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.
Lax101
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Lax101 » Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:14 pm

Looking for some advice from some wise 2L/3L's (or maybe just some very advanced 1L's). This is easily the most frustrating thing I've dealt with at CLS.

I'm a 1L and I live in UAH housing. My apartment is far from campus. After getting rejected for a housing transfer earlier in the year, I figured I would wait until next summer to move into a closer UAH or law school apartment.

Apparently, I can't do that. According to UAH, I need to request a transfer right now (March) or for November. I can't move into a new place in August, nor can I run up my lease until May and then move into a new place after finals. It's now (incredibly inconvenient, don't have the time or manpower to do it) or November (great, so that takes me through nearly the entire fall semester).

Have people had any luck switching UAH or law school housing after finals (i.e. not in the March or November period)? Is there a trick to do this that I'm missing?

I can't believe how asinine this process is. This is my only complaint about CLS. I suppose it would be too convenient to allow housing transfers in May. This is such a simple process that Columbia has made a pain in the ass. Please help if you have answers.

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starrydreamz3
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby starrydreamz3 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:29 am

Lax101 wrote:Looking for some advice from some wise 2L/3L's (or maybe just some very advanced 1L's). This is easily the most frustrating thing I've dealt with at CLS.

I'm a 1L and I live in UAH housing. My apartment is far from campus. After getting rejected for a housing transfer earlier in the year, I figured I would wait until next summer to move into a closer UAH or law school apartment.

Apparently, I can't do that. According to UAH, I need to request a transfer right now (March) or for November. I can't move into a new place in August, nor can I run up my lease until May and then move into a new place after finals. It's now (incredibly inconvenient, don't have the time or manpower to do it) or November (great, so that takes me through nearly the entire fall semester).

Have people had any luck switching UAH or law school housing after finals (i.e. not in the March or November period)? Is there a trick to do this that I'm missing?

I can't believe how asinine this process is. This is my only complaint about CLS. I suppose it would be too convenient to allow housing transfers in May. This is such a simple process that Columbia has made a pain in the ass. Please help if you have answers.


If you request a transfer right now, wouldn't the move be scheduled for May 31st (once spring semester is done)? Same with November, requesting the transfer in November would trigger the move in December, after fall semester.

Apologies maybe I'm not understanding the issue.

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neprep
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby neprep » Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:34 am

So 0L's just got their login info for the housing application (it still hasn't gone live yet). The FAQs on there made it seem like if you apply in time you're most likely to get an apartment share, unless you have a family and kids and what not, in which case you might get bigger and better accommodations.

Do people generally have good experiences with their (I'm guessing) randomly assigned roommates? Also, how competitive is it to get your housing preferences met as long as you apply before their deadline?

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smaug_
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby smaug_ » Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:28 am

neprep wrote:Do people generally have good experiences with their (I'm guessing) randomly assigned roommates? Also, how competitive is it to get your housing preferences met as long as you apply before their deadline?


Everyone gets housing. It seems that the people toward the tail end might get worse placement (tail end being late admits, not late in filing the application as the application runs at the same time for everyone who makes the deadline). The caveat would be that some people who get housing at the very very end get great apartments because Columbia needs to make it work.

Housing hasn't been an issue at all for me. There are some complaints, but I think the vast majority are very pleased with their housing situation. I'd recommend you opt for an unfurnished apartment, though.

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neprep
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby neprep » Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:04 am

smaug wrote: I'd recommend you opt for an unfurnished apartment, though.


Why is that? Wouldn't having the furniture, etc. already installed be pretty convenient? (Not sure what the rent differential is between the unfurnished and furnished option though, btw).

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jbagelboy
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:05 am

smaug wrote:
neprep wrote:Do people generally have good experiences with their (I'm guessing) randomly assigned roommates? Also, how competitive is it to get your housing preferences met as long as you apply before their deadline?


Everyone gets housing. It seems that the people toward the tail end might get worse placement (tail end being late admits, not late in filing the application as the application runs at the same time for everyone who makes the deadline). The caveat would be that some people who get housing at the very very end get great apartments because Columbia needs to make it work.

Housing hasn't been an issue at all for me. There are some complaints, but I think the vast majority are very pleased with their housing situation. I'd recommend you opt for an unfurnished apartment, though.


+1 to unfurnished. The dorm room-esque furnishings are drab. Unless you don't want to bring your own/buy furniture.

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neprep
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby neprep » Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:09 am

jbagelboy wrote:
smaug wrote:
neprep wrote:Do people generally have good experiences with their (I'm guessing) randomly assigned roommates? Also, how competitive is it to get your housing preferences met as long as you apply before their deadline?


