GULC 1L taking questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
johndhi
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GULC 1L taking questions

Postby johndhi » Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:47 pm

Back at home after my first semester at Georgetown Law. It was a wild ride, but somehow it only took one day of living with my parents for me to fall back into my old habits of mulling about the house doing nothing and drinking too much with my friends. Maybe this will help me get back on track!

Any question is welcome. FYI I'm in GULC's "curriculum B"

superw
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Re: GULC 1L taking questions

Postby superw » Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:53 pm

johndhi wrote:Back at home after my first semester at Georgetown Law. It was a wild ride, but somehow it only took one day of living with my parents for me to fall back into my old habits of mulling about the house doing nothing and drinking too much with my friends. Maybe this will help me get back on track!

Any question is welcome. FYI I'm in GULC's "curriculum B"


What gpa/lsat score got you into GULC?

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bk1
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Re: GULC 1L taking questions

Postby bk1 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:09 pm

General thoughts on curriculum B. Why did you choose it before you started? Would you make the same choice if you had to do it over? How do the people compare to A? Do you feel closer as a section?

As for apartments, where would you recommend living? When would you recommend to start looking for one?

johndhi
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Re: GULC 1L taking questions

Postby johndhi » Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:26 pm

Oy, maybe I didn't mean all questions are welcome :). I have some friends/classmates on here and "the code" says we don't talk about that stuff, but I'm above the 75% for LSAT and median for GPA. Rather not go into the decision process etc.

Curriculum B: I chose it because I like things that are different and it made me feel good about going to a big school because I thought it would provide a little more personality and intimacy. Another factor was the idea that I thought I could out-perform my peers better because I felt pretty confident in my history/philosophy skills from undergrad (I actually did hard science in undergrad but took some hist/phil classes and loved them), and curriculum B has an additional class on those topics. I'm not so sure that is true considering the high caliber of the social science students I sit next to, but I'm overall happy with my choice nonetheless. I'd make the same choice over again, yes. As for the people, everyone I've met from other sections - and I've met quite a few - I guess the big difference is that non-B people tend to be more interested in working in the private sector. Section 3 (the B section) has a lot of people that have a public-interest lean. There is a lot of hand-raising in our classes; the professors say S3 tends to have more of that than the other sections.
I'd say we probably are closer as a section - we definitely have a monopoly on dragging cafeteria tables together so we can sit twenty at once during the lunch hour. I've been told S3 people tend to be more involved in campus groups, but I can't personally attest to this. I have great friends in and out of the section and really haven't met a single person I can say I don't like.
I have some more general comments to make if anyone is interested in engaging me on this stuff - but I'm also trying to watch a TV show with my parents :)

Apartments - the people that live on campus seem to like it (or at least pretend to). There are a bunch of different neighborhoods available - it really depends on what you like and what you are comfortable with. I'd recommend living close to school but you don't have to be in Chinatown to do that - it's a twenty minute walk from Shaw, H street, Capitol Hill and bikeable from a bunch more. If you're down to live in sort of a ghetto area (I do), you can get a cool place that's convenient and affordable. Living on campus is more expensive than not doing so.

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Excellence = a Habit
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Re: GULC 1L taking questions

Postby Excellence = a Habit » Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:27 pm

johndhi wrote:Oy, maybe I didn't mean all questions are welcome :). I have some friends/classmates on here and "the code" says we don't talk about that stuff, but I'm above the 75% for LSAT and median for GPA. Rather not go into the decision process etc.

Curriculum B: I chose it because I like things that are different and it made me feel good about going to a big school because I thought it would provide a little more personality and intimacy. Another factor was the idea that I thought I could out-perform my peers better because I felt pretty confident in my history/philosophy skills from undergrad (I actually did hard science in undergrad but took some hist/phil classes and loved them), and curriculum B has an additional class on those topics. I'm not so sure that is true considering the high caliber of the social science students I sit next to, but I'm overall happy with my choice nonetheless. I'd make the same choice over again, yes. As for the people, everyone I've met from other sections - and I've met quite a few - I guess the big difference is that non-B people tend to be more interested in working in the private sector. Section 3 (the B section) has a lot of people that have a public-interest lean. There is a lot of hand-raising in our classes; the professors say S3 tends to have more of that than the other sections.
I'd say we probably are closer as a section - we definitely have a monopoly on dragging cafeteria tables together so we can sit twenty at once during the lunch hour. I've been told S3 people tend to be more involved in campus groups, but I can't personally attest to this. I have great friends in and out of the section and really haven't met a single person I can say I don't like.
I have some more general comments to make if anyone is interested in engaging me on this stuff - but I'm also trying to watch a TV show with my parents :)

