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.
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Kring345
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Kring345 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:19 am

Thanks for the info. Another random/similar question.

I have been in Afghanistan for a while now, but I'll be returning home in the next week or three. I'd like to visit Columbia while students are actually still there. I saw that the last day of finals for both CLS and the university itself are 11 May. Do you think most people will still be there around 9-11 May so that I could get a good "feel" for the campus?

isabelarcher
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby isabelarcher » Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:08 am

Do CLS students have free access to any kind of gym/fitness center? I'm afraid law school is going to make me fat.

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Guchster
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Guchster » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:23 am

isabelarcher wrote:Do CLS students have free access to any kind of gym/fitness center? I'm afraid law school is going to make me fat.



i take being healthy super serious. i do yoga twice a week and try to go to the gym 3-4 times on top of this.

The gym is pretty awful here, not going to lie. Its 1 AWFUL, smelly gym for the entire university. some people have memberships at the nyc sports club a few blocks away or make the trek down to equinox. I will certainly be getting on to nyc sports club this summer.

with the exception of finals i try to never miss going to the gym. There's only so much info your brain can handle, and the gym helps de-stress so much. Sometimes law students say they're too busy to go, which is stupid. You're not busy until final exams.

Even then, you would've spent that time googling images of cats, so I say make time for it.

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Tadatsune
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Tadatsune » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:47 am

Is the gym pool crowded?

I imagine the swim team uses it at certain times, etc...

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Guchster
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Guchster » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:53 am

Tadatsune wrote:Is the gym pool crowded?

I imagine the swim team uses it at certain times, etc...


yeah it's crowded.

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Guchster
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Guchster » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:55 am

Kring345 wrote:Thanks for the info. Another random/similar question.

I have been in Afghanistan for a while now, but I'll be returning home in the next week or three. I'd like to visit Columbia while students are actually still there. I saw that the last day of finals for both CLS and the university itself are 11 May. Do you think most people will still be there around 9-11 May so that I could get a good "feel" for the campus?


1Ls will be around, but near the point of nervous breakdown. Our last final is May 11.

Don't expect to get an authentic feel for what CLS is like 98% of the year. No matter what school you go to visit, from Yale to TTTT, the last spring final exam period is going to be a super shit show--esp. the last few days of it.

proceed at your own risk.

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icedflames
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby icedflames » Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:31 pm

In terms of food, do most people cook or go for a meal plan? Would you say that there is enough time to cook every day?

How is the food from the university and do they have decent hours?

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Guchster
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Guchster » Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:59 pm

icedflames wrote:In terms of food, do most people cook or go for a meal plan? Would you say that there is enough time to cook every day?

How is the food from the university and do they have decent hours?


there's not a meal plan that I know about. we have a cafe where you can buy things though. cafe is usually open from like 10-5 kind of hours (monday through thursday).

some people cook, some people buy pre-made or pre-packaged food, some go the deli for stuff, some order from fresh direct. i eat a lot of lean cuisines and cook on the weekends. supplemented with salads from the deli every now and then. the law school cafe upstairs is overpriced imo, but it's convenient.

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blue_c
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby blue_c » Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:44 pm

Guchster wrote: (AMAZING brazillian restaurants in Astoria).

From a few pages back. Mind elaborating? I love Brazilian.

NC1
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby NC1 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:53 pm

Kring345 wrote:Thanks for the info. Another random/similar question.

I have been in Afghanistan for a while now, but I'll be returning home in the next week or three. I'd like to visit Columbia while students are actually still there. I saw that the last day of finals for both CLS and the university itself are 11 May. Do you think most people will still be there around 9-11 May so that I could get a good "feel" for the campus?

Honestly, we'll all probably be doing journal writing competitions at the time. I don't think that would give you a feel at all of what our life is usually like.

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Guchster
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Guchster » Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:09 am

NC1 wrote:
Kring345 wrote:Thanks for the info. Another random/similar question.

I have been in Afghanistan for a while now, but I'll be returning home in the next week or three. I'd like to visit Columbia while students are actually still there. I saw that the last day of finals for both CLS and the university itself are 11 May. Do you think most people will still be there around 9-11 May so that I could get a good "feel" for the campus?

