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.
User avatar
underdawg
Posts: 1131
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:15 am

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby underdawg » Sat Jan 31, 2009 5:57 pm

prediction: frank will be a terrible gunner douche at his school of choice next year

User avatar
express01
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 10:17 pm

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby express01 » Sat Jan 31, 2009 5:59 pm

Frank is scary. I hope he doesn't come to CLS.

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

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby Frank » Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:46 pm

.
Last edited by Frank on Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
underdawg
Posts: 1131
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:15 am

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby underdawg » Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:24 pm

ok just a douche then, my bad homie

"i want to hear M51's grades because i bet they're bad"

douchetastic

and what is this "we all know" bullshit? you're some sort of expert because you read PLS that was written by some retard that couldn't hack it in law school? all of my profs so far teach what they want to hear on the final in class...

retarded

06072010
Posts: 1468
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 2:30 pm

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby 06072010 » Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:31 pm

I plan on studying my ass off, yes, but in a smart way. PLS has scared me into doing that. I'm not going to be a gunner, though. I don't need to talk about pointless stuff in class that has nothing to do with finals to ensure I do well. That's just silly. Class is a waste, anyway. Briefing cases for hours a day is a waste, too. It's only the final that counts, and you need to do hypos for that on your own/in your study group rather than 'impress' (ie annoy the shit out of) other students by volunteering in class or briefing your cases to every last detail. If studying for exams will make me a 'douche gunner,' then I guess I will be one. I don't think it makes me that, though (wasting everyone's time in class is what a gunner does...I'll leave the professor to that job). Studying hard and being quiet about studying hard does not equal gunner douchery. We all know that the professors don't TEACH black letter law, after all. Yet, you're expected to know this for the final. If you can't figure it out on your own, you probably just aren't 'cut out for the law.' It's all about 'policy' in class, but all about black letter on the final (go make sense OF THAT). Given the time constraints once IN law school, I would rather bust my ass now on the black letter and then practice hypos for the final (and briefly brief cases) come fall. If all of this makes me a douche gunner, then I guess I'm guilty. I don't think it does, though. I'm just doing what's necessary to do the best that I can...none of it involves gunner tactics.


LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOO.......LOLOLOLOLOLOLO....*choking*

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

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby M51 » Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:45 am

Frank wrote:
EngineeringLawyer wrote: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.



Read Planet Law School. The way M51 went about his first semester is EXACTLY they way it says you SHOULD NOT do it, so that's the reason I'm interested in seeing how he did. He didn't make a study group until really late, didn't get into black letter law until really late in the semester, didn't put in the hours until around/after Thanksgiving, and didn't know about LEEWS (from one of his other threads) until late in the semester. I was hoping to see if I should or should not follow the PLS system based on his performance. Hopefully, he'll let us know if he is drastically changing his study habits come spring.


Haha. Okay, first of all, not true. I've been studying, fairly hard, since October. I guess maybe with your mentality October is "really late"... but I certainly started putting outlines and stuff together much before Thanksgiving. Also, as I mentioned in previous posts, I had always planned to cut the social stuff to a lower frequency in November, and I did... going out only once or at most twice per week (excluding thanksgiving weekend, obviously). So, I'm hardly your posterboy for someone who didn't start seriously putting stuff together until after break. Also for the record, I had read PLS before coming to CLS, and I consciously followed part of their system, and rejected other parts where it seemed like the author was just ranting bitterly. Please don't take that book too seriously. It has its moments. That's all.

I'd say a good 50%+ of the student body were scrambling come finals time in one way or another. About 25%-33% of people have started outlining for all classes by Nov. 1st, 75% by the weekend before Thanksgiving Weekend. It doesn't take that long to outline. 1-2 solid days per subject (and there's only 3 subjects). You'll find the time. Also, the TAs are very helpful giving you a rough timeline of when you can reasonable do everything. I don't know anyone's grades so I can't say whether the people who prepared a lot/early did any better than those who didn't until the very end.

