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

Postby joedf » Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:15 pm

Bronck wrote:
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)


Haha brilliant, thank you. What kind of lunch events are they, and are they often networking-type things? Also - 'cause it can't hurt to ask - is it often pizza?

On a (slightly!) related note, what are some great go-to places to eat (on the cheaper side) in the Columbia area, or even in the city? I'm planning on cooking most meals, but I can't do it all the time!

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Bronck
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Bronck » Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:10 pm

joedf wrote:Haha brilliant, thank you. What kind of lunch events are they, and are they often networking-type things? Also - 'cause it can't hurt to ask - is it often pizza?

On a (slightly!) related note, what are some great go-to places to eat (on the cheaper side) in the Columbia area, or even in the city? I'm planning on cooking most meals, but I can't do it all the time!


There's a huge range: a lot of organizations (like FedSoc) put on debates on various subjects (e.g., constitutionality of Affordable Care Act, stop-and-frisk, Epstein v. Wu duel on IP). You also see lecture + Q&A sessions (e.g., judges). And, finally panels (e.g., the Columbia Business and Law Association brings in partners/associates from the big firms in NY to discuss PE, M&A, etc).

Sometimes there will also be dinners (e.g., Skadden came to talk about their 1L diversity program). I didn't notice much by way of networking [per se], but then again my main focus was getting free food (have to be quick about it since the lines fill up quickly).

I probably ate pizza 2-3 times a week :lol: It's not the greatest pizza, but free lunch is free lunch. Sandwiches/box lunches are the other incredibly common meal. Sometimes groups will go exotic and bring in BBQ, Roti Roll, etc.

Honestly, I'm probably not the person to ask for this. I just use Yelp when I want to find places to eat, but my usual routine is: free lunch from the law school --> make a sandwich + eat fruits/snacks at home during the evening. There are a range of OK to good options in MH (e.g., Jin Ramen on 125th and Broadway is excellent, if a little pricey) but it doesn't offer a ton of diversity. If you're willing to take the train, then there are certainly loads of cheap options Midtown and Downtown . . . but that requires $2.50 fare each way (NB: fare hike starting March, it's currently $2.25), or alternatively, a purchase of the monthly pass for $120-odd (I can't recall how many rides it takes for this to become the economically sound call, but it's probably around 45-50). I do, however, shop at Trader Joes on 72d street (quick hop on the 1 train). I know a handful of people who like to shop at Fairway in Harlem, but I didn't find their prices to be particularly good.

JohnWycliffe
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby JohnWycliffe » Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:47 pm

Two questions I have?

What do you and other people do to manage to feed yourselves every day?

How much do you spend on meal related expenses per annum if you had to estimate?

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Bronck
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Bronck » Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:40 am

JohnWycliffe wrote:Two questions I have?

What do you and other people do to manage to feed yourselves every day?

How much do you spend on meal related expenses per annum if you had to estimate?


(1)
a) Free lunches at the law school
b) Grocery shopping at TJs on 72d

(2)
I spend about 50 dollars a week on groceries during the semester (fruits, vegetables, snacks, sandwiches, some frozen stuff). I never cook meals and rarely eat out.

J90
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby J90 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:51 pm

Bronck wrote:
JohnWycliffe wrote:Two questions I have?

What do you and other people do to manage to feed yourselves every day?

How much do you spend on meal related expenses per annum if you had to estimate?


(1)
a) Free lunches at the law school
b) Grocery shopping at TJs on 72d

(2)
I spend about 50 dollars a week on groceries during the semester (fruits, vegetables, snacks, sandwiches, some frozen stuff). I never cook meals and rarely eat out.


Was just gonna ask this! Thank you.

On housing - I know there's Lenfast and one other one for on-campus, which I was thinking of doing my first year. What're the big differences between the two, if any, and what's the process for getting paired with roommates?

Can we specify a price point, too?

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

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:56 pm

J90 wrote:On housing - I know there's Lenfast and one other one for on-campus, which I was thinking of doing my first year. What're the big differences between the two, if any, and what's the process for getting paired with roommates?

Can we specify a price point, too?

The school owns lots of housing between 108th and 125th. When you apply for housing you'll list a price range and other factors that are important and the school will do its best to accommodate you. I have couples housing so I didn't get to see the roommate process firsthand, but unless you specify someone you want to live with the school will just place you with people.