Honestly, we'll all probably be doing journal writing competitions at the time. I don't think that would give you a feel at all of what our life is usually like.


writing competition doesn't start until may 12. i dont' know about you, but i'm going to be having crim law meltdown during that time.

likemike
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby likemike » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:22 am

What are 1L paid summer prospects like? The $3600 CLS offers as a public interest fellowship isn't much. Are there any good opportunities to actually make enough to pay rent and eat through the summer?

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Guchster
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Guchster » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:33 am

likemike wrote:What are 1L paid summer prospects like? The $3600 CLS offers as a public interest fellowship isn't much. Are there any good opportunities to actually make enough to pay rent and eat through the summer?


I'm working at a V20 this summer. I'll make that a week, lol (but srsly i will). Was also offered two V5 positions, but they're both sweatshops (even by big law standards), and I wanted to have some fun my 1L summer. I know a few other people in my position. But you generally have to be (1) top of your class or (2) biglaw URM (which is different than law school URM--it's more inclusive of LGBT/other types of latino that don't fall under law school urm/asian/south-asian/women)--or (3) pref. both.

Piccolittle is working at a major in-house position.

Most people take either a judicial extern/internship (which won't get you any money, basically at any school--although you might be able to blow a few people to get it to count for credit, and thus get some loan money) or work PI and take the 3600 and run.

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kwais
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby kwais » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:22 am

Also working in-house, oversees. Although it is very nice of Columbia to offer the guaranteed money, I couldn't see living off it, especially not in NYC.

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piccolittle
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby piccolittle » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:23 am

Guchster wrote:
likemike wrote:What are 1L paid summer prospects like? The $3600 CLS offers as a public interest fellowship isn't much. Are there any good opportunities to actually make enough to pay rent and eat through the summer?


Piccolittle is working at a major in-house position.



^^ Very sadly uncompensated :(

BUT! There are lots of good options out there if you keep your eyes open and do your research. In-house positions are mostly paid, so that is an excellent back-up plan to firm apps if you're not interested in doing PI for 1L summer. Plus I believe it looks better at EIP (just saying). Just please don't swallow the BS that OCS feeds you all year about how PI is pretty much your only option. PI hiring, especially for first-year interns, is also super disorganized so while my friends were stressing about being unemployed, I was happily planning my summer. There are loads of sites that aggregate job listings and most of them are for in-house stuff.

Also, keep in mind that you are actually allowed to make some money in PI (up to a certain amount, I think) while still receiving summer funding. My lovely bf just got an offer from his job to match CLS funding, so I'm looking at him to be my sugar daddy this summer while I eat cup noodle and cry into my pile of loan forms.

ETA: Also, there is a separate Human Rights summer funding program that actually pays more. You can make that go a very long way if you take an HR related position overseas. A couple of my friends have been taunting me with their $300/month luxury penthouse apartment (admittedly in a semi-dangerous developing country, but still).

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rehsalt
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby rehsalt » Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:00 am

I know this issue has been chewed over elsewhere, but I still think it's helpful to get some more opinions.

Columbia has a reputation for having an extremely politicized atmosphere, more so than any of the other Ivies. Some students find the environment to be quite unpleasant. In particular at law schools, Harvard and Yale work to reduce the competition among students, but Columbia doesn't advertise any such efforts if they do exist.

Do you find aspects of Columbia unpleasant? Do you feel that you always have to compete with your peers to get anywhere?

I live on the UWS, and for several obvious reasons Columbia would be ideal for me. But I wonder whether I would enjoy three years as a Columbia student.

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piccolittle
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby piccolittle » Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:11 am

rehsalt wrote:I know this issue has been chewed over elsewhere, but I still think it's helpful to get some more opinions.

Columbia has a reputation for having an extremely politicized atmosphere, more so than any of the other Ivies. Some students find the environment to be quite unpleasant. In particular at law schools, Harvard and Yale work to reduce the competition among students, but Columbia doesn't advertise any such efforts if they do exist.

Do you find aspects of Columbia unpleasant? Do you feel that you always have to compete with your peers to get anywhere?

I live on the UWS, and for several obvious reasons Columbia would be ideal for me. But I wonder whether I would enjoy three years as a Columbia student.

Not quite sure what you're getting at here, but I'll see if I can help...