Apartments - the people that live on campus seem to like it (or at least pretend to). There are a bunch of different neighborhoods available - it really depends on what you like and what you are comfortable with. I'd recommend living close to school but you don't have to be in Chinatown to do that - it's a twenty minute walk from Shaw, H street, Capitol Hill and bikeable from a bunch more. If you're down to live in sort of a ghetto area (I do), you can get a cool place that's convenient and affordable. Living on campus is more expensive than not doing so.


Thanks for this response - I'm also wondering about Curriculum B and I found this response very helpful!

johndhi
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Re: GULC 1L taking questions

Postby johndhi » Wed Dec 22, 2010 6:14 pm

Excellence = a Habit wrote:Thanks for this response - I'm also wondering about Curriculum B and I found this response very helpful!


Glad to hear it. I'll say something more practical for making the decision: curriculum B involves more reading. This doesn't mean the other sections are easier, just that they have a little more time to take it slow or review their notes. I think there's also something to the idea that supplements (hornbooks, commercial outlines, etc.) have less direct relevance to the curriculum, although I think taking a look at them is generally a good idea.

masterthearts
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Re: GULC 1L taking questions

Postby masterthearts » Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:08 pm

johndhi wrote:
Excellence = a Habit wrote:Thanks for this response - I'm also wondering about Curriculum B and I found this response very helpful!


Glad to hear it. I'll say something more practical for making the decision: curriculum B involves more reading. This doesn't mean the other sections are easier, just that they have a little more time to take it slow or review their notes. I think there's also something to the idea that supplements (hornbooks, commercial outlines, etc.) have less direct relevance to the curriculum, although I think taking a look at them is generally a good idea.


Is curriculum B harder? I want to do whatever is easier.

ksimon2007
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Re: GULC 1L taking questions

Postby ksimon2007 » Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:16 pm

1. Can you get me in?
2. G'Town does get quite a bit of talk on TLS about the large class size and propensity for most of the graduates to flood the D.C. market. Does this fact lead to a more competitive atmosphere among students interested in the private sector? I know you are surrounded with more public minded folks, but any insight is fine.
3. Do you feel that you have great access to your professors outside of the classroom?

yanksbgood
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Re: GULC 1L taking questions

Postby yanksbgood » Mon Dec 27, 2010 2:04 am

Do you think that GULC has the same career prospects as duke or cornell? Is the GULC hate on here justified, or are there still good jobs to be had for median-ish students out of gulc?

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T6Hopeful
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Re: GULC 1L taking questions

Postby T6Hopeful » Mon Dec 27, 2010 2:12 am

yanksbgood wrote:Do you think that GULC has the same career prospects as duke or cornell? Is the GULC hate on here justified, or are there still good jobs to be had for median-ish students out of gulc?

Also interested to hear this. I hate to be a "prestige" hog, but I think future career prospects are worth it to ask what current students think.

On another note, I heard GULC (as well as GW... DC thing?) is really stingy with money. Does this mean merit-based aid? How's the need-based aid?

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Marionberry
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Re: GULC 1L taking questions

Postby Marionberry » Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:13 pm

I have found myself completely overwhelmed in trying to look for housing. This would be much easier if I wasn't going to be married by the time I move up there. The only neighborhoods that seem safe enough within the city are too expensive for us, and I don't know enough about the metro and everything to figure out what parts of Arlington would be best. Were I by myself I wouldn't mind living in a sketchier neighborhood, but she will not go for that, and I don't think i would want her walking around by herself in a place like that anyway. These are my biggest questions, if anyone who is knowledgeable would be so kind as to answer them.

1) Is there a general consensus as to whether or not it's better to live on the orange or yellow line to commute from Arlington?

2) Are there any townhouses/rowhouses/duplexes available that are reasonably close to a metro station in NOVA?

3) Are we destined to end up living in an apartment comples?

4)Is it feasible to try and ride a bus to a metro station, or will that just result in a 45+ minute commute? Or maybe just to ride a bus all the way?

johndhi
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Re: GULC 1L taking questions

Postby johndhi » Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:54 am

Hi gents, sorry for the slow response time.

masterthearts wrote:
Is curriculum B harder? I want to do whatever is easier.


