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.
kritiosboy
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby kritiosboy » Thu Sep 18, 2008 10:22 pm

I just got home from the Columbia visit, thanks for all the advice on things to see, m51. I didn't end up staying for Bar Review, but I did meet one of the bar czars. CLS is everything I ever dreamed a law school could be, which does sort of suck because I'm a longshot for admission even if everything possible breaks in my favor.

applejuice
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby applejuice » Thu Sep 18, 2008 10:56 pm

Its really cool that you came back on here to post ! :-) I am still in undergrad but I wanted to echo your opinion about the area. It really is fantastic ! I lived in the dorms one summer when I interned in NY and it was like right across from the law school. The area is so cool b/c you can walk in one direction and pay like $8 for breakfast (harlem), and then walk in another, and pay like $18. Its sorta like a toned down version of the NYC portrayed in Sex and The City-which is waht NYU area is like. I also stayed in those dorms, and its SUPER expensive, and very cliche'. The M.Heights area is more down to earth. Anyhow good luck with school ! I love that sushi place that's right across from the 116th train. And if you ever get a chance you should check out this hole in the wall rest. called the basement, its in Harlem, about 2 blocks from CLS.

jitsrenzo
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby jitsrenzo » Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:22 am

I want in! And it seems like it's all down to the LSAT - 173 or 174 and I'd have a 4.35-4.4 index, coming from an Ivy. AAAHHHHHHH

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underdawg
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby underdawg » Fri Sep 19, 2008 1:36 am

congrats on going to an ivy?

jrs12
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby jrs12 » Fri Sep 19, 2008 1:38 am

Thanks for the tip on admissions indices and law school numbers. I'm fairly new to this stuff, so I didn't realize what kind of statistical resources were available. I sort of assumed that I was a long shot, but it turns out that my index is 4.63, so there's a decent chance I might see you next year.

I dropped by CLS this summer and poked around, but I didn't talk to an admissions officer, because I didn't have any specific questions, and I didn't want to seem like a brown-noser. I must say that I loved the neighborhood. It seemed a bit calmer than the rest of Manhattan--sort of like the NYC that you see in old movies. The accessibility to parks is also a big deal for me, since I'd go crazy if I didn't have a decent place to run.

My biggest concern is the cost of living, especially since I have a dog. Apparently I'd be stuck in the Lionsgate building, paying $2k/month, if I want university housing. I'm not sure if you'd know about this, but how difficult is it to find affordable, non-university housing? (I'm in Los Angeles, so my definition of affordable is fairly liberal. I'm paying $1200/month for a total shit-hole).

I'd also like to thank you for posting your schedule. It's really reassuring to see that law school is comparable to other competitive academic programs in terms of workload, rather than being a whole different universe.

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underdawg
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby underdawg » Fri Sep 19, 2008 1:41 am

i thought CLS's Lenfest buildings were supposed to be kickass and ~$1500/mo...see this thread for more info

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=38750&p=837795&hilit=lenfest#p837795

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M51
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby M51 » Fri Sep 19, 2008 2:48 am

jrs12 wrote:My biggest concern is the cost of living, especially since I have a dog. Apparently I'd be stuck in the Lionsgate building, paying $2k/month, if I want university housing. I'm not sure if you'd know about this, but how difficult is it to find affordable, non-university housing? (I'm in Los Angeles, so my definition of affordable is fairly liberal. I'm paying $1200/month for a total shit-hole).

I'd also like to thank you for posting your schedule. It's really reassuring to see that law school is comparable to other competitive academic programs in terms of workload, rather than being a whole different universe.


Pets & Housing: I have a friend here who brought a dog with her and she's paying ~1000 bucks for a HUGGGGGGGE apartment. It's hush hush and on the d/l, but when you request for housing, mention it, then call people, and if you press the issue about how great your dog is and how important he/she is to you, you can get an apartment share VERY close to the law school that'll allow pets. I actually know someone who mentioned she had a pet, just to get in on these amazing apartment deals. (fyi, 1000$ for a decent sized apartment is pretty good for manhattan, for a huge apartment, this is an AMAZING deal) It's on the dl though, and CLS doesn't advertise this. (It technically violates some CLS housing rule, but the landlords and housing office work around it for the benefit of those with pets). Don't let this be a reason against CLS! It's really not a stumbling block, but you might have to make a few phone calls.

sbpark84
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby sbpark84 » Sat Sep 20, 2008 11:21 am

are the students from Ivy UGs smarter than non Ivy UGs?
u haven't taken finals yet, but if you see 2L or 3L, do the ivy people tend to do better than T50 UG students?

