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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.
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Antipodean
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby Antipodean » Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:20 pm

Frank wrote:Where do you get the idea the fed program covers only domestic work? It is non-profit work. I know, for example, it covers Peace Corps (which is an American program that takes place overseas), and I'd imagine it would cover something like Amnesty, even if you are placed internationally.

Good point. It covers only domestic employers; some domestic employers do indeed send people overseas to do work. The Columbia program covers foreign employers as well, if they fit the other eligibility criteria. I'll amend my post to be more explicit.

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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby Antipodean » Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:29 pm

Frank wrote:In both scenarios, if the fed/CLS is making your repayments on a ten year schedule, then, after ten years, your debt should be finished anyway. Correct?

Yes, both programs assume a 10-year repayment program. The difference is, in the Columbia program you're paying it down the whole 10 years (with a little help from Columbia), so your balance is shrinking to zero. In the Federal program, your balance could actually be increasing the whole time; it's just that the whole thing gets forgiven after the 120 payments regardless. Thus the potential problems if you drop out of it...

charlym wrote:Will CLS be reviewing its grade system after Harvard and Stanford?
I think I read something about Dean Schizer heading a committee that would consider some sort of a reform, do you have any updates on this?

CLS did do a review after Harvard switched; apparently the students came out against it and the faculty said "meh". So Columbia didn't switch. I don't believe the administration has any current plans to revisit the issue, though student agitation might change that.

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Lem37
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby Lem37 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:35 pm

Sigh, sadly I can only contribute to questions about student life.

...she said, reclining on her couch while sipping a glass of tempranillo and reading up on negligent homicide.

(no, seriously, that is like...all I do)

Frank
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby Frank » Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:47 pm

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Last edited by Frank on Sun Sep 26, 2010 4:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby Antipodean » Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:52 pm

Frank wrote:A little help? From what I read on the site, if you make under 50k, for eg, you pay nothing. CLS does all of it. If over, you pay something like 10% of your salary, depending on your income.

Sorry, I have an understatement habit I'm trying to shake...

At any rate, for those who are interested, the Columbia LRAP program is generally considered to be very generous, and is likely to be even more generous when they offer an option to combine it with the Federal Program. For those who'd like to look at a comparison of the various top law school's loan repayment assistance programs, doyleoil assembled an excellent one around this time last year: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=62094

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Unemployed
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby Unemployed » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:03 pm

My understanding of CLS LRAP:

It's a 10 year program, and you can weave in and out of it. There is a catch: if you leave an LRAP-eligible job for the private sector in less than 5 years, you have to cough up incremental portions of the benefits you received from Columbia (i.e. Must return 100% of benefits if you leave in less than 3 years, 66% for less than 4, and 33% for less than 5. After 5 years, you don't have to return anything even if you quit).

Say you borrowed 200k to attend Columbia. On a 10 year payment plan with 8.5% interest (for simplicity's sake), that works out to a total payment of ~300k. For the purposes of Columbia's LRAP, you are paying back 30k every year.

If you are making 50k a year or less, then you won't be paying a dime. Anything over 50k is taxed by LRAP at 34.5% off the gross. For example, if you are making 60k a year, then you need to contribute $3,450 to LRAP, and Columbia will take care of the remaining $26,550. If you are making 100k a year, then you must contribute $17,250, and Columbia pays $12,750.

Let's say you first went into private practice for 4 years before taking a PI/government job. You are still eligible for LRAP, but Columbia will assume that you already paid back $120,000 ($30,000 annual rate x4), regardless of whether you actually followed the 10 year plan. Columbia's payment schedule for the remaining 6 years will operate under that assumption.

Other CLS students - please correct me if I'm wrong.

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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby Frank » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:12 pm

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Last edited by Frank on Sun Sep 26, 2010 4:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

democrattotheend
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby democrattotheend » Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:38 am

Frank wrote:
Tofu wrote:
scribelaw wrote:What are the rooms like in Lenfest and Lionsgate? Can't find any pictures on the CLS Web site.


+1

Also, what do you think would be the pros and cons (other than the price) of living in a studio or an apartment there?



