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A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
imchuckbass58
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby imchuckbass58 » Wed May 12, 2010 3:37 pm

Also, while the vast majority of people try to do law review and the vast majority of people accepted end up doing law review, that is not the rule. I know a couple of 2Ls and 3Ls with Top 20% grades (meaning they had a very good shot at LR) who did not even bother doing the write-on both because LR wasn't as useful for what they wanted to do (corporate), because it is inordinately time consuming, and because it strikes some people as mindlessly boring. A small minority, definitely, but they exist.

Frank
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby Frank » Wed May 12, 2010 5:28 pm

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JG Hall
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby JG Hall » Wed May 12, 2010 5:57 pm

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of Benito Cereno
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby of Benito Cereno » Wed May 12, 2010 7:26 pm

.,.,
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of Benito Cereno
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby of Benito Cereno » Wed May 12, 2010 7:29 pm

.,.,
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imchuckbass58
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby imchuckbass58 » Wed May 12, 2010 7:35 pm

Maybe I went a bit far. I don't think it's seen as a frivolous/silly indulgence. That said, unless you are trying to work in one of the few, extremely limited areas where an LLM will actually come into play, I don't think it's seen as an asset or a plus.

If you're interested, you should do it. I don't think the JD/LLM can hurt you, but I think it helps only in very, very limited circumstances.

Frank
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby Frank » Wed May 12, 2010 7:42 pm

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Frank
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby Frank » Wed May 12, 2010 7:43 pm

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odiero
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby odiero » Fri May 14, 2010 3:30 pm

Thanks to all of you for taking questions.

On the topic of joint degrees... Do people do the joint with the School of International and Public Affairs? Seems like a particularly attractive program for PI people interested in working abroad: strong program and allows you to stay in NY (so could be on Law Review, etc.). Although maybe PI people interested in working abroad have no use for Law Review? Ack, [strike]law school[/strike] life is confusing.

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swc65
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby swc65 » Sat May 15, 2010 2:57 am

of Benito Cereno wrote:
swc65 wrote:[


I am glad to read this since I was just assigned housing at 122!

You got your assignment? By email?



Yes I did receive it by email and I have a really early move-in date (mid-July, by choice). I am not sure if that had anything to do with the speed of getting my assignment. They only give you a few days to accept or deny and you have to pay a deposit which is not refunded if you change your mind about the place.

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of Benito Cereno
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby of Benito Cereno » Sat May 15, 2010 8:55 am

.,.,
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imchuckbass58
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sat May 15, 2010 10:38 am

of Benito Cereno wrote:can you give some insight into the 1L summer job search? given that most people are applying before grades what is involved in landing good positions? when do students start thinking about/looking for 1l summer opportunities? what sorts of jobs have your friends found?


I'd say a good chunk of people apply december 1st (you're not allowed to apply to NALP employers before that). A decent number (probably the majority) wait until after 1L finals. Some people act as if you need to get everything out on December 1st, but this largely not true. First, most employers don't start considering until the end of December (or later), and second, it's much more important to study and get good grades than wasting time doing mail merges. You should only apply December first to firms employers with mid-december deadlines, and just do the rest over winter break.

Columbia gives you a lot of resources (listings of employers who hire 1Ls, where previous 1Ls have worked, etc), but it's still up to you to do most of the work. There is Spring OCI in February, and people do get jobs from it, but you should not count on 1L OCI for a job.

If you want to work for a federal judge, work for a firm, or work in a prestigious government position (SEC, DOJ, FTC, DoD, etc.) you have to apply early - i.e., in December. For PI, less popular government positions, and in-house, you can generally apply later.

1L employment is really a crapshoot, but factors that help include good 1st semester grades (most employers will see your grades before they make hiring decisions), good undergrad grades, brand-name undergrad, previous work experience in the area (i.e., working as a trader for the SEC), and just generally being a good interviewer.

