Columbia 1L Taking Questions (Class of '11)

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
ocean jockey
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:56 pm

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby ocean jockey » Wed Oct 15, 2008 12:04 am

Does anyone have any experience or info on Fordham's admission standards? Thanks.

User avatar
neskerdoo
Posts: 599
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2007 9:13 am

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby neskerdoo » Wed Oct 15, 2008 12:06 am

I know you are new, but does this seem like the place to post that? Maybe you meant to hit the "new topic" button?

jrs12
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 1:47 am

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby jrs12 » Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:11 pm

Well, I'm more of a 1500 meter guy, so maybe we could do some fartleks.

User avatar
M51
Posts: 178
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 4:59 am

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby M51 » Thu Oct 16, 2008 1:18 am

littleboyblue wrote:do you interact much with your classmates that are many years out of UG?


Yes. Well, depends on what you mean by "many". At least half the people I hang out with regularly are 2+ years removed from college. If you mean 5+, then no... most of them (although by no means all) seem to have thier own thing going on.

To give you an idea, my study group (which, I think necessarily becomes a huge part of your law school experiance) has one married person, one engaged person, an international student, and someone who JUST turned 21 last week. We're from all differant areas of America... etc.

deanrobbins wrote:Are you shooting for biglaw? How do recruiting prospects look given the economy?


I don't think anyone here feels like they have to "shoot" for biglaw... that's more of the default. Although, prospects do seem to be slimmer with the economy. I know that abovethelaw had an article about how Harvard 2Ls got screwed over since thier interviews were so late in the process (and the economy blew up RIGHT in the middle of thier OCIs). Our 2Ls did fine for the most part since our OCIs were in August and not September. But, that's just this year. No one wants to say it, but I'm sure getting a 1L summer job at a firm will be harder this year. Hopefully, the economy will be better by next August.

fedex wrote:I, too, am a 1L at Columbia, but disagree with so many of the things you say, M51.


I have no idea who you're hanging out with. People are really easy to talk to, work with, drink with... I feel like I can talk to at least 60 people of a 90 person class outside of class if we pass in the halls (and most of the other 30 is just because we haven't met yet), or to just join thier table when they're reading in the lounge. And I do. Maybe I'm actually sketching them out, and they're just trying to be nice to the wierd kid... but hopefully not? :(

And of course not everyone stays up until 3AM on weekdays... but a suprisingly large number do. Wed. at Lionshead... Thurs Bar Review... And yeah, you won't just talk to a random person you've never met before... but that was the point of the 3 week orientation Legal Meathods period (and the week before orientation of voluntary student activities, UN tours, ballgames, community service, scavanger hunt, etc)... There was a birthday party at a local bar or someone's room every other night, where the entire law school was invited via facebook whether you knew the person or not... I met at least half the class before real classes started and I would say most people met at least a hundred... For the record, I live in a studio, fairly far away from the law school. I am involved in no student organizations besides DeVinimus. None of this has been a problem to the law school aspect of my social life, at all.

CLS has a large enough, and diverse enough class that you can do whatever you want, if you make the effort. If a 3-week long orientation process isn't enough to get you socially situated to your liking... I don't know man. To be fair, I am highly adaptable to almost any environment, and have lived happily in suburbs, cities, rural areas, and abroad. But honestly, Morningside Heights is my favorite place to have lived so far, hands down. If you put your mind to it, it has the possibility of giving you all the benefits of being in NYC while minimizing the bad stuff typically associated with city schools.

Btw, if you know who I am (my LSN makes me fairly easy to identify)... feel free to say hi or w/e if you see me in the law school, or if we already know each other... hmmmmm.... :o

jrs12 wrote:Pretty specific question that you probably can't answer: do you know of any law students who are runners?


You can facebook the CLS Runners facebook group. People run. There are marathons for charity every other week. It's New York City, and if you're going to run 50 miles, you might as well go to central park and run your heart out (only a 5 min run to get to from the law school). I know many law students who are runners. They are healthier than I am, and have probably gained less weight :(

boston101
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:36 pm

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby boston101 » Thu Oct 16, 2008 4:47 pm

Another CLS 1L here.
I think it's really more in the middle of the descriptions given here, in my experience. Ill point out that which I disagree on.

Fedex's is too bleak.
- People do go out alot here.
- Alot of people, myself included, stay up until 3 or 4am in the morning (Sun-Wed im doing hw, real paid work and extracurricular work, Thurs-Sat im out).
- Many people are really friendly and down to earth.
- I could easily strike up a conversation with 90% of the people here. Still, that doesn't mean I would want to hang out with them or call them my friend.

