Columbia Law...Bad idea to move a family there?

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krj02004
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Columbia Law...Bad idea to move a family there?

Postby krj02004 » Tue May 04, 2010 11:20 pm

**Moving my post to this board...think it's a more appropriate topic on this thread.

First off, let me say I'm currently WL at Columbia... I'm not holding my breath, just doing my research in the off-chance I get in and want to go.

SO, for people at Columbia or in NYC...

I'm a single parent with 2 toddlers and no family in NY, but somewhat close by in Baltimore. Taking into account the cost of living in NYC (rent, childcare, etc.) and Columbia's academic rigor, is it a crazy idea for a single mom to even considering going there? Does anyone know single parents to be at Columbia and have a positive experience (academically and financially)?

motiontodismiss
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Re: Columbia Law...Bad idea to move a family there?

Postby motiontodismiss » Tue May 04, 2010 11:23 pm

Manhattan's a bad place for anyone, single parent or otherwise, to raise kids. Look into living in Westchester and commuting if the kids are that important to you.

Otherwise, leave them with grandma (or the other parent if he/she's still in the picture) while you're in law school.

Maybe it's the 21 year old with no responsibility to anyone but himself in me talking, but I can't imagine going to law school with kids to take care of. How do people do it?
Last edited by motiontodismiss on Tue May 04, 2010 11:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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dresden doll
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Re: Columbia Law...Bad idea to move a family there?

Postby dresden doll » Tue May 04, 2010 11:24 pm

Don't know any single parents, but Renzo does live in NYC (attends NYU Law, FWIW) and has kids. And seems to be doing well for himself.

I am not a single mum and attend the other C, but I'd encourage you to take the opportunity if it does come your way. Law school is intense no matter where you go, all big cities have their issues, and CLS degree would likely come with benefits you can ultimately pass on to your toddlers (at least from a strictly financial standpoint).

krj02004
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Re: Columbia Law...Bad idea to move a family there?

Postby krj02004 » Tue May 04, 2010 11:29 pm

motiontodismiss wrote:Manhattan's a bad place for anyone, single parent or otherwise, to raise kids. Look into living in Westchester and commuting if the kids are that important to you.

Otherwise, leave them with grandma (or the other parent if he/she's still in the picture) while you're in law school.



Um yeah... if I didn't want to see and be in my children's lives I wouldn't have had them. Children always come first. I believe it's absolutely possible to multi-task, but I would never choose something over my kids...period. I can be a mom and a lawyer. It's not a novel idea and I'm not the first... certainly not the last.

On a side note... it's possible to commute? How long of a commute is Westchester?

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BlueCivic
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Re: Columbia Law...Bad idea to move a family there?

Postby BlueCivic » Tue May 04, 2010 11:31 pm

My first apartment in life was in Morningside Heights when I was 0-2. People live there with small children. I suggest you do your research but lots of people do it.

motiontodismiss
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Re: Columbia Law...Bad idea to move a family there?

Postby motiontodismiss » Tue May 04, 2010 11:37 pm

krj02004 wrote:
motiontodismiss wrote:Manhattan's a bad place for anyone, single parent or otherwise, to raise kids. Look into living in Westchester and commuting if the kids are that important to you.

Otherwise, leave them with grandma (or the other parent if he/she's still in the picture) while you're in law school.



Um yeah... if I didn't want to see and be in my children's lives I wouldn't have had them. Children always come first. I believe it's absolutely possible to multi-task, but I would never choose something over my kids...period. I can be a mom and a lawyer. It's not a novel idea and I'm not the first... certainly not the last.

On a side note... it's possible to commute? How long of a commute is Westchester?


Depends on where in Westchester. It's a big county. Count on about 45 minutes-an hour by train.

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dresden doll
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Re: Columbia Law...Bad idea to move a family there?

Postby dresden doll » Tue May 04, 2010 11:38 pm

motiontodismiss wrote:
krj02004 wrote:
motiontodismiss wrote:Manhattan's a bad place for anyone, single parent or otherwise, to raise kids. Look into living in Westchester and commuting if the kids are that important to you.

Otherwise, leave them with grandma (or the other parent if he/she's still in the picture) while you're in law school.