Here's my thought on the above question: because you're on a curve against your classmates, both are equally hard. Whatever suits your learning style (and does not suit the other students' learning styles), I guess, then, is in some way "easier." Do you like reading a lot and are you prepared to try to grasp the classes with the disadvantage that commercial study guides tend to be even less relevant to your classes than normal? Do you like those things more than the other smarty-pantses that will be in your section? Compare that with your performance against other smarty-pantses in the regular curriculum and make the decision (IMO). I guess another factor would be whether curric B has a more difficult curve - I don't know. I do know my section is full of smart students usually from liberal arts backgrounds at top undergrad universities. The other sections seem impressively/dauntingly bright, too.

ksimon2007 wrote:1. Can you get me in?
2. G'Town does get quite a bit of talk on TLS about the large class size and propensity for most of the graduates to flood the D.C. market. Does this fact lead to a more competitive atmosphere among students interested in the private sector? I know you are surrounded with more public minded folks, but any insight is fine.
3. Do you feel that you have great access to your professors outside of the classroom?


1. Probably, I'm kind of a big deal around these parts. But you'll have to impress me first!

2. It's accurate that we have a large class size; I'm not sure about how many of us are dedicated to seeking employment in DC but I wouldn't be surprised if that number ended up being high. As a 1L, I wouldn't say the fact that GULC grads flood the DC market itself leads to a competitive atmosphere, but I would agree that there is a somewhat competitive atmosphere. It's law school. We're a classroom full of neurotic, competitive, intense people who have read here and elsewhere that we'll need to "restructure" our career goals for the "new legal market"; add a standard grading system on a curve and grade-based rewards like law review and I'll be damned if there isn't competition. Also, don't forget that the public sector is increasingly competitive, perhaps moreso, because public interest employers are receiving more applications and are beginning to close the door to recent graduates. All of this said, I think we've done a great job of keeping the love flowing despite the competitive environment.

3. Yes, the professors all have office hours and are liberally willing to make appointments to meet with you outside of them. One is so busy that setting up such a meeting can be difficult! I went to all of my professors' office hours at least once and went to my favorite professor's hours maybe 5 times. They are truly friendly people who have our back and want the best for us.

johndhi
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Re: GULC 1L taking questions

Postby johndhi » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:20 am

yanksbgood wrote:Do you think that GULC has the same career prospects as duke or cornell? Is the GULC hate on here justified, or are there still good jobs to be had for median-ish students out of gulc?


In trying to answer this and other career questions, let me first make a disclaimer: I'm a 1L who spent almost all of the last few months reading about Property, Contracts, Torts and Civil Procedure. I don't really have hard facts or experience to back up my opinions here, which I formed mostly during the admissions process, so don't sue me if I'm wrong.

I hope we aren't too much worse than Duke or Cornell, since I got into both of those schools. I imagine in terms of pure prestige, we are "one" less well-off than is Cornell, and "two or three" (IIRC) less than Duke. That's if hiring partners read USNWR - if they read TLS, my understanding is that we're in the "not HYS, and then not CCYCN, and also not whatever's right under those, but still a top school." To tell the truth, I really don't know what will happen to a GULC median graduates - I hope it isn't too bad. As someone told me, no GULC graduate has yet starved to death. I have a couple 2 and 3L friends that dominated their classes and have kickass biglaw or otherwise awesome employment. I have a couple others that weren't so lucky but I'm not exactly clear on their situations. All I know is I don't have to live in Durham or Ithaca for three years (f that!).

Here's an interesting point on the whole topic: one of our professors, on the last day of class sort of gave us a speech about where he thinks we stand with respect to employment and what's going to happen to the economy. He told us the days of 70% of us being able to pay off our debt in 2 years of big law are probably gone and not coming back. But he had faith that going to a top law school is a great bet/investment in an uncertain world - this country has depended on legal professionals for a long time and that probably isn't stopping soon.

T6Hopeful wrote:Also interested to hear this. I hate to be a "prestige" hog, but I think future career prospects are worth it to ask what current students think.

On another note, I heard GULC (as well as GW... DC thing?) is really stingy with money. Does this mean merit-based aid? How's the need-based aid?


