I don't know where you got your advice, but it sounds to me like you were given information that's exactly backwards. For full sun or mostly-full sun (in your back yard) you need a full sun, or mostly-full sun grass -- like St. Augustine or Bermuda, both of which are common here in our area.
In your front yard, which is mostly shade, you need a mostly shade grass, like Fescue.
My suggestion is this: go to the Home page on here on DirtDoctor.com, click on the "Learn" tab and then some hover menus come up. Choose "Article Library" (at the far left of the screen) and then read and learn.
To get you started, these articles are about grass selection and grass planting, including a question and answer from the radio program (last link):http://www.dirtdoctor.com/organic/garde ... n/id/2479/andhttp://www.dirtdoctor.com/organic/garde ... n/id/2226/andhttp://www.dirtdoctor.com/organic/garde ... on/id/624/
I hope that DC Hall will join this thread. He's the moderator on this forum and always has helpful input.
I have no experience with grass for shade (and, as you will see from the 3rd link above, it is hard-to-impossible to grow grass in heavy shade).
We are also in Arlington and we have a combination of St. Augustine and Bermuda and we have full to mostly-full sun. I am trying to kill the Bermuda by digging up as much as possible. I like the look and feel of St. Augustine much better than Bermuda and it is not so invasive. We have a large veggie garden that's getting larger all the time and the Bermuda always wants to get in the beds with the veggies.
This is another thing you want to consider when you make your grass selection. Do you plan to have flowers, shrubs, flowering trees, veggie garden?
If you think you might, Bermuda is definitely invasive and crowds out most other vegetation around it.
Do a little reading, do a little more thinking and planning, then come back to this thread with more thoughts and questions.
Hope that got you started & hope it helps!
**Take time to stop and smell the flowers
(or... as my ladybug refrigerator magnet says
"take time to stop and eat