Um yeah... if I didn't want to see and be in my children's lives I wouldn't have had them. Children always come first. I believe it's absolutely possible to multi-task, but I would never choose something over my kids...period. I can be a mom and a lawyer. It's not a novel idea and I'm not the first... certainly not the last.

On a side note... it's possible to commute? How long of a commute is Westchester?


Depends on where in Westchester. It's a big county. Count on about 45 minutes-an hour by train.


I commute that much currently from downtown to HP. It's very much doable.

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Inter Alia
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Re: Columbia Law...Bad idea to move a family there?

Postby Inter Alia » Tue May 04, 2010 11:49 pm

krj02004 wrote:**Moving my post to this board...think it's a more appropriate topic on this thread.

First off, let me say I'm currently WL at Columbia... I'm not holding my breath, just doing my research in the off-chance I get in and want to go.

SO, for people at Columbia or in NYC...

I'm a single parent with 2 toddlers and no family in NY, but somewhat close by in Baltimore. Taking into account the cost of living in NYC (rent, childcare, etc.) and Columbia's academic rigor, is it a crazy idea for a single mom to even considering going there? Does anyone know single parents to be at Columbia and have a positive experience (academically and financially)?



You should also look into Jersey, too. If you lived in Hoboken, you can take the path (significantly cheaper train than metro north in Westchester) and it's only like a 20 or 30 min ride depending on where Columbia is. I'd say Westchester & Jersey would be great options - much better than Manhattan. Good luck!

mvp
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Re: Columbia Law...Bad idea to move a family there?

Postby mvp » Wed May 05, 2010 12:03 am

You should def look into Riverdale. It's a really nice place to live and is a reasonable commute. I'm pretty sure Columbia actually owns some buildings there which they provide for student housing. At the ASW one of the older married students told me a number of married couples live there and share a shuttle in every day. (Which Columbia may actually pay for!)

BenJ
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Re: Columbia Law...Bad idea to move a family there?

Postby BenJ » Wed May 05, 2010 1:34 am

I agree strongly on Riverdale. It's still in NYC and has subway access, which greatly cuts down on commuting time, costs and logistics, but it's very much suburban in character and is quite family-friendly. It's a tad on the expensive side in some parts, but there should be affordable areas near Broadway/US 9.

Morningside Heights and the neighboring Upper West Side are great places to raise kids, but they are (especially the UWS) very expensive to live in.

There are other great family-friendly neighborhoods in NYC that are much cheaper than MS/UWS, but, unlike Riverdale, they're further away. Most of outer Queens and mid Queens are great (Flushing, College Point, Bayside, Whitestone, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Middle Village), or even Astoria in inner Queens (a bit more expensive), or parts of south Brooklyn (Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Sheepshead Bay). Some of those areas also have very wealthy pockets, but they all do have some relatively cheap housing.

There are also some a bit closer in that are less expensive than the UWS but more expensive than those listed. Park Slope and the surrounding areas of inner Brooklyn are the classic NYC family neighborhoods, but they are pricey these days (although cheaper than Manhattan).

It's definitely feasible to raise young kids in NYC. There's actually been a major baby boom going on in the city since about 2000.

EDIT: Hoboken mentioned above is also a solid choice. I wouldn't live in Westchester; the commute is long and expensive, and it's not really any cheaper than somewhere easier to commute from in Riverdale or outer Queens or Brooklyn.

fortissimo
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Re: Columbia Law...Bad idea to move a family there?

Postby fortissimo » Wed May 05, 2010 2:00 am

If you can afford 4k-5k a month in COL with 2 kids...then no, not a bad idea. But really, if I had brought my children with me instead of leaving them in the shelter, I don't think I would do it, honestly.

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Gunz353
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Re: Columbia Law...Bad idea to move a family there?

Postby Gunz353 » Wed May 05, 2010 2:24 am

I'm a born and raised New Yorker...if there was ever a place in Manhattan to do well with toddlers, its the Upper West Side/Morningside Heights. It's a very family oriented/suburban lifestyle kind of area. No crazy bars and tourist attractions, just nice older condos and apartments, parks, and a quieter area than the rest of Manhattan. Check craigslist for 2 bedroom apartments. You can find something somewhat reasonably priced, reasonable for Manhattan that is. You'll have to put the kids in one bedroom together, and also find a decent daycare or sitter, but that's not hard to find in NYC. As a single parent, I'm sure you are more than prepared to deal with all that life has thrown your way, even a Columbia law school education. Don't let people bring you down and tell you no way. Where there's a will, there's a way. Plus, the investment in a CLS education will pay for itself many times over, both for you and your childrens' futures.