No problemo - prestige and real and doesn't need to be in quotes. I hope my school has enough to help me get what I want. RE merit aid - really? I hadn't heard that. I'd heard that rumor re Harvard and Berkeley. GULC was straightforward re merit aid for me and kept it real and gave me an amount I'm happy with. I know at least one of my classmates was "bought" from HLS so apparently they engage in that too. I'm talking merit-based aid here. As far as I know, need-based aid isn't really a real thing in the law school application process (is it?). They talk about it but afaik need-based aid is a link to the Stafford loans website.

Marionberry wrote:1) Is there a general consensus as to whether or not it's better to live on the orange or yellow line to commute from Arlington?

2) Are there any townhouses/rowhouses/duplexes available that are reasonably close to a metro station in NOVA?

3) Are we destined to end up living in an apartment comples?

4)Is it feasible to try and ride a bus to a metro station, or will that just result in a 45+ minute commute? Or maybe just to ride a bus all the way?


Sorry friend, I'm afraid I'm not going to be the most helpful for these questions. If another of my classmates wants to chime in, they're welcome to. Here's a quick try:
1. No idea. I ride on the yellow a lot and it's fine. I hear the orange is fine, too. I could be wrong, but I THINK the yellow line within DC runs through nicer areas than does the orange, but that doesn't really matter anyway.
2. Wait, why are you so determined on living in Arlington/Northern Virginia? DC and Maryland are cool too. I don't know much about it, since I live in DC.
3. No - there are plenty of houses and duplexes and stuff. I don't live in an apartment building. This is DC, I imagine Arlington has even more non-apartment options, since it's more rural.
4. Couldn't tell you since I don't commute too much. The buses are nice and clean on the inside and I've heard fairly reliable. Metro can suck some times but is generally good. I'd suggest living closer to campus so you can avoid the hassle.

General tip to apartment searchers: give yourself a week to go nuts with craigslist and look at all the options you can and be willing to take them quickly if you find the right one. It worked for me.

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Re: GULC 1L taking questions

Postby veragood » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:41 am

Ah, GULC is my #1 choice. Applying there ED as soon as I get my Dec. LSAT in (tomorrow??)

Not a Q but I was wondering if you'd be willing to read my personal statement for Georgetown and give any critiques?

I'm 3.0/170 (looking for a 175+)

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Re: GULC 1L taking questions

Postby Excellence = a Habit » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:11 pm

Marionberry wrote:I have found myself completely overwhelmed in trying to look for housing. This would be much easier if I wasn't going to be married by the time I move up there. The only neighborhoods that seem safe enough within the city are too expensive for us, and I don't know enough about the metro and everything to figure out what parts of Arlington would be best. Were I by myself I wouldn't mind living in a sketchier neighborhood, but she will not go for that, and I don't think i would want her walking around by herself in a place like that anyway. These are my biggest questions, if anyone who is knowledgeable would be so kind as to answer them.

1) Is there a general consensus as to whether or not it's better to live on the orange or yellow line to commute from Arlington?

2) Are there any townhouses/rowhouses/duplexes available that are reasonably close to a metro station in NOVA?

3) Are we destined to end up living in an apartment comples?

4)Is it feasible to try and ride a bus to a metro station, or will that just result in a 45+ minute commute? Or maybe just to ride a bus all the way?


I don't go to Georgetown, but I grew up relatively near the campus and I lived there for a couple years as a "young professional" and kept tabs on the housing situation in DC, at least for rentals. I hardly know anything about Arlington... I had a couple of friends who lived at the Courthouse Metro stop (on the orange line in arlington), in high-rise apartments that were pretty nice, but IMO way overpriced - it was worth it for them because they worked nearby, but I wouldn't pay $1700-$2000 for a 1-2 bedroom in Arlington only to commute to Georgetown(approx 25-30 minutes by train, due in part to the transfer). I have heard that the orange line (and everything coming from VA) is ridiculously crowded in morning rush hour (more so than the other lines). I'm sure that the price would go down somewhat (and you'd have a chance at a house) going farther out on the orange line, but I'm not sure to what degree it would go down, plus the commute would be longer (though you'd have a better chance at a seat).

My advice for someone looking to avoid unsafe DC neighborhoods would be, first: There are a lot of safe neighborhoods out there. Yes, if you go across the river into deep Southeast it is dicey, though having grown up near there I can say that Southeast in general is now a world away from the reputation it earned in the 80s and 90s (still not that good in Anacostia). Other (hipper) places that are viewed as relatively unsafe are the H Street Corridor (Atlas District) and Columbia Heights/Petworth. Almost all of my yuppie friends lived in one of these enclaves (or in the safer Mt. Pleasant neighborhood, next to Columbia Heights), without incident, but there were occasional, random and disturbing shootings and more petty crime like bike thefts were not unusual.

