Columbia students taking questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
dabigchina
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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby dabigchina » Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:44 am

anonymous117 wrote:
happyday wrote:LOL, thanks for the reply Nebby! Glad to hear it :D Do you know what it takes (in terms of credentials) to get into Wachtell or Cravath from CLS? Are good 1L grades enough or do they care a lot about work experience (e.g. Wall Street finance or consulting)? I am asking this because I am 95% sure that I want to go straight through to law school. Thanks again!

Nebby wrote:There is no significant difference. You'll hate your life just the same


FWIW, this past summer there were two CLS 1L's at Wachtell (one straight through, one with work experience), and at least one CLS 1L at Cravath. And those are positions obtained after just one semester of grades. So do really well first semester and you could get your foot in the door early.


Does wachtell hire outside their diversity program? Not doubting the 1Ls qualifications, just pointing it that it may not be open to everyone.

packer_22
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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby packer_22 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:44 am

Source: 3L Wachtell former summer (not me, lol).

1. As make up 9-11% of the 1L class

2. Getting an A is hard work and good luck (how much luck is needed varies by professor and this is hotly contested by students. I tend to believe that when you are grading a bunch of people who scored in the 99th percentile of the LSAT, it is hard to make fine distinctions and so therefore the amount of luck is high).

3. Wachtell has about 30 summers per class. They made 6 offers this year (3 accepted), and 7 offers last year (3 accepted). So, I'd expect them to make ~60 offers per year assuming their yield stays the same. All of the summers I know over the last couple years (n=6) were Kent or high, high Stone+LR (those people tended to also get W&C, S&C, etc).

happyday
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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby happyday » Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:22 pm

Wow, thanks for everyone's responses! First time posting on a blog and I'm really grateful that all of you CLS students, alum, and experts are taking the time to answer my questions. :D

Several people mentioned 1L section/class; exactly how big is your 1L section? Are you only compared to your section in terms of grading?

The historical data is really helpful! So it looks like Wachtell is pretty consistent in hiring 6-7 students from CLS every year?

Do you think Wachtell (or S&C/Cravath/etc.) hires the same number of summer associates from CLS and H? Or do they dip lower into the H class and hire, idk, 10 or 12? Just want to know if going to H would offer any statistical advantage...though I suppose that would be canceled out since you're competing with more gun-ho H students who worked at Goldman Sachs and McKinsey and went to HYP for undergrad (are there many CLS students who worked in these places? :shock: )

From the previous posts, it looks like going to CLS would be a great choice for someone like me who only wants NYC Corporate BigLaw and that getting an offer from Wachtell is feasible as a Kent Scholar with significant other qualifications...idk, would research/thesis on corporate governance and M&A in undergrad + finance internships (not elite investment banking/consulting) count as experience for Wachtell? Or is that hopeless lol :P

Thanks again everyone!

packer_22 wrote:Source: 3L Wachtell former summer (not me, lol).

1. As make up 9-11% of the 1L class

2. Getting an A is hard work and good luck (how much luck is needed varies by professor and this is hotly contested by students. I tend to believe that when you are grading a bunch of people who scored in the 99th percentile of the LSAT, it is hard to make fine distinctions and so therefore the amount of luck is high).

3. Wachtell has about 30 summers per class. They made 6 offers this year (3 accepted), and 7 offers last year (3 accepted). So, I'd expect them to make ~60 offers per year assuming their yield stays the same. All of the summers I know over the last couple years (n=6) were Kent or high, high Stone+LR (those people tended to also get W&C, S&C, etc).

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Kummel
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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby Kummel » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:56 pm

Does anyone have any experience or knowledge about moving out of UAH early? The lease says I can either move out Dec. 31 or May 31st. Are they amenable to letting you move out March 31st for example? Or are they very strict about it?

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White Dwarf
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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby White Dwarf » Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:42 pm

Studied twice as hard for Fed Courts than any other final I've had in law school, and I'm pretty sure I just got a B...

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Nebby
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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby Nebby » Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:48 pm

White Dwarf wrote:Studied twice as hard for Fed Courts than any other final I've had in law school, and I'm pretty sure I just got a B...

Monaghan? Probably a B+

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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby jrc223 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:59 pm

White Dwarf wrote:Studied twice as hard for Fed Courts than any other final I've had in law school, and I'm pretty sure I just got a B...


Both of the exams in my gunner-heavy classes were unusually easy this semester

It's the stealth Bs that hurt the most

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White Dwarf
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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby White Dwarf » Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:11 pm

Nebby wrote:
White Dwarf wrote:Studied twice as hard for Fed Courts than any other final I've had in law school, and I'm pretty sure I just got a B...

Monaghan? Probably a B+

No, Caleb Nelson. He's visiting from UVA.

packer_22
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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby packer_22 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:33 pm

happyday wrote:
Several people mentioned 1L section/class; exactly how big is your 1L section? Are you only compared to your section in terms of grading?