See my above post for Lenfest/Lionsgate

I really wanted a studio when I first arrived. I am glad I did not get one. Besides the price, which you don't want me to discuss, another good feature is having a roommate. Now, I am normally not one much for them, especially as I worked and lived on my own. But, the issue is that it is a lot harder to meet people without them. You will just go to class, come back, study, go to bed. Having a roommate lets you interact with someone and bounce around law school ideas. So, I am happy I have one. I would say try for a two person apt, if possible. The privacy of a studio is not worth the price, and the overall social health/benefits you get from having a roommate are worth it, IMO.


Do you live in a 2-person apartment? If so, can you PM me which building and how much you pay, if you are comfortable with that? All of the housing I saw was 3 bedroom apartments and I think I would prefer a 2 br, if there are any decent buildings close to the law school that offer 2 br apartments and the price isn't that much higher.

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lsathalon
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby lsathalon » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:16 pm

charlym wrote:Will CLS be reviewing its grade system after Harvard and Stanford?
I think I read something about Dean Schizer heading a committee that would consider some sort of a reform, do you have any updates on this?


At Columbia's last Accepted Student Days, Dean Schizer said that they looked into revising the grade system and that they found students didn't want it to change, so they are leaving it as is for the foreseeable future.

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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby Frank » Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:41 pm

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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby Frank » Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:42 pm

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toaster2
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby toaster2 » Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:45 pm

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imchuckbass58
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby imchuckbass58 » Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:23 pm

Frank wrote:I don't get why people don't want it changed. Probably jealous 2Ls and 3Ls.


I think one of the concerns is the granularity. There's really not much difference between A and A-. It means you did very well. I think the big division is between B+ and B. B+ basically means you did well, and B means you didn't do so hot, but not bad either. This distinction gets lost if you lump both B+ and B into a "Pass" grade.

So the people at the top of the class are slightly opposed because under the current system they're hot stuff anyways, people at or slightly above median are opposed because they want to be distinguished from the B students, and only people below median are for it, since they are the ones who primarily benefit. And, nobody really cares because it won't apply to the current students, and it doesn't change the faculty's job at all.

I'd also add that the supposed "chillness" of schools that do HP/P/LP/F may not have so much to do with the grading system than the atmosphere of the school. Several HLS 1Ls who I have talked to have said it seems just as competitive with the new grading system, and employers basically end up translating HP into A/A- and P into B+/B.

That said, I'm in favor of changing the system, largely because the +/- distinctions are artificial. Our crim law professor basically said he has a really easy time with the As/A-s because they are clearly a step above the other exams. Similarly, the B- and Cs are pretty clearly deficient. But within those brackets, he said it is very hard to distinguish between a B and B+ or an A and A-, and that any attempt to do so is largely arbitrary. Even before fitting to the curve, he says the raw scores on the exam have a clump of ~20% at 25 (out of 30), a clump of ~70% at 20, and a few stragglers at 15 or below.

/tangent

popopcorn
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby popopcorn » Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:57 pm

Hey Frank, thanks so much about starting this thread.
I really value having a roommate in my first year experience as well, so I'm just wondering how did you find your roommate? Was it randomly assigned by the school or u can tell them who you want to room with, if you have a preference?

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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby Frank » Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:43 pm

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Last edited by Frank on Sun Sep 26, 2010 4:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Antipodean
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby Antipodean » Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:19 pm

popopcorn wrote:Hey Frank, thanks so much about starting this thread.
I really value having a roommate in my first year experience as well, so I'm just wondering how did you find your roommate? Was it randomly assigned by the school or u can tell them who you want to room with, if you have a preference?

I also had a randomly assigned roommate, but in my case, he's a grad student studying European Intellectual History. He's a very laidback kind of guy - almost too laidback, really - and it's worked out pretty well. One advantage of having a roomie who isn't a law student is that they won't be stressing about the same stuff you are, so it's less likely the two of you will feed off each other's stress and make yourself unhappy.

DeepSeaLaw
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby DeepSeaLaw » Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:40 pm

Quality of life? Do your classmates seem generally happy, or is everyone stressed out? How many nights per week do you think most 1L's do something fun (go to bars, relax with friends over dinner and a movie, go downtown for a show, whatever)?

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Lem37
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby Lem37 » Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:57 pm

DeepSeaLaw wrote:Quality of life? Do your classmates seem generally happy, or is everyone stressed out? How many nights per week do you think most 1L's do something fun (go to bars, relax with friends over dinner and a movie, go downtown for a show, whatever)?