Me, personally, I did fine, above the median. Nothing spectacular that's going to get me into law review or anything, but nothing disappointing or alarming either. I will say that Frank is in for a world of surprise if he thinks there's any serious pattern to law school grading, or that you can actually effectively "study" for it past a certain point. I'd say it's 33% how well you know the material, 33% how well your writing clicks with the individual prof's grading style, and 33% pure luck/natural talent (really the same thing). Just take in the typical # of people that get consistent A-s/As at CLS for 1L year: 3% of the class. At some point after you KNOW the material part (and most of your classmates will know EVERYTHING there is know about a subject that the prof may test you on too), you KNOW how your prof will grade it (I'd say 75% of ppl think they know, but usually, only 25% get this part right), and the rest is just how the papers fall on the steps.

For the record, the body of law I knew forward and backwards, and every policy and technical nuance in (by a significant margin)... I got my lowest (by a significant margin) grade in. Could I have done better? No. I had that 33% of the equation down for that class, I just screwed up the other 67%. No regrets. Would not, could not do anything differently that would have helped. If I had done something differently for my 3 classes, this particular grade may have been higher, but the other two would have dropped. Not doing anything differently this semester either, maybe putting a little less time into it if anything. Also for the record, I did LEEWS, Getting to Maybe, PLS, etc. They're much better at making you feel good and secure (which don't get me wrong, is a really important thing, especially those first few weeks of classes) than actually doing any serious work at helping you get better grades. Of all of them, I found Getting to Maybe the most useful and concise. LEEWS was most pointless.

Also Frank, get real. There're 5-10 past exams for each professor. They take at most an hour to outline, 4 to write out, each. There are no answers to most of them. You can find other exams, but you'll find that unless your prof is one of the rare 25%- of profs here that give straight up issue spotters, the exams will be of a substantially different style (not counting the fact that your version / concentration area in the law WILL not be the same as that of any other class). You'll find that at CLS, almost all of the students know all the black letter law, cold, and the others have an outline that they can glance at for 1 min and figure everything out. Your "studying smart" is not going to get you very far. You may have it figured out about a month or two earlier than most people, but what're you going to do with the extra time? Hypos? Useless after enough of them (my personal magic # is 10). Read more black letter? You know it all already. Memorize cases? Pointless, you said so yourself. If you figure it out, let me know. I spent every other "1L studying day" watching movies on my laptop because there quite simply was nothing productive left for me to do. Nothing.

All in all, 1st semester at CLS was one of the best times of my life, completely seriously. But, 2nd semester's wayyyyyy worse than 1st for me. You have one extra class, "Criminal Law", and it meets at 8AM. For everyone. Some unlucky sections have it on Friday too. :D What do people DO after they get up that early? :| At least firm receptions are kicking in now, so we can start looking at firms we might be interested in for 2L summer, while they ply us with fancy free food and drinks, for dinner too!

Bottom Line: Congratulations on getting into CLS. Chill out. Seriously. You'll be fine, regardless of your grades. And the odds of your effort having a direct relationship with your law school success is super-low anyway. Put in the time. Put in the effort. Then, let the cards fall where they may. For the love of god, don't let it consume your entire life, at least not until the very end of the semester when it actually becomes inevitable.

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

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby Prodigy » Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:54 am

M51 certainly took care of that in stride - almost gracefully!

a simple "Frank, STFU & GTFO" would have worked as well though :o

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

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby Frank » Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:39 am

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

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

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby frank_the_tank » Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:53 pm

I don't know why everyone came down so hard on you..that was a bit of an overreaction.

