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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camelcrema
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby camelcrema » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:48 pm

puppylaw wrote:About that studying in the library... I'm all about studying in the library, and it's no fun when the library is too crowded. How is Columbia's? The ABA School Guide lists Columbia's study seating capacity at 369. NYU's is 850. Point NYU?


Caveat: I have not seen the NYU library. I'll admit that the CLS library can get pretty crowded, but not usually too cramped. Most of the spaces are little cubicle-type areas that have room to spread out notes, casebook, and laptop. Also, the undergrad library is nearby (a pretty nice building), as well as a couple of other libraries that you can use (e.g. East Asian library). There are also a couple of lounges in the law school, though those can get sort of noisy for studying. I haven't felt too cramped for space, but during finals I locked myself down in my apartment to study, so I could be near the coffeemaker.

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birdlaw117
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby birdlaw117 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:50 pm

puppylaw wrote:
Guchster wrote:I don't think so. Plenty of people live off campus. You'll have to work a bit harder to hang out with people, but it's not too big of a deal.

I don't think it'll mess with your academics. If you prefer the library, you can just stay here, like a job. If you prefer to study at your apartment, just go home.


About that studying in the library... I'm all about studying in the library, and it's no fun when the library is too crowded. How is Columbia's? The ABA School Guide lists Columbia's study seating capacity at 369. NYU's is 850. Point NYU?

NYU's law library is not 850. I don't believe that. There have been numerous times when I could not find a seat.

Also, why am I answering a question in this thread?

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mel2010
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby mel2010 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:07 pm

puppylaw wrote:About that studying in the library... I'm all about studying in the library, and it's no fun when the library is too crowded. How is Columbia's? The ABA School Guide lists Columbia's study seating capacity at 369. NYU's is 850. Point NYU?

I also tend to study in my apartment, but I'll go ahead and get it out there: the CLS library sucks in terms of being an enjoyable space to work in. I don't think there's any denying it; it's cramped, relatively dim-lit, etc. But as was noted above, there are plenty of other places to work...the one time I felt compelled to study in a library I used the undergrad one, which is big and spacious and nice. Anyways I guess the point is there are plenty of places to study, but I wouldn't recommend the law school library as one of them.

lsatcrazy
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby lsatcrazy » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:00 pm

Just looked at the list of classes that are visitable (I'm visiting this friday), and there is not a single class listed for friday. Are there no classes on Friday? Is that typical for all law schools? NYU had some listed I think...

EDIT: Looked again, there are actually a few: Redistricting & Gerrymandering w/ Nathaniel Persily, Seminar: European Banking and Finance w/ Georges Ugeux, Seminar: Indian Constitutional Law w/ Akhil Amar, and Seminar: International Investment Arbitration w/ Ian Laird. Any of these good for visiting, or should I go sit in at a class @ NYU instead?
Last edited by lsatcrazy on Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Guchster
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Guchster » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:02 pm

lsatcrazy wrote:Just looked at the list of classes that are visitable (I'm visiting this friday), and thesis not a single class listed for friday. Are there no classes on Friday? Is that typical for all law schools? NYU had some listed I think...


I've never had a class on Friday :(

Only have 1 on Monday!

logistikon
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby logistikon » Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:40 pm

there are at least some classes on friday, though most 1Ls i know including myself do not have any. thursdays can also get pretty sparse class-wise for 1Ls. you should visit on a monday or a tuesday.

logistikon
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby logistikon » Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:42 pm

professor persily is an entertaining dude at least when he spoke to our entire 1L class (though I haven't had any lectures with him). he is also i think one of the foremost american scholars on the issue of gerrymandering so it should be an interesting class.

caminante
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby caminante » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:08 pm

Did any of you opt for "Mondays at Columbia" instead of one of the official Admitted Students Programs last year? (If they even had that option)

It would save me 2 vacation days to go on Feb 20th which is a federal holiday instead of one of the Admitted Students mid-week programs. It looks like they have pretty similar program scheduled for the Monday event, but I don't want to miss out on the Admitted Students Program if you guys think it is a much better option.

Thanks!

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puppylaw
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby puppylaw » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:20 pm

I know I'm out of my element here, but where can my significant other find a job? Any recruiters or websites to recommend? Any chance CLS would help us find a job, in the university or outside it? Any chance I could get NYU and CLS to start a bidding war for me by finding my SO a job, a la using one against the other for scholarship leverage? Yes to the last one? Definitely yes?