Also not sure where you're getting the very generalized "some students find the environment to be quite unpleasant." I haven't met anyone here who is anything less than friendly, helpful, social, and intelligent. If there is a feeling of stress or competition, it will come during exams and even then is not something that comes from others. I feel competitive sometimes, but I absolutely do not let it interfere with my friendships or relationships, because it's all self-induced. I think the administration does a lot to make sure we're all happy throughout the year - there's certainly more support and more resources than I ever had in undergrad.

I realize I say the same thing every time, but it's really because I can't understand where these negative generalizations are coming from. I love this school :)

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Guchster
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Guchster » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:10 pm

kwais wrote:Also working in-house, oversees. Although it is very nice of Columbia to offer the guaranteed money, I couldn't see living off it, especially not in NYC.


credited kwais.

also congrats on the in house gig!

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Guchster
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Guchster » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:19 pm

Yeah people are extremely friendly and social. I also find our 1L class to be for the most part self-aware, which is nice. Piccolittle's and my section has zero gunners, which is awesome.

I think the competitive thing is a law school thing in general. I'm competitive with myself and I hold myself to a high bar, but I haven't really felt that people around me are making me this way. I would work as hard as I'm working, and push myself as hard, if I had gone to somewhere like NYLS or like Yale.

I could never imagine a situation around the law school where someone was rude or unhelpful--even during exam time. I can't tell you the number of times people have emailed me (and me email people) for outlines, notes, or past exams. Law school is shitty in itself, no need to make it worse by being unpleasant to those around you. I think our 1L class recognizes this. There are always exceptions, but you can find these asshats in any law school in the country.

The brutality of grades is just the nature of the curve, which exists in some capacity outside YLS. I feel like students at CLS in our 1L class, in my experience, have gone out of their way to make this experience as least painful as possible.

Also,what do you mean by politicized? I don't know how to answer that question.

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mel2010
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby mel2010 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:48 am

likemike wrote:What are 1L paid summer prospects like? The $3600 CLS offers as a public interest fellowship isn't much. Are there any good opportunities to actually make enough to pay rent and eat through the summer?

I would have been happy with PI and that's mostly what I focused on in my search, but I ended up finding a small firm job that pays about halfway between a PI summer and a biglaw summer. Anecdotal but there it is.

rehsalt wrote:Columbia has a reputation for having an extremely politicized atmosphere, more so than any of the other Ivies. Some students find the environment to be quite unpleasant. In particular at law schools, Harvard and Yale work to reduce the competition among students, but Columbia doesn't advertise any such efforts if they do exist.

Do you find aspects of Columbia unpleasant? Do you feel that you always have to compete with your peers to get anywhere?

Here's the part where I repeat what everyone else said: I've experienced nothing resembling the CLS rumors that float around here (and had me worried about picking CLS a year ago). There's going to be a handful of...oddballs...in any group of 400 people, but only a few of them are oddballs in an unpleasant way. People are very willing to help each other study, go over concepts, find practice materials/etc. The curve is a reality, but I don't think that people really factor it in when they're deciding how to behave towards each other...I certainly haven't seen that. Good people! Also, maybe HLS and YLS having to advertise that they "work to reduce the competition among students" say more about their student body than ours. :lol: In reality though, I'm pretty sure the situation is similar at all of these schools including CLS.

Echoing Goochi Mane, I'm not sure what you mean by an "extremely politicized atmosphere."

lblelalr
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby lblelalr » Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:39 am

Guchster wrote:
likemike wrote:What are 1L paid summer prospects like? The $3600 CLS offers as a public interest fellowship isn't much. Are there any good opportunities to actually make enough to pay rent and eat through the summer?


I'm working at a V20 this summer. I'll make that a week, lol (but srsly i will). Was also offered two V5 positions, but they're both sweatshops (even by big law standards), and I wanted to have some fun my 1L summer. I know a few other people in my position. But you generally have to be (1) top of your class or (2) biglaw URM (which is different than law school URM--it's more inclusive of LGBT/other types of latino that don't fall under law school urm/asian/south-asian/women)--or (3) pref. both.

Piccolittle is working at a major in-house position.

