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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redsoxfan2495
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby redsoxfan2495 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:43 pm

bhan87 wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:Any 2L/3L students out there have comments about our elective choices?

Law and Contemporary Society (Prof. Eben Moglen)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ickn8iipxUc . I think this pretty much sums it up.

That video is great, and there will definitely be times in the class where Moglen says things that evoke that type of reaction, but let me present the pros of LCS.

1. No exam. All you have to turn in are two short essays.

2. Very light reading load.

3. No cold calls.

4. I actually think it's a pretty useful exercise. One of the main purposes of the class is to take a step back and actually think about what you want out of law school and your career as a lawyer. This is arguably a better use of your time in your last semester before EIP than studying a specific area of law.

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cardinals1989
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby cardinals1989 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:08 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:Any 2L/3L students out there have comments about our elective choices?

Critical Legal Thought (Prof. Katherine Franke)
Foundations of the Regulatory State (Prof. Peter Strauss)
Law and Contemporary Society (Prof. Eben Moglen)
Lawyering Across Multiple Legal Orders (Profs. Katharina Pistor, George Bermann)
Legislation and Regulation (Prof. Caitlin Halligan)
Principles of Intellectual Property (Prof. Scott Hemphill)
The United States and the International Legal System (Prof. Matthew Waxman)


I will only comment on the ones that I have some knowledge about:

1) Foundations of the Regulatory State-I have heard this class is pretty intense. From what I gather, a lot more work than many other 1L electives. One thing to consider if you plan on taking Admin Law is that this might be repetitive.

2) Law and Contemporary Society-I have heard things along the whole range in reviews of Moglen. Some find him frightening, others find him incredibly insightful. From his presentation last year, he seemed to come off as a self-absorbed nut job, but I did not take his class so I cannot comment much on the merits.

3) Lawyering Across Multiple Legal Orders-I heard terrible things about this class. Professors were all over the place and the reading was ridiculous.In general, did not hear good things.

4) Principles of IP-I definitely recommend Hemphill as a prof. I have him for Antitrust right now, and he is incredibly engaging and has a great sense of humor. He is also a leader in the field and currently works as the Chief of the Antitrust Bureau of NYS. One downside: no laptops (at least for this semester in antitrust).

5) USILS-Professor Waxman is incredible. I had him for USILS and National Security Law. He used to work in the federal government advising on detainee affairs, so he has a great practical understanding of the subject matter. He is pretty clear on the structure of the class and what he expects of you, and I feel like in general the reading load is much lighter than other 1L courses. He does cold call, but it is cold-call-light: he generally just asks your opinion on things, and you basically do not need to have done the reading to answer the question. A random plus: he gives you reading packets for all the reading in the semester, so you do not have to buy a textbook. He does not allow laptops in his classes. Overall, I found the class relaxing compared to other 1L courses. Final note: his exam is an 8-hour take home, and he does a couple practice exams with you at the end of the semester.

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Bronck
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Bronck » Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:07 pm

When do we generally find out which elective we got?

I also heard that Moglen took a long time to grade the papers and ended up (under)approximating grades, which affected people for journals and EIP. Is that true? Something to worry about?

Edit: What are the chances of getting your first pick?

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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby timbs4339 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:10 pm

Bronck wrote:When do we generally find out which elective we got?

I also heard that Moglen took a long time to grade the papers and ended up (under)approximating grades, which affected people for journals and EIP. Is that true? Something to worry about?

Edit: What are the chances of getting your first pick?


Moglen regularly faces off against Law Review re: timing of grade submissions. He always caves. I'm not sure about the generosity of his curve. But nobody has the foggiest idea what his actual grading criteria are. The best theory I heard was that he gives people the grades that won't alter their current GPA. He also overpromises reading papers and my year cut the number of papers down from three to two. The class is oversubscribed so he is bound to be late grading and giving feedback.