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Bronck
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Bronck » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:24 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
J90 wrote:On housing - I know there's Lenfast and one other one for on-campus, which I was thinking of doing my first year. What're the big differences between the two, if any, and what's the process for getting paired with roommates?

Can we specify a price point, too?

The school owns lots of housing between 108th and 125th. When you apply for housing you'll list a price range and other factors that are important and the school will do its best to accommodate you. I have couples housing so I didn't get to see the roommate process firsthand, but unless you specify someone you want to live with the school will just place you with people.


+1. The roommate process is a crapshoot -- if you don't get placed into law school only housing (Lenfest and Lion's Gate I think?) or a studio, then it'll likely be randomized with other graduate schools. I got really unlucky and got a terrible roommate. You have the options to transfer for second semester (I didn't do this regrettably) sometime in mid-Oct, but the slots are minimal, afaik. I pay about $1000 total in rent + utilities + internet thru Time Warner. Other housing options, however, include utilities and internet. Lenfest is considerably more expensive than the other options, but it's certainly nicer (doorman, modern amenities in the apartment, etc).

J90
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby J90 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:35 pm

Awesome, thank you. I'd be looking at Lion's Gate for now, I suppose, if it's the cheaper of the two (haha will not lock in that answer yet... may see if I can drop by a few apartments over the Admitted Student's Weekend).

What amenities does Lenfest have over the rest of graduate student housing?

Would you say going for a furnished apartment's worthwhile first year, versus unfurnished (no idea how I'd ship and transport all the furniture... but maybe I could swing by 2-3 weeks early and Craig'slist hard?)? Do many move to Harlem or Washington Heights for 2L/3L?

Sampaguita21
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Sampaguita21 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:57 pm

Hi everyone! I was accepted ED and can't wait to start this coming Fall!

I have a follow question on housing: I currently live in Morningside Heights (on 109th..so really close to the law school lol) and I pay around $1200 for my half of a two bedroom apartment. Usually comes out to about 1250-1300 every month after utilities and internet. My building is kind of old and doesn't have a doorman or anything. Do you guys know if Columbia offers studios or one-bedroom apartments for around what I pay now (or cheaper?) My landlord is going to raise my rent so I'm inclined towards living in student housing next year.

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Bronck
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Bronck » Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:37 am

J90 wrote:Awesome, thank you. I'd be looking at Lion's Gate for now, I suppose, if it's the cheaper of the two (haha will not lock in that answer yet... may see if I can drop by a few apartments over the Admitted Student's Weekend).

What amenities does Lenfest have over the rest of graduate student housing?

Would you say going for a furnished apartment's worthwhile first year, versus unfurnished (no idea how I'd ship and transport all the furniture... but maybe I could swing by 2-3 weeks early and Craig'slist hard?)? Do many move to Harlem or Washington Heights for 2L/3L?


Yes, I think Lion's Gate is cheaper than Lenfest.

Lenfest website: http://www2.law.columbia.edu/lenfest/htmls/

One of my friends in Lenfest said he doesn't think the amenities are worth the price, but having a doorman for larger packages is always nice.

I got a furnished apartment because I was lazy and didn't want to spend the money. The furniture is fine. Nothing special, but fine.

Don't know about your last question, others will have to chime in. I sure as hell am not going to move farther north, though. For me, it's either stay in CU housing (and end up taking the roommate gamble again) or find an apartment with friends on the UWS or something.

Sampaguita21 wrote:Hi everyone! I was accepted ED and can't wait to start this coming Fall!

I have a follow question on housing: I currently live in Morningside Heights (on 109th..so really close to the law school lol) and I pay around $1200 for my half of a two bedroom apartment. Usually comes out to about 1250-1300 every month after utilities and internet. My building is kind of old and doesn't have a doorman or anything. Do you guys know if Columbia offers studios or one-bedroom apartments for around what I pay now (or cheaper?) My landlord is going to raise my rent so I'm inclined towards living in student housing next year.


