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.
playwright
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby playwright » Thu May 07, 2015 8:37 pm

Do most people go home (or wherever) during winter break?

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almondjoy
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby almondjoy » Thu May 07, 2015 10:23 pm

playwright wrote:Do most people go home (or wherever) during winter break?

Yep. Not so much for thanksgiving, but pretty much everyone goes home for winter break.

everton125
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby everton125 » Fri May 08, 2015 2:05 am

Is UAH housing typically more or less expensive than the law student specific housing?

Also, how does housing work over the summer? Do you vacate your housing at the end of the second semester, or hold onto it all the way through? If the former, does the university offer storage for furniture, or is that something done on an individual basis? If the later, am I correct in assuming you are paying full rent during that time, even if you are not occupying the rental?

Thanks.

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

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri May 08, 2015 9:41 am

everton125 wrote:Is UAH housing typically more or less expensive than the law student specific housing?

Also, how does housing work over the summer? Do you vacate your housing at the end of the second semester, or hold onto it all the way through? If the former, does the university offer storage for furniture, or is that something done on an individual basis? If the later, am I correct in assuming you are paying full rent during that time, even if you are not occupying the rental?

Thanks.

I'll let someone else handle the price question because I never quite understood the UAH vs. law school thing.

Your first lease will go from whenever you move in until May 31. Then if you decide to renew you'll have to sign a 12 month lease. People who move away for the summer will typically look to sublet their place until they get back, but if you want to stay in law school/UAH housing you'll need to renew by May 31.

Cinderella24
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Cinderella24 » Fri May 08, 2015 10:02 am

MCFC wrote:
Cinderella24 wrote:How is the legal writing intensive course at the beginning?

Can you please give me some details on it?

Legal Methods is the 3 week course you take starting in August, meeting twice a day. It's just basically an opportunity for you to get the hang of what a law school class is like. Then at the end of September you take an exam that isn't graded.

At the same time, you also start what CLS calls "Legal Practice Workshop" this the 1L legal writing course and continues for the entire year, meeting once a week. It's not graded, which is nice.

Are there specific things you want to know about?


No. That's pretty straight forward. Thank you! =)

everton125
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby everton125 » Fri May 08, 2015 1:26 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
everton125 wrote:Is UAH housing typically more or less expensive than the law student specific housing?

Also, how does housing work over the summer? Do you vacate your housing at the end of the second semester, or hold onto it all the way through? If the former, does the university offer storage for furniture, or is that something done on an individual basis? If the later, am I correct in assuming you are paying full rent during that time, even if you are not occupying the rental?

Thanks.

I'll let someone else handle the price question because I never quite understood the UAH vs. law school thing.

Your first lease will go from whenever you move in until May 31. Then if you decide to renew you'll have to sign a 12 month lease. People who move away for the summer will typically look to sublet their place until they get back, but if you want to stay in law school/UAH housing you'll need to renew by May 31.


Thanks! If you decide to stay in with law school/UAH housing but move to a different building/room, do you need to sign that lease and move in at the end of the school year, or are you able to wait to move in until the start of the fall semester?

GoneSouth
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby GoneSouth » Fri May 08, 2015 8:32 pm

Still trying to figure out the housing, particularly on whether to do a share or a studio. I'm 27, so I figure at least by 3L year I'm probably going to want my own space, but on the other hand a share would at least give you someone to hang out with at the outset (I don't know anyone else going to CLS).

I'm assuming most of the social connections are going to be made through class, bar review, etc. but does anyone who has a studio have any feedback on whether it was isolating initially?

Also any thoughts on Lenfest specifically and whether it is worth the price would be welcome

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cws277
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby cws277 » Fri May 08, 2015 9:06 pm

everton125 wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
everton125 wrote:Is UAH housing typically more or less expensive than the law student specific housing?

Also, how does housing work over the summer? Do you vacate your housing at the end of the second semester, or hold onto it all the way through? If the former, does the university offer storage for furniture, or is that something done on an individual basis? If the later, am I correct in assuming you are paying full rent during that time, even if you are not occupying the rental?

Thanks.

I'll let someone else handle the price question because I never quite understood the UAH vs. law school thing.

Your first lease will go from whenever you move in until May 31. Then if you decide to renew you'll have to sign a 12 month lease. People who move away for the summer will typically look to sublet their place until they get back, but if you want to stay in law school/UAH housing you'll need to renew by May 31.


Thanks! If you decide to stay in with law school/UAH housing but move to a different building/room, do you need to sign that lease and move in at the end of the school year, or are you able to wait to move in until the start of the fall semester?

In basically every way, Columbia is your landlord just like a "real" landlord. If you want to move, you need to do it when your lease is up, so almost all students move between law school/UAH housing in May. Some people move one, some twice, but many stay all three years and sublease in summers or work in the city. The law school's housing person is really good and very helpful.