If you and your wife are looking for safety specifically, it is probably best to avoid those neighborhoods, along with unhip and dangerouser neighborhoods like Trinidad (just to the north of H street) and Rhode Island Avenue. (If you hadn't specifically stressed safety though, I would have put them at the top of my recommendation list.) However, eliminating them leaves a lot of DC at your fingertips. Capitol Hill is expensive, at least near to GULC - it gets more affordable as you go south and east, and the area as far south as the river and as far east as Pennsylvania Avenue is, at this point, very safe, I would say. There are some cute little row houses around there, though I'm not sure how many of them are for rent; I think most are for sale. New condos are sprouting up all over that area. If you like condos, obviously there's the whole overwhelming row of them up and down Massachusetts Ave right next to GULC. Then there are expensive but safe and happening neighborhoods like Dupont Circle, Logan Circle and Kalorama, and the slightly more sleepy but still expensive Woodley Heights, Cleveland Park and Van Ness. Most of those are on the red line (same as GULC), which will limit your commute time. In most of those places, though, I would think you'd be more likely to rent an apartment, unless you are ready to plunk down serious cash for a house.

HOWEVER, given your interests in safety and houses, my number one recommendation is this: Check out Takoma Park, Maryland. It's a town right outside of DC (and borders on a DC neighborhood called Takoma, which is a little less safe and gentrified but still nice). It's known as the "Berkeley of the East" for its liberal hippie residents, but I would say you can put this aside regardless of your political leanings. The bottom line is that it is a really nice community with a mix of houses for sale, houses for rent, and apartments in converted houses for rent. I lived there for the two years I was working in downtown DC and it was perfect for me. It is not super busy but there is a great little downtown with a farmers market all year round. Crime is pretty low. Prices definitely vary but I shared a group house (in the Takoma, DC neighborhood, but just a block from Maryland and on a nice street) with 4 bedrooms for $2100 - which is great for DC. Best of all, it is only about six stops from GULC, on the red line so no transfers.

Okay, this was crazy long but I like to write about my city :) You can find crime maps of DC here: --LinkRemoved-- and here: --LinkRemoved--. Good luck!
Last edited by Excellence = a Habit on Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

johndhi
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Re: GULC 1L taking questions

Postby johndhi » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:19 pm

veragood wrote:Ah, GULC is my #1 choice. Applying there ED as soon as I get my Dec. LSAT in (tomorrow??)

Not a Q but I was wondering if you'd be willing to read my personal statement for Georgetown and give any critiques?

I'm 3.0/170 (looking for a 175+)


YGPM. Hope test went well.

I tend to agree with everything Excellent = a Habit has to say re housing in the area. I'll make a note that I thought was a little unclear from the beginning of his post - GULC is separate from Georgetown University and is on the other side of town from Georgetown the neighborhood. So you'd really be commuting to the Capitol Hill area via the red line's judiciary square or union station stops. His comment that Takoma is six stops away still stands - it's on the red line.
I'd also add one more DC neighborhood for you to take a look at: Logan Circle (closer to GULC than Dupont by a bit, definitely bikeable, and very nice).

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Re: GULC 1L taking questions

Postby Excellence = a Habit » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:27 pm

johndhi wrote:
veragood wrote:Ah, GULC is my #1 choice. Applying there ED as soon as I get my Dec. LSAT in (tomorrow??)

Not a Q but I was wondering if you'd be willing to read my personal statement for Georgetown and give any critiques?

I'm 3.0/170 (looking for a 175+)


YGPM. Hope test went well.

I tend to agree with everything Excellent = a Habit has to say re housing in the area. I'll make a note that I thought was a little unclear from the beginning of his post - GULC is separate from Georgetown University and is on the other side of town from Georgetown the neighborhood. So you'd really be commuting to the Capitol Hill area via the red line's judiciary square or union station stops. His comment that Takoma is six stops away still stands - it's on the red line.
I'd also add one more DC neighborhood for you to take a look at: Logan Circle (closer to GULC than Dupont by a bit, definitely bikeable, and very nice).


Great minds think alike - I just edited my post to add Logan Circle :) I love that neighborhood; wish I could have afforded to live there!