Most of the people I know are working for US attorneys, judges, NGOs or agencies in DC (DOJ, FTC, etc). There are a few people with firm jobs, but they are almost exclusively URMs or people who got them through connections.

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of Benito Cereno
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby of Benito Cereno » Sat May 15, 2010 11:22 am

.,.,
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imchuckbass58
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sat May 15, 2010 1:37 pm

of Benito Cereno wrote:so people without workexperience and 25th% gpa (but 75th+lsat), that is to say, me, are kinda fucked without stellar 1st semester grades? kinda how I imagined it I guess, as in December I don't really think I'd be so attractive to really any legal employer (3.6 t10 UG and grad work in politics + 0 work experience = shit out of luck 1L summer I imagine).
I'm guessing the only way to get something like DOJ is some serious work experience or 3.9/4.0 undergrad. do you know people coming in without work experience and more mediore ug grades feeling a bit screwed for the summer?

also, I imagine firm connections go beyond having family friends and friends fathers working at v10 firms (I'm guessing something more like having a parent or really close friend of parent in a firm, right?)


No, not really. DOJ internships aren't easy to waltz into, but they're not ridiculously hard. There are many people who are straight out of undergrad and pretty middle of the pack as far as grades who managed to snag DOJ internships. It really is all about whether you have something that catches the eye of the people who are doing hiring.

As for firm connections, there's no hard and fast rule. I know someone who got a job because he used to be a banker and had kept up with one of the lawyers who used to work on his bank's deals. I think family friends are fine as long as 1) they are actually high up enough to have any influence on the process and 2) like you enough to go to bat for you.

But seriously, chill the fuck out. It will be fine. You will get a 1L job. It will probably be something you like a lot. And if it isn't, it doesn't really matter because it's your 1L summer.

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of Benito Cereno
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby of Benito Cereno » Sat May 15, 2010 1:41 pm

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sbalive
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby sbalive » Sat May 15, 2010 1:44 pm

There are lots of different experiences with 1L job searches. My acquaintances will be working in a broad range of positions, including government (US Attorneys, State AGs, government offices), firms, PI, judicial internships, and international. The job search is a very individual experience. A lot of us didn't get most of our grades until very late and were hired without ever submitting them. Many people got good positions later, even with mediocre first semester grades.

Depending on what you want, different things are important. If you really want to work for a firm and don't qualify for a diversity program, then you are pretty much screwed unless you are looking at your home market (people did very well in Texas, for example). Even then, it was a competitive year, since a lot of 2Ls were competing for what used to generally be 1L summer jobs. Grades tend to be important but they're definitely not dispositive for firm jobs. If you are really persuasive about wanting to come back to a less desirable market, you are very aggressive networking, or having worked at a firm as a paralegal / having other connections. (I guess people who could do IP would have done okay, except for various reasons many of the people who probably could have worked at IP firms this summer opted not to... I don't know about finance backgrounds, but I do know of people are working at hedge funds right now, though I don't know if that'll be for the summer too.)

For PI, you need to accumulate volunteer experience, get involved with pro bono, right away. Also, join and be active in student orgs and make contacts with 2Ls and 3Ls who've worked with organizations before and can give you advice on who to contact, how to interview, put in a good word, etc. This was also very competitive this year, but the students I know did very well. Grades don't really matter that much - a little bit maybe for the most competitive stuff, but experience and being able to prove motivation were what got jobs.

For government, it seemed that grades were the most important. This was nerve-wracking for a lot of people, since hiring was slow and it was really competitive, so people were freaked out. It turns out that the Columbia name does travel well, and people ended up landing these positions eventually.

For judicial internships, it was all over the map. Some people were hired early, some people later. Some judges seemed to really want grades, others didn't. I don't know of anyone who wanted one who didn't get it. This was also where I know of someone whose Legal Writing teacher was a useful contact.

For RAs, some people got positions by being the favorite student (and probably highest grade in a class). Others applied later, or happened to be in the elective where the prof had decided to hire her RAs.

I think anyone who wanted to do something internationally eventually came up with something, and this includes some very late news for some people.