LCS is an experience and I would recommend it, but if you are super-concerned with making law review it might be too big of a risk (although the LR EIC my year was in LCS). If you want to learn more about the class, just read the wiki at http://emoglen.law.columbia.edu/twiki/b ... oc/WebHome

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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby KirkwoodGAO » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:39 pm

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Last edited by KirkwoodGAO on Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Bronck
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Bronck » Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:37 pm

Thanks for the info. A couple additional questions:

1) for Guaranteed Summer Funding -- we have to fill out a questionnaire. Is it okay if our responses are really sparse?
2) I disabled PILF emails, but one of my friends said we need to volunteer with them to satisfy one of the GSF requirements?

joedf
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby joedf » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:52 pm

How competitive is the first year, truly?

I understand your 1L grades are almost all of what companies/clerkships/etc. have to look at by the time you start applying, but how much does that affect daily life, etc. at Columbia? Is it as cutthroat as people'd have me think?

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

Postby Tiago Splitter » Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:51 pm

joedf wrote:How competitive is the first year, truly?

I understand your 1L grades are almost all of what companies/clerkships/etc. have to look at by the time you start applying, but how much does that affect daily life, etc. at Columbia? Is it as cutthroat as people'd have me think?

It's not competitive at all.

joedf
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby joedf » Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:13 pm

Phew, that's quite a bit of a relief. Is everyone extremely focused, though? Even at a solid undergrad school there's always been a sizable group of slackers and overachievers to every class, but going to Columbia kind of self-selects for a certain top group.

I appreciate the feedback!

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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby J90 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:12 pm

I just got accepted, couldn't be happier.

A few questions hopefully some of you can answer:

1. Having never been to New York before, what do some of you typically do when you head into the city? I'll get the tourist things behind me soon enough, but as far as a random day/weekend goes, what are some things I should take advantage of?

2. Is housing spread out all around the campus, or is it typically just to the south/east etc.? On a similar note, would the whole building just be law students in the apartments, if I applied for housing through the school?

3. I understand the 1L curriculum's set in stone, except for moot court and a possible elective. Is it worth applying for a specialized moot court, or should I just stick to the Foundational (looking to do corporate law someday, if that matters)? Is the spring semester elective too much to handle if I'm concerned about GPA, or do most people go for it?

Anything else fun or specific I should be aware of as a first-year CLS student?

Thanks, truly. It's hardly been a few hours since I got accepted and I can't wait.

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kwais
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby kwais » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:49 am

J90 wrote:I just got accepted, couldn't be happier.

A few questions hopefully some of you can answer:

1. Having never been to New York before, what do some of you typically do when you head into the city? I'll get the tourist things behind me soon enough, but as far as a random day/weekend goes, what are some things I should take advantage of?

Everyone's different, but there is something for everyone. Some people go to concerts. Lots of people go to restaurants/bars. This is a great walking city, for a cheaper alternative. Whatever you were into before, you can probably do it here.

2. Is housing spread out all around the campus, or is it typically just to the south/east etc.? On a similar note, would the whole building just be law students in the apartments, if I applied for housing through the school?

Housing is not confined to the South/East. There is housing all over, but it is certainly concentrated in a few areas. If you are law school housing, expect many law students. If you are in UAH, expect a mix. Law school housing is, on average, more expensive. You'll put a preference on the app.

3. I understand the 1L curriculum's set in stone, except for moot court and a possible elective. Is it worth applying for a specialized moot court, or should I just stick to the Foundational (looking to do corporate law someday, if that matters)? Is the spring semester elective too much to handle if I'm concerned about GPA, or do most people go for it?

Specialized moot courts are great. There is extra work, but it is manageable. I wouldn't say that you need to want to do lit to do external moot courts. In fact, Foundation is standard appellate, which is pretty hard core lit, where a few of the specialized courts might give you more exposure to subject matter that interests you (commercial arbitration, IP). You don't have a choice as to whether to take an elective. Some may be easier than others, but it's not optional

Anything else fun or specific I should be aware of as a first-year CLS student?

It's a great school and you will have fun (if you want to. some people seem dead set against it)

Thanks, truly. It's hardly been a few hours since I got accepted and I can't wait.

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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby J90 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:45 pm

kwais wrote:
J90 wrote:I just got accepted, couldn't be happier.

A few questions hopefully some of you can answer:

1. Having never been to New York before, what do some of you typically do when you head into the city? I'll get the tourist things behind me soon enough, but as far as a random day/weekend goes, what are some things I should take advantage of?