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Re: GULC 1L taking questions

Postby Marionberry » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:59 pm

Excellence = a Habit wrote:
Marionberry wrote:I have found myself completely overwhelmed in trying to look for housing. This would be much easier if I wasn't going to be married by the time I move up there. The only neighborhoods that seem safe enough within the city are too expensive for us, and I don't know enough about the metro and everything to figure out what parts of Arlington would be best. Were I by myself I wouldn't mind living in a sketchier neighborhood, but she will not go for that, and I don't think i would want her walking around by herself in a place like that anyway. These are my biggest questions, if anyone who is knowledgeable would be so kind as to answer them.

1) Is there a general consensus as to whether or not it's better to live on the orange or yellow line to commute from Arlington?

2) Are there any townhouses/rowhouses/duplexes available that are reasonably close to a metro station in NOVA?

3) Are we destined to end up living in an apartment comples?

4)Is it feasible to try and ride a bus to a metro station, or will that just result in a 45+ minute commute? Or maybe just to ride a bus all the way?


I don't go to Georgetown, but I grew up relatively near the campus and I lived there for a couple years as a "young professional" and kept tabs on the housing situation in DC, at least for rentals. I hardly know anything about Arlington... I had a couple of friends who lived at the Courthouse Metro stop (on the orange line in arlington), in high-rise apartments that were pretty nice, but IMO way overpriced - it was worth it for them because they worked nearby, but I wouldn't pay $1700-$2000 for a 1-2 bedroom in Arlington only to commute to Georgetown(approx 25-30 minutes by train, due in part to the transfer). I have heard that the orange line (and everything coming from VA) is ridiculously crowded in morning rush hour (more so than the other lines). I'm sure that the price would go down somewhat (and you'd have a chance at a house) going farther out on the orange line, but I'm not sure to what degree it would go down, plus the commute would be longer (though you'd have a better chance at a seat).

My advice for someone looking to avoid unsafe DC neighborhoods would be, first: There are a lot of safe neighborhoods out there. Yes, if you go across the river into deep Southeast it is dicey, though having grown up near there I can say that Southeast in general is now a world away from the reputation it earned in the 80s and 90s (still not that good in Anacostia). Other (hipper) places that are viewed as relatively unsafe are the H Street Corridor (Atlas District) and Columbia Heights/Petworth. Almost all of my yuppie friends lived in one of these enclaves (or in the safer Mt. Pleasant neighborhood, next to Columbia Heights), without incident, but there were occasional, random and disturbing shootings and more petty crime like bike thefts were not unusual.

If you and your wife are looking for safety specifically, it is probably best to avoid those neighborhoods, along with unhip and dangerouser neighborhoods like Trinidad (just to the north of H street) and Rhode Island Avenue. (If you hadn't specifically stressed safety though, I would have put them at the top of my recommendation list.) However, eliminating them leaves a lot of DC at your fingertips. Capitol Hill is expensive, at least near to GULC - it gets more affordable as you go south and east, and the area as far south as the river and as far east as Pennsylvania Avenue is, at this point, very safe, I would say. There are some cute little row houses around there, though I'm not sure how many of them are for rent; I think most are for sale. New condos are sprouting up all over that area. If you like condos, obviously there's the whole overwhelming row of them up and down Massachusetts Ave right next to GULC. Then there are expensive but safe and happening neighborhoods like Dupont Circle, Logan Circle and Kalorama, and the slightly more sleepy but still expensive Woodley Heights, Cleveland Park and Van Ness. Most of those are on the red line (same as GULC), which will limit your commute time. In most of those places, though, I would think you'd be more likely to rent an apartment, unless you are ready to plunk down serious cash for a house.

HOWEVER, given your interests in safety and houses, my number one recommendation is this: Check out Takoma Park, Maryland. It's a town right outside of DC (and borders on a DC neighborhood called Takoma, which is a little less safe and gentrified but still nice). It's known as the "Berkeley of the East" for its liberal hippie residents, but I would say you can put this aside regardless of your political leanings. The bottom line is that it is a really nice community with a mix of houses for sale, houses for rent, and apartments in converted houses for rent. I lived there for the two years I was working in downtown DC and it was perfect for me. It is not super busy but there is a great little downtown with a farmers market all year round. Crime is pretty low. Prices definitely vary but I shared a group house (in the Takoma, DC neighborhood, but just a block from Maryland and on a nice street) with 4 bedrooms for $2100 - which is great for DC. Best of all, it is only about six stops from GULC, on the red line so no transfers.

