Columbia 1Ls taking questions

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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hellome
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Re: Columbia 1Ls taking questions

Postby hellome » Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:51 am

JG Hall wrote:
hellome wrote:
Lem37 wrote:
hellome wrote:hey i was looking into purchasing my (first ever) mac for law school
and was wondering if columbia students get a decent discount through the school store (i can't log in)

i hope to get a macbook air or pro

thanks!


Yes, we get a decent discount on all Apple laptops - I forget what it is - a few hundred off?


Woot thanks

It's $50 off of airs, $100-200 off of pros.


Also very helpful thanks!!

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Zabini
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Re: Columbia 1Ls taking questions

Postby Zabini » Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:35 am

Can anyone speak to how many Columbia students are aiming at SF/LA and how successful they are in doing so? Are CA firms well-represented at OCI?

On an unrelated note, I'm planning on living with my SO during law school (she's not a student)...is this possible in Columbia-subsidized housing or would we need to find an unaffiliated place?

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Lem37
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Re: Columbia 1Ls taking questions

Postby Lem37 » Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:14 pm

Zabini wrote:Can anyone speak to how many Columbia students are aiming at SF/LA and how successful they are in doing so? Are CA firms well-represented at OCI?

On an unrelated note, I'm planning on living with my SO during law school (she's not a student)...is this possible in Columbia-subsidized housing or would we need to find an unaffiliated place?


CLS does extremely well in CA. I'm not sure about the numbers, exactly - you can probably Google them, or find them on ATL. However, California branches/firms all attend our OCI, and everyone I know here who wanted to work in CA will be doing so this summer. As an aside, we have a HUGE California population here - the California Society is (I think) our largest student organization.

If you're looking at UAH apartments with your SO, you can only live in Couples housing. I don't know about the quality of Couples housing, but I'm pretty sure they show a few of these apartments during ASW. Otherwise, you'll have to look for non-UAH housing.

imchuckbass58
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Re: Columbia 1Ls taking questions

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:21 pm

Lem37 wrote:
Zabini wrote:Can anyone speak to how many Columbia students are aiming at SF/LA and how successful they are in doing so? Are CA firms well-represented at OCI?

On an unrelated note, I'm planning on living with my SO during law school (she's not a student)...is this possible in Columbia-subsidized housing or would we need to find an unaffiliated place?


CLS does extremely well in CA. I'm not sure about the numbers, exactly - you can probably Google them, or find them on ATL. However, California branches/firms all attend our OCI, and everyone I know here who wanted to work in CA will be doing so this summer. As an aside, we have a HUGE California population here - the California Society is (I think) our largest student organization.


I'd caveat this with one point: CLS people tend to do really well in CA if they have some connection to the area. That is, people who are from CA and looking to go back tend to place very well (hard to compare, but potentially even "better" than people aiming at NYC). But, the CA market is pretty insular, so if you do not have ties, you may have trouble penetrating it, though that's not to say it's not possible.

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Zabini
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Re: Columbia 1Ls taking questions

Postby Zabini » Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:37 pm

Thank you both for the responses! I wasn't "born and raised" in CA but I've had CA as my permanent address since the beginning of high school, identify as a Californian when asked (and sometimes when I'm not, lol), my family lives there still, and my SO's a born-and-raised in CA type. Would those ties be sufficient iyo?

imchuckbass58
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Re: Columbia 1Ls taking questions

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:40 pm

Zabini wrote:Thank you both for the responses! I wasn't "born and raised" in CA but I've had CA as my permanent address since the beginning of high school, identify as a Californian when asked (and sometimes when I'm not, lol), my family lives there still, and my SO's a born-and-raised in CA type. Would those ties be sufficient iyo?


I have to imagine that's enough, but I don't have firsthand knowledge.

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Lem37
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Re: Columbia 1Ls taking questions

Postby Lem37 » Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:44 pm

Zabini wrote:Thank you both for the responses! I wasn't "born and raised" in CA but I've had CA as my permanent address since the beginning of high school, identify as a Californian when asked (and sometimes when I'm not, lol), my family lives there still, and my SO's a born-and-raised in CA type. Would those ties be sufficient iyo?


