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

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:16 am

jrc223 wrote:I think I read somewhere that Columbia usually matches scholarship offers made by peer schools; is this true, and what schools does it consider to be its peers?


I haven't heard of Columbia matching scholarship offers. By and large, it's a decent amount of money to HYS admits and peanuts for the rest of us.

Also in this vein, what do you think is an acceptable amount of debt to incur in order to attend Columbia (assuming one is not independently wealthy)? I know many of you have been outspoken about how expensive it is, and I'm curious to know what amount of debt you believe is defensible in exchange for a greater shot at biglaw


Depends on what your other options are. In a vacuum, going at sticker right now is a defensible choice. If you have a full ride someplace else, you can afford to be a bit more discerning.

jrc223
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby jrc223 » Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:17 am

jbagelboy wrote:
jrc223 wrote:I think I read somewhere that Columbia usually matches scholarship offers made by peer schools; is this true, and what schools does it consider to be its peers?

Also in this vein, what do you think is an acceptable amount of debt to incur in order to attend Columbia (assuming one is not independently wealthy)? I know many of you have been outspoken about how expensive it is, and I'm curious to know what amount of debt you believe is defensible in exchange for a greater shot at biglaw


They will consider offers from schools like Harvard (need based), Chicago, NYU, and UPenn as peer offers, but they might not "match" in an exact sense. Lower than that, they might look at it but it won't be all that persuasive. I "negotiated" by providing Chicago and NYU scholarships and got somewhere, but they wouldn't budge for even higher offers from Duke, Michigan, Berkeley ect.


Ah, thanks for the info, that's what I assumed.

I'm in the process of applying for financial aid, but I have no idea what to expect; is Columbia generally generous or stingy when it comes to need-based aid?

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utahraptor
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby utahraptor » Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:26 am

Columbia gives some need based aid and can be generous, I think. I got more here than I got at the peer schools.

I think that if a person could keep debt around the 100k mark (or below), that would be awesome. That's not reasonable for many, though. (I didn't have that option).

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almondjoy
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby almondjoy » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:45 pm

utahraptor wrote:Columbia gives some need based aid and can be generous, I think. I got more here than I got at the peer schools.

I think that if a person could keep debt around the 100k mark (or below), that would be awesome. That's not reasonable for many, though. (I didn't have that option).

Yeah that'll be extremely difficult considering living expenses alone over the three years will be around 60k.

TheoO
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby TheoO » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:49 pm

I would say try and stay around 150K in general. But even that is tough.

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mr.plum
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby mr.plum » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:58 am

Admitted early this week and super excited! I have a sort of trivial question...Are law students allowed to take ballet classes (or dance classes in general) offered at Barnard? And if so, do we have to pay extra? I know there are many wonderful dance studios around but I really don't want to pay extra when I'm already paying an astronomical amount of money. Thanks! :D

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

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:03 am

mr.plum wrote:Admitted early this week and super excited! I have a sort of trivial question...Are law students allowed to take ballet classes (or dance classes in general) offered at Barnard? And if so, do we have to pay extra? I know there are many wonderful dance studios around but I really don't want to pay extra when I'm already paying an astronomical amount of money. Thanks! :D

If the class itself has fees you'd have to pay those but otherwise taking undergrad courses is no problem as long as there's room. You won't get law school credit but if you just want to do it for yourself it shouldn't be a problem.

jrc223
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby jrc223 » Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:27 am

Is securing a university apartment relatively easy, or is it competitive?

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

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:04 am

jrc223 wrote:Is securing a university apartment relatively easy, or is it competitive?

easy

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bretby
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby bretby » Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:36 am

puppylaw wrote:Thanks for answering questions.

I'll probably be moving to New York with my non-law student significant other. We're both about 25. What neighborhoods should we look at? What websites should we use? When should we start looking and try to sign a lease? Any other tips for a couple?


This is late, but I thought I'd offer my opinion. DO NOT use Craigslist. It's a waste of time with shady brokers and misrepresented apartments. Instead, I would use nakedapartments.com They have to be verified (size, availability, etc.) before they can be posted, so you won't see a posting for a non-existent apartment. You may have to pay a broker fee, and if you have the ability to do so, I would HIGHLY recommend it, as it makes the apartment hunting process much more streamlined.

Be prepared to have documentation of your entire financial life history (only a slight exaggeration). If your SO doesn't have a job yet, it will be very difficult to find a reputable place that will rent to you, so you should line up a guarantor if that is available to you. Trust me, getting all your docs in a row before you start the search will make it that much better when you put in an offer. It's been said that renting an apartment in NYC is more difficult than buying a house, and though I've never bought a house, I hope that's true.

Neighborhoods. You can lived around CU. Morningside is ok, but I think it is overpriced for the quality of the apartments because students want to live right on top of their school. Especially since you have an SO, I would recommend expanding your search area a bit. Places on Frederick Douglass (a few blocks east) are nice but also pretty pricey. You can find nice places in Washington Heights (180s-200s on the west side) if you look hard enough. I also would not rule out Queens. If you live on the 7 line, your commute to school should be 30-45 minutes, but you'd be on a train and can read/listen to music/catch up on emails/whatever. I've done that commute and it is not bad at all.

I'll stop here, but as you can see I have a lot of opinions/experience with NYC housing, so if you have any other questions, just PM me! Good luck!

ETA: I didn't see until just now that the post I was responding to was over 3 years old. Ooops.
Last edited by bretby on Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:40 am

Or just live in subsidized Columbia couples housing. Problem solved.

