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 » Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:44 pm

Yep, Legal Practice Workshop is a p/f class that runs the entire year... but you don't really do/learn much in class, and the assignments are minimal. You do end up with your writing sample (to get 1L jobs) through that class though. It combines with Foundational Moot Court the second semester if you havent' already done a moot court, and the work-level rises a bit.

Other than that, first 3 weeks, you have Legal Meathods (p/f, final exam about 3 weeks into real classes). Then, real classes start. You'll have three of them: Contracts, Torts, and Civil Procedure. Due a shortage in Torts professors this year, some people had Con Law first semester instead of Torts (and are currently doing Torts instead of Con Law). Don't know what they'll do for you guys. Second Semester's Con Law (or Torts), Crim Law, Property, and whichever 1L elective you choose.

Hope that clarifies it!

Frank
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby Frank » Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:08 pm

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

Frank
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby Frank » Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:31 pm

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

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NewHere
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby NewHere » Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:44 pm

PS: How do you guys feel the economy is affecting job prospects for Columbia grads?


Hard to say. I'm a 2L. Most people in my year have a job this summer, but for some it was harder to get one than it had been in recent years.

Frank
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby Frank » Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:55 pm

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NewHere
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby NewHere » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:17 pm

It happens in the spring of 2L?


No, in the summer after 1L.

You should read Abovethelaw.com if you want to know more about the firm process specifically. Some firms gave summer offers as they would in any other year, but others were a lot more cautious. The fact that fewer offers were made overall meant that students had fewer offers on average, and so some students were stuck without an offer (or only with offers that they were unhappy with), and had to continue looking for a summer job much further into the fall semester than is usual.

It's hard to complain because some schools had it much worse. But compared with earlier years it wasn't as easy for the people below the median.

huckabees
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby huckabees » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:21 pm

NewHere wrote:
It happens in the spring of 2L?


No, in the summer after 1L.

You should read Abovethelaw.com if you want to know more about the firm process specifically. Some firms gave summer offers as they would in any other year, but others were a lot more cautious. The fact that fewer offers were made overall meant that students had fewer offers on average, and so some students were stuck without an offer (or only with offers that they were unhappy with), and had to continue looking for a summer job much further into the fall semester than is usual.

It's hard to complain because some schools had it much worse. But compared with earlier years it wasn't as easy for the people below the median.


What percentage of 2Ls would you say had wanted a firm job but were unable to get one?

If someone fell into that category, what do you think was the reason they ended up with no offers (grades, personality, journal status, etc.)?

Thanks!

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NewHere
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby NewHere » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:32 pm

What percentage of 2Ls would you say had wanted a firm job but were unable to get one?

If someone fell into that category, what do you think was the reason they ended up with no offers (grades, personality, journal status, etc.)?

Thanks!


Very low. I know of one such person, and I know that there's at least one other person out there (whose identity I don't know). That's 2 out of a class of 400. There might be a handful of other students who tried to get a firm job but didn't succeed, but out of a class of 400 people where the overwhelming majority tries to get a firm job (even many of those who want to go into public interest are working at a firm their second summer, because it takes care of a large chunk of loans), that's still a low percentage. Maybe 1 or 2%?

Since I know only one such person personally, I find it hard to say what it was that didn't work out. (Also because grades are generally only discussed in the vaguest terms, it's hard to know whether someone's grades were really terrible or only 'not that great'.) Probably a combination of all of the above.

huckabees
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby huckabees » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:55 pm

NewHere wrote:
What percentage of 2Ls would you say had wanted a firm job but were unable to get one?

If someone fell into that category, what do you think was the reason they ended up with no offers (grades, personality, journal status, etc.)?

Thanks!


Very low. I know of one such person, and I know that there's at least one other person out there (whose identity I don't know). That's 2 out of a class of 400. There might be a handful of other students who tried to get a firm job but didn't succeed, but out of a class of 400 people where the overwhelming majority tries to get a firm job (even many of those who want to go into public interest are working at a firm their second summer, because it takes care of a large chunk of loans), that's still a low percentage. Maybe 1 or 2%?

Since I know only one such person personally, I find it hard to say what it was that didn't work out. (Also because grades are generally only discussed in the vaguest terms, it's hard to know whether someone's grades were really terrible or only 'not that great'.) Probably a combination of all of the above.


Thanks, NewHere!

For those who were able to secure firm jobs, were they mostly with firms that paid market rate?

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NewHere
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby NewHere » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:02 pm

For those who were able to secure firm jobs, were they mostly with firms that paid market rate?


Yes, as far as I know. (With some exceptions for e.g. students who were interviewing specifically in a small market where there are no or few market-paying firms.)

Frank
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby Frank » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:07 pm

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NewHere
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby NewHere » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:12 pm

Yes, August. They let you know well in advance when it is, so you'll just make sure to be in the city those weeks. Law jobs generally finish in early August, so it's not much of a problem.