Wow, I guess this covers it? Basically, my advice would be, figure out like the 1 thing you want to do (like a particular location or kind of work) and then maybe a fallback if it's a really rare opportunity (though you don't need one if it's like "PI in New York" because that'll keep you busy enough), and really focus on that. There are just too many different kinds of opportunities for you to be effective spreading out your efforts. If you really want a particular job though, and it's well-suited to your background, you should be fine if you network hard, starting early. Also, you may need to be patient (or maybe just have balls of steel), since I think some people got freaked out and cut off their job searches early or just fell into despair as nothing was panning out.

The biggest thing to remember is that the Columbia name is really powerful. It's easy to get caught up in grades and worrying about what other people are getting, because you're all in the same place -- but I know that I wasn't alone in occasionally stepping out of the process and realizing that there is a huge advantage just being here, and everything else is sort of secondary.

sbalive
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby sbalive » Sat May 15, 2010 1:45 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote:But seriously, chill the fuck out. It will be fine. You will get a 1L job. It will probably be something you like a lot. And if it isn't, it doesn't really matter because it's your 1L summer.


This, in case you don't bother to read the essay I wrote above.

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of Benito Cereno
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby of Benito Cereno » Sat May 15, 2010 1:56 pm

.,.,
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JG Hall
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby JG Hall » Sat May 15, 2010 8:58 pm

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protokurios
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby protokurios » Wed May 26, 2010 1:33 pm

I'm new to the thread, and I know this might have been answered already, but I was wondering if most 1Ls do or don't have class on Fridays? If so, is it usually one class in the morning or a full day?

imchuckbass58
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby imchuckbass58 » Wed May 26, 2010 1:44 pm

protokurios wrote:I'm new to the thread, and I know this might have been answered already, but I was wondering if most 1Ls do or don't have class on Fridays? If so, is it usually one class in the morning or a full day?


It's rare to have class on Fridays. First semester, I think there were only a couple of legal writing sections at 10am and 11am. Second semester, there is at least one, possibly two crim sections that meet Friday morning (one because it is taught by a sitting judge who can only teach mornings).

So it's rare, but possible. I've never heard of Friday afternoon 1L classes though.

protokurios
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby protokurios » Wed May 26, 2010 3:09 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote:
protokurios wrote:I'm new to the thread, and I know this might have been answered already, but I was wondering if most 1Ls do or don't have class on Fridays? If so, is it usually one class in the morning or a full day?


It's rare to have class on Fridays. First semester, I think there were only a couple of legal writing sections at 10am and 11am. Second semester, there is at least one, possibly two crim sections that meet Friday morning (one because it is taught by a sitting judge who can only teach mornings).

So it's rare, but possible. I've never heard of Friday afternoon 1L classes though.


Thanks! Is it super bad to skip a legal writing class in the middle of the semester? Trying to plan ahead because I need to fly back home for an event.

imchuckbass58
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby imchuckbass58 » Wed May 26, 2010 3:49 pm

protokurios wrote:Thanks! Is it super bad to skip a legal writing class in the middle of the semester? Trying to plan ahead because I need to fly back home for an event.


No. First of all, assuming you're happy with a Pass and not gunning for a High Pass (the distinction matters very little) it won't matter. Even if you are trying to get an HP, I think it won't negatively affect you as long as you tell your teacher a week or two in advance.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby somewhatwayward » Thu May 27, 2010 9:36 am

when do we get our schedules?

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CG614
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby CG614 » Thu May 27, 2010 10:47 am

somewhatwayward wrote:when do we get our schedules?

CLS Orientation Site wrote:Your Fall 2010 schedule will be included in your Registration packet, which you must pick up in person on Monday, August 16, 2010, the first day of Orientation. Schedules also will be available in Lawnet by Friday, August 13. An e-mail will be sent to all students once schedules are posted in Lawnet. Beginning the week of August 9 e-mail communications will be sent to your Columbia e-mail account.




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