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DOS
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby DOS » Sat Sep 20, 2008 12:32 pm

Nope, in fact the person who has impressed me the most in my legal writing section (the only section small enough, about 12 students, that you can actually see how people think) went to a school I barely heard of before.

A quick and unscientific browse of law review shows that Ivy UGs seem very well represented.

The main point is that IMO this seems a remarkably uniform bunch in basic attitude towards school. It really does not not matter where you went to school or where you are from. I have not seen any snobbery here. Although obviously if you are a good and social student at an Ivy you probably already know students who are also going to Columbia or who are already at Columbia. I guess this might give you a little bit of a network.

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M51
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby M51 » Sat Sep 20, 2008 2:42 pm

sbpark84 wrote:are the students from Ivy UGs smarter than non Ivy UGs?
u haven't taken finals yet, but if you see 2L or 3L, do the ivy people tend to do better than T50 UG students?


Since I can't find a list of all the Kent Scholars... We'll use Law Review Membership as an indication. This is obviously an imperfect way to measure law school success, as grades are only one component of admittance at CLS. There is no pure grade-on, but there are spots reserved for pure write-ons. Most spots are a combination of the two, with a few spots reserved for "personal statement" quality, which I think is just a way for them to take who they want, maybe for diversity purposes (I don't just mean race/gender/GLBT, but possibly to help out hard science majors)? And of course, not everyone who has amazing grades applies for the law review (In fact, I know at least 2 Kent Scholars who did not, and there's only a handful of Kent Scholars to begin with.). But, legal writing is every bit as important as your actual grades, and law review is kindda a big deal, so we'll take these people as a fair sample of the "best and brightest."

I'm curious about this topic myself, so I'm going to take some time to work off the hangover and figure out the demographics of all 42 2Ls on CLS Law Review. This is the not-so-quick, scientific census of the Class of 2010 Law Review Members:

Gender:
Female - 24 (+8%)
Male - 18 (-8%)


UG:
Cornell - 5
Harvard - 4
Yale - 3
UPenn - 3
Berkeley - 3
Wesleyan - 3
Brown - 2
Duke - 2
Texas Austin - 2
Barnard - 2
Dartmouth - 1
Princeton - 1
Stanford - 1
NYU - 1
USC - 1
BC - 1
McGill - 1
Wash U - 1
Tufts - 1
American - 1
Williams - 1
UC-Riverside - 1
Loyola Maryland - 1
Kings - 1


Major:
Sociology - 5 (+6%)
Humanities - 5 (+4%)
Engineering/Math/Science - 4 (+3%)
History - 5 (+2%)
Psychology - 2 (+2%)
English/Literature - 5 (+0%)
International Relations - 2 (+0%)
Economics - 3 (-3%)
PoliSci/Policy - 8 (-5%)
Philosophy - 1 (-5%)
Other - 3


Years out of UG:
3+ Years - 11 (+5%)
1-2 Years - 20 (+1%)
Straight - 11 (-6%)


Race (I'm judging this 100% by their picture/name):
White - 33 (+11%)
Hispanic - 4 (+4%)
Black - 2 (-4%)
Asian - 3 (-11%)

*percentage points deviated from Entering Class Profile

Wow, I'm totally not getting in =P. Male, non-represented UG, Philosophy/PoliSci major, Straight out of UG, Asian. I think that actually puts me in the demographic LEAST likely to get into law review.
Caution: Take this data with a grain of salt, as the sample size is rather low (despite being a census).
So, I guess sociology isn't so useless now is it? :shock:

And... on to torts.

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yme16
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby yme16 » Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:25 pm

If you had to measure the difficulty of your classes from 1-5, what would it be?
What is the most popular undergrad degree there?
Which undergad major would more help for law school other than phil,poli sci,english and history?
Last edited by yme16 on Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

treehuggingdirtworshiper
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby treehuggingdirtworshiper » Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:28 pm

M51 wrote:
Missesmoo wrote:Thank you for your input!
We have 2 people in our class from Lewis and Clark College. Unless you're from Oregon, I bet you've never heard of the school.


Hi! I am very interested in environmental law at Lewis and Clark, but the two transfers out of the law school scare me a little. Do you know why they transferred? Did they hate L&C, think it was not challenging enough, etc? I'm very curious!

Thank you for posting all of this great info for us about Columbia!

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neskerdoo
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby neskerdoo » Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:38 pm

treehuggingdirtworshiper wrote:
M51 wrote:
Missesmoo wrote:Thank you for your input!
We have 2 people in our class from Lewis and Clark College. Unless you're from Oregon, I bet you've never heard of the school.


Hi! I am very interested in environmental law at Lewis and Clark, but the two transfers out of the law school scare me a little. Do you know why they transferred? Did they hate L&C, think it was not challenging enough, etc? I'm very curious!

