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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jbagelboy
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:18 pm

Harry Belafonte wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
Harry Belafonte wrote:I'm sorry if this is a stupid question, but how difficult would it be as a Columbia student to get a 1L or 2L SA abroad? Specifically in a place like Hong Kong?

Thanks so much!


People do it, esp via magic circle, but you have to have the language skills and a compelling background. 1L will be much more about you and your connections; for 2L at EIP you will have the opportunity to interview for the Asian offices of a number of firms, but I don't have specific experience with that.


Thanks so much for the insight. I wonder what type of grades you'd need at Columbia to get into one of the magic circle firms?


The NY offices actually tend to not be very grade selective (CC, A&O, Linklaters, Freshfields), so they are solid targets at median or below. The foreign offices are a little more competitive but they will be looking more for fit and reason to work abroad (and endurance abroad) including language skills and background than just grades at that point.

Anyone else agonizing over these last 15 min?

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cws277
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby cws277 » Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:09 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
Harry Belafonte wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
Harry Belafonte wrote:I'm sorry if this is a stupid question, but how difficult would it be as a Columbia student to get a 1L or 2L SA abroad? Specifically in a place like Hong Kong?

Thanks so much!


People do it, esp via magic circle, but you have to have the language skills and a compelling background. 1L will be much more about you and your connections; for 2L at EIP you will have the opportunity to interview for the Asian offices of a number of firms, but I don't have specific experience with that.


Thanks so much for the insight. I wonder what type of grades you'd need at Columbia to get into one of the magic circle firms?


The NY offices actually tend to not be very grade selective (CC, A&O, Linklaters, Freshfields), so they are solid targets at median or below. The foreign offices are a little more competitive but they will be looking more for fit and reason to work abroad (and endurance abroad) including language skills and background than just grades at that point.

Anyone else agonizing over these last 15 min?

Idk about the others, but Linklaters I know is very good about split summers, allowing "New York" SAs to split half in HK or London with the other half in NY. I believe that if you split at Linklaters, you are basically allowed to pick which office you want to work at after you graduate.

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girlmonster
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby girlmonster » Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:38 pm

I'm looking at new laptops, and can't find anything online regarding specs requirements at CLS. Are there any we should be aware of?

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txdude45
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby txdude45 » Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:50 pm

girlmonster wrote:I'm looking at new laptops, and can't find anything online regarding specs requirements at CLS. Are there any we should be aware of?


Everyone has 15" MacBook Pros and you'll be ostracized if you use a Lenovo thinkpad, or something else prole.

You can use whatever you want as long as it gets wifi and can take softest. I saw someone using a PowerBook G4. A fucking PowerBook G4.

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MCFC
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby MCFC » Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:53 pm

girlmonster wrote:I'm looking at new laptops, and can't find anything online regarding specs requirements at CLS. Are there any we should be aware of?


You have to be able to use this software to take exams with your laptop: https://ei.examsoft.com/GKWeb/login/columbialaw

But like it says, I think just about anything works.

BigLaw_Lit
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby BigLaw_Lit » Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:30 pm

Hey guys - pumped to be moving to NYC in August. Apparently, I will be using "Columbia internet" in my apartment next semester and was just curious how you guys have found it. I was hoping to avoid paying for cable which means I'd probably be using internet a lot to stream videos, like on Netflix. Anyone care to comment on their experiences with internet?

Thanks

JVK
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby JVK » Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:35 pm

BigLaw_Lit wrote:Hey guys - pumped to be moving to NYC in August. Apparently, I will be using "Columbia internet" in my apartment next semester and was just curious how you guys have found it. I was hoping to avoid paying for cable which means I'd probably be using internet a lot to stream videos, like on Netflix. Anyone care to comment on their experiences with internet?

Thanks


Works fine. It's gone out 2-3 times over the year, but you send a ticket to the IT department and it's fixed with a day or two. Haven't had any problems with Internet speed despite Netflix, etc.