Your 1L section is 100 +/- 2 or 3 people. When I was applying to law school, this seemed like a huge drawback. I had thought I would have much preferred to have a smaller section (20-30 people) like one does at UVA or Duke. However, at CLS, you do have a "small section" which is 20-30; in addition, you have an LPW class of 10-12 people. Having a section of 100 just gives you more people that you can possibly befriend/a larger network. I'm naturally very shy, so having 100 people in my section (all the same classes) means that I know more people than I would if I was in a 30 person section.

Again, I get that you want to do well, but grades at CLS are really hard to predict. As has been posted on this thread before, the curve is 10% A/ 15% A-/ 30% B+ and 35% B (and some discretionary B- and C). This are very rough and can vary from semester to semester. This is just a heuristic. Yes, you are graded against your section, all of whom (at Harvard and at Columbia) are extremely accomplished.

happyday wrote:Do you think Wachtell (or S&C/Cravath/etc.) hires the same number of summer associates from CLS and H? Or do they dip lower into the H class and hire, idk, 10 or 12? Just want to know if going to H would offer any statistical advantage...though I suppose that would be canceled out since you're competing with more gun-ho H students who worked at Goldman Sachs and McKinsey and went to HYP for undergrad (are there many CLS students who worked in these places? :shock: )


I can't speak to how deep the top firms dig into the HLS vs. CLS class. I'd say that, roughly 30-40% of my small section went to HYP for undergrad and/or had some super impressive soft (think: Truman scholar). As far as I can tell, the HLS and CLS cohorts are fungible except that H has more H undergrads and slightly higher GPAs. One concrete advantage of the HLS grading system is that you'll never know if you got an A or an A- (you'll just get an H). This is helpful because it prevents a firm or a judge from saying "what is up with all these A-s?" However, the flipside is that all your Bs or B+s just look like Bs (or a P).

happyday wrote:From the previous posts, it looks like going to CLS would be a great choice for someone like me who only wants NYC Corporate BigLaw and that getting an offer from Wachtell is feasible as a Kent Scholar with significant other qualifications...idk, would research/thesis on corporate governance and M&A in undergrad + finance internships (not elite investment banking/consulting) count as experience for Wachtell? Or is that hopeless lol :P


The bolded is accurate. However, try not to get too dialed in. You might find other interests during 1L year and if you are hyper-focused on Corporate Big Law, you'll miss them and be less well-rounded to boot. Furthermore, CLS will give you access to any firm. However, it won't give you access to any specific firm. If you get a 3.6+ (top quarter?) I can all but guarantee you a spot in a V10 NYC office. Which one will it be? No idea. Try to be flexible as most NYC firms seem to be somewhat fungible (of course, Wachtell pays more and is smaller).

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White Dwarf
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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby White Dwarf » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:25 am

Spring schedules are up on Lawnet.

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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:45 am

packer_22 wrote:
happyday wrote:
Several people mentioned 1L section/class; exactly how big is your 1L section? Are you only compared to your section in terms of grading?


Your 1L section is 100 +/- 2 or 3 people. When I was applying to law school, this seemed like a huge drawback. I had thought I would have much preferred to have a smaller section (20-30 people) like one does at UVA or Duke. However, at CLS, you do have a "small section" which is 20-30; in addition, you have an LPW class of 10-12 people. Having a section of 100 just gives you more people that you can possibly befriend/a larger network. I'm naturally very shy, so having 100 people in my section (all the same classes) means that I know more people than I would if I was in a 30 person section.

Again, I get that you want to do well, but grades at CLS are really hard to predict. As has been posted on this thread before, the curve is 10% A/ 15% A-/ 30% B+ and 35% B (and some discretionary B- and C). This are very rough and can vary from semester to semester. This is just a heuristic. Yes, you are graded against your section, all of whom (at Harvard and at Columbia) are extremely accomplished.

happyday wrote:Do you think Wachtell (or S&C/Cravath/etc.) hires the same number of summer associates from CLS and H? Or do they dip lower into the H class and hire, idk, 10 or 12? Just want to know if going to H would offer any statistical advantage...though I suppose that would be canceled out since you're competing with more gun-ho H students who worked at Goldman Sachs and McKinsey and went to HYP for undergrad (are there many CLS students who worked in these places? :shock: )


I can't speak to how deep the top firms dig into the HLS vs. CLS class. I'd say that, roughly 30-40% of my small section went to HYP for undergrad and/or had some super impressive soft (think: Truman scholar). As far as I can tell, the HLS and CLS cohorts are fungible except that H has more H undergrads and slightly higher GPAs. One concrete advantage of the HLS grading system is that you'll never know if you got an A or an A- (you'll just get an H). This is helpful because it prevents a firm or a judge from saying "what is up with all these A-s?" However, the flipside is that all your Bs or B+s just look like Bs (or a P).

