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.
Lalalsat96
Posts: 81
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:35 pm

Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby Lalalsat96 » Fri May 12, 2017 3:05 am

Hey all,

Prospective student here-
How bad is the cost of living while attending CLS? Im from NYC but never lived there on my own or as a adult so I really can't grasp how expensive it is anymore since its been a good amount of years away. Do most students max out their loans for living expenses(food, bills, etc.)? Also do most live in CLS housing or off campus? Also if this was asked earlier, apologies- feel free to direct me to that part of the thread

User avatar
iamgeorgebush
Posts: 904
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:57 pm

Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby iamgeorgebush » Fri May 12, 2017 2:18 pm

Dr_OIT wrote:Hey all. Incoming 1L here. I've been working in NYC for the last 3 years and have been lucky to be able to save money and live with extended family out in Queens. I assumed that I would move into University housing at the beginning of 1L year, so that I'd be close to campus and save time on what would be a 2.5 hour commute (round-trip). It's also beginning to get a little cramped, since I've been sharing a 1BR with 2-3 people.. Needless to say, I've gotten very excited about the idea of moving into my own space (even an apartment share would afford more privacy). I also figure it'd be nicer to be closer to friends/classmates during the stress of 1L, instead of being alone over an hour away.

But now that the loans are feeling real and scary, I'm questioning that choice. In short, just for 1L, I'd have to take out roughly $55,000 in loans if I were to live on campus (to cover rest of tuition and estimated COL). If I stayed where I am now, that would drop to about $43,000. That's assuming $1350 rent over 9 months for the first year. Across three years, that would be about $36,000 in savings on loans... The numbers make me hesitate moving, but I wonder if the convenience, peace, and comfort would be worth it? (When I lay it out, it feels like a silly question... :| )

Do NOT live 2.5 hours away from campus during 1L. You will 100% regret it. Some people commute, but typically the round-trip commute is 45 mins to 1.5 hours. Take it from someone who moved off-campus as a 3L; you wouldn't want to do that.

Think about it this way: That $12,000 you pay by living on-campus is an investment in your future. There are something like 14 weeks in a semester, so if you commute to campus 4 days per week and spend 2.5 hours per day commuting, that's a savings of 280 hours over your 1L year. In the long term, 280 hours of studying time during 1L will yield dividends with a present value of much more $12,000.

User avatar
MrJD2020
Posts: 277
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:59 am

Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby MrJD2020 » Fri May 12, 2017 2:23 pm

GoneSouth wrote:Look every situation is different, but I don't think you want to be wasting 2.5 hours commuting during 1L. I'd live in Columbia housing for 1L and then after that you can reevaluate. Living there one year doesn't commit you to doing it for three years


I'm an 0L so I shouldn't be answering this, but I will anyway. I agree with the above. I'm moving from FiDi to campus and that's only 30 minutes door to door on the 1/2/3 line.

I think it would be a disaster to live far from campus. The first time you miss a class because of train delays, you'll regret it. Stay with us on campus, get to know everyone, be close to classes and the library, and reevaluate later. Seems penny wise and pound foolish to not live near school during 1L.

User avatar
iamgeorgebush
Posts: 904
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:57 pm

Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby iamgeorgebush » Fri May 12, 2017 2:41 pm

MrJD2020 wrote:JD/MBA QUESTION

I'm starting at CLS this fall. Yay!

I was initially considering a 3-year JD/MBA at CLS. I really want V5 corp biglaw, and I know the MBA is not at all necessary to get it (though it's not so unusual at a few firms), but here are my pros/cons. Can a few CLS students chime in with their thoughts?

Pros: reasons to pursue the JD/MBA
1. I think it would help me enjoy/understand M&A matters more (from a client's perspective) from the start of my legal career. I did corporate paralegal V5 work for a few years followed by compliance at a hedge fund, but having that experience doesn't mean I wouldn't still benefit from CBS coursework. I think B school classes could help a lot.

2. Networking and future contacts: I think an MBA from Columbia and the contacts/friends I make there will improve my exit opportunities after biglaw if I don't stay in biglaw forever. My post-biglaw goal would be in-house investment counsel at a hedge fund or PE firm, but perhaps I'd want to leave law practice entirely. And if I do end up staying in biglaw and gunning for/wanting/being considered for biglaw partnership someday (I know this is FAR from a sure thing), I expect that being part of a B school network and having those contacts will help improve my profile as a candidate for partnership. There are a number of JD/MBA partners at the biglaw firms at the top of legal league tables (W, etc., though that doesn't mean it's necessary, and such partners are not in the majority).