Okay, this was crazy long but I like to write about my city :) You can find crime maps of DC here: --LinkRemoved-- and here: --LinkRemoved--. Good luck!


Thank you so much for taking the time to post this! It is very helpful. Right now we're considering living very close to GULC, in a 1br even if it is expensive just for my 1L year. We would probably have a very minimalist home, and put most of our stuff in storage. Anybody know anything abotu the new condos on mass ave that you talked about? How close to GULC are they, and how much would we expect to pay for a 1br?

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Re: GULC 1L taking questions

Postby Excellence = a Habit » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:10 pm

Marionberry wrote:
Excellence = a Habit wrote:
Marionberry wrote:I have found myself completely overwhelmed in trying to look for housing. This would be much easier if I wasn't going to be married by the time I move up there. The only neighborhoods that seem safe enough within the city are too expensive for us, and I don't know enough about the metro and everything to figure out what parts of Arlington would be best. Were I by myself I wouldn't mind living in a sketchier neighborhood, but she will not go for that, and I don't think i would want her walking around by herself in a place like that anyway. These are my biggest questions, if anyone who is knowledgeable would be so kind as to answer them.

1) Is there a general consensus as to whether or not it's better to live on the orange or yellow line to commute from Arlington?

2) Are there any townhouses/rowhouses/duplexes available that are reasonably close to a metro station in NOVA?

3) Are we destined to end up living in an apartment comples?

4)Is it feasible to try and ride a bus to a metro station, or will that just result in a 45+ minute commute? Or maybe just to ride a bus all the way?


I don't go to Georgetown, but I grew up relatively near the campus and I lived there for a couple years as a "young professional" and kept tabs on the housing situation in DC, at least for rentals. I hardly know anything about Arlington... I had a couple of friends who lived at the Courthouse Metro stop (on the orange line in arlington), in high-rise apartments that were pretty nice, but IMO way overpriced - it was worth it for them because they worked nearby, but I wouldn't pay $1700-$2000 for a 1-2 bedroom in Arlington only to commute to Georgetown(approx 25-30 minutes by train, due in part to the transfer). I have heard that the orange line (and everything coming from VA) is ridiculously crowded in morning rush hour (more so than the other lines). I'm sure that the price would go down somewhat (and you'd have a chance at a house) going farther out on the orange line, but I'm not sure to what degree it would go down, plus the commute would be longer (though you'd have a better chance at a seat).

My advice for someone looking to avoid unsafe DC neighborhoods would be, first: There are a lot of safe neighborhoods out there. Yes, if you go across the river into deep Southeast it is dicey, though having grown up near there I can say that Southeast in general is now a world away from the reputation it earned in the 80s and 90s (still not that good in Anacostia). Other (hipper) places that are viewed as relatively unsafe are the H Street Corridor (Atlas District) and Columbia Heights/Petworth. Almost all of my yuppie friends lived in one of these enclaves (or in the safer Mt. Pleasant neighborhood, next to Columbia Heights), without incident, but there were occasional, random and disturbing shootings and more petty crime like bike thefts were not unusual.

If you and your wife are looking for safety specifically, it is probably best to avoid those neighborhoods, along with unhip and dangerouser neighborhoods like Trinidad (just to the north of H street) and Rhode Island Avenue. (If you hadn't specifically stressed safety though, I would have put them at the top of my recommendation list.) However, eliminating them leaves a lot of DC at your fingertips. Capitol Hill is expensive, at least near to GULC - it gets more affordable as you go south and east, and the area as far south as the river and as far east as Pennsylvania Avenue is, at this point, very safe, I would say. There are some cute little row houses around there, though I'm not sure how many of them are for rent; I think most are for sale. New condos are sprouting up all over that area. If you like condos, obviously there's the whole overwhelming row of them up and down Massachusetts Ave right next to GULC. Then there are expensive but safe and happening neighborhoods like Dupont Circle, Logan Circle and Kalorama, and the slightly more sleepy but still expensive Woodley Heights, Cleveland Park and Van Ness. Most of those are on the red line (same as GULC), which will limit your commute time. In most of those places, though, I would think you'd be more likely to rent an apartment, unless you are ready to plunk down serious cash for a house.