happyday wrote:From the previous posts, it looks like going to CLS would be a great choice for someone like me who only wants NYC Corporate BigLaw and that getting an offer from Wachtell is feasible as a Kent Scholar with significant other qualifications...idk, would research/thesis on corporate governance and M&A in undergrad + finance internships (not elite investment banking/consulting) count as experience for Wachtell? Or is that hopeless lol :P


The bolded is accurate. However, try not to get too dialed in. You might find other interests during 1L year and if you are hyper-focused on Corporate Big Law, you'll miss them and be less well-rounded to boot. Furthermore, CLS will give you access to any firm. However, it won't give you access to any specific firm. If you get a 3.6+ (top quarter?) I can all but guarantee you a spot in a V10 NYC office. Which one will it be? No idea. Try to be flexible as most NYC firms seem to be somewhat fungible (of course, Wachtell pays more and is smaller).


As this poster hinted, I would definitely avoid getting hung up on one law firm, especially a highly selective one. Hiring is innately idiosyncratic. No school can guarantee you an offer from a law firm like Wachtell. Your chances coming out of HLS and CLS are probably not *that* different, because while Wachtell will give more offers to the HLS class, the pool of students at HLS competing for each spot is much larger. Your chances are best coming out of YLS, but even then its competitive and not a lock.

I graduated several years ago, but during my EIP, results were far from consistent. The most selective firms that come to EIP at Columbia are probably Williams & Connolly, Wachtell Lipton, Munger Tolles, Boies Schiller, and a handful of DC offices of nationwide firms that can afford to be picky. These firms all give less than 10 offers, and most of them, less than five. Not everyone that gets one will land the others. Compare to somewhere like Davis Polk or Cravath that will give 40+ offers every year (and actually needs CLS students). Even if you are a top performer (Kent), you can't rely on any one of the more selective firms, but thats why you do 20 interviews. The difference between the person who gets the callback at Wachtell and the person with the same grades who winds up at generic V5 could be a bad night of sleep.

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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby Kummel » Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:25 pm

White Dwarf wrote:Spring schedules are up on Lawnet.


The registrar has really gotten their shit together the last year

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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby jjcorvino » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:18 am

When can we expect first semester grades? I am not freaking out, just curious so that I know when to start checking.

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Kummel
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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby Kummel » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:39 am

I’ve heard a rumor that they’re no longer trickling in grades. Grades are going to be released all at once. Is this true?

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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby RSN » Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:49 pm

Did they start phasing in those timed grade releases last year? Thought I heard something about that. In any case, shouldn't be any 1L grades until after January 2 at least when the Registrar's office reopens, and probably not for a week after that. Agreed that they've really gotten their shit together in the last several months -- getting the spring semester exam schedule up before the end of the fall semester is actually impressive

anonymous117
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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby anonymous117 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:15 pm

RSN wrote:Did they start phasing in those timed grade releases last year? Thought I heard something about that. In any case, shouldn't be any 1L grades until after January 2 at least when the Registrar's office reopens, and probably not for a week after that. Agreed that they've really gotten their shit together in the last several months -- getting the spring semester exam schedule up before the end of the fall semester is actually impressive


Last year, all 1L grades were released at once for fall semester (during first week of spring classes), but for spring they trickled in one at a time. So who knows what will happen this semester.

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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby happyday » Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:06 am

packer_22 wrote:
happyday wrote:
Several people mentioned 1L section/class; exactly how big is your 1L section? Are you only compared to your section in terms of grading?


Your 1L section is 100 +/- 2 or 3 people. When I was applying to law school, this seemed like a huge drawback. I had thought I would have much preferred to have a smaller section (20-30 people) like one does at UVA or Duke. However, at CLS, you do have a "small section" which is 20-30; in addition, you have an LPW class of 10-12 people. Having a section of 100 just gives you more people that you can possibly befriend/a larger network. I'm naturally very shy, so having 100 people in my section (all the same classes) means that I know more people than I would if I was in a 30 person section.