Probably. I think employers just want you to demonstrate your desire/commitment to work in California post-graduation. If you basically live there now, and you plan to return there after graduation, then you likely have the "ties" they're looking for. :)

KG_CalGuy
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Re: Columbia 1Ls taking questions

Postby KG_CalGuy » Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:12 pm

For what it's worth, my roommate had no real "ties" to California (had certainly never lived there) and landed a SA for his 2L summer at a very large and respected CA firm with grades that were above median and not-quite Stone.

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jtemp320
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Re: Columbia 1Ls taking questions

Postby jtemp320 » Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:14 pm

KG_CalGuy wrote:For what it's worth, my roommate had no real "ties" to California (had certainly never lived there) and landed a SA for his 2L summer at a very large and respected CA firm with grades that were above median and not-quite Stone.


Encouraging :) was that for this summer?

KG_CalGuy
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Re: Columbia 1Ls taking questions

Postby KG_CalGuy » Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:35 pm

this upcoming summer

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Sogui
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Re: Columbia 1Ls taking questions

Postby Sogui » Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:36 am

Question for my peers here: Is anyone using Columbia Health Plan?

My understanding was that any health plan comes with some form of deductible, yet I can't find anything about that on the brochure. Do I just need to pay some co-pay amount for every charge and never worry about a deductible? I'm currently using my my family's plan but it is utterly useless. A $2500 deductible and we've never come close to hitting it. On the other hand, even a few hundred dollars out of pocket for doctor visits is better than $1400+ for a year's coverage under Columbia's plan.

Ironically I even took an insurance class in undergrad but it was so poorly taught that I walked away with absolutely no practical knowledge of how most forms of insurance work. That class was a travesty.

imchuckbass58
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Re: Columbia 1Ls taking questions

Postby imchuckbass58 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:31 am

Sogui wrote:Question for my peers here: Is anyone using Columbia Health Plan?

My understanding was that any health plan comes with some form of deductible, yet I can't find anything about that on the brochure. Do I just need to pay some co-pay amount for every charge and never worry about a deductible? I'm currently using my my family's plan but it is utterly useless. A $2500 deductible and we've never come close to hitting it. On the other hand, even a few hundred dollars out of pocket for doctor visits is better than $1400+ for a year's coverage under Columbia's plan.

Ironically I even took an insurance class in undergrad but it was so poorly taught that I walked away with absolutely no practical knowledge of how most forms of insurance work. That class was a travesty.


The Columbia plan has no deductible for primary care visits if you use the doctors at Columbia Health Services. There is a deductible for specialist visits, and for primary care physicians outside of the Columbia clinic.

The way the Columbia plan works is that it is exceedingly cheap if you just use the Columbia doctors, but if you go outside it becomes expensive and/or impossible - they won't even pay for you to see many doctors, for the ones they do, the deductible is high and co-insurance rate is low. Obviously if you have some sort of emergency, that's covered no matter where you go - I'm talking in terms of doctor's visits.

Basically, if all you need is a yearly checkup, maybe a couple of tests, and protection against catastrophic illness, go with the Columbia plan. If you have some sort of chronic condition or another reason you might need to see a specialist, don't do it.

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Lem37
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Re: Columbia 1Ls taking questions

Postby Lem37 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:13 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote:
Sogui wrote:Question for my peers here: Is anyone using Columbia Health Plan?

My understanding was that any health plan comes with some form of deductible, yet I can't find anything about that on the brochure. Do I just need to pay some co-pay amount for every charge and never worry about a deductible? I'm currently using my my family's plan but it is utterly useless. A $2500 deductible and we've never come close to hitting it. On the other hand, even a few hundred dollars out of pocket for doctor visits is better than $1400+ for a year's coverage under Columbia's plan.

Ironically I even took an insurance class in undergrad but it was so poorly taught that I walked away with absolutely no practical knowledge of how most forms of insurance work. That class was a travesty.


The Columbia plan has no deductible for primary care visits if you use the doctors at Columbia Health Services. There is a deductible for specialist visits, and for primary care physicians outside of the Columbia clinic.

The way the Columbia plan works is that it is exceedingly cheap if you just use the Columbia doctors, but if you go outside it becomes expensive and/or impossible - they won't even pay for you to see many doctors, for the ones they do, the deductible is high and co-insurance rate is low. Obviously if you have some sort of emergency, that's covered no matter where you go - I'm talking in terms of doctor's visits.

Basically, if all you need is a yearly checkup, maybe a couple of tests, and protection against catastrophic illness, go with the Columbia plan. If you have some sort of chronic condition or another reason you might need to see a specialist, don't do it.


