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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MCFC
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby MCFC » Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:20 pm

Any negative stories about taking classes at NYU and/or at the business school?

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

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Dec 20, 2014 10:30 am

ph5354a wrote:Relatedly, does anyone know if Raskolnikov uses the same tax casebook as the other professors --Federal Income Taxation by Blankman/Shaviro/Stark?

Yeah he does

TheoO
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby TheoO » Sat Dec 20, 2014 11:10 pm

Anyone have any word on Harcourt for Crim, Waxman's class for the US and the Int. Legal System, and Elizabeth Scott for Property?

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txdude45
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby txdude45 » Sat Dec 20, 2014 11:17 pm

Last year a lot of people really really disliked Harcourt as a professor.

TheoO
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby TheoO » Sun Dec 21, 2014 1:22 am

Yea, he seems to have a very free-flow kind of class structure. Are EEs recommended for these classes. Also, any other books? I'm hoping to buy everything quickly, just to put it out of mind until the semester begins.

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MCFC
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby MCFC » Sun Dec 21, 2014 7:39 am

Dressler seemed to be the recommended Crim supplement last year. I had Harcourt; it wasn't great. Nice guy, but I don't think most of the class liked him very much as a teacher.

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helix23
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby helix23 » Sun Dec 21, 2014 5:56 pm

TheoO wrote:Anyone have any word on Harcourt for Crim, Waxman's class for the US and the Int. Legal System, and Elizabeth Scott for Property?


Waxman-US/Int is awesome

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mylifeis24
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby mylifeis24 » Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:16 pm

With grades for 1Ls starting to come in, what is the minimum distribution of grades typically needed to make Stone?

ColumbiaLS2016
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby ColumbiaLS2016 » Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:02 pm

Since grades are coming in, just wanted to post a message for any 1Ls who are (inevitably) freaking out.

I finished my first semester at CLS with an underwhelming 3.1 (two Bs and 1 B+). I seriously thought my life was over, and spent the next semester and most of the next summer pretty convinced that I would never work as an attorney. Dramatic, I know, but the culture at CLS (and many top schools, I'm sure) can make you feel inferior, and with constant discussions about classes and job searches, make it seem like it's the most important thing in your entire life. It's not. Even with those first semester grades, and after some very poor bidding for EIP (but do not, I repeat do not, worry about that right now), I still ended up with about 15 callback invitations and multiple V50 offers. EIP was still a breeze, and I have a very unimpressive resume.

The moral of the story, at least right now, is do not panic. It's so easy for grades to seem like your entire life. You've worked so hard to get into CLS, and so hard during this past semester. I know I did, and it was so frustrating to see my work not pay off in the ways that I had hoped. But the worst thing you can do right now is harp on that. If you didn't get the grades you had hoped for, learn from what you might have done wrong, change some things for next semester, and do your best. One thing to keep in mind is that this is still a very small sampling, and grades can be very random. It's become a bit of a cliche to say that the test I thought I did best on was my worst grade, and the test I thought I did worst on was my best, but for me that was absolutely true. Also, TLS, and often times people who you speak to in person about grades, will not be representative of the whole class. The majority of any class will get B+s and Bs. I think Bs are still the most common grades in a class by plurality, at least for most professors. If you got these grades, it's not because you're dumb, or because you don't belong at CLS (lies I told myself after I got my grades back, that I wish I hadn't). A lot of students just have to get those grades. And while grades are important for EIP, our school really does kick so much ass when it comes to job placement that I saw people from all GPAs get tons of callbacks and offers at really great firms. That's not to say that people don't strike out, because they do for a wide range of reasons, but there's almost no GPA right now that takes you out of the running. No matter what your grades are right now, almost all of you will get great jobs and go on to start really promising legal careers.

So long story short, if you didn't get the grades that you wanted, don't dwell on them to the point where it's destructive. Learn from them in a constructive way, but know that you're not alone. I think most people are disappointed with their grades, because almost everyone coming into CLS is used to getting perfect grades and being an overacheiver, and the curve prevents everyone from accomplishing that. Most of 1L (at least at CLS) is freaking out about certain things (classes, grades, 1L jobs, journals) only for things to work out in the end and then you wonder why you freaked out so much at the time. I'm not saying your life will be perfect, or you'll get that Wachtell offer, but I just wanted to send a message from someone who was once a 1L despairing over grades who has had things work out for him/her. Everything will be alright.

Feel free to PM me if you want to talk more.

TheoO
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby TheoO » Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:15 pm

180 post, bro!

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MCFC
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby MCFC » Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:48 pm

mylifeis24 wrote:With grades for 1Ls starting to come in, what is the minimum distribution of grades typically needed to make Stone?

Whatever gets you to 3.410.
A student shall be named a Stone scholar if during an academic year the student has earned at least 15 graded law credits toward his or her degree, the student has received no grade lower than B-, and the student’s academic average for the year is at or above 3.410.


So, very roughly, a bunch of B+s, an A, and A-?

