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.
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M51
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby M51 » Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:21 am

Applicant7643 wrote: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?


We get disproportionate amounts of Cornell, Yale, UPenn, Harvard, UCalifornia (I just lump them all into one category since I can't tell them apart, USC too). Especially Yale. Also, a good amount of Columbia, but that's kindda expected. Still, all together the ivy UG ppl are probably less than 1/3rd of the class. And California's about 1/4th of the class.

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takingmytime
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby takingmytime » Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:34 am

How competitive is the student body?

Do many students feel as if grading is fairly predetermined based on writing skills and not issue spotting ability?

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Severa
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby Severa » Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:39 pm

Hi and thanks to all of you for adding to the discussion. It really does help a lot with the decision process.

I am mostly used to small town and so the NYC life is a bit overwhelming. I am mostly worried about safety and the housing issues (i.e. not getting an apt somewhere that is unsafe or somewhere you would not feel good about walking around in at night). I was wondering if any of the Columbia people had similar concerns when making their decisions and if/how they overcame these issues.

Thanks again!

Gators08
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby Gators08 » Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:57 pm

Severa wrote:Hi and thanks to all of you for adding to the discussion. It really does help a lot with the decision process.

I am mostly used to small town and so the NYC life is a bit overwhelming. I am mostly worried about safety and the housing issues (i.e. not getting an apt somewhere that is unsafe or somewhere you would not feel good about walking around in at night). I was wondering if any of the Columbia people had similar concerns when making their decisions and if/how they overcame these issues.

Thanks again!


I'm from a smaller town, not exactly small, but not a big city either and went to undergrad in a city about the same size as where I grew up, so this is my first time living in a big city. I haven't had a problem adjusting so far. The biggest change for me was getting adjusted to taking a taxi/subway to get around when I was used to driving everywhere. As far as safety its mainly a common sense thing of not making yourself an easy target, don't wander too far away into neighborhoods you aren't familiar with, don't walk around drunk or by yourself at night, and be aware of your surroundings rather than zoned out listening to your iPod or something. Columbia's student housing isn't in areas that are particularly unsafe, I like the apartments south of the law school better than north, but that's as much to keep from having to walk up and down a big hill to get to school as it is safety.

Apple Tree
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby Apple Tree » Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:54 pm

It's so nice to see somebody else (originally) from China on this board! :D
If you don't mind me asking, when did you come to US?

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M51
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby M51 » Tue Feb 17, 2009 6:18 pm

takingmytime wrote:How competitive is the student body?

Do many students feel as if grading is fairly predetermined based on writing skills and not issue spotting ability?


Define "competitive". Everyone (or at least 90%) does all the reading, including "suggested" hornbooks or hornbooks of their own choosing. They make outlines, and they walk into the finals with more or less the same information (some better organized in their head than others). Mostly everyone you get to know will share their notes/outlines with you if you ask, many will even volunteer. So, it's competitive in effect (due to mandatory curve + everyone being prepared), but very friendly and supportive (if a little stressed) atmosphere towards finals. Everyone's going through the same thing.

Many students feel as if grading is fairly predetermined based on issue spotting ability. And by issue spotting, I include policy spotting, issue extension, policy extension, and knowing which ones link up to which and how much of each part the professor wants you to write about. (There's always either a time limit or a word limit, so you will NOT be able to tell the prof everything relevant you know about the test question.). Is this "issue spotting ability"? Sorta, I guess. It's more of a top-tier law school thing... as opposed to a CLS-specific thing. So, while you can feel as concerned or comfortable with it as you want, it's really not going to be any different anywhere else.

Apple Tree wrote: It's so nice to see somebody else (originally) from China on this board!
If you don't mind me asking, when did you come to US?


I came to the US when I was seven. There's plenty of people born in China at CLS. I was quite surprised. Columbia also gets a lot of their grad students (including LLMs) from China and I think there's a conspiracy to put them all in my building. I hear more Chinese being spoken in the hallway and elevator than English.