HOWEVER, given your interests in safety and houses, my number one recommendation is this: Check out Takoma Park, Maryland. It's a town right outside of DC (and borders on a DC neighborhood called Takoma, which is a little less safe and gentrified but still nice). It's known as the "Berkeley of the East" for its liberal hippie residents, but I would say you can put this aside regardless of your political leanings. The bottom line is that it is a really nice community with a mix of houses for sale, houses for rent, and apartments in converted houses for rent. I lived there for the two years I was working in downtown DC and it was perfect for me. It is not super busy but there is a great little downtown with a farmers market all year round. Crime is pretty low. Prices definitely vary but I shared a group house (in the Takoma, DC neighborhood, but just a block from Maryland and on a nice street) with 4 bedrooms for $2100 - which is great for DC. Best of all, it is only about six stops from GULC, on the red line so no transfers.

Okay, this was crazy long but I like to write about my city :) You can find crime maps of DC here: --LinkRemoved-- and here: --LinkRemoved--. Good luck!


Thank you so much for taking the time to post this! It is very helpful. Right now we're considering living very close to GULC, in a 1br even if it is expensive just for my 1L year. We would probably have a very minimalist home, and put most of our stuff in storage. Anybody know anything abotu the new condos on mass ave that you talked about? How close to GULC are they, and how much would we expect to pay for a 1br?


I have no idea how much they run (and I would love to know). I do know that they are really, really close. I think some would be within a block or two, though I could be off by a bit.

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Re: GULC 1L taking questions

Postby johndhi » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:25 pm

I'm not sure what condos you are referring to - I know the big apartment complexes near GULC though. Mass Court (look it up) is very expensive. Meridian is also expensive, but maybe slightly less so than Mass Court. I have a friend living in one called Carmel Plaza that is reasonably priced but not nearly as swanky as the others I mentioned. In terms of places to live that aren't apartment complexes and are near GULC and are safe, you're looking at Capitol Hill and Logan Circle. I live in Shaw, which I think is fine, but is definitely a little rougher, and there's also H street (probably the most ghetto of these). I don't know where you come from - I moved from San Francisco - but IMO it's pretty unlikely you'll get a "bare bones" place, since really any place worth consideration is pretty nice. As you'll learn in Property (:P) DC has a history of making sure rental housing meets a standard of habitability. The only thing you need to worry about is the neighborhood.

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Re: GULC 1L taking questions

Postby Excellence = a Habit » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:58 pm

johndhi wrote:I'm not sure what condos you are referring to - I know the big apartment complexes near GULC though. Mass Court (look it up) is very expensive. Meridian is also expensive, but maybe slightly less so than Mass Court. I have a friend living in one called Carmel Plaza that is reasonably priced but not nearly as swanky as the others I mentioned. In terms of places to live that aren't apartment complexes and are near GULC and are safe, you're looking at Capitol Hill and Logan Circle. I live in Shaw, which I think is fine, but is definitely a little rougher, and there's also H street (probably the most ghetto of these). I don't know where you come from - I moved from San Francisco - but IMO it's pretty unlikely you'll get a "bare bones" place, since really any place worth consideration is pretty nice. As you'll learn in Property (:P) DC has a history of making sure rental housing meets a standard of habitability. The only thing you need to worry about is the neighborhood.


Oh, those are apartments? I just assumed they were condos. Yes, I am referring to the buildings like Meridian and the others around it. Also, I love Shaw!

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Re: GULC 1L taking questions

Postby johndhi » Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:21 pm

Anybody else? Finally getting through my summer internship applications. It feels good to have things to do again - I'm not cut out for this "break" stuff :)

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Re: GULC 1L taking questions

Postby Marionberry » Wed Jan 05, 2011 4:51 pm

Your friend that lives in Carmel plaza or whatever it is, how long does it take them to walk to GULC? After more consideration, we're thinking that we will probably try for one of the apartment buildings within walking distance of the school, at least for the first year.

Also, is it just a given that any of these places will charge an additional fee for a parking spot, or are there some places that include garage parking as an amenity? I'm selling my car probably, but my wife will need hers.

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Re: GULC 1L taking questions

Postby johndhi » Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:24 pm

His walk is 5-7 minutes. Mine is closer to 15. I know his building charges for parking and I'm pretty sure the expensive ones (Mass Court, Meridian) do too. As for a house, more likely it would not charge for it - for example, I have plenty of space to park a car but I don't use it. I can't imagine there are very many apartment buildings that do not charge for parking, and my guess is that it's $100-150 per month.

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Re: GULC 1L taking questions

Postby peter844 » Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:33 pm

How difficult is transferring into the full time program from part time at Georgetown? Do you know how often it is done?




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