Everyone's different, but there is something for everyone. Some people go to concerts. Lots of people go to restaurants/bars. This is a great walking city, for a cheaper alternative. Whatever you were into before, you can probably do it here.

2. Is housing spread out all around the campus, or is it typically just to the south/east etc.? On a similar note, would the whole building just be law students in the apartments, if I applied for housing through the school?

Housing is not confined to the South/East. There is housing all over, but it is certainly concentrated in a few areas. If you are law school housing, expect many law students. If you are in UAH, expect a mix. Law school housing is, on average, more expensive. You'll put a preference on the app.

3. I understand the 1L curriculum's set in stone, except for moot court and a possible elective. Is it worth applying for a specialized moot court, or should I just stick to the Foundational (looking to do corporate law someday, if that matters)? Is the spring semester elective too much to handle if I'm concerned about GPA, or do most people go for it?

Specialized moot courts are great. There is extra work, but it is manageable. I wouldn't say that you need to want to do lit to do external moot courts. In fact, Foundation is standard appellate, which is pretty hard core lit, where a few of the specialized courts might give you more exposure to subject matter that interests you (commercial arbitration, IP). You don't have a choice as to whether to take an elective. Some may be easier than others, but it's not optional

Anything else fun or specific I should be aware of as a first-year CLS student?

It's a great school and you will have fun (if you want to. some people seem dead set against it)

Thanks, truly. It's hardly been a few hours since I got accepted and I can't wait.


Thanks, Kwais, you're a huge help.

I'm excited to live in the city, and you're right, the limiting factor on what to do in New York appears to be my own time and imagination. Actually, wallet, too. Random, but as far as Broadway goes, how expensive do tickets usually get, and are there any student discounts? I've only ever seen the Lion King as far as similar stuff goes, and if the price is good I think I can manage at least one show per semester.

I'll have some fun, and I'm hoping to come out of 1L with a soul and not burnt out, so your advice works great.

I'll try a specialized moot court, too - thank you.

The two I'd be curious about are commercial arbitration and possibly international law, but I see the international one requires two-year involvement. How big of a time sink would this be second year? I'm not averse to putting in hours, but since I don't know exactly what I'll be doing that second year and you'd apply in early October of 1L, I'm a little hesitant to lock myself in so soon.

Haha lastly, on a little lighter note, I'm a Californian without much of a wardrobe. I'll get a coat or two and a few more pairs of pants just fine, but for any formerly-west coast students, anything that caught you off-guard?

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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby MapsMapsMaps » Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:33 am

J90 wrote:Haha lastly, on a little lighter note, I'm a Californian without much of a wardrobe. I'll get a coat or two and a few more pairs of pants just fine, but for any formerly-west coast students, anything that caught you off-guard?

Nah, it's exactly what you expect. So far this year we've had Hurricane Sandy followed soon thereafter by 2-3 inches of snow, plus the obvious rain that accompanies the east coast. And even with all of that, it's not horrible. Just buy a jacket or two, 3-4 sweaters, 1-2 hoodies, and maybe a pair or waterproof boots, and that'll suffice to make up for your insufficient wardrobe. Plus, youre usually inside reading -- no, but seriously.

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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby J90 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:30 pm

MapsMapsMaps wrote:
J90 wrote:Haha lastly, on a little lighter note, I'm a Californian without much of a wardrobe. I'll get a coat or two and a few more pairs of pants just fine, but for any formerly-west coast students, anything that caught you off-guard?

Nah, it's exactly what you expect. So far this year we've had Hurricane Sandy followed soon thereafter by 2-3 inches of snow, plus the obvious rain that accompanies the east coast. And even with all of that, it's not horrible. Just buy a jacket or two, 3-4 sweaters, 1-2 hoodies, and maybe a pair or waterproof boots, and that'll suffice to make up for your insufficient wardrobe. Plus, youre usually inside reading -- no, but seriously.


Thanks, Maps, I really appreciate that. I'll keep an eye out for some winter clearance sales and see if I can lock down a decent set of boots, etc.

I'm a little bit curious about the last line (although I know it's true!) - I know this can vary a lot, but how many hours per day do you typically spend reading?

On another note, anything you'd recommend to prepare for CLS/the law school experience at all? Not quite in the "read all the available study guides" sense, but is there something you wish you'd done/familiarized yourself with/who knows what before moving to Morningside Heights?