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mel2010
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby mel2010 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:00 pm

caminante wrote:Did any of you opt for "Mondays at Columbia" instead of one of the official Admitted Students Programs last year? (If they even had that option)

It would save me 2 vacation days to go on Feb 20th which is a federal holiday instead of one of the Admitted Students mid-week programs. It looks like they have pretty similar program scheduled for the Monday event, but I don't want to miss out on the Admitted Students Program if you guys think it is a much better option.

Thanks!

So this is probably pretty unhelpful, since I didn't go to either ASW or Mondays. But I know people who went to each, and my impression is that it doesn't make a huge difference. I think the point is to walk around campus, talk to some current/prospective students, and get some free stuff; I don't think it really matters what day of the week you do that. Anyone that actually went have strong opinions?

puppylaw wrote:I know I'm out of my element here, but where can my significant other find a job? Any recruiters or websites to recommend? Any chance CLS would help us find a job, in the university or outside it? Any chance I could get NYU and CLS to start a bidding war for me by finding my SO a job, a la using one against the other for scholarship leverage? Yes to the last one? Definitely yes?

Hah, I don't know how much help you'll get on this. What kind of work is she looking for? My SO and I had just graduated so it was an entry level situation, and she just sent in a bunch of apps to various nonprofits (her interest) until one worked out (it was a ~2 month process, but she wasn't spending too much time applying). Not that I've tried, but I get the feeling school career offices are probably focused on getting their own students/alums jobs. Does she have a career services office from undergrad/etc that would help her as an alum?

----
Unrelated, yesterday was the deadline for Shaw's grades, and still no news. I convinced myself that he had turned them in yesterday, but just too late for the registrars to post...but nothing again today. :evil: Gimme 1/3 of my GPA! (if it's a good grade...)

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thunderflesh
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby thunderflesh » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:58 pm

mel2010 wrote:So this is probably pretty unhelpful, since I didn't go to either ASW or Mondays. But I know people who went to each, and my impression is that it doesn't make a huge difference. I think the point is to walk around campus, talk to some current/prospective students, and get some free stuff; I don't think it really matters what day of the week you do that. Anyone that actually went have strong opinions?

1) I went to the ASW last year and it totally sold me on Columbia. Personally, I would strongly recommend going.
2) re: CLS vs. NYU, they're both fantastic schools that will give you access to fantastic jobs. I'd say attend both ASW's (in full) if financially possible, and go to whichever school you have a better gut feeling about.
3) For what it's worth, I'm 100% committed to PI and I feel like I have all the support from CLS that I need. All the staffers in Social Justice Initiatives have been quite helpful during my summer job search. From what I've heard, I imagine NYU probably has more full-time staffers devoted to PI, and more students interested in PI careers, but I haven't felt limited at all (PI-wise) by choosing CLS.
4) I live off-campus in Harlem. Happy to answer any questions about living over there.
5) I really like our 1L class. I would probably fit in better at NYU (which is part of why I didn't go; long story), but I've made lots of wonderful friends here. There are very few people in my class that I'm not too hot on, which surprised me, as I thought going in I might dislike a lot of my classmates (I'm kind of leery of i-bankers/stripeys, and was worried CLS would be kind of like that, but it isn't).

arez
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby arez » Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:41 pm

Any recommendations for best 1L class to sit in on this semester?

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piccolittle
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby piccolittle » Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:34 am

caminante wrote:Did any of you opt for "Mondays at Columbia" instead of one of the official Admitted Students Programs last year? (If they even had that option)

I did the Mondays at Columbia in late April. I loved it - I got a tour, a meal with the administration and some students, time to visit classes, and a great chance to meet my future classmates. From what I understand, there isn't much of a difference between the programs, and I don't think you'll be missing out on much (besides meeting some more people) by choosing Mondays over ASW.

arez wrote:Any recommendations for best 1L class to sit in on this semester?

I would check out Greene's Con Law class and Lynch's Crim class. Maybe Torts if you can get to it - most students take the class in the first semester (with different professors), but it could be a good taste of what you'll be learning next fall.

nametaken
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby nametaken » Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:39 pm

I recently got into both Columbia and Harvard and am now stuck trying to make a choice between the two. I live in NYC (went to NYU undergrad) and was shooting for Columbia Law, but also never expected to get in to Harvard. I got a Butler at Columbia and am thinking of trying to get some more $$ there if I can. Does anyone here feel like they would have way different job prospects, etc. if they attended Harvard instead of CLS? I'm not certain of what I want to be doing out of law school, but I know I want to work in the city. Thanks in advance for your advice!