User avatar
underdawg
Posts: 1131
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:15 am

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby underdawg » Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:43 pm

stfu you just have frank bias

User avatar
picotin
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 10:05 pm

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby picotin » Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:53 pm

Do any of your Columbia _Ls know anyone doing joint degree or double degree programs and how that seems to work out for them? Or have plans to, or know people who do, study abroad? Columbia's connections with other institutions are very attractive, but I'm wary that most students don't have a chance of participating.
Thanks

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

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby frank_the_tank » Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:56 pm

underdawg wrote:stfu you just have frank bias


lol

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

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby huckabees » Sun Feb 01, 2009 4:04 pm

Going back to the original intent of this thread, would it be possible to do a daily 45 min/1 hour long commute to campus every day, or would that limit the classes, groups, and journals I could join?

The commute would be by bus/subway, as cabs are prohibitively expensive.

Thanks!

Gators08
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:11 pm

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby Gators08 » Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:00 am

huckabees wrote:Going back to the original intent of this thread, would it be possible to do a daily 45 min/1 hour long commute to campus every day, or would that limit the classes, groups, and journals I could join?

The commute would be by bus/subway, as cabs are prohibitively expensive.

Thanks!


You have a set class schedule. It's certainly possible, but the subway in the morning rush is a pain in the ass and it certainly wouldn't be pleasant if you had an early class (and almost everyone had 9:30s last semester/has 8 this semester). Most groups meet either at lunch time or in the evening (6ish or so) and I know nothing about journals.

I like living a few blocks away, but if you can wake up early enough to pull it off more power to you.

ETA: And if you live in one of the cheaper apartment shares the pricing is very reasonable for the city. They aren't anything really nice obviously, but for a bedroom, a kitchen, a bathroom and a TV room it'll get you by.

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

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby chris0805 » Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:12 pm

1. You can definitely commute to campus. I have a friend who lives downtown and commutes everyday. Is she VERY averse to pre 9 AM clinic project meetings when we're trying to schedule things... yes. But then again, who isn't?

2. As far as 1L study habits go, I did the no supplements read every page with all my highlighters first semester and got above the median "decent" grades. I changed a little bit second semester and got slightly higher grades. I'm always adapting and changing my study habits though. Still, the most important thing is NOT to freak out. You might not get to clerk in SDNY. You might not make law review. But no, your life will not end. And yes, you will get a job that you want. P.S. I know some 3Ls who did make law review and/or will clerk in SDNY. Disappointingly, they did not explode into confetti and turn into a unicorn. I know you 0Ls won't believe that, but I swear... it didn't happen.

3. Social life is as good (and as expensive) as your willing to make it here. Last fall, for example, I did my major writing credit, a clinic, and an upper level moot court, and a lot of extra credits. My social life was awful. I was stressed out and overworked ALL the time, but this semester is much more relaxing (partly because of what I finished in the fall) and I plan on appreciating the warm weather, pick-up football, and sunny happy hours as the days get longer this spring.

My "social" advice to incoming law students would be this: be wary of cliques. They do form. It's not any cliques are filled with bad people or anything like that, but try not to isolate yourself into one group at the expense of others. If you can make friends in a variety of different groups, you'll like your classmates more and have a better overall experience. There are tons of people at these law schools who are bright, interesting, and fun. You should try meeting more than 10-20 of them. :D

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

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby huckabees » Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:33 pm

Gators08 wrote:
huckabees wrote:Going back to the original intent of this thread, would it be possible to do a daily 45 min/1 hour long commute to campus every day, or would that limit the classes, groups, and journals I could join?

The commute would be by bus/subway, as cabs are prohibitively expensive.

Thanks!


You have a set class schedule. It's certainly possible, but the subway in the morning rush is a pain in the ass and it certainly wouldn't be pleasant if you had an early class (and almost everyone had 9:30s last semester/has 8 this semester). Most groups meet either at lunch time or in the evening (6ish or so) and I know nothing about journals.

I like living a few blocks away, but if you can wake up early enough to pull it off more power to you.

ETA: And if you live in one of the cheaper apartment shares the pricing is very reasonable for the city. They aren't anything really nice obviously, but for a bedroom, a kitchen, a bathroom and a TV room it'll get you by.


Thanks Gators08 and Chris0805 for the responses.