3. In the EXTREMELY unlikely event that by the end of 1L I think I somehow might not want to pursue biglaw (0.5% chance), I figure being jointly enrolled in CLS and CBS during 2L will enable me to pursue MBA summer opportunities obtainable through CBS Career Services/Recruiting, either in lieu of a 2L SA biglaw gig OR in addition to it (by splitting my post-2L summer between biglaw SA and a short finance/ibanking internship so I can then decide which offer I want to take). Is this just crazy risk-averse thinking? I know that splitting a 2L summer is uncommon, but I know it's possible and I know of a handful of people at pretty highly ranked firms who split summers successfully.

Here's what I can find about 2L summer splitting: here and here.

4. Honest-to-god interest in CBS course offerings, including taking certain classes that are not open for cross-registration (i.e., for B school students only).

Cons: reasons to just get the JD
1. JD/MBA =more debt. Holy s***t, more debt?! Please, no more debt.

2. If I can cross-register for enough B school and law courses focusing on M&A/alternative investments/finance in 2L and 3L, I'd still get most of the business education I want. If you are a CLS student who took lots of business classes, but did NOT do the JD/MBA, I REALLY want to hear from you!!

3. The likelihood that I would want to go immediately into finance instead of biglaw is honestly 0.5%. I'm not really rethinking being a corporate attorney, no more than anyone else going into CLS is rethinking being an attorney. I've had five years since UG to be sure I want to go to law school. I definitely do, and if I had any serious reservations, I wouldn't be quitting my job to go to CLS. I just know that anything can happen and that as of today, finance is the other thing I'd attempt in the extremely unlikely event that that I have second thoughts about biglaw a year from now.

Would really love to hear from CLS students about this. Thanks!

I only skimmed your post, but as someone who has taken courses at the B-school, I get the sense that the JD/MBA tends to be worth it only if (1) your family is paying for your education, (2) you want to be in a business role instead of a legal role, or (3) you do poorly during your fall semester 1L and want a shot at finance/consulting jobs instead of law (b/c I think you can decide to apply to the JD/MBA program after your fall-semester grades are released). Or maybe if you think there is a substantial chance you want to move into a business role, then the JD/MBA is worth it. (And realistically, you should realize there's a good chance you'll dislike the law, so that could be an argument in favor of the JD/MBA.)

If you just want to learn about business, you can do that by taking relevant law school courses and then cross-registering for a B-school course or two (or three). For example, you could take the following and be ahead of pretty much all your colleagues:

- Corporate Finance (law school)
- Financial Statement Analysis and Interpretation (law school; this is an accounting course)
- Investment Banking (law school)
- Capital Markets and Investments (business school)
- Whatever other b-school courses strike your fancy

Do be aware that not all b-school courses are available for cross-registration, though. For example, I had a friend try to cross-register for "Debt Markets," and they didn't let him. (CLS kind of misleads students about the availability of courses for cross-registration, actually.) But I do know a few law students who took capital markets and investments, and it seemed like there was plenty of room.

Overall, I don't think the extra cost of the JD/MBA is worth the extra course offerings. It's only worth it if you think you might want to go into business.
Last edited by iamgeorgebush on Fri May 12, 2017 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
MrJD2020
Posts: 277
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:59 am

Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby MrJD2020 » Fri May 12, 2017 2:44 pm

Thanks very much! I think I'll drop the JD/MBA thing at this point. The extra cost isn't worth it and cross-registering for a number of courses sounds like it will be sufficient. If there are one or two classes I want to take but can't cross-register for, I'd probably appeal to deans or the prof, and if that doesn't work I'd probably just let it go.

User avatar
iamgeorgebush
Posts: 904
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:57 pm

Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby iamgeorgebush » Fri May 12, 2017 2:48 pm

MrJD2020 wrote:Thanks very much! I think I'll drop the JD/MBA thing at this point. The extra cost isn't worth it and cross-registering for a number of courses sounds like it will be sufficient. If there are one or two classes I want to take but can't cross-register for, I'd probably appeal to deans or the prof, and if that doesn't work I'd probably just let it go.

Sure, np. Just FYI, I did edit my post a bit after you wrote this to tone down the recommendation against the JD/MBA. It could be worth it if you think you might want to go into business. Just probably not worth it if you're 100% on law and have good reasons for that (e.g., you were a paralegal before law school and have gotten enough exposure to the work that lawyers do to know you'll genuinely enjoy it).