Again, I get that you want to do well, but grades at CLS are really hard to predict. As has been posted on this thread before, the curve is 10% A/ 15% A-/ 30% B+ and 35% B (and some discretionary B- and C). This are very rough and can vary from semester to semester. This is just a heuristic. Yes, you are graded against your section, all of whom (at Harvard and at Columbia) are extremely accomplished.

happyday wrote:Do you think Wachtell (or S&C/Cravath/etc.) hires the same number of summer associates from CLS and H? Or do they dip lower into the H class and hire, idk, 10 or 12? Just want to know if going to H would offer any statistical advantage...though I suppose that would be canceled out since you're competing with more gun-ho H students who worked at Goldman Sachs and McKinsey and went to HYP for undergrad (are there many CLS students who worked in these places? :shock: )


I can't speak to how deep the top firms dig into the HLS vs. CLS class. I'd say that, roughly 30-40% of my small section went to HYP for undergrad and/or had some super impressive soft (think: Truman scholar). As far as I can tell, the HLS and CLS cohorts are fungible except that H has more H undergrads and slightly higher GPAs. One concrete advantage of the HLS grading system is that you'll never know if you got an A or an A- (you'll just get an H). This is helpful because it prevents a firm or a judge from saying "what is up with all these A-s?" However, the flipside is that all your Bs or B+s just look like Bs (or a P).

happyday wrote:From the previous posts, it looks like going to CLS would be a great choice for someone like me who only wants NYC Corporate BigLaw and that getting an offer from Wachtell is feasible as a Kent Scholar with significant other qualifications...idk, would research/thesis on corporate governance and M&A in undergrad + finance internships (not elite investment banking/consulting) count as experience for Wachtell? Or is that hopeless lol :P


The bolded is accurate. However, try not to get too dialed in. You might find other interests during 1L year and if you are hyper-focused on Corporate Big Law, you'll miss them and be less well-rounded to boot. Furthermore, CLS will give you access to any firm. However, it won't give you access to any specific firm. If you get a 3.6+ (top quarter?) I can all but guarantee you a spot in a V10 NYC office. Which one will it be? No idea. Try to be flexible as most NYC firms seem to be somewhat fungible (of course, Wachtell pays more and is smaller).


Thanks for the insight packer_22! I think a big part of my concerns lay in whether or not there is a substantive difference in recruitment chances between HLS and CLS - at both super-selective firms and more "generic" (albeit still excellent) firms. After reading your reply, I suppose it's conclusive to say that one's chances of getting into Wachtell are pretty dismal from BOTH HLS and CLS - that HLS, for example, does not give you a boost during EIP? I guess that makes complete sense...after all, you are competing with people from your law school for those spots at a particular firm, right? No firm - Wachtell or not - would compare a HLS student to a CLS one...right?

And wow, 30-40% of your section came from HYP undergrad (not even counting the other Ivies :shock: :shock: )? The competition must be insane at Columbia :P

happyday
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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby happyday » Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:26 am

jbagelboy wrote:
packer_22 wrote:
happyday wrote:
Several people mentioned 1L section/class; exactly how big is your 1L section? Are you only compared to your section in terms of grading?


Your 1L section is 100 +/- 2 or 3 people. When I was applying to law school, this seemed like a huge drawback. I had thought I would have much preferred to have a smaller section (20-30 people) like one does at UVA or Duke. However, at CLS, you do have a "small section" which is 20-30; in addition, you have an LPW class of 10-12 people. Having a section of 100 just gives you more people that you can possibly befriend/a larger network. I'm naturally very shy, so having 100 people in my section (all the same classes) means that I know more people than I would if I was in a 30 person section.

Again, I get that you want to do well, but grades at CLS are really hard to predict. As has been posted on this thread before, the curve is 10% A/ 15% A-/ 30% B+ and 35% B (and some discretionary B- and C). This are very rough and can vary from semester to semester. This is just a heuristic. Yes, you are graded against your section, all of whom (at Harvard and at Columbia) are extremely accomplished.

happyday wrote:Do you think Wachtell (or S&C/Cravath/etc.) hires the same number of summer associates from CLS and H? Or do they dip lower into the H class and hire, idk, 10 or 12? Just want to know if going to H would offer any statistical advantage...though I suppose that would be canceled out since you're competing with more gun-ho H students who worked at Goldman Sachs and McKinsey and went to HYP for undergrad (are there many CLS students who worked in these places? :shock: )


I can't speak to how deep the top firms dig into the HLS vs. CLS class. I'd say that, roughly 30-40% of my small section went to HYP for undergrad and/or had some super impressive soft (think: Truman scholar). As far as I can tell, the HLS and CLS cohorts are fungible except that H has more H undergrads and slightly higher GPAs. One concrete advantage of the HLS grading system is that you'll never know if you got an A or an A- (you'll just get an H). This is helpful because it prevents a firm or a judge from saying "what is up with all these A-s?" However, the flipside is that all your Bs or B+s just look like Bs (or a P).

happyday wrote:From the previous posts, it looks like going to CLS would be a great choice for someone like me who only wants NYC Corporate BigLaw and that getting an offer from Wachtell is feasible as a Kent Scholar with significant other qualifications...idk, would research/thesis on corporate governance and M&A in undergrad + finance internships (not elite investment banking/consulting) count as experience for Wachtell? Or is that hopeless lol :P


The bolded is accurate. However, try not to get too dialed in. You might find other interests during 1L year and if you are hyper-focused on Corporate Big Law, you'll miss them and be less well-rounded to boot. Furthermore, CLS will give you access to any firm. However, it won't give you access to any specific firm. If you get a 3.6+ (top quarter?) I can all but guarantee you a spot in a V10 NYC office. Which one will it be? No idea. Try to be flexible as most NYC firms seem to be somewhat fungible (of course, Wachtell pays more and is smaller).