Severa wrote:I am mostly used to small town and so the NYC life is a bit overwhelming. I am mostly worried about safety and the housing issues (i.e. not getting an apt somewhere that is unsafe or somewhere you would not feel good about walking around in at night). I was wondering if any of the Columbia people had similar concerns when making their decisions and if/how they overcame these issues.


Safety is not a concern. Really. This is post-9/11 NYC, not the 1990s. You're safer here than in a typical US small town. Camaras are on just about every block. There's multiple security officers walking around all the time, within visibility range, at all hours. If you want, you can request a building with a security guard like Lenfest Hall. The law school has it's own security people as well. Plus, real criminals know to target tourists, not students. The security here's SO overkill. I'd rather my $ go towards something else... The most I've heard about is a bunch of kids (13-14 years old) from Harlem coming over to demand money from single people walking the streets at night. No weapons. You give money, they go away. Those guys got caught a month or two later.

huckabees
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby huckabees » Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:33 pm

M51 wrote:Define "competitive". Everyone (or at least 90%) does all the reading, including "suggested" hornbooks or hornbooks of their own choosing. They make outlines, and they walk into the finals with more or less the same information (some better organized in their head than others). Mostly everyone you get to know will share their notes/outlines with you if you ask, many will even volunteer. So, it's competitive in effect (due to mandatory curve + everyone being prepared), but very friendly and supportive (if a little stressed) atmosphere towards finals. Everyone's going through the same thing.

Many students feel as if grading is fairly predetermined based on issue spotting ability. And by issue spotting, I include policy spotting, issue extension, policy extension, and knowing which ones link up to which and how much of each part the professor wants you to write about. (There's always either a time limit or a word limit, so you will NOT be able to tell the prof everything relevant you know about the test question.). Is this "issue spotting ability"? Sorta, I guess. It's more of a top-tier law school thing... as opposed to a CLS-specific thing. So, while you can feel as concerned or comfortable with it as you want, it's really not going to be any different anywhere else.


Thanks for this info!

The fact that so many people do all the readings and then some is really quite impressive and a little daunting. How do you all manage to have lives outside of the readings? (I went to a very respected undergrad, and not even close to that percentage did all the readings for several of my courses.)

I know you were a phil major (which I think is probably very useful), but what other activities prior to law school do you think helped most with doing well on exams?

Can 1Ls choose which profs to take courses with (can 1Ls choose courses at all) if multiple profs teach the same course?

I've also heard that some schools tend to lump the "more qualified" admits into one section and the less qualified ones into another. Do you think section distributions are fairly random at CLS?

Finally, do you think that CLS students are tightly clustered in terms of actual performance, such that the difference between one letter grade and the next is rather arbitrary? Or do you think that for each step up in letter grade, there tends to be a discernible difference in the quality of work/understanding of law?

Sorry to ask so many questions, and thanks again!

P.S. Do CLS students get free printing? It seems like NYU students do. :)

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deneuve39
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby deneuve39 » Thu Feb 19, 2009 4:25 pm

Thanks for taking questions! I was wondering how the economy has affected students' chances at getting jobs (especially for their 1L summer). Do you think it will still be (fairly) easy for Columbia students to get biglaw jobs in the next couple years?

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Severa
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby Severa » Fri Feb 20, 2009 3:19 pm

Hi again, and thanks (again) for taking questions. I was wondering how the law school housing assignment system works. I am not sure yet if I will be able to attend (on if this were indeed the best of all possible worlds!) and so I don't know if I should submit a request for housing yet. At the same time, if I do end up attending, I don't want to be left with the worst assignments because of waiting to the last minute. Do you know if they allow you to submit a request without officially sending an enrollment commitment form?

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M51
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby M51 » Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:30 pm

Ooookay :shock: Lotsa questions. I just got back from a callback interview (plz takeme plzplzplz), so I guess I'll tackle these and build up some good karma :P.

huckabees wrote:The fact that so many people do all the readings and then some is really quite impressive and a little daunting. How do you all manage to have lives outside of the readings? (I went to a very respected undergrad, and not even close to that percentage did all the readings for several of my courses.)


