Driving in the winter isn't as bad as one would expect. Many of the Detroit suburbs are located close to major highways, and the highways are virtually always clear. This winter I didn't have any problems at all with icy roads. Just make sure you keep a scraper in your car (for your windows) and buy a heavy coat. California and Michigan are like night and day as far as whether is concerned. Be prepared to be cold for at least 1/3 of the year!
Grosse Point is a very affluent area that borders the city of Detroit. It's strange; you cross an invisible line from dirty streets, rundown buildings and lots of liquor stores to manicured lawns, well posted road signs and huge houses. The Dean of the law school lives there and throws a get together at his house for first years before classes start. I imagine it is expensive to live there, but it is close to the school. Personally, I think you're better of living in a suburb further north.
I imagine it would be very hard to work your first year if you are full-time or part-time day. Part-time day students time one less class (property) so "part-time" is deceiving. I don't think that it is impossible. I know of at least one full-time student who worked part of first semester and one part-time student who worked full time her first year. Personally, I couldn't do it, not even a few hours. I recommend that you take classes for a couple of weeks and get accuntomed to the work load. All three of the first year sections have classes on fridays. I know that past years have had fridays off, but I don't know what the plans are for the future.
Personally, I get my work for mondays done on the weekends and that's about it. Some people like to get ahead on the weekends and take the week days a bit slower. Like I mentioned before, the first semester I went crazy and worked a lot. My life was studying. This semester I have slowed down a lot. I go to the bar one night a week and spend a lot more time with my girlfriend. There are a lot of little tricks you pick up after attending classes for a while. Virtually everyone uses multiple supplements (case briefs, horn books, etc.).
Hey, just for a little UDM motivation (I know you need it!), one of my 3rd year buddies just got a job offer from Dykema Gossett. First year associates start off from $95,000-$115,000. Yikes.