User avatar
ph5354a
Posts: 1600
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:40 pm

Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby ph5354a » Fri May 12, 2017 2:58 pm

Dr_OIT wrote:Hey all. Incoming 1L here. I've been working in NYC for the last 3 years and have been lucky to be able to save money and live with extended family out in Queens. I assumed that I would move into University housing at the beginning of 1L year, so that I'd be close to campus and save time on what would be a 2.5 hour commute (round-trip). It's also beginning to get a little cramped, since I've been sharing a 1BR with 2-3 people.. Needless to say, I've gotten very excited about the idea of moving into my own space (even an apartment share would afford more privacy). I also figure it'd be nicer to be closer to friends/classmates during the stress of 1L, instead of being alone over an hour away.

But now that the loans are feeling real and scary, I'm questioning that choice. In short, just for 1L, I'd have to take out roughly $55,000 in loans if I were to live on campus (to cover rest of tuition and estimated COL). If I stayed where I am now, that would drop to about $43,000. That's assuming $1350 rent over 9 months for the first year. Across three years, that would be about $36,000 in savings on loans... The numbers make me hesitate moving, but I wonder if the convenience, peace, and comfort would be worth it? (When I lay it out, it feels like a silly question... :| )


I would advise against this as well. I know people who lived in Bk, Queens, LI, etc. during law school, either living with family to save money or preferring to stay in their current apartment for other personal reasons. It's not a crazy thing to consider. If your living situation meant living at home or with family where you get free housing, emotional support, someone to do your laundry during finals, etc., it might be worth it. But it sounds like you're ready to move on from your living situation regardless. All of the little annoyances that come from sharing a 1-bedroom with multiple people will seem 100x worse when you are at peak stress time. The cost of living near the campus is, in the long term, minimal enough that the convenience of doing so should only be outweighed by an extremely preferable and comfortable living situation. On a practical note, if you do an apartment share with UAH, you'll be paying lower than $1325/month, more like $900-$1200, with a small increase each year.

User avatar
Dr_OIT
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:38 am

Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby Dr_OIT » Fri May 12, 2017 7:37 pm

ph5354a wrote:
Dr_OIT wrote:Hey all. Incoming 1L here. I've been working in NYC for the last 3 years and have been lucky to be able to save money and live with extended family out in Queens. I assumed that I would move into University housing at the beginning of 1L year, so that I'd be close to campus and save time on what would be a 2.5 hour commute (round-trip). It's also beginning to get a little cramped, since I've been sharing a 1BR with 2-3 people.. Needless to say, I've gotten very excited about the idea of moving into my own space (even an apartment share would afford more privacy). I also figure it'd be nicer to be closer to friends/classmates during the stress of 1L, instead of being alone over an hour away.

But now that the loans are feeling real and scary, I'm questioning that choice. In short, just for 1L, I'd have to take out roughly $55,000 in loans if I were to live on campus (to cover rest of tuition and estimated COL). If I stayed where I am now, that would drop to about $43,000. That's assuming $1350 rent over 9 months for the first year. Across three years, that would be about $36,000 in savings on loans... The numbers make me hesitate moving, but I wonder if the convenience, peace, and comfort would be worth it? (When I lay it out, it feels like a silly question... :| )


I would advise against this as well. I know people who lived in Bk, Queens, LI, etc. during law school, either living with family to save money or preferring to stay in their current apartment for other personal reasons. It's not a crazy thing to consider. If your living situation meant living at home or with family where you get free housing, emotional support, someone to do your laundry during finals, etc., it might be worth it. But it sounds like you're ready to move on from your living situation regardless. All of the little annoyances that come from sharing a 1-bedroom with multiple people will seem 100x worse when you are at peak stress time. The cost of living near the campus is, in the long term, minimal enough that the convenience of doing so should only be outweighed by an extremely preferable and comfortable living situation. On a practical note, if you do an apartment share with UAH, you'll be paying lower than $1325/month, more like $900-$1200, with a small increase each year.


Thanks everyone for your feedback, which seems to be unanimous. If I were to stay with family just over an hour away, I would maintain the benefits you cite ("living at home or with family where you get free housing, emotional support, someone to do your laundry during finals, etc."), but you're also correct in that I'm ready and eager to find my own space after three years of this arrangement.

