wonderfilled wrote:I have a couple questions.
What's the community like at CLS? Friendly? Do you feel like a number, or a name? Can you walk around the law school and feel like you know the majority of the people there?
How are the professors? Are they accessible? Can you develop relationships with them?
Are classes more theoretical or practical? Are there opportunities for hand-on, experiential learning? How early do these opportunities start?
Columbia has a reputation for being the most cut-throat school in the T14. Is there any truth to this?
Last one, I promise: how many people seem to get in off the waitlist? And can you still get any need-based aid from the waitlist?
I really love the community at CLS. I met most of my classmates during Orientation Week my 1L year, and people are always quick to catch up when we run into eachother in the hallways. Beyond that, I have a group of about 15 or so friends who gather at my apartment every week for a movie night; we also break into smaller groups for post-class happy hours and excursions downtown. It's easy to make a lot of wonderful friends here.
Very few law school classes in general
are going to be "practical" in the sense that (I think) you mean. There's a heavy focus on litigation in law school classes, so all of your corporate/transactional instruction will be on the job (a few schools - I think Fordham is one of them - offer transactional classes, but I'm 99% sure that CLS is not one of them). Your writing classes will be valuable, and any negotiation or mock trail classes your take as an upperclassman will also help out. But when I asked my interviewers during OCI if there were any class I should take my 2L year, almost all told me "no" and agreed that being a lawyer is 100% different from being a law student. There are some core classes that will help you learn concepts (Corporations, Tax, Antitrust) but are still theoretical.
Some of the professors are very accessible. Some are not. It's going to vary at any law school.
The "cut-throat" reputation is bullshit. Example: we share our outlines on a giant harddrive at school.
No clue about the waitlist. Sorry!