Frank
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby Frank » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:31 pm

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

kammysay504
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby kammysay504 » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:43 pm

So I'm pretty sure that I'm going to Columbia, but I'm just wondering (if you don't mind me asking), did you turn down significant scholarship offers at lesser ranked schools (i.e. still in the T14 or T 20) to go to Columbia? And if so, do you feel like it was worth the financial investment, at least so far?

I've been going back and forth about if 200K of debt is really worth it when I have the option of going to UT or UCLA for a lot less. I basically don't know what kind of law I want...I'm interested in PI/government work, but kind of want to have the option of good corporate law jobs open to me so that I can make money to pay off loans and save up before going into the public sector.

Also, is it pretty true that you can get a job almost regardless of rank at a place like Columbia whereas at a lower ranked school, you really have to fight your way to the top to have good options (particularly at this point with the economy)?

Thanks!

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NewHere
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby NewHere » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:55 pm

So I'm pretty sure that I'm going to Columbia, but I'm just wondering (if you don't mind me asking), did you turn down significant scholarship offers at lesser ranked schools (i.e. still in the T14 or T 20) to go to Columbia? And if so, do you feel like it was worth the financial investment, at least so far?

I've been going back and forth about if 200K of debt is really worth it when I have the option of going to UT or UCLA for a lot less. I basically don't know what kind of law I want...I'm interested in PI/government work, but kind of want to have the option of good corporate law jobs open to me so that I can make money to pay off loans and save up before going into the public sector.

Also, is it pretty true that you can get a job almost regardless of rank at a place like Columbia whereas at a lower ranked school, you really have to fight your way to the top to have good options (particularly at this point with the economy)?

Thanks!


My situation was a bit different because I'm not an American. While many schools in the top 20 give their students excellent opportunities in the US, many do not have a lot of name recognition in other parts of the world, and so for me it would not have made sense to go to a lower ranked school, even if it hadn't made much of a difference for an American citizen in my position.

Even disregarding that difference, the financial investment has been worth it, in my opinion. I have a job this summer that I doubt I could have gotten coming from UT or UCLA. (It's hard to be sure about these things, but it seems unlikely.)

I don't think you're really looking at 200K, by the way. Columbia has an advisory budget of about $65K, which would mean $195K over three years, but their estimate of living costs is on the high side, and you can expect to have a good salary your second summer if you want it and a little bit of income your first summer. (And if you're lucky a bit in grants.)

I'm sure you're really busy with work!


Ahem, in theory yes. In practice, I'm hanging out on a message board! :)

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Lem37
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby Lem37 » Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:48 am

This has probably been posted a thousand times, but for some reason I can't find it: do the majority of Columbia students use PCs or Macs?

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NewHere
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby NewHere » Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:09 pm

do the majority of Columbia students use PCs or Macs?


Majority PC, but with a large minority of Macs. Choose whichever you like best, it's not as if your classmates will think you are more or less cool if you have one or the other.

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MeTalkPrettyOneDay
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby MeTalkPrettyOneDay » Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:26 pm

Does CLS still use SofTest? Is running SofTest on a Mac still a royal pain?

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NewHere
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby NewHere » Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:07 pm

Yes, SofTest. People with Mac have to use Bootcamp and have to sign a disclaimer, but there are many students who do this, so I guess it's not that big a deal.

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SleekFire
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby SleekFire » Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:14 pm

NewHere wrote:
So I'm pretty sure that I'm going to Columbia, but I'm just wondering (if you don't mind me asking), did you turn down significant scholarship offers at lesser ranked schools (i.e. still in the T14 or T 20) to go to Columbia? And if so, do you feel like it was worth the financial investment, at least so far?

I've been going back and forth about if 200K of debt is really worth it when I have the option of going to UT or UCLA for a lot less. I basically don't know what kind of law I want...I'm interested in PI/government work, but kind of want to have the option of good corporate law jobs open to me so that I can make money to pay off loans and save up before going into the public sector.

Also, is it pretty true that you can get a job almost regardless of rank at a place like Columbia whereas at a lower ranked school, you really have to fight your way to the top to have good options (particularly at this point with the economy)?

Thanks!


My situation was a bit different because I'm not an American. While many schools in the top 20 give their students excellent opportunities in the US, many do not have a lot of name recognition in other parts of the world, and so for me it would not have made sense to go to a lower ranked school, even if it hadn't made much of a difference for an American citizen in my position.

Even disregarding that difference, the financial investment has been worth it, in my opinion. I have a job this summer that I doubt I could have gotten coming from UT or UCLA. (It's hard to be sure about these things, but it seems unlikely.)

I don't think you're really looking at 200K, by the way. Columbia has an advisory budget of about $65K, which would mean $195K over three years, but their estimate of living costs is on the high side, and you can expect to have a good salary your second summer if you want it and a little bit of income your first summer. (And if you're lucky a bit in grants.)

