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.