As this poster hinted, I would definitely avoid getting hung up on one law firm, especially a highly selective one. Hiring is innately idiosyncratic. No school can guarantee you an offer from a law firm like Wachtell. Your chances coming out of HLS and CLS are probably not *that* different, because while Wachtell will give more offers to the HLS class, the pool of students at HLS competing for each spot is much larger. Your chances are best coming out of YLS, but even then its competitive and not a lock.

I graduated several years ago, but during my EIP, results were far from consistent. The most selective firms that come to EIP at Columbia are probably Williams & Connolly, Wachtell Lipton, Munger Tolles, Boies Schiller, and a handful of DC offices of nationwide firms that can afford to be picky. These firms all give less than 10 offers, and most of them, less than five. Not everyone that gets one will land the others. Compare to somewhere like Davis Polk or Cravath that will give 40+ offers every year (and actually needs CLS students). Even if you are a top performer (Kent), you can't rely on any one of the more selective firms, but thats why you do 20 interviews. The difference between the person who gets the callback at Wachtell and the person with the same grades who winds up at generic V5 could be a bad night of sleep.


Just want to say, I totally get that no law school can guarantee Wachtell :lol: ! Sorry, I've been neurotically and unnecessarily concerned with the bolded/underlined comment in your reply. I'm trying to convince myself that HLS will NOT offer any substantial advantage because 1) like you mentioned, there are more students at HLS competing for each firm spot and 2) competition at HLS might actually be more cutthroat due to the heightened importance of non-law-school-grade factors (e.g. elite work experience on Wall Street, Ivy undergrad, etc.).

Especially regarding the second point: I am an academically above-average student from a big state university studying finance with few "WOW" factors so...idk, do you think the concept of "bigger fish in a smaller pond vs. smaller fish in a bigger pond" applies in someone looking at HLS (or Y/S) vs. CLS/NYU? In other words, would you recommend that someone in my position not even consider HLS,? Since Wachtell - and virtually all other V100 firms - recruits at BOTH HLS and CLS, would I be able to "stand out" more at the latter? Please let me know if I am being completely ignorant and if CLS is just as packed with Marshall/Rhodes Scholars and ex-investment bankers/consultants as HLS :P

Also...about Cravath :D From your experience, what sort of qualifications/grades do you need from CLS to get an offer there? Thanks again!

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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby RSN » Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:37 pm

happyday wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
packer_22 wrote:
happyday wrote:
Several people mentioned 1L section/class; exactly how big is your 1L section? Are you only compared to your section in terms of grading?


Your 1L section is 100 +/- 2 or 3 people. When I was applying to law school, this seemed like a huge drawback. I had thought I would have much preferred to have a smaller section (20-30 people) like one does at UVA or Duke. However, at CLS, you do have a "small section" which is 20-30; in addition, you have an LPW class of 10-12 people. Having a section of 100 just gives you more people that you can possibly befriend/a larger network. I'm naturally very shy, so having 100 people in my section (all the same classes) means that I know more people than I would if I was in a 30 person section.

Again, I get that you want to do well, but grades at CLS are really hard to predict. As has been posted on this thread before, the curve is 10% A/ 15% A-/ 30% B+ and 35% B (and some discretionary B- and C). This are very rough and can vary from semester to semester. This is just a heuristic. Yes, you are graded against your section, all of whom (at Harvard and at Columbia) are extremely accomplished.

happyday wrote:Do you think Wachtell (or S&C/Cravath/etc.) hires the same number of summer associates from CLS and H? Or do they dip lower into the H class and hire, idk, 10 or 12? Just want to know if going to H would offer any statistical advantage...though I suppose that would be canceled out since you're competing with more gun-ho H students who worked at Goldman Sachs and McKinsey and went to HYP for undergrad (are there many CLS students who worked in these places? :shock: )


I can't speak to how deep the top firms dig into the HLS vs. CLS class. I'd say that, roughly 30-40% of my small section went to HYP for undergrad and/or had some super impressive soft (think: Truman scholar). As far as I can tell, the HLS and CLS cohorts are fungible except that H has more H undergrads and slightly higher GPAs. One concrete advantage of the HLS grading system is that you'll never know if you got an A or an A- (you'll just get an H). This is helpful because it prevents a firm or a judge from saying "what is up with all these A-s?" However, the flipside is that all your Bs or B+s just look like Bs (or a P).