This is oddly one of the main things that is making it difficult for me to choose CLS over Chicago. I already have a 1BR apt around 45 minutes to an hour away from CLS that is fantastic and that I pay less than $1000 for.

Morning classes would make things difficult, but at least I could get up earlier to solve that problem. I heard from someone that there'd be evening seminars for 2L and 3Ls as well, which would be more difficult to work around.

Would living further away interfere with exams, either studying or arriving on time to take them? I'm worried that some people tend to study in groups late at night, and that I'd miss out on that (I loved study groups in undergrad).

As for housing around Morningside Heights, can anyone give me some pointers as to which areas are unsafe and which areas might have inexpensive but safe housing? I'd be interested in something along the lines of a studio or 1BR that is >400 sq ft.

Thanks, guys!

00TREX00
Posts: 117
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:41 pm

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby 00TREX00 » Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:32 pm

Thanks Gators08 and Chris0805 for the responses.

This is oddly one of the main things that is making it difficult for me to choose CLS over Chicago. I already have a 1BR apt around 45 minutes to an hour away from CLS that is fantastic and that I pay less than $1000 for.

Morning classes would make things difficult, but at least I could get up earlier to solve that problem. I heard from someone that there'd be evening seminars for 2L and 3Ls as well, which would be more difficult to work around.

Would living further away interfere with exams, either studying or arriving on time to take them? I'm worried that some people tend to study in groups late at night, and that I'd miss out on that (I loved study groups in undergrad).

As for housing around Morningside Heights, can anyone give me some pointers as to which areas are unsafe and which areas might have inexpensive but safe housing? I'd be interested in something along the lines of a studio or 1BR that is >400 sq ft.

Thanks, guys!


Columbia 1L here w/ a few things to contribute.

Living:
An apartment farther away is a bitch, esp. during winter as you can imagine. You can specify on your housing application that you want something closer to campus and I would recommend doing so.

I don't think the Columbia UAH offers particularly good options, and it can be difficult to transfer out of a bad placement the first year. I'm considering dropping off their map and giving the open market a try. As far as unsafe areas, I live outside of Morningside proper, and there is some drug-dealing going on, but I've never felt threatened. I don't think anywhere within three avenue blocks and 20 or so north-south blocks either way from Amsterdam is particularly unsafe.

Studying/Exams:
People here bust their asses for the most part - I distinctly recall calling/texting a bunch of people to go out during the first week of this semester and getting "I'm studying tonight" responses from almost everyone.

All the advice about relying on Hornbooks is almost 100% true. I didn't read them much outside of finals, and I got good grades, but I really wish I had and I'm trying to implement that strategy more this semester. I won't speak for other law schools, but my exams last semester were extremely arbitrary. I'm pretty sure that grades were predetermined to some extent - i.e. directly related to the writing ability of the student, with the possibility of moving up or down a half grade or so. Everyone is prepared, and I strongly doubt that certain people spot issues that everyone else missed. You can't predict how you're doing first semester, and its pretty stressful/scary leading up to finals. Its just a system that encourages fear and self-doubt.

Atmosphere/People:
BIGLAW! If you want to do PI, I think NYU might be the better option. There are a lot of human rightsy people at Columbia, but most of the school's resources are geared toward putting you on the corporate track.

People are a mostly good, definitely diverse, bunch. They are also pretty serious - definitely more so than law students @ non-T14 schools that I've visited, but I guess that's to be expected. If you want to party, you can probably find someone to go out with anytime, as long as you're not picky.

I don't regret coming to Columbia whatsoever (over NYU, Chi, etc.) - it's a great location to take advantage of everything NY has without being in the thick of it and getting distracted. There are tons of opportunities to try out pretty much anything you want, and your experience really will be what you make of it.

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

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby huckabees » Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:46 pm

00TREX00 wrote:Columbia 1L here w/ a few things to contribute.