You can only read so much each day and still be able to get anything out of looking at words on a page... so, generally after my brain fizzes out (this is happening earlier and earlier these days =/), I watch some tv online or head out to meet up w/ ppl. And during the first month, it's a P/F class where just about everyone passes, so you don't really have to read carefully. Great time to meet your classmates. Time management is huuuuuge, and you get better at it the longer you're at law school. =P Some people manage to take every night off after 8PM, plus weekends. I'm not quite as good, but I still manage 4-5 nights off and at least one full weekend day per week (not during finals prep... ppl disappear during that time). Oh, also... some people don't read the casebook. It's some super-secret strategy to doing well. I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that, but I can see how reading the casebook isn't really necessary to doing well on the exam. Still, you're not just paying for the degree (i hope), but for the whole experiance right? Anyway, if you don't read the book and focus on hornbooks, you'll have lotsa time too.

huckabees wrote:I know you were a phil major (which I think is probably very useful), but what other activities prior to law school do you think helped most with doing well on exams?


Econ. Intro to Micro. You can see the wide-eyed looks on ppl's faces the first few weeks of Contracts who've never seen econ before. if have haven't taken econ before, I'd recommend reading an article or something outlining the basic tenents of micro-economics. But yeah, the philosophy major did help a little, plus random things I've read keeps popping up all over the place (i.e. my Phil Advisor's essay on some paradox between retributivist thinking and consequentialist thinking was featured in my Crim Law book... they're like easter eggs =P) Also, some general knowledge about famous supreme court justices (esp the modern ones) and which way they lean ideologically will help with Con law.

huckabees wrote:Can 1Ls choose which profs to take courses with (can 1Ls choose courses at all) if multiple profs teach the same course?


No, you get assigned everything except one elective second semester.

huckabees wrote:I've also heard that some schools tend to lump the "more qualified" admits into one section and the less qualified ones into another. Do you think section distributions are fairly random at CLS?


No, I don't think any of the top schools do that. It's more for schools that live off giving merit scholarships and don't want to keep paying them. So they make sure some of the students can't get over the grade they have to keep. Pretty sure no school in the T14 does this. Columbia gives so few merit scholarships that they wouldn't even be able to do it, even if there's a huge conspiracy.

huckabees wrote:Finally, do you think that CLS students are tightly clustered in terms of actual performance, such that the difference between one letter grade and the next is rather arbitrary? Or do you think that for each step up in letter grade, there tends to be a discernible difference in the quality of work/understanding of law?


Yes. It's largely arbitrary. I bet those people who consistantly get A-/A (3% of student body) are super-geniuses who will run the world someday... but who knows, maybe they're just really really really lucky. I think there are things you can do to make your odds better, but in the end it's like a heads up poker game vs your professor where you have to go all in pre-flop... no matter how good your hand is, it's still a 80% chance at best to win the pot.

huckabees wrote:P.S. Do CLS students get free printing? It seems like NYU students do. :)


Yes, we most certainly do :D . I'm something like 2000 pages below my limit for last semester... you should be fine, unless you're a printing maniac.


deneuve39 wrote:Thanks for taking questions! I was wondering how the economy has affected students' chances at getting jobs (especially for their 1L summer). Do you think it will still be (fairly) easy for Columbia students to get biglaw jobs in the next couple years?