Most people take either a judicial extern/internship (which won't get you any money, basically at any school--although you might be able to blow a few people to get it to count for credit, and thus get some loan money) or work PI and take the 3600 and run.


just wanted to make sure I understood you. this means that any minority, even if they're over represented in law school (Chinese, Korean, Indian) counts as a biglaw URM? So biglaw URM is just anybody who's not a straight white male?

ringo
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby ringo » Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:06 pm

Can any current students suggest a class to visit on Monday? Here's the list we just got:

9am:
Commercial Finance - Mann
Corp Finance - Morrison
Law & Political Process - Persily
Property - Liebman

1:20pm:
Corporations - Jackson
Evidence - Richman
Regulatory State - Strauss
Legislation - Briffault
US & Int'l Legal System - Waxman
Labor Law - Barenberg

2:50pm:
Advanced Con Law: Separation of Powers - Monaghan
Corporations - Judge
Crim Law - Wu
Global Constitutionalism - Doyle
Int'l Tax - Kysar
Securities Regulation - Fox
Torts - Rapaczynski
Trademarks - Ginsburg

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Kring345
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Kring345 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:25 pm

Guchster wrote:
Kring345 wrote:Thanks for the info. Another random/similar question.

I have been in Afghanistan for a while now, but I'll be returning home in the next week or three. I'd like to visit Columbia while students are actually still there. I saw that the last day of finals for both CLS and the university itself are 11 May. Do you think most people will still be there around 9-11 May so that I could get a good "feel" for the campus?


1Ls will be around, but near the point of nervous breakdown. Our last final is May 11.

Don't expect to get an authentic feel for what CLS is like 98% of the year. No matter what school you go to visit, from Yale to TTTT, the last spring final exam period is going to be a super shit show--esp. the last few days of it.

proceed at your own risk.

Oh well. I'll just ride the train in sometime during the summer when Im home visiting family.

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quiver
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby quiver » Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:56 pm

ringo wrote:Can any current students suggest a class to visit on Monday? Here's the list we just got:

9am:
Commercial Finance - Mann
Corp Finance - Morrison
Law & Political Process - Persily
Property - Liebman

1:20pm:
Corporations - Jackson
Evidence - Richman
Regulatory State - Strauss
Legislation - Briffault
US & Int'l Legal System - Waxman
Labor Law - Barenberg

2:50pm:
Advanced Con Law: Separation of Powers - Monaghan
Corporations - Judge
Crim Law - Wu
Global Constitutionalism - Doyle
Int'l Tax - Kysar
Securities Regulation - Fox
Torts - Rapaczynski
Trademarks - Ginsburg


Only Property, Crim law, and Torts are required 1L classes (I think you can take Legislation as an elective in the spring too, plus Briffault is awesome). So if you want a specific 1L feel then I'd go to one of those. If you're just looking for entertainment value, I've heard Monaghan is pretty awesome for SOP and I had Richman for a different class last semester so I know he's decently entertaining as well. I've also heard really good things about Waxman classes. It might be wise to consider what class would at least be moderately interested in listen to for over an hour (I personally would pass out in corp finance for example).

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Guchster
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Guchster » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:01 pm

lblelalr wrote:
Guchster wrote:
likemike wrote:What are 1L paid summer prospects like? The $3600 CLS offers as a public interest fellowship isn't much. Are there any good opportunities to actually make enough to pay rent and eat through the summer?


I'm working at a V20 this summer. I'll make that a week, lol (but srsly i will). Was also offered two V5 positions, but they're both sweatshops (even by big law standards), and I wanted to have some fun my 1L summer. I know a few other people in my position. But you generally have to be (1) top of your class or (2) biglaw URM (which is different than law school URM--it's more inclusive of LGBT/other types of latino that don't fall under law school urm/asian/south-asian/women)--or (3) pref. both.

Piccolittle is working at a major in-house position.

Most people take either a judicial extern/internship (which won't get you any money, basically at any school--although you might be able to blow a few people to get it to count for credit, and thus get some loan money) or work PI and take the 3600 and run.


just wanted to make sure I understood you. this means that any minority, even if they're over represented in law school (Chinese, Korean, Indian) counts as a biglaw URM? So biglaw URM is just anybody who's not a straight white male?


This definitely depends on the firm and their diversity programs. As you'll notice, most 1L positions are actually diversity summer associate hires. Basically anything other than WASP heterosexual male will allow you to qualify in some capacity (although most are technically open to even them, if they can discuss diversity in their personal statement). Obviously, some URM classifications are definitely more preferred than others. But for the diversity programs I applied to, people of east asian and south asian descent were encouraged to apply; one person in my program (out 3) is korean-american.




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