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Gunz353
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Re: Columbia Law...Bad idea to move a family there?

Postby Gunz353 » Wed May 05, 2010 2:25 am

Oh yeah, and definitely Riverdale as well, just north of Manhattan. I overlooked that option.

krj02004
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Re: Columbia Law...Bad idea to move a family there?

Postby krj02004 » Wed May 05, 2010 8:16 am

These are all really good and helpful suggestions. I've never been to NYC, so it's an intimidating thought at first.

Anyone care to throw out any realistic monthly COL numbers? I'm hoping under $3k. Someone one here said $4-5k which was jaw dropping to me.

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pleasetryagain
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Re: Columbia Law...Bad idea to move a family there?

Postby pleasetryagain » Wed May 05, 2010 8:25 am

krj02004 wrote:These are all really good and helpful suggestions. I've never been to NYC, so it's an intimidating thought at first.

Anyone care to throw out any realistic monthly COL numbers? I'm hoping under $3k. Someone one here said $4-5k which was jaw dropping to me.


2 kids in a 2 bedroom in NYC can easily result in a $4K monthly COL. add babysitter cost to that (I have no idea what babysitters cost in NYC).

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ShibaDan
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Re: Columbia Law...Bad idea to move a family there?

Postby ShibaDan » Wed May 05, 2010 8:28 am

krj02004 wrote:These are all really good and helpful suggestions. I've never been to NYC, so it's an intimidating thought at first.

Anyone care to throw out any realistic monthly COL numbers? I'm hoping under $3k. Someone one here said $4-5k which was jaw dropping to me.


A one bedroom runs about $1500 a month in not the nicest area. My guess is a two bedroom (kids sharing) in a decent you could find for $3000. My friends who are living in NYC now after Columbia undergrad were able to find something for that price without too much trouble.

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ShibaDan
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Re: Columbia Law...Bad idea to move a family there?

Postby ShibaDan » Wed May 05, 2010 8:28 am

def2104 wrote:
krj02004 wrote:These are all really good and helpful suggestions. I've never been to NYC, so it's an intimidating thought at first.

Anyone care to throw out any realistic monthly COL numbers? I'm hoping under $3k. Someone one here said $4-5k which was jaw dropping to me.


A one bedroom runs about $1500 a month in not the nicest area. My guess is a two bedroom (kids sharing) in a decent you could find for $3000. My friends who are living in NYC now after Columbia undergrad were able to find something for that price without too much trouble.


By the way that's in Manhattan in the heart of the UWS, if you were going to commute you'd be fine.

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SaintClarence27
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Re: Columbia Law...Bad idea to move a family there?

Postby SaintClarence27 » Wed May 05, 2010 8:40 am

I live in Washington Heights. While there are lots of children here, my area of Washington Heights is not an area that I would *ever* raise kids in. If you were looking for cheap housing that was close to Columbia and a decent neighborhood, I would recommend certain areas. Ideally, North of the GWB (179th st) and West of Fort Washington is nice. You could probably find a nice 2 bedroom in that area for around $1600 per month. UWS is going to be cost prohibitive - like a 2 bedroom will be $2400 minimum. And remember, you have to come up with the security deposit for these places!

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Re: Columbia Law...Bad idea to move a family there?

Postby Renzo » Wed May 05, 2010 9:23 am

dresden doll wrote:Don't know any single parents, but Renzo does live in NYC (attends NYU Law, FWIW) and has kids. And seems to be doing well for himself.

I am not a single mum and attend the other C, but I'd encourage you to take the opportunity if it does come your way. Law school is intense no matter where you go, all big cities have their issues, and CLS degree would likely come with benefits you can ultimately pass on to your toddlers (at least from a strictly financial standpoint).

My cue.

OP, you are not crazy, it's possible, and it's not as intimidating as you think.

First, the academic rigor thing is a red herring--you aren't going to be able to slack at a different school, you're going to be working your tail off anyplace you go.