1L jobs are not that hard to get. Public interest jobs are apparently everywhere. General feeling is everyone'll end up with a job, and most people already have one. You get 4.2k + whatever your job gives you if it's public interest. Many people have also secured judicial internships (no $, but very good experiance). These things are generally not affected by the economy. 1L FIRM jobs on the other hand, are really really hard to get. I know of 3 people who have a firm job lined up who didn't already have one before they began law school. That's 3 people out of probably 50-60 people at least who wanted one. That being said, firms are not done hiring yet ::crosses fingers::. In this economy, I wouldn't bank on making 30k the first summer. Traditionally, CLS has been able to place a very high % of our 1L students at biglaw firms if they wanted it... but as many firms are shutting down their 1L programs, or heavily reducing the #s, this is not the case this year. Next year may be better, it may not be. Also, keep in mind that the vast majority of top law firms did not have 1L programs in their NY office in the first place, so you're most likely looking at a firm job with a local firm, or a local branch of a major firm. It helps if you have previous industry work experience (like another advanced degree), or are a racial minority (not sure if GLBT counts, but being asian counts). Even when firms cut down or kill their 1L programs, many will retain their diversity initiatives. Hope this is helpful. But don't take me too seriously, this is just from word-of-mouth and annecdotes, nothing official that I can back up.

In terms of the future, who knows. But if they're turning down CLS grads at biglaw, you might want to re-think whether you want to do big law at all in the first place... it might be the sign that something fundamental is shifting in the industry. I literally can't imagine CLS being screwed unless the legal industry completely changes its paradigm. This school is, traditionally, THE biglaw powerhouse. Our placement rates rival Harvard/Yale/Stanford.

Severa wrote:Hi again, and thanks (again) for taking questions. I was wondering how the law school housing assignment system works. I am not sure yet if I will be able to attend (on if this were indeed the best of all possible worlds!) and so I don't know if I should submit a request for housing yet. At the same time, if I do end up attending, I don't want to be left with the worst assignments because of waiting to the last minute. Do you know if they allow you to submit a request without officially sending an enrollment commitment form?


Yes! Submit now! You do NOT have to attend to ask for housing right now. At least, last year you didn't. I would ask someone at housing, but I'm pretty sure you should apply before you make your decision. If you end up not coming :( , your spot'll just go to someone else off the housing waitlist and you'll make someone's day. No harm no foul.

huckabees
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby huckabees » Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:35 pm

M51 wrote:Ooookay :shock: Lotsa questions. I just got back from a callback interview (plz takeme plzplzplz), so I guess I'll tackle these and build up some good karma :P.

huckabees wrote:The fact that so many people do all the readings and then some is really quite impressive and a little daunting. How do you all manage to have lives outside of the readings? (I went to a very respected undergrad, and not even close to that percentage did all the readings for several of my courses.)


You can only read so much each day and still be able to get anything out of looking at words on a page... so, generally after my brain fizzes out (this is happening earlier and earlier these days =/), I watch some tv online or head out to meet up w/ ppl. And during the first month, it's a P/F class where just about everyone passes, so you don't really have to read carefully. Great time to meet your classmates. Time management is huuuuuge, and you get better at it the longer you're at law school. =P Some people manage to take every night off after 8PM, plus weekends. I'm not quite as good, but I still manage 4-5 nights off and at least one full weekend day per week (not during finals prep... ppl disappear during that time). Oh, also... some people don't read the casebook. It's some super-secret strategy to doing well. I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that, but I can see how reading the casebook isn't really necessary to doing well on the exam. Still, you're not just paying for the degree (i hope), but for the whole experiance right? Anyway, if you don't read the book and focus on hornbooks, you'll have lotsa time too.

huckabees wrote:I know you were a phil major (which I think is probably very useful), but what other activities prior to law school do you think helped most with doing well on exams?


Econ. Intro to Micro. You can see the wide-eyed looks on ppl's faces the first few weeks of Contracts who've never seen econ before. if have haven't taken econ before, I'd recommend reading an article or something outlining the basic tenents of micro-economics. But yeah, the philosophy major did help a little, plus random things I've read keeps popping up all over the place (i.e. my Phil Advisor's essay on some paradox between retributivist thinking and consequentialist thinking was featured in my Crim Law book... they're like easter eggs =P) Also, some general knowledge about famous supreme court justices (esp the modern ones) and which way they lean ideologically will help with Con law.

huckabees wrote:Can 1Ls choose which profs to take courses with (can 1Ls choose courses at all) if multiple profs teach the same course?