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mel2010
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby mel2010 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:12 pm

nametaken wrote:I recently got into both Columbia and Harvard and am now stuck trying to make a choice between the two. I live in NYC (went to NYU undergrad) and was shooting for Columbia Law, but also never expected to get in to Harvard. I got a Butler at Columbia and am thinking of trying to get some more $$ there if I can. Does anyone here feel like they would have way different job prospects, etc. if they attended Harvard instead of CLS? I'm not certain of what I want to be doing out of law school, but I know I want to work in the city. Thanks in advance for your advice!

I'd say you can't go wrong between CLS with serious money and HLS. Enjoy whichever you pick. I'm sure everyone (at least outside this thread) will say HLS, but really I think you're going to be looking good either way.

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tempur_three
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby tempur_three » Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:57 am

How competitive is it at Columbia? Is it cutthroat? What is the average amount of time one puts into studying? What is the grading like? Do only very few people get As? Can you go out often, like every weekend?

Sorry for bombarding you guys with these questions, but I know some Harvard 1Ls who don't study that much and do perfectly well. I've heard Yale is even nicer because there is no "grade" race. I'm not looking to relax in law school, but I would like to know the competitive environment in comparison to what you know about Harvard/Yale law students.

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mel2010
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby mel2010 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:51 am

tempur_three wrote:How competitive is it at Columbia? Is it cutthroat? What is the average amount of time one puts into studying? What is the grading like? Do only very few people get As? Can you go out often, like every weekend?

Sorry for bombarding you guys with these questions, but I know some Harvard 1Ls who don't study that much and do perfectly well. I've heard Yale is even nicer because there is no "grade" race. I'm not looking to relax in law school, but I would like to know the competitive environment in comparison to what you know about Harvard/Yale law students.

For what it's worth, I had the impression (thanks TLS) that people here were going to be uber-cutthroat/backstabby/etc, and have been pleasantly suprised. I haven't seen any obscene displays. I've never had problems asking people for help or hesitations agree to help people. That may just be a matter of who you associate with, though...I tend to try avoiding d-bags. I can't comment on how it compares to Harvard/Yale because I don't go there.

Time of studying probably varies wildly...I think this is just a matter of what kind of student you are. Some people study all the time, some people just kick it into gear in the last couple of weeks, some people don't seem to ever really study. People in all three groups get all kinds of grades; I'm relatively sure this is the case at all law schools. Personally, I'm more in the second group; I don't spend much time studying until the end of the semester. Take lots of practice tests in the last few weeks, regardless. I think that's the only universally-applicable advice.

There are semi-strict curves. 5-10% of each 1L class section is supposed to get an A. The full 1L grading curve is here, but I don't know how rigorously it's enforced. It gets more generous after 1L (upper year courses: 14% As, upper year seminars: 31% As).

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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby nametaken » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:03 am

mel2010 wrote:
nametaken wrote:I recently got into both Columbia and Harvard and am now stuck trying to make a choice between the two. I live in NYC (went to NYU undergrad) and was shooting for Columbia Law, but also never expected to get in to Harvard. I got a Butler at Columbia and am thinking of trying to get some more $$ there if I can. Does anyone here feel like they would have way different job prospects, etc. if they attended Harvard instead of CLS? I'm not certain of what I want to be doing out of law school, but I know I want to work in the city. Thanks in advance for your advice!

I'd say you can't go wrong between CLS with serious money and HLS. Enjoy whichever you pick. I'm sure everyone (at least outside this thread) will say HLS, but really I think you're going to be looking good either way.


Thanks for your help. I know I feel a lot of pressure to go to HLS because of the name, but I feel like job prospects will be similiar if I want to work in NYC and the scholarship money makes a big difference as well, I'd love to graduate without so many loans. Thanks again!

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Guchster
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Guchster » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:25 pm

tempur_three wrote:How competitive is it at Columbia? Is it cutthroat? What is the average amount of time one puts into studying? What is the grading like? Do only very few people get As? Can you go out often, like every weekend?

Sorry for bombarding you guys with these questions, but I know some Harvard 1Ls who don't study that much and do perfectly well. I've heard Yale is even nicer because there is no "grade" race. I'm not looking to relax in law school, but I would like to know the competitive environment in comparison to what you know about Harvard/Yale law students.