Second, having a kid in Manhattan takes some adjustment, but isn't that bad. However, having TWO kids in Manhattan could be more than twice as hard, depending on their ages (how old are they?). Morningside would actually be one of the easier parts of manhattan in which to live with kids (I'll either head to the UWS or Brooklyn next year), and although you wouldn't have to commute, there are relatively easy places to get back and fourth to CLS (like Riverdale).

The biggest genuine concern you should have is cost. There is no possible way you are going to have two kids in daycare/preschool, pay rent, and eat on $3k a month. Full-time child care is easily $1000/month per kid, Market rent for a suitable apt is (very roughly) $2500. $5k/ a month is not an outrageous estimate.

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Re: Columbia Law...Bad idea to move a family there?

Postby imchuckbass58 » Wed May 05, 2010 9:36 am

Renzo wrote:My cue.

OP, you are not crazy, it's possible, and it's not as intimidating as you think.

First, the academic rigor thing is a red herring--you aren't going to be able to slack at a different school, you're going to be working your tail off anyplace you go.

Second, having a kid in Manhattan takes some adjustment, but isn't that bad. However, having TWO kids in Manhattan could be more than twice as hard, depending on their ages (how old are they?). Morningside would actually be one of the easier parts of manhattan in which to live with kids (I'll either head to the UWS or Brooklyn next year), and although you wouldn't have to commute, there are relatively easy places to get back and fourth to CLS (like Riverdale).

The biggest genuine concern you should have is cost. There is no possible way you are going to have two kids in daycare/preschool, pay rent, and eat on $3k a month. Full-time child care is easily $1000/month per kid, Market rent for a suitable apt is (very roughly) $2500. $5k/ a month is not an outrageous estimate.


This is a really good assessment. Raising kids in Manhattan is very feasible (and some would say desirable) purely in terms of the environment, and you will face time management challenges anywhere.

But the cost will be ridiculous. If you wanted to live in Manhattan I would be surprised if you could get by with all-in living expenses less than $6,000/month ($2500 for the apt, $2000 for child care, plus food, clothes, transport, etc). Living in Riverdale might be cheaper in terms of housing, but not by much (maybe $1800 instead of $2500).

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Re: Columbia Law...Bad idea to move a family there?

Postby Jerzeegirl » Wed May 05, 2010 10:01 am

I was a mom as an undergrad there. I highly recommend the Montessori school on 103rd and Central Park West. They are AMAZING. They take the kids to park nearly every day, they have trips to museums and the place is clean and well-maintained. You're also right around the corner if the kids get sick and need to be picked up early. I'm also a single mom about to start law school, and I'm also leaving my support system behind. My advice to you is take everything one day at a time. Try not to make yourself crazy and DO NOT CONSIDER COMMUTING. You need to keep everything close together. You lose precious study time running around to school, the daycare, and home. You will build a support system when you're there. You'll find that a lot of the other moms at your children's daycare are also single and struggling. We all helped one another out. Find yourself an apartment on Riverside in the low 100's. Its quieter there, there is also a nice park, and tons of families with small children. You can do this if you want to. It's going to be expensive and a struggle, but definitely doable. If I got into CLS I'd figure it out. I wouldn't pass up an opportunity like that. PM me if you have any questions.

And regarding COL, I had a beautiful studio for 1k a month. Not saying you'll find anything that cheap, but be willing to sacrifice space for the short term and you'll be able to get a decent spot for less than 3k. Not sure what kind of buildings some of these posters are talking about, but having lived in NYC for half my life, I'll eat my shoe if you can't find a studio for less than 2500. Holy cripes. Lots of single parents do the studio thing. Your kids are toddlers. One room is fine for the time being.

Renzo
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Re: Columbia Law...Bad idea to move a family there?

Postby Renzo » Wed May 05, 2010 10:29 am

Jerzeegirl wrote:I was a mom as an undergrad there. I highly recommend the Montessori school on 103rd and Central Park West. They are AMAZING. They take the kids to park nearly every day, they have trips to museums and the place is clean and well-maintained. You're also right around the corner if the kids get sick and need to be picked up early. I'm also a single mom about to start law school, and I'm also leaving my support system behind. My advice to you is take everything one day at a time. Try not to make yourself crazy and DO NOT CONSIDER COMMUTING. You need to keep everything close together. You lose precious study time running around to school, the daycare, and home. You will build a support system when you're there. You'll find that a lot of the other moms at your children's daycare are also single and struggling. We all helped one another out. Find yourself an apartment on Riverside in the low 100's. Its quieter there, there is also a nice park, and tons of families with small children. You can do this if you want to. It's going to be expensive and a struggle, but definitely doable. If I got into CLS I'd figure it out. I wouldn't pass up an opportunity like that. PM me if you have any questions.