happyday wrote:From the previous posts, it looks like going to CLS would be a great choice for someone like me who only wants NYC Corporate BigLaw and that getting an offer from Wachtell is feasible as a Kent Scholar with significant other qualifications...idk, would research/thesis on corporate governance and M&A in undergrad + finance internships (not elite investment banking/consulting) count as experience for Wachtell? Or is that hopeless lol :P


The bolded is accurate. However, try not to get too dialed in. You might find other interests during 1L year and if you are hyper-focused on Corporate Big Law, you'll miss them and be less well-rounded to boot. Furthermore, CLS will give you access to any firm. However, it won't give you access to any specific firm. If you get a 3.6+ (top quarter?) I can all but guarantee you a spot in a V10 NYC office. Which one will it be? No idea. Try to be flexible as most NYC firms seem to be somewhat fungible (of course, Wachtell pays more and is smaller).


As this poster hinted, I would definitely avoid getting hung up on one law firm, especially a highly selective one. Hiring is innately idiosyncratic. No school can guarantee you an offer from a law firm like Wachtell. Your chances coming out of HLS and CLS are probably not *that* different, because while Wachtell will give more offers to the HLS class, the pool of students at HLS competing for each spot is much larger. Your chances are best coming out of YLS, but even then its competitive and not a lock.

I graduated several years ago, but during my EIP, results were far from consistent. The most selective firms that come to EIP at Columbia are probably Williams & Connolly, Wachtell Lipton, Munger Tolles, Boies Schiller, and a handful of DC offices of nationwide firms that can afford to be picky. These firms all give less than 10 offers, and most of them, less than five. Not everyone that gets one will land the others. Compare to somewhere like Davis Polk or Cravath that will give 40+ offers every year (and actually needs CLS students). Even if you are a top performer (Kent), you can't rely on any one of the more selective firms, but thats why you do 20 interviews. The difference between the person who gets the callback at Wachtell and the person with the same grades who winds up at generic V5 could be a bad night of sleep.


Just want to say, I totally get that no law school can guarantee Wachtell :lol: ! Sorry, I've been neurotically and unnecessarily concerned with the bolded/underlined comment in your reply. I'm trying to convince myself that HLS will NOT offer any substantial advantage because 1) like you mentioned, there are more students at HLS competing for each firm spot and 2) competition at HLS might actually be more cutthroat due to the heightened importance of non-law-school-grade factors (e.g. elite work experience on Wall Street, Ivy undergrad, etc.).

Especially regarding the second point: I am an academically above-average student from a big state university studying finance with few "WOW" factors so...idk, do you think the concept of "bigger fish in a smaller pond vs. smaller fish in a bigger pond" applies in someone looking at HLS (or Y/S) vs. CLS/NYU? In other words, would you recommend that someone in my position not even consider HLS,? Since Wachtell - and virtually all other V100 firms - recruits at BOTH HLS and CLS, would I be able to "stand out" more at the latter? Please let me know if I am being completely ignorant and if CLS is just as packed with Marshall/Rhodes Scholars and ex-investment bankers/consultants as HLS :P

Also...about Cravath :D From your experience, what sort of qualifications/grades do you need from CLS to get an offer there? Thanks again!


You're just immensely overthinking so many aspects of this, way too early in the process, and you won't be able to really understand answers you're gonna get here until you've been in school for a bit. Where are you in the application process?

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Thelaw23
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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby Thelaw23 » Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:08 am

happyday wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
packer_22 wrote:
happyday wrote:
Several people mentioned 1L section/class; exactly how big is your 1L section? Are you only compared to your section in terms of grading?


Your 1L section is 100 +/- 2 or 3 people. When I was applying to law school, this seemed like a huge drawback. I had thought I would have much preferred to have a smaller section (20-30 people) like one does at UVA or Duke. However, at CLS, you do have a "small section" which is 20-30; in addition, you have an LPW class of 10-12 people. Having a section of 100 just gives you more people that you can possibly befriend/a larger network. I'm naturally very shy, so having 100 people in my section (all the same classes) means that I know more people than I would if I was in a 30 person section.

