WhiskeyGuy wrote:Thanks, ndnlaw. This information is incredibly helpful.
Another question for folks already there: how necessary is owning a bike? It may be that I road trip it to CA, so buying a cheap bike and tossing it in the U-Haul would be easy enough. But I don't want a bike if law students typically don't need 'em. (I hope to live in Munger.)
So I live way the heck away from the law school (about a mile) and don't have a bike. You can check bikes out from the library, which is what I do when I need to run into downtown PA for something or have lunch with my wife (who works at the medical school). That said, if you're not going to have a car, a bike can extend your range to most of Palo Alto. If you buy your bike at a shop here, they will maintain it for you as part of the deal, so it might just be worth waiting for.
I think living in Munger is a great option. If I were single, I'd definitely live there. It's really expensive for a couple to do.
A car is really helpful in Palo Alto. I would hate living here without one. The only real option for intercity transit is Caltrain, which sort of sucks (it's slow and expensive). However, there's a new Trader Joe's across the street from campus (maybe a 20-25 minute walk or a 10 minute bike ride from Munger) and it just seems like 1Ls don't leave campus all that often anyway, and a lot of your friends/roommates will have cars. A couple of 1Ls came without cars and ended up buying them here, but I think if you use ZipCar and buy a bike you'll probably be fine. We just go off-campus a lot more than most folks do, so that plays a role.