I'm sure you're really busy with work!


Ahem, in theory yes. In practice, I'm hanging out on a message board! :)



It would seem you are in a position to know about the international rep. of schools...

Would you mind expanding on CLS reputation internationally vs that of other schools.

Other as defined by HLS/YLS and those underneath CLS as well.....

Thanks!

huckabees
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby huckabees » Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:14 pm

NewHere wrote:
I'm sure you're really busy with work!


Ahem, in theory yes. In practice, I'm hanging out on a message board! :)


Yes, hang out with us! I need me some Disney tars to keep me company! :D

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NewHere
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby NewHere » Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:50 pm

Would you mind expanding on CLS reputation internationally vs that of other schools.

Other as defined by HLS/YLS and those underneath CLS as well.....


I have to start with the caveat that this is not based on statistically reliable polls, but based on internet research and asking people in the legal profession. In Europe, in the lay world, Columbia is not very well known. But in the legal world, while it lags a bit behind HLS, CLS is highly regarded. In Asia, I've been told Columbia's reputation is on a par with Harvard. In general, people know what the Ivy League is but don't know much about the relative reputations of state schools (or about the internal rankings of Ivies), so to that extent for a foreigner it may make sense to choose e.g. Cornell over Michigan or NYU.

A school such as NYU has the advantage that it has "New York" in the name, which to someone who doesn't know the US academic environment sounds more familiar than let's say UVA or Georgetown. (Think what you would do if you saw a resume that said "University of Moscow" and another one that said "University of Kamchatka".)

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takingmytime
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby takingmytime » Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:17 pm

I posted this general thing in the CLS 2012 thread but I'm still deciding. I feel a bit like a stalker after seeing this article on the CLS website but it says that this years Law Review Editor-in-Chief will be taking a clerkiship in the eastern district of Virgina. While this is very impressive, I wonder why the editor-in-chief couldn't land a dictrict [edit: circuit] court clerkship. Is it really that hard to get a clerkship from CLS because if that guy can't get one, then I have no chance.

On a similar note, I notice that all those with leadership positions on law review were ivy undergrads. When trying out for law review is it a blind competition or can they see where you went to UG - and on that note, are ivy grads favored when selecting new members.

...not that I even have a chance...
Last edited by takingmytime on Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Public Undergrad
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby Public Undergrad » Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:34 pm

I posted this general thing in the CLS 2012 thread but I'm still deciding. I feel a bit like a stalker after seeing this article on the CLS website but it says that this years Law Review Editor-in-Chief will be taking a clerkiship in the eastern district of Virgina. While this is very impressive, I wonder why the editor-in-chief couldn't land a dictrict court clerkship. Is it really that hard to get a clerkship from CLS because if that guy can't get one, then I have no chance.

On a similar note, I notice that all those with leadership positions on law review were ivy undergrads. When trying out for law review is it a blind competition or can they see where you went to UG - and on that note, are ivy grads favored when selecting new members.

...not that I even have a chance...


He is clerking for a district court. He is clerking for the USDC in the Eastern District of Virginia. That is located in Alexandria, VA, which is across the river from Washington DC. He probably could have worked for a COA but perhaps he wanted the real litigation experience that comes with a district court clerkship. I have no idea why he did take one over the other.

CLS is making a major push to place students in clerkships. Last year they brought on a person to run the program. She hosts lunch programs just about every week. They constantly bring in judges to discuss the application process.

Law Review is based on grades and a writing competition. Some people are able to write on exclusive of their grades. Others also have to write a personal statement. But your undergraduate school has nothing to do with it. You may see many Ivy Undergrads because much of the CLS student body is composed of students from the Ivy League (and other top 10 schools). While this is intimidating at first, it quickly fades.

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SleekFire
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby SleekFire » Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:01 am

NewHere wrote:
Would you mind expanding on CLS reputation internationally vs that of other schools.

Other as defined by HLS/YLS and those underneath CLS as well.....


I have to start with the caveat that this is not based on statistically reliable polls, but based on internet research and asking people in the legal profession. In Europe, in the lay world, Columbia is not very well known. But in the legal world, while it lags a bit behind HLS, CLS is highly regarded. In Asia, I've been told Columbia's reputation is on a par with Harvard. In general, people know what the Ivy League is but don't know much about the relative reputations of state schools (or about the internal rankings of Ivies), so to that extent for a foreigner it may make sense to choose e.g. Cornell over Michigan or NYU.

A school such as NYU has the advantage that it has "New York" in the name, which to someone who doesn't know the US academic environment sounds more familiar than let's say UVA or Georgetown. (Think what you would do if you saw a resume that said "University of Moscow" and another one that said "University of Kamchatka".)


Thanks! I wonder why Asia recognizes CLS more then Europe....

I suppose it is all fluff and doesn't really matter but I have to confess it is slightly irritating when lay people don't realize the excellence of CLS ;-)




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