No, you get assigned everything except one elective second semester.

huckabees wrote:I've also heard that some schools tend to lump the "more qualified" admits into one section and the less qualified ones into another. Do you think section distributions are fairly random at CLS?


No, I don't think any of the top schools do that. It's more for schools that live off giving merit scholarships and don't want to keep paying them. So they make sure some of the students can't get over the grade they have to keep. Pretty sure no school in the T14 does this. Columbia gives so few merit scholarships that they wouldn't even be able to do it, even if there's a huge conspiracy.

huckabees wrote:Finally, do you think that CLS students are tightly clustered in terms of actual performance, such that the difference between one letter grade and the next is rather arbitrary? Or do you think that for each step up in letter grade, there tends to be a discernible difference in the quality of work/understanding of law?


Yes. It's largely arbitrary. I bet those people who consistantly get A-/A (3% of student body) are super-geniuses who will run the world someday... but who knows, maybe they're just really really really lucky. I think there are things you can do to make your odds better, but in the end it's like a heads up poker game vs your professor where you have to go all in pre-flop... no matter how good your hand is, it's still a 80% chance at best to win the pot.

huckabees wrote:P.S. Do CLS students get free printing? It seems like NYU students do. :)


Yes, we most certainly do :D . I'm something like 2000 pages below my limit for last semester... you should be fine, unless you're a printing maniac.


deneuve39 wrote:Thanks for taking questions! I was wondering how the economy has affected students' chances at getting jobs (especially for their 1L summer). Do you think it will still be (fairly) easy for Columbia students to get biglaw jobs in the next couple years?


1L jobs are not that hard to get. Public interest jobs are apparently everywhere. General feeling is everyone'll end up with a job, and most people already have one. You get 4.2k + whatever your job gives you if it's public interest. Many people have also secured judicial internships (no $, but very good experiance). These things are generally not affected by the economy. 1L FIRM jobs on the other hand, are really really hard to get. I know of 3 people who have a firm job lined up who didn't already have one before they began law school. That's 3 people out of probably 50-60 people at least who wanted one. That being said, firms are not done hiring yet ::crosses fingers::. In this economy, I wouldn't bank on making 30k the first summer. Traditionally, CLS has been able to place a very high % of our 1L students at biglaw firms if they wanted it... but as many firms are shutting down their 1L programs, or heavily reducing the #s, this is not the case this year. Next year may be better, it may not be. Also, keep in mind that the vast majority of top law firms did not have 1L programs in their NY office in the first place, so you're most likely looking at a firm job with a local firm, or a local branch of a major firm. It helps if you have previous industry work experience (like another advanced degree), or are a racial minority (not sure if GLBT counts, but being asian counts). Even when firms cut down or kill their 1L programs, many will retain their diversity initiatives. Hope this is helpful. But don't take me too seriously, this is just from word-of-mouth and annecdotes, nothing official that I can back up.

In terms of the future, who knows. But if they're turning down CLS grads at biglaw, you might want to re-think whether you want to do big law at all in the first place... it might be the sign that something fundamental is shifting in the industry. I literally can't imagine CLS being screwed unless the legal industry completely changes its paradigm. This school is, traditionally, THE biglaw powerhouse. Our placement rates rival Harvard/Yale/Stanford.

Severa wrote:Hi again, and thanks (again) for taking questions. I was wondering how the law school housing assignment system works. I am not sure yet if I will be able to attend (on if this were indeed the best of all possible worlds!) and so I don't know if I should submit a request for housing yet. At the same time, if I do end up attending, I don't want to be left with the worst assignments because of waiting to the last minute. Do you know if they allow you to submit a request without officially sending an enrollment commitment form?


Yes! Submit now! You do NOT have to attend to ask for housing right now. At least, last year you didn't. I would ask someone at housing, but I'm pretty sure you should apply before you make your decision. If you end up not coming :( , your spot'll just go to someone else off the housing waitlist and you'll make someone's day. No harm no foul.


THANK YOU!!

