One that comes to mind is do I need a car to live in DC? I’ve heard the public transportation is pretty good for an American city, but generally not having a car seems to be a pretty big hassle for most of the US.

So what should I prepare for DC? What should I prepare for law school? And who wants to greet me at the airport?

Last question’s a joke. Mostly.

Oh and if any of this is relevant, I’m a 26 year old male non-US citizen of Asian descent. I plan to live pretty frugally while attending law school. Not much of a choice in the matter actually. And I have dark eyes and hair, and enjoy long walks on the beach.

DC’s has pretty good public transportation and you should be able to get around nicely without a car. In fact, I avoid driving in DC - I prefer to park at the end of the metro line and ride in - much less hassle.

I can’t address law school, since I’m an engineer. And both airports are a long way from where I live, so I won’t be greeting you. But I wish you good luck in school and I hope you enjoy your time in this little corner of the world!

Read The Paper Chase and/or* 1L*. Law school is very much like that.

You will be expected to have found and completed reading assignments prior to the first day of class. They are usually listed on a bulletin board somewhere…or might even be emailed or otherwise electronically distributed these days.

Prior to starting law school, you’ve probably gotten used to being one of the smartest people in your group. Everyone is law school is like that. You’re about to be a part of the smartest group of humans you’ve ever met.

Most subjects will have commercial outlines available. Two of the leading publishers of such outlines are Emmanuel’s and Gilbert’s. They can be very useful.

I graduated in 1995. Pre-internet/wide-spread lap top use. Things may have changed since then.

Good luck.

I second you not needing a car. I avoided driving in the District like the plague. And there is a company (name eludes me right now) where you can rent a car for a couple of hours if you need one.

You’ll find that DC is quite compact and very easy to get around without a car, and you’ll be in a fantastic spot: right downtown, within easy walking distance of the Mall and just about everything interesting there is to do down there, and several Metro stations a few blocks away if you want to venture further out.

You must finish in the top 20% of your class in your first year. If you do not, you will not qualify for OCI and it will be very hard to get a job at a big firm that pays six figures. If you want to work in big law, Everything else is unimportant.

I just moved here and agree with the no-car opinions. I could drive to work and park for free if I wanted, but I’d rather ride. It’s not hot right now, but it will be; be prepared to sweat a bit. I can’t say much more about the city because I just got here.

There is a thriving Korean community in the Virginia suburbs. Eventually you may want to join Zipcar (a service offering short-term car rentals from convenient locations), to head out there when you get lonely for Hanguk. Day-to-day, it won’t be necessary.

Your foreign background can be your big asset for finding work. Consider taking courses in international business (i.e., private international law). Research which law firms have a presence in Seoul.

Living frugally is going to be a challenge. Restaurants, even quick sandwich places, run quite expensive. And it’s a city full of young people with good jobs, so maintaining a social life starts adding up. There is tons of free stuff to do, but I’ve found it tough to stick to my budget.

Let us know when you arrive and we’ll put on a Dopefest.

Thanks for the advice folks.
So no car it is.

Wendell Wagner, a dopefest sounds like of fun. I’ll be there early August but it might take a couple of weeks or so for me to get settled. I’ll try to keep you guys updated.

Congratulations and welcome to DC. I’ll third, or fourth, that you don’t need a car. As mentioned, zipcar is a great option if you think you might like to do some driving. You can always get a car later if you need it, but you probably will find that you won’t need it. Let me know if there’s a dopefest.

Since you’re coming in August, I hope you’re prepared for DC’s heat and humidity!

In addition to the wonderful Zipcar, we now have Capital Bikeshare for short trips around town.

Metro has a convoluted fare system but is very usable. I live in Maryland but use Metro to get to and from work every day, as do many commuters here–you’ll find plenty of people who do not drive.

It will be tough to live frugally especially if you’re close to the main GWU campus. You may want to pool with classmates to go out to the suburbs for groceries.

Or, if your schedule allows, you can have your groceries delivered for small amount. Sometimes you can get delivery for just a dollar. Peapod

There is also http://www.car2go.com/, whats nice about that plan is that you can pick the car up in one spot and leave it anywhere else in the city. With Zipcar, you have to pick the car up in a dedicated parking spot and return it to the exact same spot. Cars 2 Go lets you make one way trips. It’s fairly new to DC and there are all kinds of introductory offers around to sign up for free; check their website or the Washington Post for offers.

Luckily for you the DC area is among the nation’s top areas for Korean food. Unluckily for you most of the best Korean places are in Annandale which is not accessible via metro. There are plenty of Korean churches around which could help smooth your transition.
About law school, google Tucker Max’s advice about law school. He may be a huge jerk, but his points about law school are exactly right.

You will be in the neighborhood known as Foggy Bottom, and it is one of the nicest areas in the city. You can walk to Georgetown, the West End and the White House. The Foggy Bottom metro is very close to GW and from there you can venture out in many directions. Take it to L’Enfant Plaza where you can walk to the Smithsonian, the Hirschorn, and the Air and Space Museum. A bit further on (also walkable) is Capitol Hill and the Library of Congress. Across the mall is the Natural History museum, and on 3rd the National Gallery of Art.

I’ll fourth or fifth, that you don’t need a car, and if you are going to be in Foggy Bottom, a car will be more of a headache than anything else. Like others said, a Zip Car membership will be useful for when you want to do some major shopping and need to head to suburbs and the large Big Box stores.

Ironically, most of the cheap eats tend to be out in the suburbs, but there is a Whole Foods in Foggy Bottom that has a huge cafeteria area that looks pretty good.