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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ph5354a
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby ph5354a » Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:18 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
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.


Yeah, I did the max number of allowances. I think there's also a form you can fill out to be completely tax exempt if you've never had any tax liability before, or something like that, but since I paid taxes in New York last year, that wasn't an option for me.

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starrydreamz3
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby starrydreamz3 » Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:21 pm

ph5354a wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
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.


Yeah, I did the max number of allowances. I think there's also a form you can fill out to be completely tax exempt if you've never had any tax liability before, or something like that, but since I paid taxes in New York last year, that wasn't an option for me.


Yeah that's probably what I was thinking of..

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mylifeis24
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby mylifeis24 » Fri Jul 11, 2014 1:20 pm

ph5354a wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
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.


Yeah, I did the max number of allowances. I think there's also a form you can fill out to be completely tax exempt if you've never had any tax liability before, or something like that, but since I paid taxes in New York last year, that wasn't an option for me.


I wish I didn't have a tax liability, but alas I have filed many a tax form before. Thanks for the advice all.

lunaraeon
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby lunaraeon » Sun Jul 13, 2014 6:58 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.

I wouldn't go with Freshdirect if you're budget conscious. Peapod has a wider range of cheaper options if you want to go the delivery route. I'm a huge fan, but if you're not totally lazy and can get to the physical grocery store I assume that's even cheaper. (Both delivery options should have free delivery specials for new users, so you can try them out if you want, and if it helps, I've been under your food budget without the benefit of free lunches so you can do it with delivery groceries, it just might not be where you want the money to go.)

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runthetrap
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby runthetrap » Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:46 am

do UAH apartments come equipped w ovens?

KingFish
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby KingFish » Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:34 am

runthetrap wrote:do UAH apartments come equipped w ovens?

wood fired

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papercut
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby papercut » Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:26 am

KingFish wrote:
runthetrap wrote:do UAH apartments come equipped w ovens?

wood fired


:lol: Well that would make for some awesome homemade pizzas

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runthetrap
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby runthetrap » Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:47 am

KingFish wrote:wood fired

wonderful i'll plan to buy 15 a/c units then

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buffalo_
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby buffalo_ » Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:52 pm

I am renting an unfurnished apartment from UAH. I have my move in time. Should I/may I show up with a truck (a small U-Haul truck) to move my stuff in at that time?

There are only a few items I need a U-Haul for, but one of them is my mattress and bed. I can't see another way to move them into my apartment without getting a truck, but I am really worried about being able to park(/doublepark/stand) the truck and actually move in at the specified time. Even if it is possible to bring the truck on a later date, is it possible to do it at the same time as I pick up my key? I don't want to have to make multiple trips if I can avoid it.

How do people usually handle moving beds and larger furniture into their apartments?

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buffalo_
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby buffalo_ » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:09 pm

Also wondering if DIRECTV is permitted to be installed.

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banjo
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby banjo » Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:17 pm

buffalo_ wrote:I am renting an unfurnished apartment from UAH. I have my move in time. Should I/may I show up with a truck (a small U-Haul truck) to move my stuff in at that time?

There are only a few items I need a U-Haul for, but one of them is my mattress and bed. I can't see another way to move them into my apartment without getting a truck, but I am really worried about being able to park(/doublepark/stand) the truck and actually move in at the specified time. Even if it is possible to bring the truck on a later date, is it possible to do it at the same time as I pick up my key? I don't want to have to make multiple trips if I can avoid it.

How do people usually handle moving beds and larger furniture into their apartments?


You can take care of everything at one time. Just let UAH and the superintendent of your building know in advance so that everything is ready for you when you arrive.

Do you have a friend/spouse moving with you? If so, she can sit in the driver's seat while you stand. If you are coming alone, you might consider showing up at 11 am (the usual start time for street cleaning around Columbia) on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday, waiting for all the cars on one side to move, finding a spot right in front of your building, and waiting until 12:30 for street cleaning to end. You then have that spot until the next street cleaning day. You should check the street cleaning schedule before you arrive though, just to make sure this plan will actually work.

toothbrush
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby toothbrush » Tue Jul 22, 2014 2:41 pm

I'm looking to rent a 2BR in morningside. I've tried OCHA, UAH, padmapper and nakedapartments. UAH won't work for my particular situation. Would the credited move be to use a realtor at this point? I was thinking of using Cooper & Cooper -

does anyone have any advice?