The only counter I can think of to the claim that a 2.5 hour subway commute would be a waste of time is that it would be 2.5 hours of daily forced reading lol. (Provided I'd feel motivated to do the reading in the first place... :wink: )

User avatar
iamgeorgebush
Posts: 904
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:57 pm

Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby iamgeorgebush » Fri May 12, 2017 9:14 pm

Dr_OIT wrote:
ph5354a wrote:
Dr_OIT wrote:Hey all. Incoming 1L here. I've been working in NYC for the last 3 years and have been lucky to be able to save money and live with extended family out in Queens. I assumed that I would move into University housing at the beginning of 1L year, so that I'd be close to campus and save time on what would be a 2.5 hour commute (round-trip). It's also beginning to get a little cramped, since I've been sharing a 1BR with 2-3 people.. Needless to say, I've gotten very excited about the idea of moving into my own space (even an apartment share would afford more privacy). I also figure it'd be nicer to be closer to friends/classmates during the stress of 1L, instead of being alone over an hour away.

But now that the loans are feeling real and scary, I'm questioning that choice. In short, just for 1L, I'd have to take out roughly $55,000 in loans if I were to live on campus (to cover rest of tuition and estimated COL). If I stayed where I am now, that would drop to about $43,000. That's assuming $1350 rent over 9 months for the first year. Across three years, that would be about $36,000 in savings on loans... The numbers make me hesitate moving, but I wonder if the convenience, peace, and comfort would be worth it? (When I lay it out, it feels like a silly question... :| )


I would advise against this as well. I know people who lived in Bk, Queens, LI, etc. during law school, either living with family to save money or preferring to stay in their current apartment for other personal reasons. It's not a crazy thing to consider. If your living situation meant living at home or with family where you get free housing, emotional support, someone to do your laundry during finals, etc., it might be worth it. But it sounds like you're ready to move on from your living situation regardless. All of the little annoyances that come from sharing a 1-bedroom with multiple people will seem 100x worse when you are at peak stress time. The cost of living near the campus is, in the long term, minimal enough that the convenience of doing so should only be outweighed by an extremely preferable and comfortable living situation. On a practical note, if you do an apartment share with UAH, you'll be paying lower than $1325/month, more like $900-$1200, with a small increase each year.


Thanks everyone for your feedback, which seems to be unanimous. If I were to stay with family just over an hour away, I would maintain the benefits you cite ("living at home or with family where you get free housing, emotional support, someone to do your laundry during finals, etc."), but you're also correct in that I'm ready and eager to find my own space after three years of this arrangement.

The only counter I can think of to the claim that a 2.5 hour subway commute would be a waste of time is that it would be 2.5 hours of daily forced reading lol. (Provided I'd feel motivated to do the reading in the first place... :wink: )

I think you're making the right call. Thing about reading on the subway is that it's only possible during non-rush hour times. And even then, it's hard to be efficient.

skigirl3136
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:27 am

Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby skigirl3136 » Sun May 14, 2017 11:04 am

I asked this before but I think it got lost. What's the deal with security deposits/first month's rent on UAH housing? Will students who are on financial aid be able to deposit after our loans come in?

User avatar
almondjoy
Posts: 266
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:35 am

Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby almondjoy » Sun May 14, 2017 11:17 am

skigirl3136 wrote:I asked this before but I think it got lost. What's the deal with security deposits/first month's rent on UAH housing? Will students who are on financial aid be able to deposit after our loans come in?

No, they make you pay before your loans are disbursed, which is annoying but oh well. You can email and ask to have it reduced and they'll generally be helpful.

HarvardHopeful95
Posts: 159
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 2:55 pm

Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby HarvardHopeful95 » Mon May 15, 2017 10:20 am

Hey guys, I'm wondering if Columbia will lower my grant award if I earn money over the summers (through SA etc.)

User avatar
jbagelboy
Posts: 10180
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby jbagelboy » Mon May 15, 2017 12:42 pm

HarvardHopeful95 wrote:Hey guys, I'm wondering if Columbia will lower my grant award if I earn money over the summers (through SA etc.)


It will not. Grant aid and scholarships are not tied to law school income.

HarvardHopeful95
Posts: 159
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 2:55 pm

Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby HarvardHopeful95 » Mon May 15, 2017 12:46 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
HarvardHopeful95 wrote:Hey guys, I'm wondering if Columbia will lower my grant award if I earn money over the summers (through SA etc.)


It will not. Grant aid and scholarships are not tied to law school income.


