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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Prodigy
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby Prodigy » Tue Sep 30, 2008 6:08 am

Thanks so much for clarifying - doesn't sound so bad when you put it that way :mrgreen:

CLS looks better and better every day

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yme16
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby yme16 » Wed Oct 01, 2008 7:52 am

What made you stand out on the application?

riccardo426
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby riccardo426 » Wed Oct 01, 2008 8:46 am

M51 wrote:
lavaina wrote:"Need-Based" Scholarship - If you're poor, you WILL get $$$. I'm lower-middle class, mayyyyybe. Maybe even middle-middle class. In greater society, I would not consider myself or my family "poor" by any stretch of the imagination. I'm getting 15k per year, and I ED-ed, which means they didn't have to throw any $$$ at me to convince me to come and this is purely based on my family's "need". After doing some math, I also realize 15k per year puts me somewhere in the poorest 10% of the incoming class. BUT, Columbia has also been known to tweak thier "Need-Based" Scholarship to partially match, fully match, or sometimes even exceed offers you get from Penn/NYU/Chicago. On the other hand, there's an equally large number of stories where Columbia has not raised their grant award in consideration. It all comes down to how much Fin-Aid likes you I guess.


Do you know if being poor (like working class, below lower-middle) helps in CLS admissions at all? I have lots and lots of being poor stories that I intend to milk for my PS and DS. I'm getting the impression it may be a nice factor at NYU, but not CLS.

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ReachingHigh09
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby ReachingHigh09 » Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:20 am

Around how many people are admitted ED per cycle?

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M51
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby M51 » Wed Oct 01, 2008 10:25 pm

riccardo426 wrote:Do you know if being poor (like working class, below lower-middle) helps in CLS admissions at all? I have lots and lots of being poor stories that I intend to milk for my PS and DS. I'm getting the impression it may be a nice factor at NYU, but not CLS.


I have no idea. I don't think it's that much of a consideration in admissions, besides give you something to talk about for your DS (assuming that you're white... or a double-whammy if you're URM on top of that). I did not talk about being "poor" in my DS, because I never considered and still do not consider myself to be poor... so that obviously didn't help me.

Any reason you think it'll help you greatly for NYU, but not CLS? (Besides the fact that they tend to offer slightly more $$ to their admits, but I've never seen a trend in actual admissions decisions)

ReachingHigh09 wrote:Around how many people are admitted ED per cycle?


To circle around your answer, if you do a LSN search for 4.2 indexes and 4.3 indexes... historically, the ED ones have a very statistically significant edge on the non-ED people. Especially true for 4.2s. It's understandable that those willing to commit will be given preferance over those unwilling to do so, for the purposes of raising yield rate.
I do not have the exact #s. I'm sure the admissions department will be more than happy to tell you if you call them up. They're very friendly, because they're just nice people, and they want you to come :wink: .

andol469
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby andol469 » Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:03 pm

...
Last edited by andol469 on Thu Aug 06, 2009 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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M51
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby M51 » Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:34 am

andol469 wrote:I realize as a 1L you may not be familiar with all/any of these clubs, but just out of curiosity, wtf are these?

(From the admissions mailer) :

Brewmasters (is this what I think it is?)
California Society
Columbia Card Club
Columbia Strategic Simulation Society
J. Reuben Clark Law Society


Brewmasters - Drinking local beer, and brewing own beer. Free drinks + sushi in combination with another club as their first activity of the year.
California Society - Huge networking/party club. Well funded by Alumni. Will give you connections to law firms, associates, partners, set up interviews, etc for firms based out of Cali. You don't have to have any relation to Cali besides an interest to join. First event was free Mexican food + beer.
Columbia Card Club - Poker club. Held a tornament w/ prizes first week of school, and I haven't heard from them since.
Columbia Strategic Simulation Society - They play this board game (German I think?) that's like a super-advanced version of Risk? Haven't been, but they've held two parties already.
J. Reuben Clark Law Society - Mormon society, I think? Random for this list... guessing you're mormon?