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ph5354a
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby ph5354a » Tue Jul 22, 2014 2:45 pm

toothbrush wrote:I'm looking to rent a 2BR in morningside. I've tried OCHA, UAH, padmapper and nakedapartments. UAH won't work for my particular situation. Would the credited move be to use a realtor at this point? I was thinking of using Cooper & Cooper -

does anyone have any advice?


I've heard good things about Corcoran, but I think they're a little pricey. The assessments I've heard of Citihabitats vary wildly from con-artist to godsend, depending on the broker you get, but they're a popular option too. I would also suggest broadening your search area. Columbia owns most of the buildings from 110th-125th so looking lower down in UWS or further into Harlem would probably yield more results.

toothbrush
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby toothbrush » Tue Jul 22, 2014 2:50 pm

ph5354a wrote:
toothbrush wrote:I'm looking to rent a 2BR in morningside. I've tried OCHA, UAH, padmapper and nakedapartments. UAH won't work for my particular situation. Would the credited move be to use a realtor at this point? I was thinking of using Cooper & Cooper -

does anyone have any advice?


I've heard good things about Corcoran, but I think they're a little pricey. The assessments I've heard of Citihabitats vary wildly from con-artist to godsend, depending on the broker you get, but they're a popular option too. I would also suggest broadening your search area. Columbia owns most of the buildings from 110th-125th so looking lower down in UWS or further into Harlem would probably yield more results.

Yeah, was hoping to live in the 120s but I realize it's difficult to get picky. I was thinking going with Cooper bc of their reviews (both on yelp and people on TLS rave) so I figured it's safe. I spoke w/ them briefly and they said they can find lots of places for me to check out.

Just not sure if it's necessary to bite the bullet and pay a broker.

I'll check out Corcoran and citihabitats. thanks for the advice.

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amsong
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby amsong » Tue Jul 22, 2014 2:57 pm

toothbrush wrote:
ph5354a wrote:
toothbrush wrote:I'm looking to rent a 2BR in morningside. I've tried OCHA, UAH, padmapper and nakedapartments. UAH won't work for my particular situation. Would the credited move be to use a realtor at this point? I was thinking of using Cooper & Cooper -

does anyone have any advice?


I've heard good things about Corcoran, but I think they're a little pricey. The assessments I've heard of Citihabitats vary wildly from con-artist to godsend, depending on the broker you get, but they're a popular option too. I would also suggest broadening your search area. Columbia owns most of the buildings from 110th-125th so looking lower down in UWS or further into Harlem would probably yield more results.

Yeah, was hoping to live in the 120s but I realize it's difficult to get picky. I was thinking going with Cooper bc of their reviews (both on yelp and people on TLS rave) so I figured it's safe. I spoke w/ them briefly and they said they can find lots of places for me to check out.

Just not sure if it's necessary to bite the bullet and pay a broker.

I'll check out Corcoran and citihabitats. thanks for the advice.


I would really advise against a broker unless money is no object to you. It will be a lot more work to search through apartments on Streeteasy (Streeteasy is great, and I think much better than the sites you listed) and visit each one, so maybe it's worth it if you REALLY don't have the time (or simply will not be anywhere in the city until school starts), but I think brokers are a complete waste of money. I found both of my apartments in the last 5 years (one in the LES, one on the UWS) with about 2 weeks of vigorous internet searching and aggressive in-person visiting.

Edited to say: you can filter on nakedapartments to only get no-fee brokers, which can be nice, but is also sometimes a bait and switch. Make sure, if you go that route, to confirm first thing that they are truly no fee. Some will try to make you sign something that says you will pay their fee and then pretend they have no idea they were listed as a no-fee broker. Some say they are actually "low" fee, or other bullshit.

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby iamgeorgebush » Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:35 pm

ph5354a wrote:
toothbrush wrote:I'm looking to rent a 2BR in morningside. I've tried OCHA, UAH, padmapper and nakedapartments. UAH won't work for my particular situation. Would the credited move be to use a realtor at this point? I was thinking of using Cooper & Cooper -

does anyone have any advice?


I've heard good things about Corcoran, but I think they're a little pricey. The assessments I've heard of Citihabitats vary wildly from con-artist to godsend, depending on the broker you get, but they're a popular option too. I would also suggest broadening your search area. Columbia owns most of the buildings from 110th-125th so looking lower down in UWS or further into Harlem would probably yield more results.

I highly recommend working with multiple brokers. I worked with about four, and I'm super glad I did. None of the four were very good (one was a straight up piece of shit, and the other three didn't seem to understand what I wanted, despite my being very clear with them), but one of them managed to find an apartment I was happy with.