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ihatelaw
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby ihatelaw » Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:59 pm

idk if youll be able to answer this but how is columbia with matching scholarship offers from similarly ranked schools? i have a small amount $ from uchicago but i would prefer to go to columbia and the $ would probably cover my apartment, at least.

UnknownElementX
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby UnknownElementX » Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:41 pm

sorry if this has already been asked, but how strong is Columbia with respect to clinics and practical education? how many of the students are able to get a good hands on approach and how easy is it to get?

thanks

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srb
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby srb » Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:44 pm

Thank you so much for taking questions (if you still are).

Do you know anyone who got in off the waitlist?

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M51
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby M51 » Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:23 am

ihatelaw: It happens, but they'll more likely only partially match. Sometimes, they don't match at all. Sometimes they give you even more than Chi. Lots of factors there. Not going to hurt to try. I haven't heard of CLS recinding acceptances because you tried to ask for more $. Just don't bank on it. I don't get the big deal with $ though. Especially in this economy, people need to loosen up about loans. Super-low interest, borrow all you want, you WILL end up with a 160k + bonus job (or LRAP pays loans off for you if you do public interest) and that's just the first year. I ran some calculations, and even if I only got 100k in hand each year (meaning, I magically don't get any pay raises, which are lockstep, so they HAVE to give you a substantial one each year), I'd be able to live well, buy car + pay off loans in 5 years. It's NOT that big of a deal. If you want to go to CLS over Chicago, try to get money, but go even if they don't give it to you. People value that rather insignificant $ aid too much. You can't think about $ the way you think about it now, as a non-law school grad, probably still with college loans, and a low-ish paying job. You have to have the mindset of making the money you'll make in the future. 30k = a LOT for a normal person. 30k... not that much for a law grad over a couple of years.

UnknownElementX wrote:sorry if this has already been asked, but how strong is Columbia with respect to clinics and practical education? how many of the students are able to get a good hands on approach and how easy is it to get?

thanks


For the most part, the popular clinics take mostly 3Ls. You apply for your 2L year, but unless your resume's impecable with regard to demonstrated interest in the subject area... you probably won't get it then. We also have externships. There's a post about it that Chris posted earlier. Upper years really know more about this than I do.

srb wrote:Thank you so much for taking questions (if you still are).

Do you know anyone who got in off the waitlist?


Nope. I do know someone who was coming here who got taken off H's wait list and went... but I'm not sure if we filled that spot. Then again, I don't think most people would advertise that they got off the wait list... so annecdotal evidence is probably not very accurate. I think CLS is forced to publish the statistics somewhere though if you can find it.

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atlrochester
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby atlrochester » Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:45 am

thanks for taking questions. i was wondering, how hard is it to study abroad? I noticed that a lot of the placement schools have only 2-4 spots. thanks

UnknownElementX
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby UnknownElementX » Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:15 pm

Columbia's clinics are really that hard to get into? it seems that many schools are touting their clinical side as firms are more hesitant with training associates than they used to be. thats disappointing that its so hard at Columbia...

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NewHere
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby NewHere » Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:38 pm

I don't want to be left with the worst assignments because of waiting to the last minute.


Great answers above by M51. I just wanted to add something about the above question. I don't think it matters much when you send in your housing application, as long as you do it before the deadline. I know some people who sent it in after the deadline because they were only admitted after the deadline, and most of them got decent housing, too.

Also, don't stress the housing too much. It is off course an understandable source of anxiety -- what if you get stuck in a horrible place? -- but 99% of students are happy with their housing, and the other 1% all moved into better housing after the first semester. Most students live in shared apartments which are quite spacious, considering that this is NYC.

Of course it helps if you're not too stuck on singles housing or on a particular street, because if you are, you are more likely to be disappointed. Be specific in your application, describe your priorities (Price more important than space? Proximity more important than Price? Let them know!) but keep an open mind about your requirements.