Everyone gets housing. It seems that the people toward the tail end might get worse placement (tail end being late admits, not late in filing the application as the application runs at the same time for everyone who makes the deadline). The caveat would be that some people who get housing at the very very end get great apartments because Columbia needs to make it work.

Housing hasn't been an issue at all for me. There are some complaints, but I think the vast majority are very pleased with their housing situation. I'd recommend you opt for an unfurnished apartment, though.


+1 to unfurnished. The dorm room-esque furnishings are drab. Unless you don't want to bring your own/buy furniture.


Ooh gotcha. It would actually be nice to step up from dorm room-esque furniture coming from undergrad.

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moonman157
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby moonman157 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:14 am

+1 to the furniture being absolutely awful

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Sgt Pepper
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Sgt Pepper » Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:41 am

The Lenfest furniture is pretty chill if you go that route

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bowser
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby bowser » Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:23 pm

Don't ask for furniture. I said it'd be okay cuz I'm lazy, but 1) they charge you like $100 a month for it, which ends up being thousands of dollars, 2) I feel like furnished apartments tend to be shittier.

Don't feel like you're going to get a crappy apartment if you designate you want to pay less, either. I'm paying $1250 for like the worst apartment situation I know of on campus (terrible setup, dirty, cramped room), while I know people paying less than $1000 with much more space and a nicer place. The pricing is kind of random, and for some reason Columbia thinks it's worth around $100 to be one block away from the school as opposed to five.

lunaraeon
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby lunaraeon » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:20 am

starrydreamz3 wrote:If you request a transfer right now, wouldn't the move be scheduled for May 31st (once spring semester is done)? Same with November, requesting the transfer in November would trigger the move in December, after fall semester.

Apologies maybe I'm not understanding the issue.

I'm a bit late on this, but I think the move would happen earlier (around when the transfer deadline is). I swapped rooms this semester, and though it's a little different of a process than swapping apartments, it happened immediately. But, Lax, shoot an email to Juliana Utley if you want to confirm. She will help you and is great.


And with the caveat that my furnished apartment is amazing for me in every other way (and that Lenfest furniture is just normal non-dorm furniture like Pepper said), avoid furnished spaces like the plague. The desk and dresser are okay. The chairs are ugly and uncomfortable. But worst of all, the tiny bed squeaks like hell. One roommate put the mattress on the floor a couple weeks into the last semester and he never looked back.

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girlmonster
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby girlmonster » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:30 pm

Is there anyone here who either lives in a UAH studio or has seen UAH studios? They don't seem to be very popular, and I'm trying to understand why. Those of you familiar with the studios, do you think it would be worth the extra money to go for a 1 bedroom instead? FWIW it's just goig to be me with my 35-pound dog, but I understand there's quite a bit of variance between buildings.

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smaug_
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby smaug_ » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:05 am

girlmonster wrote:Is there anyone here who either lives in a UAH studio or has seen UAH studios? They don't seem to be very popular, and I'm trying to understand why. Those of you familiar with the studios, do you think it would be worth the extra money to go for a 1 bedroom instead? FWIW it's just goig to be me with my 35-pound dog, but I understand there's quite a bit of variance between buildings.


I don't know anybody in one. It was my impression that they were quite a bit more expensive than a 2-br share.

liammial
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby liammial » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:01 pm

How competitive are the people are Columbia? What is the grading system like? How many hours per night do you study/work?

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smaug_
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby smaug_ » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:06 pm

liammial wrote:How competitive are the people are Columbia? What is the grading system like? How many hours per night do you study/work?


People aren't really that competitive. People work hard, but that's more because they're motivated to try to do well as opposed to a desire to do better than others.

Grades are (generally) A/A-/B+/B, with discretionary grades below that and the possibility of one A+ class. LPW (legal writing/research) is HP/P/F but we treat it as effectively ungraded.

I'm not sure how many hours/night I work and I think that nights vary dramatically. I never had to pull an all-nighter or anything. If I'm productive in the morning/between classes I'm generally done with school stuff by 6 each day.

Most of the mythos surrounding Columbia on TLS is just that.

liammial
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby liammial » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:08 pm

smaug wrote:
liammial wrote:How competitive are the people are Columbia? What is the grading system like? How many hours per night do you study/work?


People aren't really that competitive. People work hard, but that's more because they're motivated to try to do well as opposed to a desire to do better than others.

Grades are (generally) A/A-/B+/B, with discretionary grades below that and the possibility of one A+ class. LPW (legal writing/research) is HP/P/F but we treat it as effectively ungraded.