And on law school vs. UAH price---UAH does tend to be cheaper mostly because distance to the main campus is a big factor in Columbia's throwing-darts-at-the-wall approach to setting apartment prices. UAH housing tends to be less centrally located. And the price comparison is also skewed because Lenfest is just stupid overpriced.

townehall
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby townehall » Fri May 08, 2015 10:56 pm

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Last edited by townehall on Thu Jul 02, 2015 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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LetsGoMets
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby LetsGoMets » Mon May 11, 2015 11:16 pm

Anyone lived in/have experience with 420 W 116th? Searched and haven't seen much about it, besides that it's old and you need to bring your own AC unit if you want it.

Also I realize it's finals right now, so good luck all!

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txdude45
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby txdude45 » Tue May 12, 2015 9:28 pm

townehall wrote:Hey, are there studio or 1 bedroom Columbia university housing units still available for transfer students? I am a hopeful transfer, from the west coast, so having student housing would be awesome.

We won't know if we are in or not until ~July 15 and will need to be there by August 6 so its a quick time frame to move cross country --- I haven't been able to figure out on the housing website whether there are typically housing spots left so late in the summer or not. Thanks


You should email Juliana Utley at student services. She'll have better information for you on the availability of apartments. Good luck with your transfer app!

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txdude45
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby txdude45 » Tue May 12, 2015 9:41 pm

LetsGoMets wrote:Anyone lived in/have experience with 420 W 116th? Searched and haven't seen much about it, besides that it's old and you need to bring your own AC unit if you want it.

Also I realize it's finals right now, so good luck all!


I just spoke to a guy I know who moved out of there and he said:
Pros- Close to school, nice super
Cons- Expensive, small (~1800 for 300 sqft in his case), not great quality

Apparently people move out of there very frequently. Best of luck!

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BlindGuyMcSqueezy
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby BlindGuyMcSqueezy » Tue May 12, 2015 10:18 pm

I know this is not a scholarship thread, but I figured this is a good a place as any to ask, searched through the thread and didn't see it mentioned: I know the Hamilton does not include a stipend(ala Rubenstein), but does CLS EVER give a stipend in addition to the Hamilton? Do any of you know anyone who got a stipend from CLS?

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txdude45
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby txdude45 » Tue May 12, 2015 11:11 pm

bgoldgrab wrote:I know this is not a scholarship thread, but I figured this is a good a place as any to ask, searched through the thread and didn't see it mentioned: I know the Hamilton does not include a stipend(ala Rubenstein), but does CLS EVER give a stipend in addition to the Hamilton? Do any of you know anyone who got a stipend from CLS?


If you have a Hamilton and you're holding out for a stipend, I'm over you.

That said, I have spoken to financial aid and admissions about how the money situation works and the money you get is basically all you get. They don't do a lot of haggling on need aid (they are exceptionally stingy) and don't do any on merit aid. You won't get a stipend out of them unless they lied to my face, which they had no reason to.

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BlindGuyMcSqueezy
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby BlindGuyMcSqueezy » Tue May 12, 2015 11:30 pm

txdude45 wrote:
bgoldgrab wrote:I know this is not a scholarship thread, but I figured this is a good a place as any to ask, searched through the thread and didn't see it mentioned: I know the Hamilton does not include a stipend(ala Rubenstein), but does CLS EVER give a stipend in addition to the Hamilton? Do any of you know anyone who got a stipend from CLS?


If you have a Hamilton and you're holding out for a stipend, I'm over you.

That said, I have spoken to financial aid and admissions about how the money situation works and the money you get is basically all you get. They don't do a lot of haggling on need aid (they are exceptionally stingy) and don't do any on merit aid. You won't get a stipend out of them unless they lied to my face, which they had no reason to.

Nah, I'm just stupidly hopeful. Haven't even taken the LSAT yet. Thanks for the response.

GoneSouth
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby GoneSouth » Thu May 14, 2015 9:05 am

txdude45 wrote:
LetsGoMets wrote:Anyone lived in/have experience with 420 W 116th? Searched and haven't seen much about it, besides that it's old and you need to bring your own AC unit if you want it.

Also I realize it's finals right now, so good luck all!


I just spoke to a guy I know who moved out of there and he said:
Pros- Close to school, nice super
Cons- Expensive, small (~1800 for 300 sqft in his case), not great quality

Apparently people move out of there very frequently. Best of luck!


Great, I put this down as my top choice. Anyone have any thoughts on Lenfest?

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jbagelboy
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby jbagelboy » Thu May 14, 2015 9:33 am

GoneSouth wrote:
txdude45 wrote:
LetsGoMets wrote:Anyone lived in/have experience with 420 W 116th? Searched and haven't seen much about it, besides that it's old and you need to bring your own AC unit if you want it.

Also I realize it's finals right now, so good luck all!


I just spoke to a guy I know who moved out of there and he said:
Pros- Close to school, nice super
Cons- Expensive, small (~1800 for 300 sqft in his case), not great quality

Apparently people move out of there very frequently. Best of luck!


Great, I put this down as my top choice. Anyone have any thoughts on Lenfest?


Everyone I know in Lenfest says it's stupidly expensive for the value, so a lot of folks who aren't worried about money live there. Then again, they just put in a gym, which is pretty huge and worth a little extra each month IMO, so who knows. Still, if you're thinking cost-conscious, look elsewhere

ACD135
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby ACD135 » Sun May 17, 2015 1:00 am

If I'm interested in transactional law, is the writing competition worth it? Also, how are grades weighted for this/ do most people even do it?