Again, not sure. All I know is that Lenfest studios are more expensive than that (I think I remember hearing $1600-1700+?). There are comparatively few studios, too, so there's no guarantee you'd get one. AFAIK, one-bedroom apartments are generally reserved for couples, but I could be wrong. I'm sure others know more than me.

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kwais
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby kwais » Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:14 pm

Sampaguita21 wrote:Hi everyone! I was accepted ED and can't wait to start this coming Fall!

I have a follow question on housing: I currently live in Morningside Heights (on 109th..so really close to the law school lol) and I pay around $1200 for my half of a two bedroom apartment. Usually comes out to about 1250-1300 every month after utilities and internet. My building is kind of old and doesn't have a doorman or anything. Do you guys know if Columbia offers studios or one-bedroom apartments for around what I pay now (or cheaper?) My landlord is going to raise my rent so I'm inclined towards living in student housing next year.


one-bedrooms and studios in CU housing are going to be closer to 1700-1800. There are a few outliers near 1500 and 2000. If you are happy where you are and the rent doesn't go up by more than 15% or so, you should consider staying. Or consider CU apartment shares that will cost ~1000-1200.

Sampaguita21
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Sampaguita21 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:27 pm

kwais wrote:
Sampaguita21 wrote:Hi everyone! I was accepted ED and can't wait to start this coming Fall!

I have a follow question on housing: I currently live in Morningside Heights (on 109th..so really close to the law school lol) and I pay around $1200 for my half of a two bedroom apartment. Usually comes out to about 1250-1300 every month after utilities and internet. My building is kind of old and doesn't have a doorman or anything. Do you guys know if Columbia offers studios or one-bedroom apartments for around what I pay now (or cheaper?) My landlord is going to raise my rent so I'm inclined towards living in student housing next year.


one-bedrooms and studios in CU housing are going to be closer to 1700-1800. There are a few outliers near 1500 and 2000. If you are happy where you are and the rent doesn't go up by more than 15% or so, you should consider staying. Or consider CU apartment shares that will cost ~1000-1200.


Ah okay. I definitely don't want to pay more than 1500 per month for housing. Do people usually get their own room in an apartment share? I definitely don't want to live in a one room double with a stranger or anything like that lol.

Thanks for your answers btw, really helpful :D

J90
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby J90 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:09 pm

Lion's Gate, then, thank you. Not sure I'd be able to hash out $1,648 a month (the lowest end, by the website) in good conscience.

Pretty psyched still, by all means.

What are some thing you'd recommend doing, by the way, during those first three weeks (outside the P/F Legal Methods course)? Anything we should definitely do prior to starting?

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

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:23 pm

J90 wrote:Lion's Gate, then, thank you. Not sure I'd be able to hash out $1,648 a month (the lowest end, by the website) in good conscience.

Pretty psyched still, by all means.

What are some thing you'd recommend doing, by the way, during those first three weeks (outside the P/F Legal Methods course)? Anything we should definitely do prior to starting?

The website makes it seem like there aren't a lot of choices, but there are TONS of other places to live besides Lionsgate and Lenfest. They just don't have cool names. And those two are the most expensive places.

otnemem
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby otnemem » Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:02 pm

I pay about 1350 for a one bedroom that I'm really happy with, but it's unlikely I would have gotten it if I were single. I know single students who did get one bedrooms, but because couples/families get priority they seem to all have ended up with more expensive places that couples didn't want.

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blue_c
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby blue_c » Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:45 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
J90 wrote:Lion's Gate, then, thank you. Not sure I'd be able to hash out $1,648 a month (the lowest end, by the website) in good conscience.

Pretty psyched still, by all means.

What are some thing you'd recommend doing, by the way, during those first three weeks (outside the P/F Legal Methods course)? Anything we should definitely do prior to starting?

The website makes it seem like there aren't a lot of choices, but there are TONS of other places to live besides Lionsgate and Lenfest. They just don't have cool names. And those two are the most expensive places.

Splitter's right. They play up Lenfest and Lion's Gate since they are the nicest and also exclusively law school student buildings, but they are not the only choices. I live in Lenfest, but it wasn't my first choice. Single apartments are just hard to come by, and in the end it is a lotto. They try and be accommodating, but not everyone will get exactly what they want. I like Lenfest, but I'd have rather had a cheaper place so long as it was single. I just really didn't want a roommate.