Aside from exam study-period, I'd say 1L's here are usually down for impromptu hanging out. Almost everyone goes out on Thursday/Friday/Saturday, and unless I have a lot of work to do for class the next day, I'll often meet up with friends for a drink, go out to dinner, or invite them over to study for a few hours and break it up with a few episodes of "Breaking Bad' or a movie. The neighborhood is really great for meeting up with people once you're sick of working.

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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby Frank » Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:37 pm

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democrattotheend
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby democrattotheend » Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:54 pm

I was able to see a couple student apartments at ASW, but because the apartment viewings were at the same time as classes, I wasn't able to see very many. I am coming back to give Columbia another look, probably the weekend of the 17th-18th.

I was wondering if any current CLS TLS'ers who live in UAH housing would be kind enough to show me their apartments. I am trying to see as many apartments/get as much info as possible before filling out my housing application (if I decide to go to Columbia), and would really appreciate anyone who is willing to open their doors for a few minutes. I won't judge if your apartment is messy (my apartment in DC usually is), and I can send you a picture of myself in advance so you know who to expect.

Any takers?

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Lem37
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby Lem37 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:55 pm

democrattotheend wrote:I was able to see a couple student apartments at ASW, but because the apartment viewings were at the same time as classes, I wasn't able to see very many. I am coming back to give Columbia another look, probably the weekend of the 17th-18th.

I was wondering if any current CLS TLS'ers who live in UAH housing would be kind enough to show me their apartments. I am trying to see as many apartments/get as much info as possible before filling out my housing application (if I decide to go to Columbia), and would really appreciate anyone who is willing to open their doors for a few minutes. I won't judge if your apartment is messy (my apartment in DC usually is), and I can send you a picture of myself in advance so you know who to expect.

Any takers?


Have you left New York? We're showing our apartment tomorrow morning, and since I'll be working basically all night, I'd be happy to open it up for a few minutes then as well.

democrattotheend
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby democrattotheend » Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:57 pm

Lem37 wrote:
democrattotheend wrote:I was able to see a couple student apartments at ASW, but because the apartment viewings were at the same time as classes, I wasn't able to see very many. I am coming back to give Columbia another look, probably the weekend of the 17th-18th.

I was wondering if any current CLS TLS'ers who live in UAH housing would be kind enough to show me their apartments. I am trying to see as many apartments/get as much info as possible before filling out my housing application (if I decide to go to Columbia), and would really appreciate anyone who is willing to open their doors for a few minutes. I won't judge if your apartment is messy (my apartment in DC usually is), and I can send you a picture of myself in advance so you know who to expect.

Any takers?


Have you left New York? We're showing our apartment tomorrow morning, and since I'll be working basically all night, I'd be happy to open it up for a few minutes then as well.


I'm not in New York now. I am planning to come up next weekend. Would you be willing to show it then?

blue5385
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby blue5385 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:00 pm

Frank wrote:
popopcorn wrote:Hey Frank, thanks so much about starting this thread.
I really value having a roommate in my first year experience as well, so I'm just wondering how did you find your roommate? Was it randomly assigned by the school or u can tell them who you want to room with, if you have a preference?



I found him in the apartment when I arrived!

But, yes, he was randomly assigned by the school. I did mention when I wrote in my preferences that I wanted a fellow 1L, though. I was told by a 2L friend that they will, otherwise, assign you random people (he was given an LLM, for example).


Frank, thanks for doing this Q&A thread, it's really helpful. :D

Along the lines of this question, was the housing dept. able to accomodate most/all of your preferences? I was fairly detailed about what I would like on my app, but I don't know how likely they are to take my preferences into account when giving me my housing assignment.

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of Benito Cereno
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby of Benito Cereno » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:02 pm

any of you been in a lionsgate apartment? are they quite nice?

also, do you remember if the floors are hardwood?

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Lem37
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Qs

Postby Lem37 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:11 am

Hi all! Now that some of you have visited Columbia, feel free to ask any follow-up questions you might still have!

(To the above poster - sadly, I have never been in Lionsgate. I'm sure you could call housing and inquire as to the floors, though! As far as I know, most UAH is hardwood.)




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