I would recommend looking for apartments through nakedapartments, renthop, Trulia, etc. and then messaging 3 or 4 highly rated brokers who specialize in the Morningside/UWS/Harlem area about what you're looking for. Ask to talk to them first about your needs, and then they can show you 4 or 5 apartments in the same sitting. Be very clear about what you want, and politely ask them not to waste your time. It helps if you can meet or talk over the phone before viewing any apartments.

It's hard to recommend a specific agency, since brokers vary within any given one. Sofia from Citi Habitats ended up getting me my apartment, FWIW, but I don't feel like she was much better than the other brokers---it was more chance than anything else. Some other brokerages active in the area include Bohemia, Caliber, and Halstead.

ETA: I'm a 0L (rising 1L). But a 0L who is happy with her apartment!

KingFish
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby KingFish » Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:34 pm

I used this company for my apartment:

http://gonofee.com/Listings-no-fee-apartments.aspx

They required a ton of documentation, but the place is very nice (especially for the price) and it's truly no-fee.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:52 am

KingFish wrote:I used this company for my apartment:

http://gonofee.com/Listings-no-fee-apartments.aspx

They required a ton of documentation, but the place is very nice (especially for the price) and it's truly no-fee.


wait did you move?

toothbrush
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby toothbrush » Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:55 am

thanks for all the great advice. i'll be buckling down and looking everyday at postings. also, this nofee site is pretty great, thanks.

Does anyone have advice re: classes? What is a must-take? What is a must-avoid? What about professors (same questions)? Are seminars hard to get into? Anything else? Really just looking for summary of the gossip that goes around about classes/professors that I can't glean online. Oh, and is there a CLS-specific site that is like ratemyprofessors?

Thanks

JVK
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby JVK » Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:10 am

toothbrush wrote:thanks for all the great advice. i'll be buckling down and looking everyday at postings. also, this nofee site is pretty great, thanks.

Does anyone have advice re: classes? What is a must-take? What is a must-avoid? What about professors (same questions)? Are seminars hard to get into? Anything else? Really just looking for summary of the gossip that goes around about classes/professors that I can't glean online. Oh, and is there a CLS-specific site that is like ratemyprofessors?

Thanks


I can try to tackle this!

This PDF includes the classes that filled up last year (if you can't access it, let me know):
http://web.law.columbia.edu/sites/defau ... ndum_a.pdf

The most hyped up course for us 2Ls, bar none, is probably Corporations with Jackson. He's a nice, outspoken guy who's extremely enthusiastic about, well, everything. I don't know much about the other two professors, Goshen and Judge, but haven't heard anything bad about either, too. It's a prereq for a lot of corporate coursework, so you may want to take that at least sometime during your 2L year, if not fall semester.

If you want litigation, then Administrative Law is something you should probably take before you graduate, and Federal Courts if you want to clerk. Strauss is an Admin god, and Bulman-Pozen (who's teaching it in the spring, and I've heard is great) is really talented in her own right. She's super nice. Other common classes include Securities Regulation, Evidence (all of the faculty here are great - Schectman's commonly recommended, but you can't go wrong), Fed Income Tax perhaps, and on a lesser level Copyright or Antitrust & Trade Regulation if they're up your alley. The international curriculum's also great.

It's not hard to get seminars, though some are more popular than others. If you do sign up for seminars, just be aware that some of them do have prerequisites, most likely Corporations or for any of the tax courses, Federal Income Tax. Most of us (2Ls) probably ranked two black letter law classes in the first two choices instead of seminars though... I know I did anyway haha. I went with Corporations and Fed Income Tax.

If you want to know about a specific course or professor, ask away.
We do have something of a "ratemyprofessors" type thing - if you sign into LawNet, there's a "Course Evaluations" section in the drop-down menu!

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starrydreamz3
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby starrydreamz3 » Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:45 am

JVK wrote:
toothbrush wrote:thanks for all the great advice. i'll be buckling down and looking everyday at postings. also, this nofee site is pretty great, thanks.

Does anyone have advice re: classes? What is a must-take? What is a must-avoid? What about professors (same questions)? Are seminars hard to get into? Anything else? Really just looking for summary of the gossip that goes around about classes/professors that I can't glean online. Oh, and is there a CLS-specific site that is like ratemyprofessors?

Thanks


I can try to tackle this!

This PDF includes the classes that filled up last year (if you can't access it, let me know):
http://web.law.columbia.edu/sites/defau ... ndum_a.pdf

The most hyped up course for us 2Ls, bar none, is probably Corporations with Jackson. He's a nice, outspoken guy who's extremely enthusiastic about, well, everything. I don't know much about the other two professors, Goshen and Judge, but haven't heard anything bad about either, too. It's a prereq for a lot of corporate coursework, so you may want to take that at least sometime during your 2L year, if not fall semester.