You'll need to buy your own router though, if you need one!

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starrydreamz3
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby starrydreamz3 » Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:42 pm

Rising 2L here - Should we be wary of booking a vacation over winter break if we think we're going to be on a journal that requires a note? I can't remember but I thought that CLR had a due date for a first draft of like January 5th last year. Anyone have any insight?

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bowser
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby bowser » Fri Jul 04, 2014 2:26 pm

starrydreamz3 wrote:Rising 2L here - Should we be wary of booking a vacation over winter break if we think we're going to be on a journal that requires a note? I can't remember but I thought that CLR had a due date for a first draft of like January 5th last year. Anyone have any insight?


Book it if you wanna go. I had a deadline during the break and finished it on time. Leave yourself time either after finals or before the deadline.

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girlmonster
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby girlmonster » Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:05 pm

txdude45 wrote:
girlmonster wrote:I'm looking at new laptops, and can't find anything online regarding specs requirements at CLS. Are there any we should be aware of?


Everyone has 15" MacBook Pros and you'll be ostracized if you use a Lenovo thinkpad, or something else prole.

You can use whatever you want as long as it gets wifi and can take softest. I saw someone using a PowerBook G4. A fucking PowerBook G4.

Well, that settles that. Might as well get a budget Acer or HP and have my prole status settled from the beginning. I also can't justify paying over $1,000 for my super basic needs, so I'm glad virtually anything will do. Thanks for the insight, and thanks also to MCFC for posting the requirements!

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moopness
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby moopness » Sat Jul 05, 2014 5:27 pm

Anyone know when/where Dean's cup tryouts are? And does anyone know how much of a time commitment it will be once you're on the team?

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txdude45
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby txdude45 » Sat Jul 05, 2014 6:27 pm

moopness wrote:Anyone know when/where Dean's cup tryouts are? And does anyone know how much of a time commitment it will be once you're on the team?


1) This past year tryouts were 11/3
2) Idk, but I can ask around

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moopness
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby moopness » Sat Jul 05, 2014 7:05 pm

txdude45 wrote:
moopness wrote:Anyone know when/where Dean's cup tryouts are? And does anyone know how much of a time commitment it will be once you're on the team?


1) This past year tryouts were 11/3
2) Idk, but I can ask around

Thank you!

lunaraeon
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby lunaraeon » Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:06 am

txdude45 wrote:You can use whatever you want as long as it gets wifi and can take softest. I saw someone using a PowerBook G4. A fucking PowerBook G4.
txdude45 wrote:I saw someone using a PowerBook G4.

Probably one of the early Intel machines, but if not, losing it over here.


JVK wrote:
BigLaw_Lit wrote:Hey guys - pumped to be moving to NYC in August. Apparently, I will be using "Columbia internet" in my apartment next semester and was just curious how you guys have found it. I was hoping to avoid paying for cable which means I'd probably be using internet a lot to stream videos, like on Netflix. Anyone care to comment on their experiences with internet?

Thanks


Works fine. It's gone out 2-3 times over the year, but you send a ticket to the IT department and it's fixed with a day or two. Haven't had any problems with Internet speed despite Netflix, etc.

You'll need to buy your own router though, if you need one!

You can also just wait, haha, possibly because other people will send in a ticket. It's always been an overnight fix in my building, for what it's worth, without me or my roommates doing anything.

Humbert Humbert
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Humbert Humbert » Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:54 pm

Random question but does CLS offer a discount on WSJ subscriptions?

KingFish
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby KingFish » Thu Jul 10, 2014 7:48 pm

Humbert Humbert wrote:Random question but does CLS offer a discount on WSJ subscriptions?

I just got the standard student rate which is $1 a week.

Humbert Humbert
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Humbert Humbert » Fri Jul 11, 2014 8:24 am

KingFish wrote:
Humbert Humbert wrote:Random question but does CLS offer a discount on WSJ subscriptions?