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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby J90 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:13 pm

Got it, understood. All really helpful stuff to know.

Just waiting for any mailing now, particularly financial aid info, after getting that acceptance email... How soon should we expect to find out?

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Bronck
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Bronck » Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:45 pm

J90 wrote:Got it, understood. All really helpful stuff to know.

Just waiting for any mailing now, particularly financial aid info, after getting that acceptance email... How soon should we expect to find out?


I'm not sure about ED, but for RD it took a while, unfortunately.

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

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:51 pm

Do any upperclassmen have thoughts about taking Corporations with Jackson as a 1L? Sounds like a great class for me but I don't want to overdo the Spring semester and have my grades suffer as a result.

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Bronck
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Bronck » Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:20 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:Do any upperclassmen have thoughts about taking Corporations with Jackson as a 1L? Sounds like a great class for me but I don't want to overdo the Spring semester and have my grades suffer as a result.


Dibs on your Waxman slot

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starrydreamz3
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby starrydreamz3 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:12 pm

Deferral here from ages ago, now looking for wisdom from some of those who went through the same cycle as me. To think I could be halfway through 2L by now...

Anyway! What's the attitude toward bringing laptops to class for notes? I recently got one of those nifty Microsoft Surfaces, and it has Word/One Note pre-installed and it's so light, I'm tempted to bring that to class. But should I stick with a regular old laptop? Spiral notebook?

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smaug_
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby smaug_ » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:23 pm

starrydreamz3 wrote:Deferral here from ages ago, now looking for wisdom from some of those who went through the same cycle as me. To think I could be halfway through 2L by now...

Anyway! What's the attitude toward bringing laptops to class for notes? I recently got one of those nifty Microsoft Surfaces, and it has Word/One Note pre-installed and it's so light, I'm tempted to bring that to class. But should I stick with a regular old laptop? Spiral notebook?


Depends on the prof. Some profs don't allow laptops. In classes that do, I've seen people use iPads, so I figure using a Surface would be about the same. Laptop use is a matter of preference, I think. I like having my actual laptop because I'd have my notes on it. I know some folks who probably crushed me grades wise who only used notebooks. Do what works best for you.

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cardinals1989
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby cardinals1989 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:51 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:Do any upperclassmen have thoughts about taking Corporations with Jackson as a 1L? Sounds like a great class for me but I don't want to overdo the Spring semester and have my grades suffer as a result.


Corporations is a 1L elective this year? Geez.

From what I have heard, Jackson is really awesome, but as someone who has taken corporations, I would advise against it for 1L. Employers will not care what class you took, but they will care about the letters next to the classes, and corporations can be a real time suck if you want to devote the time to it. I would strongly suggest taking something on the lighter side, as second semester is already overly loaded with Con Law, Property, Crim, and elective, plus LPW II and moot court. Besides, you have 2 years to take the course.

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kwais
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby kwais » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:42 am

cardinals1989 wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:Do any upperclassmen have thoughts about taking Corporations with Jackson as a 1L? Sounds like a great class for me but I don't want to overdo the Spring semester and have my grades suffer as a result.


Corporations is a 1L elective this year? Geez.

From what I have heard, Jackson is really awesome, but as someone who has taken corporations, I would advise against it for 1L. Employers will not care what class you took, but they will care about the letters next to the classes, and corporations can be a real time suck if you want to devote the time to it. I would strongly suggest taking something on the lighter side, as second semester is already overly loaded with Con Law, Property, Crim, and elective, plus LPW II and moot court. Besides, you have 2 years to take the course.


I would have to agree. It could end up being a really tough semester with Corps. Though, on the other side, I really hated semester two because each class felt useless and academic to me, so maybe something relevant like corps could balance that out. Jackson is said to be the man.

Sampaguita21
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Sampaguita21 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:52 pm

When does Orientation typically start each year? I want to travel this summer but most of my friends won't be able to go with me until late July/early August. I don't want to cut it too close so I'd like to be back in the city at least a week or so before Orientation starts.

Also, can you guys just give us 0Ls a rough idea of what to expect in the first few weeks of Orientation/Classes? Is it super intense in terms of work, or should we be going out and trying to meet everyone in our class, etc.?

Thanks!




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