00TREX00
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby 00TREX00 » Sat Feb 21, 2009 8:20 pm

,
Last edited by 00TREX00 on Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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chris0805
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby chris0805 » Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:36 pm

Columbia's clinics are really that hard to get into? it seems that many schools are touting their clinical side as firms are more hesitant with training associates than they used to be. thats disappointing that its so hard at Columbia...


FWIW, I'm in what is largely considered THE MOST competitive clinic as a 2L. It was my first choice and the clinic is made up of 8 2Ls, 5 3Ls, and 3 LLMs.

I will also add that if you make some effort (i.e. meet with the clinical professor your 1L year, do some pro bono on the topic, get a relevant summer internship), you're pretty likely to get the clinic of your choice. In the instances where that is not enough, I'd say you'd be a near lock to get the clinic your 3L year. Also, I didn't have a lot of experience on the topic when I got to law school, but I met with the professor, asked what he looked for in students, and did as much relevant pro bono that I could find. Clinical experience was a bigger priority to me than getting an A- instead of B+ in Torts, and I adjusted accordingly.

If anyone has personal questions to clinics (which I take part in) or externships (which I haven't yet), you can PM me.

daisyduck
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby daisyduck » Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:20 pm

Thanks so much for answering our questions. This thread is immensely helpful.

I was wondering if CLS OCIs are held thru a lottery system, or if the employers pick you.
If via lottery, how many do you get? When are they held?

Also, are class ranks revealed?

Thanks so much.

yqsong
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:41 pm

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby yqsong » Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:43 pm

Thank you all for answering questions about columbia. It is great to know that despite the work load, some students at columbia are still willing to help out others..

i am not sure if anybody has asked this already, what kind of preparation did you guys make the summer prior to your first year? such as reading hornbooks, E&E and etc.

and do you find it helpful?

my next question is probably stupid, which brand of laptop do most columbia students use? does it matter if it is XP-based or Vista based?

Thank you!

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NewHere
Posts: 413
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 1:19 pm

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby NewHere » Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:06 pm

I was wondering if CLS OCIs are held thru a lottery system, or if the employers pick you.
If via lottery, how many do you get? When are they held?

Also, are class ranks revealed?


OCI works by lottery. 1L OCI is a fairly limited affair, but 2L OCI (in the summer after 1L year) works like this: you have 35 bids, you rank firms in your order of preference, and the lottery is run. Most students end up with about 25-30 interviews. You can add more interviews when slots open up afterwards. Employees cannot exclude you or pick you.

Class ranks: no. We can't even put our GPA on our resume.

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NewHere
Posts: 413
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 1:19 pm

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby NewHere » Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:08 pm

i am not sure if anybody has asked this already, what kind of preparation did you guys make the summer prior to your first year? such as reading hornbooks, E&E and etc.


None. Was fine.

my next question is probably stupid, which brand of laptop do most columbia students use? does it matter if it is XP-based or Vista based?


All sorts. Some have a Mac, some Dell, Acer, Toshiba, what have you. Most people with a Windows computer have Vista nowadays, but some have XP (I have XP). Either is fine. If you have a Mac, you'll need to install some stuff to be able to take exams on your non-Windows computer, but they help you with that. Between XP and Vista it really doesn't matter at all.

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

Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby huckabees » Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:19 pm

NewHere wrote:
I was wondering if CLS OCIs are held thru a lottery system, or if the employers pick you.
If via lottery, how many do you get? When are they held?

Also, are class ranks revealed?


OCI works by lottery. 1L OCI is a fairly limited affair, but 2L OCI (in the summer after 1L year) works like this: you have 35 bids, you rank firms in your order of preference, and the lottery is run. Most students end up with about 25-30 interviews. You can add more interviews when slots open up afterwards. Employees cannot exclude you or pick you.

Class ranks: no. We can't even put our GPA on our resume.


Wow, thanks!

So does that mean you can miss an interview with a firm like Cravath just because you got unlucky? So someone who is really unlucky will not have any interviews with the top 3 firms?

Also, does that mean that 1L grades don't matter for 2L interviews? I always thought they did.




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