I just got the standard student rate which is $1 a week.

Isn't that only a 15 week subscription though?

http://student.wsj.com/info/2010/08/05/ ... formation/

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mylifeis24
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby mylifeis24 » Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:29 am

Two related questions for you all:

1) I'm making my budget for the year, operating on a 12 month year rather than an 8-9 month school year. After tuition, fees and rent, I'm looking at $7,697 for the year, or $641 per month. Is this enough to get by on/similar to your experiences?
2) What do you usually spend on groceries a week or month and where do you shop? My apartment is next to Fairways, so that would be great if it's affordable/relatively cheap compared to other places in the area. For reference, my apartment is at 133rd and Broadway.

Any tips or sample budgets you could provide would be helpful. $641/month is scary.

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ph5354a
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby ph5354a » Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:35 am

mylifeis24 wrote:Two related questions for you all:

1) I'm making my budget for the year, operating on a 12 month year rather than an 8-9 month school year. After tuition, fees and rent, I'm looking at $7,697 for the year, or $641 per month. Is this enough to get by on/similar to your experiences?
2) What do you usually spend on groceries a week or month and where do you shop? My apartment is next to Fairways, so that would be great if it's affordable/relatively cheap compared to other places in the area. For reference, my apartment is at 133rd and Broadway.

Any tips or sample budgets you could provide would be helpful. $641/month is scary.


$641 is doable, but it's going to be tight. Thank god you're near Fairway because from what I've heard, it's the cheapest grocery option. I'm nowhere close to Fairway so I haven't been. The biggest problem will probably be not from your groceries, but from drinking, restaurants, and other outings, which at the beginning will be frequent. You can easily get free lunch at least 4-5 times/week at school, and probably a couple free dinners per week too, so take advantage of those, and keep tabs on your spending on social outings. I felt pretty cash strapped early on, but I still went to any outing I wanted to, and just tried to limit myself to nursing one drink if I needed to (but...I usually make room in my budget for alcohol). Also $1 beer night at Lion's Head is on Wednesdays.

Also, if you've amortized your budget for 12 months of rent too, remember that GSF in the summer will be a significant boost. As long as you've already got rent covered with loan refund money, I would amortize your other expenses over 9-10 months and rely on GSF for spending money in the summer. Your first paycheck will come in mid-June, so you just have to make sure you have enough to cover yourself until then.

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mylifeis24
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby mylifeis24 » Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:44 am

ph5354a wrote:
mylifeis24 wrote:Two related questions for you all:

1) I'm making my budget for the year, operating on a 12 month year rather than an 8-9 month school year. After tuition, fees and rent, I'm looking at $7,697 for the year, or $641 per month. Is this enough to get by on/similar to your experiences?
2) What do you usually spend on groceries a week or month and where do you shop? My apartment is next to Fairways, so that would be great if it's affordable/relatively cheap compared to other places in the area. For reference, my apartment is at 133rd and Broadway.

Any tips or sample budgets you could provide would be helpful. $641/month is scary.


$641 is doable, but it's going to be tight. Thank god you're near Fairway because from what I've heard, it's the cheapest grocery option. I'm nowhere close to Fairway so I haven't been. The biggest problem will probably be not from your groceries, but from drinking, restaurants, and other outings, which at the beginning will be frequent. You can easily get free lunch at least 4-5 times/week at school, and probably a couple free dinners per week too, so take advantage of those, and keep tabs on your spending on social outings. I felt pretty cash strapped early on, but I still went to any outing I wanted to, and just tried to limit myself to nursing one drink if I needed to (but...I usually make room in my budget for alcohol). Also $1 beer night at Lion's Head is on Wednesdays.

Also, if you've amortized your budget for 12 months of rent too, remember that GSF in the summer will be a significant boost. As long as you've already got rent covered with loan refund money, I would amortize your other expenses over 9-10 months and rely on GSF for spending money in the summer. Your first paycheck will come in mid-June, so you just have to make sure you have enough to cover yourself until then.