M51's is too generous.
- There are a good number of weird/pompous/unfriendly people here. I get especially annoyed with the people that think they're so brilliant.
- More than half of the people I have talked to are married or in a longterm relationship.
- The Morningside Heights area sucks. I enjoy downtown or midtown for hanging out and partying.
- It can be hard to find your place/group of close-knit friends. Before I joined some ec groups, I mostly stuck to the few people I connected with at orientation and my friends already living in the city.


All that being said, I would enthusiastically recommend CLS to others!

User avatar
whyamidoingthis
Posts: 254
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:31 am

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby whyamidoingthis » Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:15 pm

I'm sorry if this is a repeat question, but I haven't scanned this thread as thoroughly as I should have.

To be blunt, I saw on LSN that you self-identify as Asian. Did you write a diversity statement? I'm white and I've been told eighteen thousand different things about whether I should attempt a non-racial diversity statement for Columbia. Columbia is absolutely, one-hundred percent my first choice (I'm applying ED), so I'm trying to figure out whatever I can to get in!

User avatar
M51
Posts: 178
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 4:59 am

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby M51 » Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:56 pm

whyamidoingthis wrote:I'm sorry if this is a repeat question, but I haven't scanned this thread as thoroughly as I should have.

To be blunt, I saw on LSN that you self-identify as Asian. Did you write a diversity statement? I'm white and I've been told eighteen thousand different things about whether I should attempt a non-racial diversity statement for Columbia. Columbia is absolutely, one-hundred percent my first choice (I'm applying ED), so I'm trying to figure out whatever I can to get in!


Yes. I did. Writing my DS probably helped me more in personal self-discovery, by making me think about the issue, than it did in my admissions chances, but it was a very rewarding experience nonetheless. So yes, write one if you have anything to say at all. If you're really not going to add diversity to the law school (and you probably will, since non-jewish white people are under 50% of CLS student body... I can't think of anyone who wouldn't "add" diversity), then use the space to sneak in other things that you think will make Ad-com more sympathetic/empathetic toward you. They're people too. Or just use it to show off a different style of writing. My PS was very analytical, mostly to justify my major and show that I didn't totally blow off my UG education... my DS showed my ability to write a narrative story. None of this will overcome low scores unless you're actually URM, but it couldn't possibly hurt and shows that you're putting 110% effort into the process. The people working in the Ad-com are obviously biased in support of the process, so any respect you show it can only help your case.

Also, CLS Ad-com including the dean of admissions are mostly minority women. Not sure how that helps, but if you can figure out a way, it wouldn't hurt to gear your DS towards something a typical ivy-grad-minority-woman-readamillionDSsalready person would like... whatever that is...

Darth Topher
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:57 pm

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby Darth Topher » Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:39 am

What are the girls like at this school? (if you are a heterosexual man)

I'm not all about the supermodel thing, but I really just want a smart and attractive girl

I am all about the Natalie Portman type rather than the Jessica Simpson type

Darth Topher
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:57 pm

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby Darth Topher » Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:42 am

littleboyblue wrote:
cupid_carol wrote:Be honest here.

CLS happens to be my number one choice. But I am skeptical. This is why:

I have a 3.60 g.p.a.
I have not taken the LSAT yet ( I am currently working in a top law firm as a clerk----graduated from ug in December ‘07).
I come from a REALLY unknown ug (this is the BIG problem !).


Should I even bother applying to CLS ?


if you break 170!


very reassuring

Darth Topher
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:57 pm

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby Darth Topher » Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:20 am

Prodigy wrote:
But, people are all from upper-middle to upper class families (I estimate 95%+)


Do they have any sort of elitist mentality when it comes to wealth / social status?

I would hate to be looked down upon for three years because I don't come from an upper class family.


Image


I hope there is more diversity...

User avatar
M51
Posts: 178
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 4:59 am

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby M51 » Sat Oct 25, 2008 2:44 pm

Darth Topher wrote:


Is this a flame? Read the thread... before you post.

User avatar
Prodigy
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 7:05 pm

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby Prodigy » Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:59 pm

Another Q regarding loans.

Do you feel like the ECA that Columbia puts at 68k is enough to get by on without having to watch every penny? Or do most people end up taking out more than that?

User avatar
M51
Posts: 178
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 4:59 am

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby M51 » Fri Oct 31, 2008 2:10 pm

I am fairly under budget (took out the entire 68k they allowed me).
It depends on what you do. It's easy to keep costs at ~20$ for a night around Morningside Heights. I go downtown at most once a week (~100$). Food/Drink is ~15-20$ per day (I eat out 100% of the time, but mostly cheap food). Laundry is 12$ per week (Cleaners).

