This is true. Picking a law school most often times means that you will be in that area for the long haul. This is because most people don't want to take the bar more than once after they finish law school and end up working in whatever state they went to law school in.
I myself, for example, am from Kansas City, and will be attending law school on the east coast in Jersey. However, I have no plans on living in jersey after law school. To be honest I'd prefer to live and work in DC. I have plans on taking the Maryland & New York Bar exams at the end of law school so that I can wave into DC.
As far as picking a place to live...funny you should mention that because I happen to be doing that right now as we speak. I had to fly back out to Jersey/New York to find a place. I'm not gonna lie, its been tough. Particularly b/c I don't know a damn soul who lives in jersey. I only have friends who stay in New York close by, and like many new yorkers, they don't know the first thing about Jersey except that its over there somewhere. [pointing to the west]
I can only suggest contacting the school. My school offers the option of staying on campus and I could have done that but I was an RA for a couple years before at a dorm and while it was a lot of fun & adventure in undergrad, I'm not trying to be back in that environment for law school, so i'm looking off campus. If your school offers on campus living you may want to consider it, at least for the first year until you are familiar with the area.
I seem to only be able to do things the hard way, choosing to be off campus, so it forces me to physically have to come out here, look at a place, judge the neighborhood for myself in person, and make a decision. I'll let you know how it goes after the next couple of days since I have a few places to look at.