I'm really pretty excited about going, even if it's a long way away at this point (9 months?). Thanks for doing this service.

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Bronck
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Bronck » Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:55 pm

Crim Law = Lynch
Property = Merrill
Con Law = Ponsa

How are they?

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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby MapsMapsMaps » Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:21 pm

J90 wrote:Thanks, Maps, I really appreciate that. I'll keep an eye out for some winter clearance sales and see if I can lock down a decent set of boots, etc.

I'm a little bit curious about the last line (although I know it's true!) - I know this can vary a lot, but how many hours per day do you typically spend reading?

This varies big time. I started off slow in order to ease myself in. But by mid October I was doing school work alllll the time. Every now and then I'd take it easy for a day or two and then get back at it. It worked out well, because I was done all of my outlines by Thanksgiving. ... well, it theoretically worked out well. My grades could indicate otherwise. But it wouldnt be for lack of preparation/effort. I remember when i was an 0L, so you probably want numbers:
--Legal methods: barely anything.
--Sept and early oct: 8-10 hrs a day 5 days a week and 6 hrs or so on sunday.
--Mid oct untl thanksgiving: 12 hours a day 6 days a week and 6 hours or so on sunday.
--After thanksgiving: all day, every day. Literally 16+ hrs a day 7 days a week except for the night before a final and the afternoon after a final.
But again, this varies A LOT. Some people probably did half as much and others probably did 20% more. And for what it's worth, I plan on doing the same thing spring semester.


On another note, anything you'd recommend to prepare for CLS/the law school experience at all? Not quite in the "read all the available study guides" sense, but is there something you wish you'd done/familiarized yourself with/who knows what before moving to Morningside Heights?

No need whatsoever to prep substantively. None! Casually peruse Getting to Maybe. Forget LEEWS. Read all of the study guides on TLS. Have a fun summer. That's it.

I'm really pretty excited about going, even if it's a long way away at this point (9 months?). Thanks for doing this service.

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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby joedf » Tue Dec 25, 2012 12:12 am

Does that study schedule include doing all the case reading? Is that advised, at least at the start in particular?

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Bronck
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Bronck » Tue Dec 25, 2012 2:24 am

^ Take my comments with a grain of salt (for how effective my study regimen is) since I don't have first semester grades in yet, but my routine was to do all the readings over the weekend (can easily be done with a full Saturday and half a Sunday), and derp around all week. Until early-mid November, I really didn't have much work at all. I had a ton of free time, especially since I got out at noon most days of the week. I didn't waste time briefing, and you soon find that for some courses, reading the cases isn't even necessary (Westlaw and canned briefs online are your friends).

Yes, during study period I studied a lot, but even then it's not insane. I did it for 2-3 hours, spent half an hour watching tv or playing games, returned to studying for another 2-3 hours, etc. It's about studying efficiently, and spending the entire day studying, imo, is inefficient (your brain needs breaks to digest the information . . . w/o them you'll quickly find yourself in a situation of diminishing returns).

With some diligence you can whip out outlines in ~2 days (I had them all done before Thanksgiving was over) -- it does take up a lot of time, but at least you're actively working so it's not all awful (having music on in the background helped a lot). I spent the final week of classes reading through all the supplements (dedicating two days for each) and the study period for: (a) practice exams, (b) going over the examples/explanations in the relevant E&Es (torts and civ pro), (c) creating attack outlines [I found this really helped me learned the information, far more so than just re-reading the outline], and (d) analyzing old exams to identify professorial preferences.

I found the last point to be particularly useful (especially for courses where professors provide you with a lot of old exams) because there's only so much you can do with the content. At some point, he or she will have to touch on the same themes and by learning how the professor answered it in his or her model answer, you learn what they want.

Note: Don't take legal methods seriously. I mean it. Have fun, explore the city, hang out with friends. But don't take legal methods seriously. Everyone passes. And pray that you get Bobbitt, because you get to go to awesome parties, and have the least amount of work of any of the professors. Plus, he's awesome. Like really awesome.

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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby MapsMapsMaps » Tue Dec 25, 2012 11:05 pm

joedf wrote:Does that study schedule include doing all the case reading? Is that advised, at least at the start in particular?