Also going to give a shout out to my favorite organization:
DeVinimus - Wine club. Tastings, lectures, etc. Two events so far, both very well done.

andol469
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby andol469 » Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:13 am

..
Last edited by andol469 on Thu Aug 06, 2009 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Prodigy
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby Prodigy » Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:48 pm

sooo....
The females. How would you describe them (In terms of their looks, duh)?

sluggo
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby sluggo » Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:15 pm

all the hot ones go for guys with bottle service

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Prodigy
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby Prodigy » Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:46 pm

sluggo wrote:all the hot ones go for guys with bottle service


fuck my life.

lavaina
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby lavaina » Fri Oct 10, 2008 4:52 pm

chris0805 wrote:Columbia 2L here, also willing to answer questions.

I worked in West Africa this year, I'm on the Human Rights Law Review, and I'm in the human rights clinic... so if anyone is interested in that kind of stuff, I can probably be helpful.

Studying/grades... not so much... I did ok 1st semester and better 2nd semester, but I have no idea why. :lol: Sorry


What are the human rights opportunities like at Columbia? I can read everything on their website--it sounds awesome--I was just curious as to how interesting/good classes are and how involved all the extracurricular groups are. Do you find that there is a fairly active human rights alumni base from which you are able to draw? What do you find are the advantages of living in New York as far as human rights work goes? (Last question I swear :) ): How did you land on the Human Rights Law Review?

afrikaans9
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby afrikaans9 » Sat Oct 11, 2008 3:24 pm

Hey I saw that you went to the College of William and Mary! I go there too. I am a junior majoring in government and german. My question is do think you got any boost in your application coming from William and Mary where they make you work for your grades? Some of the Academic Advisers say you do but Im not convinced.

Also, how long do you study for the LSAT? Did you take it at William and Mary?

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M51
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby M51 » Sun Oct 12, 2008 1:17 pm

Prodigy wrote:sooo....
The females. How would you describe them (In terms of their looks, duh)?


This is what'll get me in trouble if people read this :wink:
If you feel super-stalkerish, every entering class of every law school has a facebook group. Search + Browse. But many people (mostly women who don't want to be stalked by people like you) have their pictures blocked for non-friends.
Also, bottle service isn't THAT expensive when you're sharing the tab. You can always fit at least one in every month if you're good with a budget.

lavaina wrote:What are the human rights opportunities like at Columbia?


1Ls are guarenteed funding for public interest summer programs. From the impression they're giving us, if you want to do something human rights related, you'll get to... you'll also get enough funding from CLS that you won't starve. Sorry that I can't help with the other questions.

afrikaans9 wrote:Hey I saw that you went to the College of William and Mary! I go there too. I am a junior majoring in government and german. My question is do think you got any boost in your application coming from William and Mary where they make you work for your grades? Some of the Academic Advisers say you do but Im not convinced.

Also, how long do you study for the LSAT? Did you take it at William and Mary?


Yes, I think coming from a school known for grade deflation helped. In fact, if you go to the pre-law advisor and ask for "the chart" of all WM students applying for law school from past cycles and where they got accepted/rejected... you'll find we do a LOT better with low GPAs than what LSN would indicate. This data comes directly from LSAC, so the #s don't lie. I would add a +.1 to your GPA for schools who don't prioritize GPA, like Columbia. Plus, the admissions officer said in an interview somewhere a few years ago that CLS specifically likes certain schools that are known for giving low GPAs, WM was one of these schools, and that factored into my decision to attend WM in the first place. Plus, you're a Gov/German major... put your head into it for the remaining 2 semesters and pull that GPA up... these are not hard majors at WM (it's the huge # of bio/physics majors that really help keep our avgGPA down :wink: ). But, if you already have a 3.8+, the WM aspect doesn't really seem to help as much.

I did take the LSATs at WM. It's done in the building one down from the Econ/NativeAmerican building (I suck at remembering names), in the biggest lecture-style classroom. It's a great environment and I couldn't have asked for better. My frat was having a party the night before, and I lived there, so I also made arrangements to sleep over at a friend's place. Make sure to deal with things like that so you don't get screwed. Other than that, taking it at WM is a good option.

I studied for the LSATs with the Princeton Review from June - August, then took a practice test every weekend until the September test. I had taken 2 practice tests before that without any prep just to get used to the format, and my end score was ~165. By test time, I was averaging 175 (but always expect a little drop off for test anxiety). So, that's about a 10 point improvement from studying.

afrikaans9
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby afrikaans9 » Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:42 pm

Thanks for the answers! Its awesome to hear about W&M alums doing great things after college. go tribe

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yme16
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby yme16 » Sun Oct 12, 2008 9:24 pm

will these help
protested for women rights in rural Africa
tutoring in urban centers in NY
photo documentary work in post-Katrina.