If you want litigation, then Administrative Law is something you should probably take before you graduate, and Federal Courts if you want to clerk. Strauss is an Admin god, and Bulman-Pozen (who's teaching it in the spring, and I've heard is great) is really talented in her own right. She's super nice. Other common classes include Securities Regulation, Evidence (all of the faculty here are great - Schectman's commonly recommended, but you can't go wrong), Fed Income Tax perhaps, and on a lesser level Copyright or Antitrust & Trade Regulation if they're up your alley. The international curriculum's also great.

It's not hard to get seminars, though some are more popular than others. If you do sign up for seminars, just be aware that some of them do have prerequisites, most likely Corporations or for any of the tax courses, Federal Income Tax. Most of us (2Ls) probably ranked two black letter law classes in the first two choices instead of seminars though... I know I did anyway haha. I went with Corporations and Fed Income Tax.

If you want to know about a specific course or professor, ask away.
We do have something of a "ratemyprofessors" type thing - if you sign into LawNet, there's a "Course Evaluations" section in the drop-down menu!


I totally wish I would have seen this before ranking courses. Damn.

anon369
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby anon369 » Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:27 pm

ii
Last edited by anon369 on Fri Oct 17, 2014 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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tlsapp2017
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby tlsapp2017 » Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:05 pm

JVK wrote:
toothbrush wrote:thanks for all the great advice. i'll be buckling down and looking everyday at postings. also, this nofee site is pretty great, thanks.

Does anyone have advice re: classes? What is a must-take? What is a must-avoid? What about professors (same questions)? Are seminars hard to get into? Anything else? Really just looking for summary of the gossip that goes around about classes/professors that I can't glean online. Oh, and is there a CLS-specific site that is like ratemyprofessors?

Thanks


I can try to tackle this!

This PDF includes the classes that filled up last year (if you can't access it, let me know):
http://web.law.columbia.edu/sites/defau ... ndum_a.pdf

The most hyped up course for us 2Ls, bar none, is probably Corporations with Jackson. He's a nice, outspoken guy who's extremely enthusiastic about, well, everything. I don't know much about the other two professors, Goshen and Judge, but haven't heard anything bad about either, too. It's a prereq for a lot of corporate coursework, so you may want to take that at least sometime during your 2L year, if not fall semester.

If you want litigation, then Administrative Law is something you should probably take before you graduate, and Federal Courts if you want to clerk. Strauss is an Admin god, and Bulman-Pozen (who's teaching it in the spring, and I've heard is great) is really talented in her own right. She's super nice. Other common classes include Securities Regulation, Evidence (all of the faculty here are great - Schectman's commonly recommended, but you can't go wrong), Fed Income Tax perhaps, and on a lesser level Copyright or Antitrust & Trade Regulation if they're up your alley. The international curriculum's also great.

It's not hard to get seminars, though some are more popular than others. If you do sign up for seminars, just be aware that some of them do have prerequisites, most likely Corporations or for any of the tax courses, Federal Income Tax. Most of us (2Ls) probably ranked two black letter law classes in the first two choices instead of seminars though... I know I did anyway haha. I went with Corporations and Fed Income Tax.

If you want to know about a specific course or professor, ask away.
We do have something of a "ratemyprofessors" type thing - if you sign into LawNet, there's a "Course Evaluations" section in the drop-down menu!


I can't find the Course Evaluations tab on LawNet - do rising 1L's not receive access until Orientation?

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

Postby Sgt Pepper » Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:11 pm

Have any older students successfully received credit for a legal internship during the course of the year? If so, how much credit is usually awarded? Is there is an obvious place on LawNet or something that points to this info?

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starrydreamz3
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby starrydreamz3 » Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:22 pm

Sgt Pepper wrote:Have any older students successfully received credit for a legal internship during the course of the year? If so, how much credit is usually awarded? Is there is an obvious place on LawNet or something that points to this info?


I'm doing a legal internship with a judge next semester and I'm getting 4 credits for it. (3 experiential and 1 for a once a week night seminar I have to take for the program). Anecdotally I know people who are interning with the SEC next semester who are also getting credit, they just needed to organize the internship themselves and get a Professor to oversee them (and maybe they need to write some sort of paper).

The judicial internship programs are well set and I'd assume the info is somewhere on lawnet. If you're a 0L, you'll get plenty of info on it your spring semester.




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