Longtimecoming19
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Longtimecoming19 » Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:19 am

mylifeis24 wrote:With grades for 1Ls starting to come in, what is the minimum distribution of grades typically needed to make Stone?


For your first semester, you will be on track for Stone if you get a B+, B+, and A-. Since all your first semester grades are weighted equally, a higher score than these baselines for any one class can offset a lower score of equal magnitude in another class. For instance, if you get two A-'s, you can afford to get a B in the third class and you'll still be on track for Stone. If, God help you, you somehow get the A+ in one class, you can get two B's in the other classes and still be on track for Stone.

Let's say you just make the threshold for Stone this semester. Your second semester grades still matter, since Stone is awarded on an annual basis. If you get the equivalent of a B+, B+, and A- this semester, then for next semester, you can get three B+'s and an A- or the equivalent thereof (ie., two A-'s, a B+, and a B; or else an A, an A-, and a B) and get Stone. Assuming you hit the Stone threshold for your first semester grades, it will not matter which classes you get those second semester grades in, even though they are weighted unequally.

Source: spent way too much time thinking about this last year.

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EquallyWrong
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby EquallyWrong » Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:01 am

TheoO wrote:180 post, bro!

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txdude45
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby txdude45 » Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:06 am

I'm pretty confident an A+ is an honorary designation and it still counts as 4.0 rather than 4.33. I've been told that by a couple people I know who have gotten an A+, but they could be wrong.

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Nebby
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Nebby » Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:01 am

txdude45 wrote:I'm pretty confident an A+ is an honorary designation and it still counts as 4.0 rather than 4.33. I've been told that by a couple people I know who have gotten an A+, but they could be wrong.

A+ is the CLS version of a book/CALI award. It's only a 4.0, but just designates that you scored the highest in the class. Like all book/CALI awards, they are discretionary. (Just like a B- is a discretionary way to tell you that you done fucked up).

Longtimecoming19
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Longtimecoming19 » Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:35 pm

txdude45 wrote:I'm pretty confident an A+ is an honorary designation and it still counts as 4.0 rather than 4.33. I've been told that by a couple people I know who have gotten an A+, but they could be wrong.


I'm not sure about that. The only source I could find that says anything about calculating GPAs comes from the University Registrar; it says that an A+ counts for 4.33. Here it is: http://registrar.columbia.edu/content/g ... nt-average. While the law school has its own Registrar, the page above says that schools - presumably Columbia schools - that use the A-F grading scale calculate GPAs in the same way. Again, it is possible that the law school uses a different system, but I haven't seen anything to indicate that it does.

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Nebby
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Nebby » Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:04 am

Law school uses different scale. The law school is the most insulated from the rest of the University. (Did you know that we can access any building on campus, but nonlaw Columbia students can't enter the LS? Haha).

Longtimecoming19
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Longtimecoming19 » Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:22 am

CounselorNebby wrote:Law school uses different scale. The law school is the most insulated from the rest of the University. (Did you know that we can access any building on campus, but nonlaw Columbia students can't enter the LS? Haha).


How do you know it uses a different scale? It very well might - I could be wrong - but I just haven't seen any indication that this is so.

TheoO
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby TheoO » Wed Jan 07, 2015 1:38 am

Did LPW grades come up during EIP interviews? Just wondering.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Wed Jan 07, 2015 1:56 am

TheoO wrote:Did LPW grades come up during EIP interviews? Just wondering.


Grades of any sort are rarely mentioned during interviews. They don't need to waste time asking you about what they can clearly discern from your transcript.

Do they consider LPW? Don't know, guessing probably not as long as you passed. Not worth caring about above and beyond paying attention because it's the only course in which you might learn an applicable legal skill.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:32 am

LPW grades do not matter in the slightest for EIP (or anything really). Some non-CLS interviewers I met weren't even familiar with the hp/p distinctions (recruiting probably produces a cheat sheet on it but not everyone reads those)

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girlmonster
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby girlmonster » Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:57 am

Thanks for the encouraging and fear-assuaging post, ColumbiaLS2016!

As usual, I have a question. Do any 2Ls/3Ls remember when student loans for spring are usually disbursed?

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MCFC
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby MCFC » Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:28 am

Yes, I managed to swing an HP in LPW and it never once came up in interviews.

The one thing I would say though is that depending on what you do this summer, your LPW brief from this semester might be the best or only option to use for a writing sample. So don't totally mail it in, maybe?

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

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Jan 07, 2015 11:58 am

Good point about the writing sample. Agree about the value of an HP: I got one and the only EIP interviewer who noticed it, who had also worked as an LPW instructor and worked under my LPW instructor at the US attorney's office (claiming she was a hard grader), did not give me a callback.

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Nebby
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Nebby » Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:13 pm

girlmonster wrote:Thanks for the encouraging and fear-assuaging post, ColumbiaLS2016!

As usual, I have a question. Do any 2Ls/3Ls remember when student loans for spring are usually disbursed?

Should be in your bank account by Jan. 21th.




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