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

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun May 17, 2015 11:20 am

ACD135 wrote:If I'm interested in transactional law, is the writing competition worth it? Also, how are grades weighted for this/ do most people even do it?

Somewhere around half of people do it. The vast majority of people will have some journal listed on their resume so it's useful to get one on there especially if you don't have a lot else going for you. But you may not need to do the write on to get on a different journal so that's up to you. If you aren't one of the 15 selected for Law Review via write-on your grades are very heavily weighted unless you are a minority.

My general advice is to just do it and get it over with. It sucks for a few days but then you're done. As a transactional person myself I still would have done law review for the resume line but from everything I've heard it does really suck so I wouldn't blame you for skipping it.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby jbagelboy » Sun May 17, 2015 11:22 am

ACD135 wrote:If I'm interested in transactional law, is the writing competition worth it? Also, how are grades weighted for this/ do most people even do it?


ETA: saw Tiaggo's post after writing this, i'm just less concisely seconding what he said

there are probably people who could speak to the 2015-16 law review selection process with more specificity/accuracy, but they might also not want to/shouldn't post about it for confidentiality reasons ect. the journal selection process is rather opaque and different people are making the decisions every year so take what I'm saying as a measure of common wisdom, not insider knowledge.

what happens first on many journals, including law review, is strictly the writing competition component: a few individuals in management (like EIC and notes editor) collect the online submissions from the journal office and distribute the anonymous essays to different editorial board members. They review them in groups for quality and then rotate the essays so that each one is read and roughly scored by multiple people. For LR, the 15 highest scoring essays -- regardless of the rest of the application -- are selected for staffer positions. For other journals, the writing samples (which are often just the writing competition) are then evaluated "holistically" with grades, resume, and statements of interest (although I think some journals don't even ask for grades).

For the remaining 30 spots on LR, the general sense is that the evaluation breaks down into about 1/3 grades (from transcript), 1/3 diversity (from the additional questionnaire) and 1/3 writing competition/cite check. This means *generally* people who are very strong in two out of three of these stand a strong chance of getting on, whereas strong in one or none of them, probably not a great chance, the 15 write-on spots notwithstanding. That being said, if your essay is bad (i.e. bottom half of submissions), that will probably weigh more heavily against you then not having the top grades or adding a particular type of diversity.

As for whether it's worth it for you to apply, I think on the whole, yes. I know it's a huge pain in the ass right after finals. But first I think it's a little early in your law school career to know that you only want to do M&A or capital markets and that you have no interest in legal scholarship, clerkships, government, ect. Second, you can always decline to do a journal if it's not for you, but by not applying you're foreclosing the opportunity. Third, for people who like collecting credentials/signaling, which comports with the profile of many columbia law students, I guess the law review is a neat one to have (also since so many people have secondary journals on their resumes at shit like EIP, its become kind of an expectation). As for how many people do the writing competition, its definitely at least half the class, although of course there are plenty of people who know they want to be on a different journal and just apply to that, or know they don't want to do journal altogether, or think their grades are too low, ect.

janwlee
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby janwlee » Wed May 27, 2015 8:10 am

I was wondering if anyone knows whether or not 310 Riverside drive is a good location to live off campus. Is it a safe area / within walking distance?

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

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed May 27, 2015 8:51 am

janwlee wrote:I was wondering if anyone knows whether or not 310 Riverside drive is a good location to live off campus. Is it a safe area / within walking distance?

The area is plenty safe. It's a little on the far side at about a mile away but that wouldn't be a dealbreaker for me. And it appears to be really close to the Subway which is always a nice bonus.

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cws277
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby cws277 » Thu May 28, 2015 12:47 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:
janwlee wrote:I was wondering if anyone knows whether or not 310 Riverside drive is a good location to live off campus. Is it a safe area / within walking distance?

The area is plenty safe. It's a little on the far side at about a mile away but that wouldn't be a dealbreaker for me. And it appears to be really close to the Subway which is always a nice bonus.

The walk is basically the equivalent distance of my walk (though I come from the north). There are days that I grumble about it, but most of the time I like having the walk. Lot of good restaurants down by 103rd and you're a medium-length walk or very cheap cab ride to the fun part of the Upper West Side. Also being on Riverside Park is awesome. Can't recommend that enough.

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LetsGoMets
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby LetsGoMets » Fri May 29, 2015 11:56 am

Okay, can someone explain Legal Methods to me? I know I've read about it before, but I'm just looking at the academic calendar for next year, and wondering how it is that the class starts in August, ends the first week in September, and then there's a final three weeks later?

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mylifeis24
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby mylifeis24 » Fri May 29, 2015 1:35 pm

LetsGoMets wrote:Okay, can someone explain Legal Methods to me? I know I've read about it before, but I'm just looking at the academic calendar for next year, and wondering how it is that the class starts in August, ends the first week in September, and then there's a final three weeks later?


Because LM is a joke. Once LM ends, regular classes begin. 3 weeks later, you have a final on a Friday instead of your regular classes. That's all there is to it.




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