TITCR. It's important to remember that Columbia's plan (Aetna Student Health) is constructed to cover young adults. Thus, a lot of medication for chronic conditions isn't covered. That being said, the doctors at the Health Center are extremely well-trained and many specialize in chronic conditions (as an example, I'm hypothyridic, and typically would see a specialist. However, my primary at the Health Center has been surprisingly awesome and knowledgeable about treatment, and I much prefer to pay $0 in copay than $15-30 for outside treatment).

Keeper1125
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Re: Columbia 1Ls taking questions

Postby Keeper1125 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:11 pm

First, just wanted to say thanks to everyone providing info in this thread. It's been an outstanding read.

Re: Housing, Do a significant % of students have their own apt/studio? If I were to express a preference for this, what is the likelihood of getting it?

Also, does your financial aid package at all adjust for the cost of housing, assuming it's provided by Columbia? Or are you expected to cover whatever amount it is that exceeds the OFA's expectation of housing costs?

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deneuve39
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Re: Columbia 1Ls taking questions

Postby deneuve39 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:35 pm

Keeper1125 wrote:First, just wanted to say thanks to everyone providing info in this thread. It's been an outstanding read.

Re: Housing, Do a significant % of students have their own apt/studio? If I were to express a preference for this, what is the likelihood of getting it?

Also, does your financial aid package at all adjust for the cost of housing, assuming it's provided by Columbia? Or are you expected to cover whatever amount it is that exceeds the OFA's expectation of housing costs?


I don't think a significant % of students have their own apartment, but that may be more b/c it's a lot more expensive than living with roommates than due to 1BRs/studios not being available. I definitely know of people who applied for studios or one bedrooms through UAH (or even law school housing) and got them, just expect to pay at least $1700 a month. Not sure what the likelihood is though...you have a better chance if you don't exhibit strong location prefs (i.e., you're willing to live above 120th or something).

Technically the financial aid package only covers the average cost of living, where they budget the housing to be roughly 1200 a month (this may have changed to be a bit more in the past couple years). However, I'm pretty sure you can petition (really, just e-mail) the Financial Aid office to get them to increase your budget so you can take out more in GradPlus loans. I'm not totally sure if having a more expensive apartment is a legitimate enough reason (e.g., I know that they'll increase it on a one-time basis for buying a laptop) but you should call them and ask.

delusional
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Re: Columbia 1Ls taking questions

Postby delusional » Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:44 pm

Great info about the insurance. I would have asked those questions myself. Thanks.

Are the clinics as cool as they look in the brochures that they send out? I was looking at a business clinic where you structure, buy and merge, declare bankruptcy, etc. How good is that kind of thing in practice?

Also, can someone speak a little more authoritatively than 0Ls about non-named merit aid? Does it truly not exist? How much of a "merit bump" is there, if any?

Also, why does the admitted students handbook not mention a word about IBR? Is it beneath Columbia's dignity to address the possibility that someone would be making <160,000 outside of PI?

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Lem37
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Re: Columbia 1Ls taking questions

Postby Lem37 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:57 am

delusional wrote:Great info about the insurance. I would have asked those questions myself. Thanks.

Are the clinics as cool as they look in the brochures that they send out? I was looking at a business clinic where you structure, buy and merge, declare bankruptcy, etc. How good is that kind of thing in practice?

Also, can someone speak a little more authoritatively than 0Ls about non-named merit aid? Does it truly not exist? How much of a "merit bump" is there, if any?

Also, why does the admitted students handbook not mention a word about IBR? Is it beneath Columbia's dignity to address the possibility that someone would be making <160,000 outside of PI?


Hey - your merit aid question has been asked and answered before, so hopefully I can (officially) set the record straight so I can stop cross-posting in every damn thread. ;)

There is non-named merit aid given out with financial aid packages. It's technically considered "need aid," however, and will only be awarded after you fill out and submit your FAFSA. It's also largely given out to those who leverage their scholarships from other schools - basically, send PDFs of your other scholarship letters to CLS's FinAid e-mail address ASAP. Columbia has been very good about providing some money to those with awards from other schools.