Oooooh totally forgot about GSF. That would bring me to $885 for September-May and able to use the $4500 for everything other than rent June-August. I'm going to be taking full advantage of free lunches and dinners whenever possible. I don't eat breakfast usually so that really just leaves dinners. I've heard good things about Fairways and Freshdirect, and I'm aiming at preparing 6/7 meals a week at home. I'm pretty confidant that if I spend $125 a week on all food every week, I can get by with the remaining $385 on alcohol/entertainment. You would agree?

P.S. Nice use of amortize.

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ph5354a
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby ph5354a » Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:06 pm

mylifeis24 wrote:
ph5354a wrote:
mylifeis24 wrote:Two related questions for you all:

1) I'm making my budget for the year, operating on a 12 month year rather than an 8-9 month school year. After tuition, fees and rent, I'm looking at $7,697 for the year, or $641 per month. Is this enough to get by on/similar to your experiences?
2) What do you usually spend on groceries a week or month and where do you shop? My apartment is next to Fairways, so that would be great if it's affordable/relatively cheap compared to other places in the area. For reference, my apartment is at 133rd and Broadway.

Any tips or sample budgets you could provide would be helpful. $641/month is scary.


$641 is doable, but it's going to be tight. Thank god you're near Fairway because from what I've heard, it's the cheapest grocery option. I'm nowhere close to Fairway so I haven't been. The biggest problem will probably be not from your groceries, but from drinking, restaurants, and other outings, which at the beginning will be frequent. You can easily get free lunch at least 4-5 times/week at school, and probably a couple free dinners per week too, so take advantage of those, and keep tabs on your spending on social outings. I felt pretty cash strapped early on, but I still went to any outing I wanted to, and just tried to limit myself to nursing one drink if I needed to (but...I usually make room in my budget for alcohol). Also $1 beer night at Lion's Head is on Wednesdays.

Also, if you've amortized your budget for 12 months of rent too, remember that GSF in the summer will be a significant boost. As long as you've already got rent covered with loan refund money, I would amortize your other expenses over 9-10 months and rely on GSF for spending money in the summer. Your first paycheck will come in mid-June, so you just have to make sure you have enough to cover yourself until then.


Oooooh totally forgot about GSF. That would bring me to $885 for September-May and able to use the $4500 for everything other than rent June-August. I'm going to be taking full advantage of free lunches and dinners whenever possible. I don't eat breakfast usually so that really just leaves dinners. I've heard good things about Fairways and Freshdirect, and I'm aiming at preparing 6/7 meals a week at home. I'm pretty confidant that if I spend $125 a week on all food every week, I can get by with the remaining $385 on alcohol/entertainment. You would agree?

P.S. Nice use of amortize.


Yeah, that's much more doable. What I like to do as well is leave myself an end of the semester cushion. December brings finals panic, emotional eating, and then holiday expenses/travel, and May is largely the same. So decreasing your monthly spending slightly to have a $100-150 cushion for December/May could be advantageous. That's just me though.

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ph5354a
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby ph5354a » Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:09 pm

PS Remember that you might have some tax liability with GSF money too, if you've paid tax in the prior year (which you may not have if you're K-JD, so in that case you might be completely tax-exempt), but even so, I claimed the maximum number and get about 88% of my paycheck.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby jbagelboy » Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:13 pm

mylifeis24 wrote:
ph5354a wrote:
mylifeis24 wrote:Two related questions for you all:

1) I'm making my budget for the year, operating on a 12 month year rather than an 8-9 month school year. After tuition, fees and rent, I'm looking at $7,697 for the year, or $641 per month. Is this enough to get by on/similar to your experiences?
2) What do you usually spend on groceries a week or month and where do you shop? My apartment is next to Fairways, so that would be great if it's affordable/relatively cheap compared to other places in the area. For reference, my apartment is at 133rd and Broadway.