Again, I get that you want to do well, but grades at CLS are really hard to predict. As has been posted on this thread before, the curve is 10% A/ 15% A-/ 30% B+ and 35% B (and some discretionary B- and C). This are very rough and can vary from semester to semester. This is just a heuristic. Yes, you are graded against your section, all of whom (at Harvard and at Columbia) are extremely accomplished.

happyday wrote:Do you think Wachtell (or S&C/Cravath/etc.) hires the same number of summer associates from CLS and H? Or do they dip lower into the H class and hire, idk, 10 or 12? Just want to know if going to H would offer any statistical advantage...though I suppose that would be canceled out since you're competing with more gun-ho H students who worked at Goldman Sachs and McKinsey and went to HYP for undergrad (are there many CLS students who worked in these places? :shock: )


I can't speak to how deep the top firms dig into the HLS vs. CLS class. I'd say that, roughly 30-40% of my small section went to HYP for undergrad and/or had some super impressive soft (think: Truman scholar). As far as I can tell, the HLS and CLS cohorts are fungible except that H has more H undergrads and slightly higher GPAs. One concrete advantage of the HLS grading system is that you'll never know if you got an A or an A- (you'll just get an H). This is helpful because it prevents a firm or a judge from saying "what is up with all these A-s?" However, the flipside is that all your Bs or B+s just look like Bs (or a P).

happyday wrote:From the previous posts, it looks like going to CLS would be a great choice for someone like me who only wants NYC Corporate BigLaw and that getting an offer from Wachtell is feasible as a Kent Scholar with significant other qualifications...idk, would research/thesis on corporate governance and M&A in undergrad + finance internships (not elite investment banking/consulting) count as experience for Wachtell? Or is that hopeless lol :P


The bolded is accurate. However, try not to get too dialed in. You might find other interests during 1L year and if you are hyper-focused on Corporate Big Law, you'll miss them and be less well-rounded to boot. Furthermore, CLS will give you access to any firm. However, it won't give you access to any specific firm. If you get a 3.6+ (top quarter?) I can all but guarantee you a spot in a V10 NYC office. Which one will it be? No idea. Try to be flexible as most NYC firms seem to be somewhat fungible (of course, Wachtell pays more and is smaller).


As this poster hinted, I would definitely avoid getting hung up on one law firm, especially a highly selective one. Hiring is innately idiosyncratic. No school can guarantee you an offer from a law firm like Wachtell. Your chances coming out of HLS and CLS are probably not *that* different, because while Wachtell will give more offers to the HLS class, the pool of students at HLS competing for each spot is much larger. Your chances are best coming out of YLS, but even then its competitive and not a lock.

I graduated several years ago, but during my EIP, results were far from consistent. The most selective firms that come to EIP at Columbia are probably Williams & Connolly, Wachtell Lipton, Munger Tolles, Boies Schiller, and a handful of DC offices of nationwide firms that can afford to be picky. These firms all give less than 10 offers, and most of them, less than five. Not everyone that gets one will land the others. Compare to somewhere like Davis Polk or Cravath that will give 40+ offers every year (and actually needs CLS students). Even if you are a top performer (Kent), you can't rely on any one of the more selective firms, but thats why you do 20 interviews. The difference between the person who gets the callback at Wachtell and the person with the same grades who winds up at generic V5 could be a bad night of sleep.


Just want to say, I totally get that no law school can guarantee Wachtell :lol: ! Sorry, I've been neurotically and unnecessarily concerned with the bolded/underlined comment in your reply. I'm trying to convince myself that HLS will NOT offer any substantial advantage because 1) like you mentioned, there are more students at HLS competing for each firm spot and 2) competition at HLS might actually be more cutthroat due to the heightened importance of non-law-school-grade factors (e.g. elite work experience on Wall Street, Ivy undergrad, etc.).

Especially regarding the second point: I am an academically above-average student from a big state university studying finance with few "WOW" factors so...idk, do you think the concept of "bigger fish in a smaller pond vs. smaller fish in a bigger pond" applies in someone looking at HLS (or Y/S) vs. CLS/NYU? In other words, would you recommend that someone in my position not even consider HLS,? Since Wachtell - and virtually all other V100 firms - recruits at BOTH HLS and CLS, would I be able to "stand out" more at the latter? Please let me know if I am being completely ignorant and if CLS is just as packed with Marshall/Rhodes Scholars and ex-investment bankers/consultants as HLS :P

Also...about Cravath :D From your experience, what sort of qualifications/grades do you need from CLS to get an offer there? Thanks again!


You are not going to be a bigger fish in a small aquarium in Columbia and be a smaller fish in a bigger aquarium in Harvard. I can almost gurantee you that the people in both schools are just as qualified and intelligent.

Pick the school you would be happier going to, then kill 1L to get to Wachtell. Regardless of your prior accomplishments or skills, law school is pretty different from other things you had to face, so if you get Wachrell is going to be completely dependent if you can "law school" well enough. I feel like if you can perform well enough to get Wachtell in Harvard you can do the same in CLS. Also the people telling you not to focus on a firm aren't being pessimistic, they're just very realistic. The whole law school thing comes down to luck and idiosyncrasies at certain points.

That aside, does anyone know an approximate time 1L grades get released? I heard it won't be we until into the beginning of the second semester but that's going to drive me crazy.

happyday
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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby happyday » Mon Dec 25, 2017 5:03 am

Thelaw23 wrote:
You are not going to be a bigger fish in a small aquarium in Columbia and be a smaller fish in a bigger aquarium in Harvard. I can almost gurantee you that the people in both schools are just as qualified and intelligent.