Posted by me in another thread: Don't wait to start leveraging, especially since CLS has a limited amount of FinAid to distribute, and leveraged $$ will count as need-based regardless of your financial status. Fill out your financial aid application forms ASAP (you must do this even if you're certain that you won't qualify for need-based aid). After you submit that, send CLS's FinAid office an email briefly outlining your situation, how CLS is your top choice but money is a factor, and you received scholarship offers from X-schools, etc. Importantly, ATTACH PDFs of your other scholly offer letters to that email.

delusional
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Re: Columbia 1Ls taking questions

Postby delusional » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:09 am

Lem37 wrote:
delusional wrote:Great info about the insurance. I would have asked those questions myself. Thanks.

Are the clinics as cool as they look in the brochures that they send out? I was looking at a business clinic where you structure, buy and merge, declare bankruptcy, etc. How good is that kind of thing in practice?

Also, can someone speak a little more authoritatively than 0Ls about non-named merit aid? Does it truly not exist? How much of a "merit bump" is there, if any?

Also, why does the admitted students handbook not mention a word about IBR? Is it beneath Columbia's dignity to address the possibility that someone would be making <160,000 outside of PI?


Hey - your merit aid question has been asked and answered before, so hopefully I can (officially) set the record straight so I can stop cross-posting in every damn thread. ;)

There is non-named merit aid given out with financial aid packages. It's technically considered "need aid," however, and will only be awarded after you fill out and submit your FAFSA. It's also largely given out to those who leverage their scholarships from other schools - basically, send PDFs of your other scholarship letters to CLS's FinAid e-mail address ASAP. Columbia has been very good about providing some money to those with awards from other schools.

Posted by me in another thread: Don't wait to start leveraging, especially since CLS has a limited amount of FinAid to distribute, and leveraged $$ will count as need-based regardless of your financial status. Fill out your financial aid application forms ASAP (you must do this even if you're certain that you won't qualify for need-based aid). After you submit that, send CLS's FinAid office an email briefly outlining your situation, how CLS is your top choice but money is a factor, and you received scholarship offers from X-schools, etc. Importantly, ATTACH PDFs of your other scholly offer letters to that email.

Thanks. Any ideas on no peer scholarships but a Harvard admit? Would that be worth anything?

Also, I feel for you, having to answer the same question a thousand times. I'll PM the OP in the Columbia thread to add this info. EDIT: PM sent

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Lem37
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Re: Columbia 1Ls taking questions

Postby Lem37 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:21 am

delusional wrote:
Lem37 wrote:
delusional wrote:Great info about the insurance. I would have asked those questions myself. Thanks.

Are the clinics as cool as they look in the brochures that they send out? I was looking at a business clinic where you structure, buy and merge, declare bankruptcy, etc. How good is that kind of thing in practice?

Also, can someone speak a little more authoritatively than 0Ls about non-named merit aid? Does it truly not exist? How much of a "merit bump" is there, if any?

Also, why does the admitted students handbook not mention a word about IBR? Is it beneath Columbia's dignity to address the possibility that someone would be making <160,000 outside of PI?


Hey - your merit aid question has been asked and answered before, so hopefully I can (officially) set the record straight so I can stop cross-posting in every damn thread. ;)

There is non-named merit aid given out with financial aid packages. It's technically considered "need aid," however, and will only be awarded after you fill out and submit your FAFSA. It's also largely given out to those who leverage their scholarships from other schools - basically, send PDFs of your other scholarship letters to CLS's FinAid e-mail address ASAP. Columbia has been very good about providing some money to those with awards from other schools.

Posted by me in another thread: Don't wait to start leveraging, especially since CLS has a limited amount of FinAid to distribute, and leveraged $$ will count as need-based regardless of your financial status. Fill out your financial aid application forms ASAP (you must do this even if you're certain that you won't qualify for need-based aid). After you submit that, send CLS's FinAid office an email briefly outlining your situation, how CLS is your top choice but money is a factor, and you received scholarship offers from X-schools, etc. Importantly, ATTACH PDFs of your other scholly offer letters to that email.

Thanks. Any ideas on no peer scholarships but a Harvard admit? Would that be worth anything?

Also, I feel for you, having to answer the same question a thousand times. I'll PM the OP in the Columbia thread to add this info. EDIT: PM sent


I would say definitely try, as long as you can put it tactfully (you're choosing between CLS and HLS and money would definitely be a deciding factor). Good luck! :)

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Sogui
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Re: Columbia 1Ls taking questions

Postby Sogui » Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:12 pm

Thanks again for the answer to the insurance question.