And regarding COL, I had a beautiful studio for 1k a month. Not saying you'll find anything that cheap, but be willing to sacrifice space for the short term and you'll be able to get a decent spot for less than 3k. Not sure what kind of buildings some of these posters are talking about, but having lived in NYC for half my life, I'll eat my shoe if you can't find a studio for less than 2500. Holy cripes. Lots of single parents do the studio thing. Your kids are toddlers. One room is fine for the time being.

I might PM you when it's time for me to move in Aug! Thinking about having to find a preschool makes me nauseated...

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soxfan78
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Re: Columbia Law...Bad idea to move a family there?

Postby soxfan78 » Wed May 05, 2010 11:24 am

krj02004 wrote:**Moving my post to this board...think it's a more appropriate topic on this thread.

First off, let me say I'm currently WL at Columbia... I'm not holding my breath, just doing my research in the off-chance I get in and want to go.

SO, for people at Columbia or in NYC...

I'm a single parent with 2 toddlers and no family in NY, but somewhat close by in Baltimore. Taking into account the cost of living in NYC (rent, childcare, etc.) and Columbia's academic rigor, is it a crazy idea for a single mom to even considering going there? Does anyone know single parents to be at Columbia and have a positive experience (academically and financially)?


I know several people in various grad schools @ Columbia, and lots of them with kids, who have actually had a great time, largely because of the housing (cheaper) and the no-commute angle. In fact, the idea of moving into non-school housing is what is making them think about leaving the city after graduation.

Alas, all of them are couples so some of their issues around childcare are probably less complicated. I second the thought that the Westchester/NJ angle is a mistake. Keep it all in one location if you can.

You certainly won't be the first person to go to school there with kids. I'm sure there's a fairly substantial network up there, whether it's officially through Columbia or just from meeting other grad level parents. Find it. Good luck.

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lostjake
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Re: Columbia Law...Bad idea to move a family there?

Postby lostjake » Wed May 05, 2010 11:32 am

Am I the only one who thinks this is a bad idea? You have two toddlers are single and want to move to NYC and attend law school? I think this is a recipe for not spending any time with your kids and getting bad grades in law school. I think you need to be very very realistic when thinking about whether you should attend law school or not, because unlike 99% of the posters on this board your decision is going to affect more than just yourself. Just my $.02

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SaintClarence27
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Re: Columbia Law...Bad idea to move a family there?

Postby SaintClarence27 » Wed May 05, 2010 11:33 am

Jerzeegirl wrote:I was a mom as an undergrad there. I highly recommend the Montessori school on 103rd and Central Park West. They are AMAZING. They take the kids to park nearly every day, they have trips to museums and the place is clean and well-maintained. You're also right around the corner if the kids get sick and need to be picked up early. I'm also a single mom about to start law school, and I'm also leaving my support system behind. My advice to you is take everything one day at a time. Try not to make yourself crazy and DO NOT CONSIDER COMMUTING. You need to keep everything close together. You lose precious study time running around to school, the daycare, and home. You will build a support system when you're there. You'll find that a lot of the other moms at your children's daycare are also single and struggling. We all helped one another out. Find yourself an apartment on Riverside in the low 100's. Its quieter there, there is also a nice park, and tons of families with small children. You can do this if you want to. It's going to be expensive and a struggle, but definitely doable. If I got into CLS I'd figure it out. I wouldn't pass up an opportunity like that. PM me if you have any questions.

And regarding COL, I had a beautiful studio for 1k a month. Not saying you'll find anything that cheap, but be willing to sacrifice space for the short term and you'll be able to get a decent spot for less than 3k. Not sure what kind of buildings some of these posters are talking about, but having lived in NYC for half my life, I'll eat my shoe if you can't find a studio for less than 2500. Holy cripes. Lots of single parents do the studio thing. Your kids are toddlers. One room is fine for the time being.


Most of the posters were talking multi-bedroom apartments, due to the having two children. One room is really NOT fine for many reasons, none of which I will elaborate on at the moment.




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