iamgeorgebush wrote: papercut wrote:
iamgeorgebush wrote:Don't be a douchebag. Don't brag, don't humblebrag, and don't subtly put down others' accomplishments. Remember that your classmates will be your peers from many many years, especially if you end up practicing in New York, and they will remember you primarily for your personality, not your grades/fancy internship/LR membership/etc. So be nice!
To those considering attending CLS: Most students are not douchebags at all, so don't let my remarks above steer you away. Like any law school, there are some people who get on your nerves, but for the most part, it's good people.
My section was full of wonderful and extremely pleasant people. These things probably change year to year, section to section, but with a class of about 350 you're gonna see all sorts, but my experience has been very positive.
I agree with that for the most part. Like I said, for the most part, it's good people.
I think assuming best intentions is absolutely critical here (and in general), and recognizing that people's shittiness during 1L is a often product of their own stress, insecurity and unhappiness is a really healthy life practice and will save you a lot of angst. People can also be extraordinarily generous, kind, and compassionate at moments that you'd least expect, and that is really terrific. When it happens to you, make it a point to pay it forward.
That being said, I wish that I had been more prepared for just how isolating, judgmental, cold, and competitive the environment is. For some bizarre reason, people are extremely defensive about acknowledging this -- I'm sure someone will pounce on this to set the record straight! Most people are so "chill" and it was easy to make a group of really great supportive friends within a month! when they got sick someone let them borrow their civ pro notes, so competition at columbia is sooo not a thing.
But (in my opinion at least) this sort of response is precisely what makes it such a difficult experience. The competitive dynamic is a lot more invidious than the apocryphal 'pulling out pages from the library book', which is I think worse because its difficult to articulate and makes you feel crazy. People compete along every dimension (the battle to act like you're HAVING THE MOST FUN and DONT HAVE TO TRY THAT HARD is the worst, in my opinion). the fact that you're not allowed to acknowledge this makes for a much more isolating experience than necessary. A lot of people seem really happy at Columbia, but a lot of people are really, deeply unhappy here (and yes, I'm sure that's the case everywhere, but these are incoming cls students here) so be prepared for that, and know that you are really really really not alone if that's your experience.