Columbia Law: Best Professors? Worst Professors?

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Moose93

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Columbia Law: Best Professors? Worst Professors?

Postby Moose93 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:02 pm

Who are the best, or among the best, professors at Columbia Law School? One's definition of best can take various forms. Best can mean the most entertaining, the most knowledgeable, the best at teaching, the friendliest, the nicest, the one who assigns the least reading etc. Just let everyone know why you think they were the best, or really great, and what class they taught you.

The same holds true for the worst professors. Why were they the worst and what did they teach?

dabigchina

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Re: Columbia Law: Best Professors? Worst Professors?

Postby dabigchina » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:26 pm

Best: Bob Scott
Worst: Jody Kraus

soft blue

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Re: Columbia Law: Best Professors? Worst Professors?

Postby soft blue » Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:02 am

From the recent 1L cycle, consensus opinions are:

BEST:
Jamal Greene, David Pozen (Con Law)
Eric Talley, Ed Morrison, Bob Scott (Contracts)
Judge Lynch, Bert Huang, Olatude Johnson (Civil Procedure)

WORST:
Elizabeth Scott, Judge Rakoff (Crim)
Jody Kraus, Josh Mitts* (Contracts)
Hamburger (Con Law)

Mixed feelings (lots of hate or love)
Harcourt (Crim)
Barenberg (Con Law)
Merrill (Property)

Everyone else was unremarkable or a visitor. (Pfaff, Landau, etc.)

*Mitts is a very new professor who apparently took the criticism to heart and was much better in his spring SecReg section. Everyone else has a reputation that's pretty much set in stone.

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SpikeSeagull

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Re: Columbia Law: Best Professors? Worst Professors?

Postby SpikeSeagull » Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:12 am

For upper class courses, I think Funk and Schechtman are both pretty good (Fed Courts and Evidence). Funk taught for the first time last year and clearly put a ton of effort into his courses. Schechtman is more laid back, but funny, engaging, and explains the doctrine really clearly.

Moose93

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Re: Columbia Law: Best Professors? Worst Professors?

Postby Moose93 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:24 pm

soft blue wrote:From the recent 1L cycle, consensus opinions are:

BEST:
Jamal Greene, David Pozen (Con Law)
Eric Talley, Ed Morrison, Bob Scott (Contracts)
Judge Lynch, Bert Huang, Olatude Johnson (Civil Procedure)

WORST:
Elizabeth Scott, Judge Rakoff (Crim)
Jody Kraus, Josh Mitts* (Contracts)
Hamburger (Con Law)

Mixed feelings (lots of hate or love)
Harcourt (Crim)
Barenberg (Con Law)
Merrill (Property)

Everyone else was unremarkable or a visitor. (Pfaff, Landau, etc.)

*Mitts is a very new professor who apparently took the criticism to heart and was much better in his spring SecReg section. Everyone else has a reputation that's pretty much set in stone.


Where'd you get these "consensus opinions" from? Any consensus opinions on professors for the upper-class courses?

And I can't imagine anyone having any love for barenberg. he might be the worst teacher I've ever had. period.

soft blue

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Re: Columbia Law: Best Professors? Worst Professors?

Postby soft blue » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:24 pm

I was friendly with a lot of people, and those were the names that were ranted/raved about.

From what I was told: Barenberg was a terrible lecturer for sure, but people seemed to like 1.) his theory of conlaw and 2.) that he actually explained rules, etc quite simply.

Upperclass people I've been told to take (made a list through the year):

Metzger, Funk, Kessler, Bulman-Pozen, Monaghan (Admin/FedCourts)
Anyone teaching Income Tax (Raskolinkov / D'Avino / Graetz)
Goshen, Judge, Talley (Corps)
Schectman (Evidence)
Morrison (Bankruptcy)
Mann (Bankruptcy / Secured Transactions, which we call Commercial Finance)
Hennessey (Family Law)
Ginsburg (Copyright / Trademark)
Greenawalt (Law & Philosophy)


People to avoid:
Pistor, McCrary, Coffee (Corps)
Blasi (1st Amendment)
Every PR prof. except Rose

Controversial
Wu (Antitrust)
Gordon (Corps)
Liebman (Chinese Law)

CommonLawTort

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Re: Columbia Law: Best Professors? Worst Professors?

Postby CommonLawTort » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:34 pm

Best:
Rick D'Avino (Tax - Raskolnikov is also well liked but D'Avino blew me away)
Tim Wu controversial, yes but I thought he was great (Crim - prob good for other classes too)
Kellen Funk (Fed Courts - Metzger also well-liked but I really liked Funk)
David Ross (Negotiations)
Ed Morrison (Corp Fin and Bankruptcy - he'll work you hard, especially for bankruptcy, but he's very good)
George Bermann (Int'l Arbitration)

To Avoid:
Merritt Fox (Sec Reg - well intentioned, and bright but unfortunately monotonous)
George Fletcher (I hope he's no longer teaching)
Charles Sabel (kinda rude and poor explainer of concepts)

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Re: Columbia Law: Best Professors? Worst Professors?

Postby dumbclarencedarrow » Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:03 am

Schechtman
Schechtman
Schechtman
Schechtman
Schechtman
Schechtman

also Sanger is a lot of fun and weird

Merrill basically has a cult following but plenty of people dislike his style & POV, but he is undoubtedly a master of his subject area

dabigchina

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Re: Columbia Law: Best Professors? Worst Professors?

Postby dabigchina » Wed Sep 25, 2019 2:30 pm

dumbclarencedarrow wrote:Schechtman
Schechtman
Schechtman
Schechtman
Schechtman
Schechtman

also Sanger is a lot of fun and weird

Merrill basically has a cult following but plenty of people dislike his style & POV, but he is undoubtedly a master of his subject area

My understanding of Merrill's fed courts class is he discusses things he's interested in with the law review crowd and has no interest in teaching concepts that he feels has been adequately covered in the readings (which is to say, basically anything in the readings).

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Re: Columbia Law: Best Professors? Worst Professors?

Postby soft blue » Wed Sep 25, 2019 6:48 pm

Searching through course reviews (which go back to 2002 for him), Merrill doesn't seem to have ever taught Fed Courts (it's also not at all his area of expertise).

I took two classes with Merrill last year, in both of them we read ~95% of the book and covered what it discussed reasonably thoroughly. Your description rings entirely untrue to me, maybe he's different in Fed Courts but I really doubt it.

dabigchina

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Re: Columbia Law: Best Professors? Worst Professors?

Postby dabigchina » Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:06 pm

soft blue wrote:Searching through course reviews (which go back to 2002 for him), Merrill doesn't seem to have ever taught Fed Courts (it's also not at all his area of expertise).

I took two classes with Merrill last year, in both of them we read ~95% of the book and covered what it discussed reasonably thoroughly. Your description rings entirely untrue to me, maybe he's different in Fed Courts but I really doubt it.

Got him confused with Monaghan. Regardless, I've never heard anything good about Merrill, but hey, if reading 95% of his 1k+ page textbook sounds good, then yeah. He's great.



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