I'm not sure how many hours/night I work and I think that nights vary dramatically. I never had to pull an all-nighter or anything. If I'm productive in the morning/between classes I'm generally done with school stuff by 6 each day.

Most of the mythos surrounding Columbia on TLS is just that.

Thanks. Is there time to do fun things on weekends?

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:57 pm

liammial wrote:
smaug wrote:
liammial wrote:How competitive are the people are Columbia? What is the grading system like? How many hours per night do you study/work?


People aren't really that competitive. People work hard, but that's more because they're motivated to try to do well as opposed to a desire to do better than others.

Grades are (generally) A/A-/B+/B, with discretionary grades below that and the possibility of one A+ class. LPW (legal writing/research) is HP/P/F but we treat it as effectively ungraded.

I'm not sure how many hours/night I work and I think that nights vary dramatically. I never had to pull an all-nighter or anything. If I'm productive in the morning/between classes I'm generally done with school stuff by 6 each day.

Most of the mythos surrounding Columbia on TLS is just that.

Thanks. Is there time to do fun things on weekends?

If you're really diligent about your work on weekends you'll probably be putting in 3-4 hours each weekend day for most of the semester, leaving just 20-21 hours for other things. Keep in mind that weekends usually encompasses Fridays too, although some unlucky 1L's do end up with Friday classes. The best part is that if you do actually spend 3-4 hours reading on each day of the weekend you'll have very little to do outside of class during the week.

liammial
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby liammial » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:06 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
liammial wrote:
smaug wrote:
liammial wrote:How competitive are the people are Columbia? What is the grading system like? How many hours per night do you study/work?


People aren't really that competitive. People work hard, but that's more because they're motivated to try to do well as opposed to a desire to do better than others.

Grades are (generally) A/A-/B+/B, with discretionary grades below that and the possibility of one A+ class. LPW (legal writing/research) is HP/P/F but we treat it as effectively ungraded.

I'm not sure how many hours/night I work and I think that nights vary dramatically. I never had to pull an all-nighter or anything. If I'm productive in the morning/between classes I'm generally done with school stuff by 6 each day.

Most of the mythos surrounding Columbia on TLS is just that.

Thanks. Is there time to do fun things on weekends?

If you're really diligent about your work on weekends you'll probably be putting in 3-4 hours each weekend day for most of the semester, leaving just 20-21 hours for other things. Keep in mind that weekends usually encompasses Fridays too, although some unlucky 1L's do end up with Friday classes. The best part is that if you do actually spend 3-4 hours reading on each day of the weekend you'll have very little to do outside of class during the week.

Wait, if you spend 3-4 hours reading Friday through Sunday, you'll have little to do during the week outside of attending classes? That sounds as easy as undergrad!

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:11 pm

liammial wrote:Wait, if you spend 3-4 hours reading Friday through Sunday, you'll have little to do during the week outside of attending classes? That sounds as easy as undergrad!

It's true for most of the semester. You'll probably need to kick it up a notch over the last month, but there really isn't that much to do in September/October. At CLS specifically you only take 3 classes first semester but four in the second so the workload is lighter the first time around, but you are also dumber.

That said, start out by assuming that all the horror stories about workload are true. Being pleasantly surprised that things aren't as bad as expected is a lot better than thinking it will be cake and having to play catch up down the stretch.

liammial
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby liammial » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:13 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
liammial wrote:Wait, if you spend 3-4 hours reading Friday through Sunday, you'll have little to do during the week outside of attending classes? That sounds as easy as undergrad!

It's true for most of the semester. You'll probably need to kick it up a notch over the last month, but there really isn't that much to do in September/October. At CLS specifically you only take 3 classes first semester but four in the second so the workload is lighter the first time around, but you are also dumber.

That said, start out by assuming that all the horror stories about workload are true. Being pleasantly surprised that things aren't as bad as expected is a lot better than thinking it will be cake and having to play catch up down the stretch.

How many hours per day is class? What does a typical weekday look like for you? Get home from class and fire up the N64?

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:26 pm

liammial wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
liammial wrote:Wait, if you spend 3-4 hours reading Friday through Sunday, you'll have little to do during the week outside of attending classes? That sounds as easy as undergrad!

It's true for most of the semester. You'll probably need to kick it up a notch over the last month, but there really isn't that much to do in September/October. At CLS specifically you only take 3 classes first semester but four in the second so the workload is lighter the first time around, but you are also dumber.

That said, start out by assuming that all the horror stories about workload are true. Being pleasantly surprised that things aren't as bad as expected is a lot better than thinking it will be cake and having to play catch up down the stretch.

How many hours per day is class? What does a typical weekday look like for you? Get home from class and fire up the N64?

lol. More like Sega Genesis for me.