I'll also preface my response by saying that based off reputation alone, I imagined people would be so cut throat and competitive, that it would be hard to make friends. I think this mindset going in, led to me being pleasantly surprised. People are nice in general, and I think 99% of people are aware of the law school student stereotype and try to avoid being an asshole. Our 1L class doesn't really talk about grades (in person) or competition, and every person in my section and courses is more than willing to share outlines, help each other out, explain concepts we don't get. Exams are stressful, but they're stressful at any law school, because there are of course a lot of prospects riding on them.

I can't really think of a way that I'd ask my friends and fellow colleagues at CLS to be less competitive/cutthroat/crazy. In fact, when I say sometimes I'm annoyed at my classmates on TLS, it's usually because people are too college-y/fratty (as in being a tad bit undergrad bar-friendly for me) or overtly friendly for my taste.

I think an "average" amount of time is completely skewed, because some people study moar, some people study less and both groups of people get a wide range of grades. I know some people that didn't leave their rooms/law school, and I know people that parties 3-4 days of the week that got similar grades.

Grades are fixed like most law schools. While the curve is brutal, it's nice knowing that wherever you fall, you probably won't have to drop out of law school or worry seriously about job prospects like other places.

My friends at Yale had a SUPER RELAXED first semester, as it was only pass/fail (without distinctions). Friends at Harvard speak to me like it's a comparable feeling of pressure/competition as we have at CLS.

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

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:43 pm

Is any kind of stipend offered for 1L summer?

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redsoxfan2495
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby redsoxfan2495 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:52 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:Is any kind of stipend offered for 1L summer?

From school website:

Funding for 1Ls
First year students can receive up to $3360 for eight weeks of work in an unpaid public service summer internship, in the United States or abroad, without regard to financial need. All students who register by 11:59pm December 2, 2011 and meet all program requirements are eligible for the funding.

Supplemental Funding
Outside funding from employers, fellowships and similar sources can augment Columbia's Guaranteed Summer Funding within the following limits: 1Ls can supplement their summer funding stipend as long as the total does not exceed $5200 and 2Ls can supplement their summer funding stipend as long as the total does not exceed $7,500. The Columbia Law School portion of the stipend will be reduced by the amount necessary to bring the total stipend within these limits.

1Ls who receive supplemental funding and who are compensated monetarily for work beyond the eight week GSF requirement cannot claim pro bono hours. 2Ls who receive supplemental funding and who are compensated monetarily beyond the ten week GSF requirement cannot claim pro bono hours.

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mel2010
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby mel2010 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:47 pm

^ Correct. Not necessarily sure if it'll be exactly the same next year, they tend to tinker with it year by year. But generally speaking, if you do public interest (typically nonprofit/gov't) like the majority of 1Ls, then you'll get a meager-ish stipend from Columbia. If you score a firm gig, then you get paid. If you clerk for a judge...

...

lsatcrazy
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby lsatcrazy » Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:27 pm

According to the website (https://www.law.columbia.edu/null/downl ... le_id=6263), 3% of grads work in the midwest. Is this a result of self-selection, making it ridiculously easy to find a job in Chicago (since you competing with ~12 others) or is there something else at play? Do Chicago firms come for OCI despite the tiny %?

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Bronck
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Bronck » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:21 pm

mel2010 wrote:^ Correct. Not necessarily sure if it'll be exactly the same next year, they tend to tinker with it year by year. But generally speaking, if you do public interest (typically nonprofit/gov't) like the majority of 1Ls, then you'll get a meager-ish stipend from Columbia. If you score a firm gig, then you get paid. If you clerk for a judge...

...


....then you're screwed? How would you finance 1L summer at that point?

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mel2010
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby mel2010 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:29 pm

Bronck wrote:
mel2010 wrote:^ Correct. Not necessarily sure if it'll be exactly the same next year, they tend to tinker with it year by year. But generally speaking, if you do public interest (typically nonprofit/gov't) like the majority of 1Ls, then you'll get a meager-ish stipend from Columbia. If you score a firm gig, then you get paid. If you clerk for a judge...

...


....then you're screwed? How would you finance 1L summer at that point?

Well it's just a matter of personal preference. If you can afford to not get paid and you think the experience is worth it, then go for it. I didn't even apply, because that wasn't my situation. It's not something too many people do. That being said, I'll probably end up doing public interest and the "stipend" won't even cover my rent over the summer.




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