Any tips or sample budgets you could provide would be helpful. $641/month is scary.


$641 is doable, but it's going to be tight. Thank god you're near Fairway because from what I've heard, it's the cheapest grocery option. I'm nowhere close to Fairway so I haven't been. The biggest problem will probably be not from your groceries, but from drinking, restaurants, and other outings, which at the beginning will be frequent. You can easily get free lunch at least 4-5 times/week at school, and probably a couple free dinners per week too, so take advantage of those, and keep tabs on your spending on social outings. I felt pretty cash strapped early on, but I still went to any outing I wanted to, and just tried to limit myself to nursing one drink if I needed to (but...I usually make room in my budget for alcohol). Also $1 beer night at Lion's Head is on Wednesdays.

Also, if you've amortized your budget for 12 months of rent too, remember that GSF in the summer will be a significant boost. As long as you've already got rent covered with loan refund money, I would amortize your other expenses over 9-10 months and rely on GSF for spending money in the summer. Your first paycheck will come in mid-June, so you just have to make sure you have enough to cover yourself until then.


Oooooh totally forgot about GSF. That would bring me to $885 for September-May and able to use the $4500 for everything other than rent June-August. I'm going to be taking full advantage of free lunches and dinners whenever possible. I don't eat breakfast usually so that really just leaves dinners. I've heard good things about Fairways and Freshdirect, and I'm aiming at preparing 6/7 meals a week at home. I'm pretty confidant that if I spend $125 a week on all food every week, I can get by with the remaining $385 on alcohol/entertainment. You would agree?

P.S. Nice use of amortize.


not alec baldwin here, but i'll jump in and second the use of free lunches as a nice tool for saving, and that alcohol/going out will consume more of your budget than you can truly predict in advance. I lived with someone who I essentially shared finances with, so it's difficult to estimate how much I really spent on "me." I shopped at trader joe's on 72nd, which was oogles cheaper than the local grocer alternatives, but you live quite a bit farther north than me. Fairways sounds good. I also cooked most of the meals I didn't eat at school.

Honestly "life" has this wonderful quality of spiraling totally out of fiscal control, and as a law student your number one focus has to be on studying, not budgeting. If you get away with under $1000 in any given month for everything other than rent & utilities living in Manhattan (which includes any shopping, phone/computer repair or expense, travel and transportation, dates, hazards) you've done a great job at conserving. $385 sounds pretty facially reasonable, but when you wake up one morning with a $350 bar tab from the night before, or your laptop breaks and it costs $350 to repair, oops that's your entire monthly budget (not saying this will necessarily happen, esp for the more cost-sensitive among us, but .. i mean, it does).

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starrydreamz3
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby starrydreamz3 » Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:15 pm

ph5354a wrote:PS Remember that you might have some tax liability with GSF money too, if you've paid tax in the prior year (which you may not have if you're K-JD, so in that case you might be completely tax-exempt), but even so, I claimed the maximum number and get about 88% of my paycheck.


I think there is some box you can check when filling out the W-2 (or whatever the form is) to avoid paying taxes and getting the full amount right away. (Something like you are a student working who will not earn the minimum amount to have a tax liability). But I didn't look to hard at it and don't know the rules around it.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby jbagelboy » Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:16 pm

starrydreamz3 wrote:
ph5354a wrote:PS Remember that you might have some tax liability with GSF money too, if you've paid tax in the prior year (which you may not have if you're K-JD, so in that case you might be completely tax-exempt), but even so, I claimed the maximum number and get about 88% of my paycheck.


I think there is some box you can check when filling out the W-2 (or whatever the form is) to avoid paying taxes and getting the full amount right away. (Something like you are a student working who will not earn the minimum amount to have a tax liability). But I didn't look to hard at it and don't know the rules around it.


I think you mean you can request additional allowances to match your federal income liability, unless there's something else I'm not aware of. You can use the federal allowance calculator to figure out how many to request.




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