That's 200 + 400 + 600 + 50 = 1250 per month. (This is a really generous estimate, I actually spend ~1000$ per month)
They give you 2150 per month (Books, Health, Student Activities are budgeted elsewhere). My rent's 800$ per month.

So, I get 100$ of spending money per month to buy stuff if I stick to my "budget" (I actually get ~300$).
More than enough unless you're a big shopper or choose to live somewhere expensive.

ingridB
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2008 11:23 am

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby ingridB » Sun Nov 02, 2008 2:36 am

fedex wrote:I, too, am a 1L at Columbia, but disagree with so many of the things you say, M51.

Law school at Columbia is so different than undergraduate life. I went to an Ivy that was very much a campus school. Columbia Law School has no campus. The buildings are scattered and there is really not much unity. I am generally a social person, but it’s very difficult to make friends at CLS. Many people feel this way. I constantly have discussions with people about how different it is than UG. People are married, engaged, and if neither of these, many are in a relationship. Most people don't have roommates as they live in studios. The student organizations are not the greatest and there really aren't many ways to meet people unless you meet them during orientation or happen to sit next to a chatty person in class.

I do like Columbia, but dislike the complete lack of unity. Even the UG campus is TINY and it consists of just 1 quad. The vast majority of the people who hang out there are undergrads.

And contrary to what M51 says, I don't really think many people go to bed at 3am every night, nor do they really go out most weeknights, with the exception of Thursdays. Columbia is not a party school by any stretch of the imagination. Many people I know do not go out except for Thursday-Saturday and they pretty much just study during the weeknights.

I thought I would love Columbia since I am a city person and I love NYC, but after coming here I realized that I probably would have wanted to go to a law school that had more of a campus-like feeling and more cohesiveness.


Not in law school yet, but I graduated from Columbia undergrad as well as SIPA and worked in several offices at Columbia, and I think what you are describing here - the lack of a sense of community cohesiveness - is perhaps the biggest problem at the university, including at the undergraduate level, and a staggering disappointment for many who choose any of Columbia's various programs. Many students also feel dissatisfied with the university administration... it's not supportive enough, has a weak advising system, a crappy housing department, etc. Clinical depression is pretty rampant among undergrads. I could go on and on, but I won't.

I'd encourage anyone considering CU to really check it out thoroughly beyond its rankings and think long and hard if it's what you want. If you want the campus-like feeling and cohesiveness described above, run. Columbia can be a particularly cold place.

I got a good education at CU, but not in a million years would want my own children anywhere near that place.

Lennyh
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:21 pm

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby Lennyh » Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:34 pm

Hi, I have a pretty straight forward question.

I just want to know if you think 420 W. 116th St building is nice, should I select that on my housing form?

Thanks

User avatar
whyamidoingthis
Posts: 254
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:31 am

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby whyamidoingthis » Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:41 pm

Lennyh wrote:Hi, I have a pretty straight forward question.

I just want to know if you think 420 W. 116th St building is nice, should I select that on my housing form?

Thanks


Even better, how about a best/worst description of housing that isn't Lenfest?

Also, I see that there are apt shares with three people, but do you know of any with only two? I'm really really cautious about getting a random roommate (bad past experiences) and I'd much rather have one than two...

User avatar
frank_the_tank
Posts: 229
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:07 pm

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby frank_the_tank » Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:51 pm

whyamidoingthis wrote:
Lennyh wrote:Hi, I have a pretty straight forward question.

I just want to know if you think 420 W. 116th St building is nice, should I select that on my housing form?

Thanks


Even better, how about a best/worst description of housing that isn't Lenfest?

Also, I see that there are apt shares with three people, but do you know of any with only two? I'm really really cautious about getting a random roommate (bad past experiences) and I'd much rather have one than two...


+1

I'm also interested in housing. Are you happy with your choice? Where do people generally agree is the most desirable to live (around the 1000$/month range)? etc..


Also, out of the 1L's that host students during ASW, who should I try to stay with? lol!

User avatar
LGK
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:35 pm

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby LGK » Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:16 pm

I'm not a current student, but I've been in 420 West 116th because I have a friend who lived there his 1L year. He lived in a 1 bedroom. The kitchen was one of the more meager things I've ever seen. It was almost nonexistant. The living room was slightly more existant, but not by much. The bedroom was fine but small.

To me, it was definitely not worth $1400-1700/mo.