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ChemEng1642
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby ChemEng1642 » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:46 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:Or just live in subsidized Columbia couples housing. Problem solved.


Yes but this doesn't work for all couples - I would be moving in with my SO for the first time (long distance previously) so we don't have the necessary documentation to get couples housing.

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

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:49 pm

ChemEng1642 wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:Or just live in subsidized Columbia couples housing. Problem solved.


Yes but this doesn't work for all couples - I would be moving in with my SO for the first time (long distance previously) so we don't have the necessary documentation to get couples housing.

Try to get your SO's name on a joint bill or something. CLS is more flexible than they might seem at first.

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ChemEng1642
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby ChemEng1642 » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:55 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
ChemEng1642 wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:Or just live in subsidized Columbia couples housing. Problem solved.


Yes but this doesn't work for all couples - I would be moving in with my SO for the first time (long distance previously) so we don't have the necessary documentation to get couples housing.

Try to get your SO's name on a joint bill or something. CLS is more flexible than they might seem at first.


Oh! Would a shared cell phone plan count? But ok I'll look at their policy more closely

Edit: Ok so this is pretty much the only criteria we could fit under:

Columbia Housing Website wrote:Documentation showing, for a period of at least six months prior to the application for housing, an actively used joint bank account, joint credit account, or joint ownership of a motor vehicle.


but we'd have to get a credit card together pretty much right now to have the 6 months before the end of the year - reasonable? Also they said the housing is rather limited with a preference to couples that have been living together or need to (aka families with kids) so I doubt I'd get it anyway...

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

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:11 pm

Like I said I've found them to be very accommodating. You might want to reach out to Juliana Utley who handles the housing stuff. Everyone I know has had good experiences with her and she can probably direct you to the best way to get couples housing.

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ChemEng1642
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby ChemEng1642 » Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:22 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:Like I said I've found them to be very accommodating. You might want to reach out to Juliana Utley who handles the housing stuff. Everyone I know has had good experiences with her and she can probably direct you to the best way to get couples housing.


Okay will do - thanks for all the help!

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jbagelboy
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:22 pm

you don't need a joint account to use law school housing. you only need that for UAH. Which is a better deal, so it might be worth looking into, but you can secure couples housing in a law school building without any additional documentation.

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ChemEng1642
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby ChemEng1642 » Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:29 pm

jbagelboy wrote:you don't need a joint account to use law school housing. you only need that for UAH. Which is a better deal, so it might be worth looking into, but you can secure couples housing in a law school building without any additional documentation.


!!!!

Where do I find information about that?

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jbagelboy
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:40 pm

ChemEng1642 wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:you don't need a joint account to use law school housing. you only need that for UAH. Which is a better deal, so it might be worth looking into, but you can secure couples housing in a law school building without any additional documentation.


!!!!

Where do I find information about that?


email juliana utley jutley@law.columbia.edu

Lawschoolbound316
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Lawschoolbound316 » Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:48 pm

Hi again! Thank you to everyone who responded to my deferral comments -- they were all super helpful! I know this question has been asked probably at least ten times before but does anyone have suggestions on how to choose which building to live in through campus housing? My only real desire is to have my own bedroom (fine with sharing common room, bathroom, etc. that's what I currently have in my undergraduate housing).

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

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:12 pm

Lawschoolbound316 wrote:Hi again! Thank you to everyone who responded to my deferral comments -- they were all super helpful! I know this question has been asked probably at least ten times before but does anyone have suggestions on how to choose which building to live in through campus housing? My only real desire is to have my own bedroom (fine with sharing common room, bathroom, etc. that's what I currently have in my undergraduate housing).


Throw darts at the wall?

Or perhaps decide which combination of attributes (price, proximity, size, privacy, amenities) you prefer?

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jbagelboy
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:29 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
Lawschoolbound316 wrote:Hi again! Thank you to everyone who responded to my deferral comments -- they were all super helpful! I know this question has been asked probably at least ten times before but does anyone have suggestions on how to choose which building to live in through campus housing? My only real desire is to have my own bedroom (fine with sharing common room, bathroom, etc. that's what I currently have in my undergraduate housing).


Throw darts at the wall?

Or perhaps decide which combination of attributes (price, proximity, size, privacy, amenities) you prefer?


I don't think it's possible to not get your own bedroom. If you want a cheap option, go for the 115th Street triples: you'll have a shared bathroom, kitchen, and common room with your own private bedroom, and the prices go as low as $1000/person. You absolutely have to get an air conditioner though because those rooms get crazy hot in the summer.

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utahraptor
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby utahraptor » Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:53 pm

I made it through a summer without an air conditioner.

I don't recommend it.

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mr.plum
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby mr.plum » Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:21 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
mr.plum wrote:Admitted early this week and super excited! I have a sort of trivial question...Are law students allowed to take ballet classes (or dance classes in general) offered at Barnard? And if so, do we have to pay extra? I know there are many wonderful dance studios around but I really don't want to pay extra when I'm already paying an astronomical amount of money. Thanks! :D

If the class itself has fees you'd have to pay those but otherwise taking undergrad courses is no problem as long as there's room. You won't get law school credit but if you just want to do it for yourself it shouldn't be a problem.


Thank you!

wsag826
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby wsag826 » Fri Feb 13, 2015 1:02 pm

Hi all. I got into Columbia this week and I was wondering how current students feel about (A) clerkship placement and (B) placement into DC firms in comparison to a peer school like Chicago and a big DC placement school like UVA? I know that both are very difficult to get and not at all sure bets at any institution, but I was wondering what your perception was based on experience (either anecdotal or actual). Appreciate any insight you can provide!




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