Pick the school you would be happier going to, then kill 1L to get to Wachtell. Regardless of your prior accomplishments or skills, law school is pretty different from other things you had to face, so if you get Wachrell is going to be completely dependent if you can "law school" well enough. I feel like if you can perform well enough to get Wachtell in Harvard you can do the same in CLS. Also the people telling you not to focus on a firm aren't being pessimistic, they're just very realistic. The whole law school thing comes down to luck and idiosyncrasies at certain points.

That aside, does anyone know an approximate time 1L grades get released? I heard it won't be we until into the beginning of the second semester but that's going to drive me crazy.


I totally understand that no one should focus on a single firm and I really appreciate everyone's advice :D Just very curious about Wachtell so wanted to ask about how Columbia students (or other top law schools) can actually get an offer from there. It seems that you need stellar grades and a LOT of luck, whether you go to CLS or HLS or YLS. And, from what you and several others say, it seems that HLS and CLS are NOT that different? I initially thought that competition at HLS for firms like Wachtell or W&C is tangibly more intense than competition at CLS because there are more workaholics (e.g. ex-Goldman analysts, Marshall Scholars, etc.). But I'm glad you pointed out that the "bigger fish/smaller fish" comparison isn't true in this situation :P Thanks!

packer_22
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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby packer_22 » Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:34 am

That aside, does anyone know an approximate time 1L grades get released? I heard it won't be we until into the beginning of the second semester but that's going to drive me crazy.


It varies. Two years ago (the Class of 2017's 1L year) apparently some came out as early as Jan. 4 or 5.

Last year, it varied by section. Some sections had all three grades back before beginning second semester (they got them back between Jan. 10 and Jan. 15). One section didn't get any grades back until Jan. 19-20 and didn't get their last grade until Jan. 25-26. Two professors (married) had a sick kid and so their respective sections were delayed getting grades back (they sent an e-mail out around Jan. 15 or so saying they hadn't started).

Last year, they wanted to hold the grades until they had all three because they didn't want to release them one at a time. They reversed that policy because they got a complaint that the sections with their grades were advantaged because they could apply for jobs sooner. In the spring, the grades trickled in, some as early as late May, and the latest weren't until June 20-25 (apparently Moglen doesn't submit grades until as late as July, some years).

FascinatedWanderer
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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby FascinatedWanderer » Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:44 pm

happyday wrote:
Thelaw23 wrote:
You are not going to be a bigger fish in a small aquarium in Columbia and be a smaller fish in a bigger aquarium in Harvard. I can almost gurantee you that the people in both schools are just as qualified and intelligent.

Pick the school you would be happier going to, then kill 1L to get to Wachtell. Regardless of your prior accomplishments or skills, law school is pretty different from other things you had to face, so if you get Wachrell is going to be completely dependent if you can "law school" well enough. I feel like if you can perform well enough to get Wachtell in Harvard you can do the same in CLS. Also the people telling you not to focus on a firm aren't being pessimistic, they're just very realistic. The whole law school thing comes down to luck and idiosyncrasies at certain points.

That aside, does anyone know an approximate time 1L grades get released? I heard it won't be we until into the beginning of the second semester but that's going to drive me crazy.


I totally understand that no one should focus on a single firm and I really appreciate everyone's advice :D Just very curious about Wachtell so wanted to ask about how Columbia students (or other top law schools) can actually get an offer from there. It seems that you need stellar grades and a LOT of luck, whether you go to CLS or HLS or YLS. And, from what you and several others say, it seems that HLS and CLS are NOT that different? I initially thought that competition at HLS for firms like Wachtell or W&C is tangibly more intense than competition at CLS because there are more workaholics (e.g. ex-Goldman analysts, Marshall Scholars, etc.). But I'm glad you pointed out that the "bigger fish/smaller fish" comparison isn't true in this situation :P Thanks!


Judging from your insufferableness and bizarre overeagerness at an absurdly early stage, either Columbia or Harvard will be a good fit for you.

Also, there is definitely a significant difference between Harvard and Columbia for placement at Williams & Connolly, but that's a whole different can of worms.

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TheKisSquared
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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby TheKisSquared » Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:16 am

Kummel wrote:Does anyone have any experience or knowledge about moving out of UAH early? The lease says I can either move out Dec. 31 or May 31st. Are they amenable to letting you move out March 31st for example? Or are they very strict about it?


I moved out early last year with no problems or extra fees etc, but you should talk to housing. PM if you want more specific advice on who to reach out to.

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RSN
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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby RSN » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:40 pm

Grades are starting to go up for non-1L classes at least. Registrar is working




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