Bless you for answering this. Took a huge weight off of my shoulders

ellie924
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:12 pm

Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby ellie924 » Mon May 15, 2017 1:35 pm

I emailed Juliana Utley after submitting my housing app (as many people helpfully suggested!) but it seems as though she is out on leave until December. Any follow up suggestions? I have a very narrow window of time that I can move in because of travel plans. Anything would be really helpful! Thank you!

mmestik
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2016 2:33 am

Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby mmestik » Mon May 15, 2017 2:15 pm

ellie924 wrote:I emailed Juliana Utley after submitting my housing app (as many people helpfully suggested!) but it seems as though she is out on leave until December. Any follow up suggestions? I have a very narrow window of time that I can move in because of travel plans. Anything would be really helpful! Thank you!


If you email the general housing email with your preferences, they'll take note of it. I did that and received a reply that my preferences were included in my application

User avatar
jjcorvino
Posts: 1441
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:49 am

Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby jjcorvino » Tue May 23, 2017 12:20 pm

Just got my housing assignment, 530 Riverside Dr, #3C. Anybody have any information about the building? Preferably pictures?

I still can't believe people will rent apartments without even seeing them. How hard is it to have pictures of a sample apartment in each building?!

palalc
Posts: 81
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:29 am

Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby palalc » Thu May 25, 2017 1:13 pm

Does anyone have any info on the 500 block of W 113th St? I just got my UAH couples housing assignment (Studio) there and did a little research and it seems that this is the "Greek Brownstones" street meaning they're all basically frat houses. I'm finding this hard to believe that they'd put a UAH building right in the middle of a bunch of frat houses.

Anyone have any more info on this?

jebbush2k20
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2016 2:58 pm

Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby jebbush2k20 » Thu May 25, 2017 4:59 pm

I got my housing assignment today, and it's a 1BR (applied as a couple with my SO, another CLS 0L) in 521 West 111th Street. Does anyone have any pictures or a sense of the square footage/layout of these apartments? There's nothing on the website and no floor plan in the assignment.

skigirl3136
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:27 am

Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby skigirl3136 » Sat May 27, 2017 6:05 am

Is there free printing for law students?

User avatar
Nebby
amateur huffpo
Posts: 30472
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:23 pm

Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby Nebby » Sat May 27, 2017 9:45 am

skigirl3136 wrote:Is there free printing for law students?

Yes

User avatar
RSN
Posts: 961
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:32 pm

Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby RSN » Sat May 27, 2017 9:56 am

Nebby wrote:
skigirl3136 wrote:Is there free printing for law students?

Yes


There's technically like a 2,200 page/semester cap or something, and I know a few people who have hit it and I have no idea how, but I've never had a problem.

GoneSouth
Posts: 310
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:00 am

Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby GoneSouth » Sat May 27, 2017 11:29 am

RSN wrote:
Nebby wrote:
skigirl3136 wrote:Is there free printing for law students?

Yes


There's technically like a 2,200 page/semester cap or something, and I know a few people who have hit it and I have no idea how, but I've never had a problem.


I think it's 4,000/year. I hit it this year, I think from printing a bunch of writing samples for job/clerkship apps. But the vast majority of people never come close to using their pages.

maroon175
Posts: 124
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:46 pm

Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby maroon175 » Sat May 27, 2017 11:26 pm

GoneSouth wrote:
RSN wrote:
Nebby wrote:
skigirl3136 wrote:Is there free printing for law students?

Yes


There's technically like a 2,200 page/semester cap or something, and I know a few people who have hit it and I have no idea how, but I've never had a problem.


I think it's 4,000/year. I hit it this year, I think from printing a bunch of writing samples for job/clerkship apps. But the vast majority of people never come close to using their pages.


I hit it as a 1L. Printed a ton in color without realizing that color pages are 10x regular b&w pages.

User avatar
RSN
Posts: 961
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:32 pm

Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby RSN » Sun May 28, 2017 8:29 am

maroon175 wrote:
GoneSouth wrote:
RSN wrote:
Nebby wrote:
skigirl3136 wrote:Is there free printing for law students?

Yes


There's technically like a 2,200 page/semester cap or something, and I know a few people who have hit it and I have no idea how, but I've never had a problem.


I think it's 4,000/year. I hit it this year, I think from printing a bunch of writing samples for job/clerkship apps. But the vast majority of people never come close to using their pages.


I hit it as a 1L. Printed a ton in color without realizing that color pages are 10x regular b&w pages.


Oh yeah, forgot about that part since I almost never print in color, although it's a good trick to get out quickly if single-sided is fine and there's a bottleneck for the main printers.

As long as I'm giving printing tips, for incoming 1Ls who might want to have their outlines in binders (which I recommend because it's way easier to flip through than stapled packets), one of the printers in the library computer lab is loaded with hole-punched paper. Wish someone had told me that 1L year.




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 3 guests