Yes that included my time reading. Agree with above poster. Reading the cases carefully is more important in some classes than others. But you should do it 100% at the beginning to get a feel for the case law and professor. Then figure out how to work smarter.

Keep in mind, the advice for doing well in LS is the same, whether its CLS or Cooley.

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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby moonman157 » Tue Dec 25, 2012 11:37 pm

How did you guys end up at CLS? What other offers did you pass up? Are any of you attending at sticker, and how are your feelings about it (worth it)? I think that if I do eventually get in, I won't be receiving any money. CLS is my absolute dream school, but I just don't know if I could attend if I get money from another school. Thanks so much!

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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby smaug_ » Tue Dec 25, 2012 11:46 pm

moonman157 wrote:How did you guys end up at CLS? What other offers did you pass up? Are any of you attending at sticker, and how are your feelings about it (worth it)? I think that if I do eventually get in, I won't be receiving any money. CLS is my absolute dream school, but I just don't know if I could attend if I get money from another school. Thanks so much!


It is hard to predict aid cycles and I think the TLS CW is off/doesn't comport with my experiences. My offer from CLS was more generous than what NYU offered (nothing) and was far more than I expected. Although I have loved my time at CLS, I do think chasing the money is normally the best call.

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Bronck
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Bronck » Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:59 pm

hibiki wrote:
moonman157 wrote:How did you guys end up at CLS? What other offers did you pass up? Are any of you attending at sticker, and how are your feelings about it (worth it)? I think that if I do eventually get in, I won't be receiving any money. CLS is my absolute dream school, but I just don't know if I could attend if I get money from another school. Thanks so much!


It is hard to predict aid cycles and I think the TLS CW is off/doesn't comport with my experiences. My offer from CLS was more generous than what NYU offered (nothing) and was far more than I expected. Although I have loved my time at CLS, I do think chasing the money is normally the best call.


+1.

CLS gave me the most of the CCN tier (and in fact gave me almost as much as my largest offer in the MVP tier). Outside of HLS (which I didn't end up getting), CLS was my favorite, but money was definitely a significant driver in my decision as well.

FWIW, I'm quite risk averse, so it would have been difficult for me to attend any non-HYS school at sticker. Accumulating 275-300k in debt just doesn't sound very enticing to me, even if CLS does offer a very good shot at a big law job.

NB: Be sure to send in your scholarship negotiation letter early on . . . I did so before I received my offer (which, I think is more or less necessary because of how late they send them out relative to other schools and their deadline) by using the UChi, NYU, and MVP offers. I have no idea whether that played a role in my large aid package, or whether I was an attractive candidate for that aid regardless. Whatever is the case, definitely get that negotiation letter in -- I was shocked at how much they ultimately ended up giving me.

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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby joedf » Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:07 pm

Thank you!

How are the student groups on campus?

I know the women of color one brings in a few great speakers/puts on some events, etc., but as a male, what are my options? Are there any particularly interesting/worthwhile organizations for law school students?

Also, how easy is it as a 1L to meet 2L's/3L's, etc.?

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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Lawquacious » Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:54 pm

Sorry if this has already been answered in the 17 pages of this thread (def not going to read through them all to check): Columbia has a rep as being obnoxiously competitive and cutthroat. Has this been your experience?

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Bronck
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Bronck » Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:28 pm

joedf wrote:Thank you!

How are the student groups on campus?

I know the women of color one brings in a few great speakers/puts on some events, etc., but as a male, what are my options? Are there any particularly interesting/worthwhile organizations for law school students?

Also, how easy is it as a 1L to meet 2L's/3L's, etc.?


There are a ton. Check out this page for a list of all of them: http://web.law.columbia.edu/students/st ... tions/list

It's also completely possible to start your own student organization as well.

My favorites are the ones that routinely give free lunch events (e.g., FedSoc)

Lawquacious wrote:Sorry if this has already been answered in the 17 pages of this thread (def not going to read through them all to check): Columbia has a rep as being obnoxiously competitive and cutthroat. Has this been your experience?


Does it have that reputation? I've noticed nothing of the sort. Aside from the handful of douches you'll find in any large group, everyone has been really friendly.




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