Thank you for posting all of this great info for us about Columbia!



I think they 'transferred' from L & C because they graduated

treehuggingdirtworshiper
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby treehuggingdirtworshiper » Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:49 pm

Ahah, that makes more sense!

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M51
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby M51 » Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:06 pm

yme16 wrote:If you had to measure the difficulty of your classes from 1-5, what would it be?
What is the most popular undergrad degree there?
Which undergad major would more help for law school other than phil,poli sci,english and history?


As I've said before in this thread, you can't measure difficulty without a grading system. I won't get my grades back until Febuary, so talk to me then. It doesn't "feel" any more difficult than UG, just more time consuming.
Most popular undergrad is in that link in the first post.
I don't know which UG major would help more. It most likely makes no differance whatsoever.

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yme16
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Double minors

Postby yme16 » Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:27 pm

What if one choose to double minor would it be look down apon?
How many double minors are there in your class?

kettlecorn
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby kettlecorn » Mon Sep 22, 2008 7:33 pm

lol why would a double minor be looked down upon? anyway, i'm pretty sure most schools couldn't care less how many majors/minors you had. they won't put it against you (not sure why they ever would) but it won't be too big of a benefit either.

anyway, here's my question for M51: any fun gunner stories yet?

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dinolove
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby dinolove » Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:13 pm

so I wanted to jump in on this thread too... I'm a 1L at Columbia and it's awesome. An obvious choice over NYU for the location (morningside is really cute and not stressful) the housing (I pay 1000 for a studio with a brand new kitchen three blocks from the law school) and the faculty--my professors all rock... not only amazing in their fields but actually good lecturers too! Plus the nightlife is awesome.... I go out 4-5 nights a week while still staying ahead in the reading :)

For the person asking about dual degree programs with france... I was originally considering applying for the 2 years at columbia, 1 year in france program... it only takes about 1-2 ppl a year so I guess you could say it's "competitive" but the french degree you get from that program is kind of regarded as bogus over there. the three years at columbia, 1 year in france program where you get an llm or some sort of equivalent is the best option, but honestly it probably won't increase your job prospects that much.

anyway.... yeah columbia is the best. i got into harvard off the wait list and stayed with columbia... granted it was partly for $$ but still a great decision

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tome
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby tome » Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:23 am

Mind sharing your LSN, or at least your #s and $$?

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yme16
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Commercial outlines

Postby yme16 » Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:53 pm

Do the commercial outlines work?
In college, I would use my own notes than use the summarized outlines from various websites and add it into my notes, would that work at law school?

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M51
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Re: Commercial outlines

Postby M51 » Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:07 pm

yme16 wrote:Do the commercial outlines work?
In college, I would use my own notes than use the summarized outlines from various websites and add it into my notes, would that work at law school?


For the 4th time, I do not have grades yet. I have not been tested. No 1L at any law school has been tested yet, so no one knows. From what I hear, commercial outlines help if you use them as a supplement, not if you rely on them and not take notes at all. This also depends heavily on who your professor is, and who you are. I've heard people say they read them for one class, and did really well... then not using them for another class and did poorly. I've also heard the exact opposite, since they tend to make you lazy. Is that considered "working" for you?
:|

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dinolove
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby dinolove » Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:42 pm

3.74 gpa undergrad; 174 lsat. not going to say the $$ for privacy reasons but it's pretty small--still, some money is better than nothing.

yme16--columbia has old outlines available for all the classes so no one uses commercial outlines here. but just to give you a heads up--i flew through college cutting corners and rarely did reading; you actually have to do the reading in law school, no matter where you go. that said, i have the emmanuel's outline for contracts and i haven't touched it; it seems to be too basic for my class and is way more boring than my awesome professor :)

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dinolove
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby dinolove » Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:50 pm

also for the person with the pet.... columbia allow dogs and cats in studios. you don't have to be stuck with lionsgate either... my studio is half that price and they allow pets in mine

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bendl
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby bendl » Tue Sep 23, 2008 11:04 pm

I was 3.3 >175... money was need based, but more generous than our downtown neighbor...

lavaina
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby lavaina » Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:03 am

I really love Columbia, and I am interested in scholarship money as well. Are Columbia's scholarships purely based on numbers, or, like NYU, do they give anything out based on public interest work/ demonstrated commitment? I intend to do public interest work when I graduate, so anything that would help avert crippling debt is of great interest to me.

I know for public interest everyone says you should go to NYU, but I have heard that Columbia's Labor Law and Gender & Law programs are unparalleled. Not to mention all the cool human rights work they seem to have going on there (UN externship program, opportunities to intern at Amnesty International, etc.). Obviously either school would be amazing; I was just wondering if the Columbia folks had any comments on the rather opaque Columbia scholarship system.




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