Living:
An apartment farther away is a bitch, esp. during winter as you can imagine. You can specify on your housing application that you want something closer to campus and I would recommend doing so.

I don't think the Columbia UAH offers particularly good options, and it can be difficult to transfer out of a bad placement the first year. I'm considering dropping off their map and giving the open market a try. As far as unsafe areas, I live outside of Morningside proper, and there is some drug-dealing going on, but I've never felt threatened. I don't think anywhere within three avenue blocks and 20 or so north-south blocks either way from Amsterdam is particularly unsafe.

Studying/Exams:
People here bust their asses for the most part - I distinctly recall calling/texting a bunch of people to go out during the first week of this semester and getting "I'm studying tonight" responses from almost everyone.

All the advice about relying on Hornbooks is almost 100% true. I didn't read them much outside of finals, and I got good grades, but I really wish I had and I'm trying to implement that strategy more this semester. I won't speak for other law schools, but my exams last semester were extremely arbitrary. I'm pretty sure that grades were predetermined to some extent - i.e. directly related to the writing ability of the student, with the possibility of moving up or down a half grade or so. Everyone is prepared, and I strongly doubt that certain people spot issues that everyone else missed. You can't predict how you're doing first semester, and its pretty stressful/scary leading up to finals. Its just a system that encourages fear and self-doubt.

Atmosphere/People:
BIGLAW! If you want to do PI, I think NYU might be the better option. There are a lot of human rightsy people at Columbia, but most of the school's resources are geared toward putting you on the corporate track.

People are a mostly good, definitely diverse, bunch. They are also pretty serious - definitely more so than law students @ non-T14 schools that I've visited, but I guess that's to be expected. If you want to party, you can probably find someone to go out with anytime, as long as you're not picky.

I don't regret coming to Columbia whatsoever (over NYU, Chi, etc.) - it's a great location to take advantage of everything NY has without being in the thick of it and getting distracted. There are tons of opportunities to try out pretty much anything you want, and your experience really will be what you make of it.


Thank you, Trex, for this wonderful and informative post!

If I were to try and find a studio/1BR within 15 minutes walking distance from CLS, how much would I need to pay (assuming no share)?

Winter commutes are really awful on the east coast, but I currently do this for work (though my commute to work is more like 30-45 minutes).

Thanks again!

00TREX00
Posts: 117
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:41 pm

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby 00TREX00 » Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:34 pm

...
Last edited by 00TREX00 on Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Cartwright4
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby Cartwright4 » Wed Feb 11, 2009 11:54 pm

Weird question, but do you guys know any current Hamilton fellows at Columbia? How seriously is this distinction taken? Do you know any people who turned down any of HYS for Columbia?

(On a side note, I visited Columbia last weekend and really, really liked the campus and law school. Miss Mamie's Spoonbread was also perhaps one of the most delicious restaurants I have ever frequented.)

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

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby M51 » Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:21 am

I don't know any Hamilton fellows. I'm not even sure if the names are publicly published or anything. There're some people who turned down H (I'd give a rough estimate of 15% of the people here). Haven't heard of any S or Y yet.

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

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby whyamidoingthis » Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:23 pm

Are there any advantages/disadvantages to getting UAH housing forms in early? We can turn them in after mid-Feb, but I won't be visiting the campus until the second ASDs at the end of March. Should I get the form in ASAP or wait until I see things with my own eyes?

00TREX00
Posts: 117
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:41 pm

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby 00TREX00 » Thu Feb 12, 2009 4:25 pm

...
Last edited by 00TREX00 on Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Cartwright4
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby Cartwright4 » Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:18 pm

Last question, I swear:

From what you guys have heard, how hard/competitive is it to make law review? Is it just a writing competition or grades too? Thanks in advance!

Applicant7643
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 10:42 pm

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby Applicant7643 » Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:23 pm

Hi and thanks for taking questions!

Where did most of the students go for undergrad? i.e. Are the overwhelming majority of your classmates from Ivys?




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: luckboxr and 2 guests