I'd much rather get two bedrooms with a real living room and a real eat-in kitchen 10 blocks away for the same price (total, not per bedroom) or a little less. Oh wait, I do get that :)


Edit: For any foodie prospective CLS students, Fairway (10-12 blocks north of CLS) rivals Trader Joes (10 blocks north of NYU). It's seriously awesome compared to most of the overpriced, shitty-selection, teeny tiny grocery stores in Manhattan.

User avatar
whyamidoingthis
Posts: 254
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:31 am

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby whyamidoingthis » Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:42 pm

frank_the_tank wrote:
whyamidoingthis wrote:
Lennyh wrote:Hi, I have a pretty straight forward question.

I just want to know if you think 420 W. 116th St building is nice, should I select that on my housing form?

Thanks


Even better, how about a best/worst description of housing that isn't Lenfest?

Also, I see that there are apt shares with three people, but do you know of any with only two? I'm really really cautious about getting a random roommate (bad past experiences) and I'd much rather have one than two...


+1

I'm also interested in housing. Are you happy with your choice? Where do people generally agree is the most desirable to live (around the 1000$/month range)? etc..


bump!

User avatar
chris0805
Posts: 657
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 3:12 pm

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby chris0805 » Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:17 pm

If you are concerned about value, I would recommend opting for UAH and specifying that you want "a cheaper option." IMO, the quality of housing doesn't really vary THAT much. It shocks me that people will pay $1400-1700 for a 1BR or even more for studio in lenfest. My wife and I have a 2BR and pay less than that. It's a small 2br... and the kitchen is small, and so is the bathroom. I live close to the law school though, and the place is big enough for us and well under what we looked at in the surrounding area. Nearby Harlem was not that cheap when we looked at non-university housing.

EngineeringLawyer
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 6:56 pm

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby EngineeringLawyer » Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:51 am

chris0805 wrote:If you are concerned about value, I would recommend opting for UAH and specifying that you want "a cheaper option." IMO, the quality of housing doesn't really vary THAT much. It shocks me that people will pay $1400-1700 for a 1BR or even more for studio in lenfest. My wife and I have a 2BR and pay less than that. It's a small 2br... and the kitchen is small, and so is the bathroom. I live close to the law school though, and the place is big enough for us and well under what we looked at in the surrounding area. Nearby Harlem was not that cheap when we looked at non-university housing.


Ditto, I'm not a law student yet (I'm in for next year and REALLY excited that I wont have to move), but I have a 1 BR through UAH and pay about $25 more than the minimum listed for 1 brs. I know there are law students in my building as well as other grad students, Columbia staff and random individuals/families that must have been grandfathered into the building. I have high ceilings, hardwood floors, a living room large enough (think medium+ studio) to fit a seating area (a full seating set=couch, love seat, chair, and ottoman), dining area, and study area, a huge kitchen (by Manhattan standards, pretty decent by any standard, with lots of cabinet space), and a tiny bedroom that fits a queen size bed and a little bit of extra storage. I live with my husband so our biggest problem is finding enough room for our clothes (we considered lofting our bed-yes, you can loft a queen or king- but decided it wasn't worth the hassle), but we managed and other than that, the super cheap option is really great, especially for the area. And I live only a few blocks away. If storage does end up a problem for you, there are a ton of storage spaces around the area that you can rent space at decent prices for your winter/summer stuff or whatever else you don't need around year round.
Last edited by EngineeringLawyer on Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

EngineeringLawyer
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 6:56 pm

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby EngineeringLawyer » Fri Jan 30, 2009 3:07 am

1Ls, I'm curious how well you were able to read your performance on your classes. Did you do better/worse than expected? Also, is there anything you wish you had done this semester that you didn't or wish someone had told you so you didn't find out mid-semester? Really general questions here, I know, just trying to get a sense of what to expect academically... I know I wont be the only "studious" person there, so how am I supposed to gauge myself without knowing where I stand until after the first exams? Or is that kind of just the deal, first semester exams tells you where you stand?

I'm especially interested in what M51 has to say with your generous assessment of social life at CLS and chris0805 since you're in the same boat SO wise.

Frank
Posts: 218
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 8:25 pm

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby Frank » Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:46 am

.
Last edited by Frank on Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

huckabees
Posts: 322
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:38 pm

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby huckabees » Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:47 pm

^ Same.

Frank
Posts: 218
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 8:25 pm

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby Frank » Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:33 pm

.
Last edited by Frank on Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Earlskies, rnoodles, UCLA1984, UnicornHunter, Yahoo [Bot] and 14 guests