1) Do law schools care about your grades when you apply to be a visiting student?
2) Most law schools say you need a 'compelling reason' to be a visiting student. Would wanting to work in that immediate area as opposed to my current school thousands of miles away count as a compelling reason, or would there need to be something more like to be close to a sick relative?
1) I don't think so - its just more tuition money for them, without any real downside. That being said, it might be a different case for T14 schools and state schools that strongly favor in-state students (like UNC, Texas, etc.)
2) Wanting to work in the area is a compelling reason