I'm a 2L now so my weekday looks a lot like my weekend. But as a 1L you'll be in class for 12-15 hours per week. Most people will then do another couple hours of work each day Monday through Thursday. The general rule is you need to put in one hour of reading outside of class for each hour inside of it, which is probably a good rule of thumb. Once outlining begins the total increases.

liammial
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby liammial » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:39 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
liammial wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
liammial wrote:Wait, if you spend 3-4 hours reading Friday through Sunday, you'll have little to do during the week outside of attending classes? That sounds as easy as undergrad!

It's true for most of the semester. You'll probably need to kick it up a notch over the last month, but there really isn't that much to do in September/October. At CLS specifically you only take 3 classes first semester but four in the second so the workload is lighter the first time around, but you are also dumber.

That said, start out by assuming that all the horror stories about workload are true. Being pleasantly surprised that things aren't as bad as expected is a lot better than thinking it will be cake and having to play catch up down the stretch.

How many hours per day is class? What does a typical weekday look like for you? Get home from class and fire up the N64?

lol. More like Sega Genesis for me.

I'm a 2L now so my weekday looks a lot like my weekend. But as a 1L you'll be in class for 12-15 hours per week. Most people will then do another couple hours of work each day Monday through Thursday. The general rule is you need to put in one hour of reading outside of class for each hour inside of it, which is probably a good rule of thumb. Once outlining begins the total increases.

Thanks. What, then, would you say differentiates the more successful students from the less successful? Do they just read more? Do they spend more time memorizing what they read? I went to a good UG and I was amazed at the number of people who simply didn't read anything. Are there people like that in law school?

Theopliske8711
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Theopliske8711 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:49 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
liammial wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
liammial wrote:Wait, if you spend 3-4 hours reading Friday through Sunday, you'll have little to do during the week outside of attending classes? That sounds as easy as undergrad!

It's true for most of the semester. You'll probably need to kick it up a notch over the last month, but there really isn't that much to do in September/October. At CLS specifically you only take 3 classes first semester but four in the second so the workload is lighter the first time around, but you are also dumber.

That said, start out by assuming that all the horror stories about workload are true. Being pleasantly surprised that things aren't as bad as expected is a lot better than thinking it will be cake and having to play catch up down the stretch.

How many hours per day is class? What does a typical weekday look like for you? Get home from class and fire up the N64?

lol. More like Sega Genesis for me.

I'm a 2L now so my weekday looks a lot like my weekend. But as a 1L you'll be in class for 12-15 hours per week. Most people will then do another couple hours of work each day Monday through Thursday. The general rule is you need to put in one hour of reading outside of class for each hour inside of it, which is probably a good rule of thumb. Once outlining begins the total increases.


What decade are you guys in? I wouldn't even know where to find one of these anymore.

Question: are antiquated videogame systems credited for law school? I may go for a Super Nintendo.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:51 pm

There are definitely people who don't try very hard, either because they think it will be easy like undergrad, they get mono, they get dumped by their girlfriend, etc. Sometimes it's things out of their control, but sometimes it is a legitimate problem with work ethic. Whatever it is, there are definitely people who come to the final underprepared.

Unfortunately for you though, doing the reading and going to all the classes doesn't mean you'll get great grades. You can probably avoid discretionary grades (those things below B) by being diligent with your efforts, but there aren't many guarantees beyond that. Those people who are really underprepared represent a small portion of the class, but something like 40% of every 1L class will get a B. Some people try really hard and don't do very well, and others kind of coast and still end up with good grades. You won't know which type you are until at least one semester is up, so all you can do is work hard and hope things work out. Success on law school exams is just not that predictable. But that's why you go to Columbia; you don't need to have great grades here to end up with a good job.

@Theopoliske: I don't actually own any gaming systems. The last one I played a lot was Sega Genesis though haha. Madden 93 FTW

Theopliske8711
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Theopliske8711 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:55 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
Unfortunately for you though, doing the reading and going to all the classes doesn't mean you'll get great grades. You can probably avoid discretionary grades (those things below B) by being diligent with your efforts, but there aren't many guarantees beyond that. Those people who are really underprepared represent a small portion of the class, but something like 40% of every 1L class will get a B. Some people try really hard and don't do very well, and others kind of coast and still end up with good grades. You won't know which type you are until at least one semester is up, so all you can do is work hard and hope things work out. Success on law school exams is just not that predictable. But that's why you go to Columbia; you don't need to have great grades here to end up with a good job.



This is likely what will scare me into doing heavy work.

Did you do any of the Law School Confidential/Getting to Maybe books prior to law school? Do you feel that they help?




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