Lem covered the aid question correctly - not read further unless you like muddying the water,

There is no absolutely correct answer about what portion is "need" and what is "merit". I got a letter a few weeks back from a Columbia alum and donor who is financing a 'scholarship' here. Columbia then sent me an email that a significant portion of my aid (read: grant) was being funded by said 'scholarship'.

The fact that the award calls itself a scholarship would seem to indicate that it was dispersed on merit basis, but I believe that it remains mostly need based or as a means competing with other schools' awards. The fact that I was cautioned about using the actual name of the scholarship on a resume and the fact that the source of the aid was identified almost a year after I received it all point to the likelihood that this remains largely a need based award, or at least a response to the NYU scholarship that I had received.

I suspect the only reason I was even targeted for this 'named' award is that the donor and I went to the same undergrad institution with similar degrees and backgrounds. Columbia was trying to appease the donor, so they selected a recipient-in-name-only (after all this award did not actually change the aid package) that had a background similar to theirs (the donors get bios of their recipients).

If this demonstrates anything useful for you guys, it would be that the financial aid offices at law schools operate in a highly utilitarian fashion. I doubt you'll step on anyone's toes asking for more money because of 1) being accepted at HYS or 2) getting money from another reasonably competitive school.

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piccolittle
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Re: Columbia 1Ls taking questions

Postby piccolittle » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:56 pm

Does anyone know if it's possible to find out what 1L electives they will be offering next year? I know it's super early and gunnerish of me to care now...

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Lem37
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Re: Columbia 1Ls taking questions

Postby Lem37 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:44 pm

piccolittle wrote:Does anyone know if it's possible to find out what 1L electives they will be offering next year? I know it's super early and gunnerish of me to care now...


Er, I'm 99% sure the answer to this is no. You're talking a year from now - some professors may be on sabbatical, they may hire new people, etc. I don't think we get Spring '12 course schedules until, like, October of this year.

chasgoose
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Re: Columbia 1Ls taking questions

Postby chasgoose » Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:23 am

Sogui wrote:Question for my peers here: Is anyone using Columbia Health Plan?

My understanding was that any health plan comes with some form of deductible, yet I can't find anything about that on the brochure. Do I just need to pay some co-pay amount for every charge and never worry about a deductible? I'm currently using my my family's plan but it is utterly useless. A $2500 deductible and we've never come close to hitting it. On the other hand, even a few hundred dollars out of pocket for doctor visits is better than $1400+ for a year's coverage under Columbia's plan.

Ironically I even took an insurance class in undergrad but it was so poorly taught that I walked away with absolutely no practical knowledge of how most forms of insurance work. That class was a travesty.


Well I don't know if the Columbia Health Plan offered to law students is the same as the one offered to Columbia undergrads, but my sister's experience with it has been AMAZING. She had a major but specific health issue during her time at Columbia and her plan covered multiple visits to pretty much the top specialist in the country that works on that problem. What made it even better was that she was sent to this doctor immediately, no questions asked. Unlike my healthcare plan at Yale where you apparently had to be bleeding out to see a real doctor...

syezzie
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Re: Columbia 1Ls taking questions

Postby syezzie » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:33 am

Does anyone have any recommendations for classes to sit in on during ASW? I'm looking for something on Wednesday morning. Here are the choices the school lists:

9:10 AM-10:30 AM Property+
Professor Dan Rodriguez, JG 103

9:10 AM-10:30 AM Federal Courts
Professor Trevor Morrison, JG 104

9:10 AM-10:30 AM Jurisprudence: Selected Problems
Professor Kent Greenawalt, JG 107

9:10 AM-10:30 AM Secured Transactions
Professor Ronald Mann, JG 105

9:15 AM-10:30 AM Property+
Professor Lance Liebman, JG 102

9:30 AM-10:30 AM Criminal Law+
Professor Hal Edgar, JG 106

9:30 AM-10:30 AM International Securities Regulation
Professor Merritt Fox, **WJ 103

Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

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kwais
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Re: Columbia 1Ls taking questions

Postby kwais » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:36 am

Hi there, I saw the bump here so I'm going to ask this question again. Anyone have any knowledge/feelings/experience with the Arbor housing in Riverdale. Is anyone considering it? Know anyone who is in it? thanks




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