schmelling wrote:0L here. just a couple basic questions.
What do you guys find the environment to be like at columbia? do you enjoy it? most law students at least claim that their school is "collegial" but when people talk about columbia it sounds like the students are all work all the time, with the students interacting considerably less than at other t14s.
also, what's your safety net like in terms of biglaw? I see the NLJ rank shows over 60% placement in biglaw, and with clerkships and even a small amount of self-selection out this number would suggest that the opportunity to earn 160k is available to all but the very bottom of the class. have you observed this to be the case? of course I will make every attempt to rank well among whatever class I end up in, but at columbia, I would be up against a pretty impressive bunch!
thanks in advance.
i've been drinking so it's hard to hide my disdain, apologies if this comes off as overly brusque
i would expect that all of the schools are almost exactly as "collegial" as one another. it's the same pool of students from the same undergrads caring about the same things taking the same classes taught by professors who went to the same law schools and clerked for the same judges. i would expect that law school is a largely fungible experience.
moreover, i'd expect that our strong jobs placement makes our environment more collegial than most as you're not really competing with your peers. people (for better or worse) expect to get a job out of columbia.
come visit the school and see what you think for yourself.
but, frankly, you're looking at the wrong things. you should primarily care about cost. i would have gone to NYU if they gave me more money. i would recommend that people with full rides at other schools take them over CLS (and similarly would recommend that people who get full rides here come here over harvard or something)
finally, you're not going to go against an "impressive" bunch—you're going against the same bunch everywhere. i'd expect that you wouldn't be able to tell a group of fordham students from a bunch of columbia students.
there are other things that are just off about your post—it's not people with bad grades who necessarily strike out (personality is more important, and luck is probably far more important), students at columbia assuredly work less than at other schools in the city, due to the lack of graded LPW and the fact that people are confident that they will get a job, students "interact" the same at all of these schools (and you're probably going to be disappointed anywhere if you're expecting an undergrad like experience)