Essay- Wrote about the protest and how it affected me and the internship at Japan. My whole theme was human rights.

kettlecorn
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby kettlecorn » Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:02 pm

do you feel the atmosphere has gotten more tense as the semester has gone by and the initial glow of being in law school has worn off? do less people go out now than before? how many people are outlining at this point?

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M51
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby M51 » Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:11 am

yme16 wrote:will these help
protested for women rights in rural Africa
tutoring in urban centers in NY
photo documentary work in post-Katrina.

Essay- Wrote about the protest and how it affected me and the internship at Japan. My whole theme was human rights.


Uhhh... it couldn't hurt. It won't get you in if you're #s are too low, but if you're on the borderline, then sure, it'll help a bit.

kettlecorn wrote:do you feel the atmosphere has gotten more tense as the semester has gone by and the initial glow of being in law school has worn off? do less people go out now than before? how many people are outlining at this point?


More people are studying more. But Wed/Thurs/Fri/Sat people are all out. I think everyone's outlining by now, it's more than halfway through the semester. Study groups have formed, so people are spending more time working and being less efficent doing it. The glow is still here though. People seem to really really love law school, even the work (yes, we're all huge dorks). Workload did almost double in the past two weeks... but for some reason people are still out, going places, seeing shows on random weekdays etc. I'm starting to fall behind on my outlining, so I might cut down on the drinking next weekend. Hopefully it'll just be a one weekend thing, and not a new pattern. Study rooms are filling up more often and earlier though. November's gonna be fun, and I expect things to calm down by then. :D

littleboyblue
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby littleboyblue » Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:26 am

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

deanrobbins
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby deanrobbins » Tue Oct 14, 2008 9:06 am

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

fedex
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby fedex » Tue Oct 14, 2008 12:58 pm

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

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

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

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

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

jrs12
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby jrs12 » Tue Oct 14, 2008 7:29 pm

Actually, both of your descriptions sound a little disturbing to me. I'd prefer not going to a school where people are going out most nights of the week. I did it for my first two years of college, but it's been about 6 years since I've been willing to really go out more than once/week. It doesn't bother me if other people do, but if it's the norm, then it means I could be shut out.
On the other hand, I was looking forward to being part of a community. My favorite thing about undergrad was the way the studentry mixed academics and socializing.

I wonder if the problem is just endemic to graduate school. I did my Masters with a fairly large group of students; nevertheless, the social landscape was rather fractured. As you noted, many were married or living with long term significant others. Nobody lived in dorms or ate in dining halls. There were no varsity athletics. If you take away these three things, I'm honestly not sure how I would've met most of my friends in undergrad. I don't know how long you've been out of undergrad, but I think it can be dangerous to assume that the social scene at small, elite universities and colleges is remotely normal. Friends are accrued more slowly in the real world. (Just to reiterate, I'm not suggesting that I understand your situation, only sharing some of my own experience which you may or may not find relevant.)

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chris0805
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby chris0805 » Tue Oct 14, 2008 9:28 pm

Columbia is definitely not a party school in the way any UG is. With that said, it is significantly easier to make friends in law school compared to graduate school or in "the real world." There a lot of social activities and there's always at least one crew going out or having people over at least one weeknight a week (Note: I do NOT count Thursday as a weeknight).

Just as an example, my wife and I had about 8 people over on Saturday and went to a potluck yesterday. Tomorrow, my group is having a big event so I'll attend that and maybe hang out with the other board members after (depending on how much work I get done during tonight and tomorrow). It's not Ohio State or anything, but it's a good time. Then again, I don't know much about UG since was a D. I athlete in college. There wasn't so much going out between practice and (actually going to and doing work for)class.

Also, I don't know who Fedex is meeting, but other than my wife and I, I met two married law students, two engaged ones, and maybe three in longterm relationships my first year in law school.

jrs12
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby jrs12 » Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:16 pm

Thanks. That sounds about perfect.

Pretty specific question that you probably can't answer: do you know of any law students who are runners? (I mean like at least 50 miles/week, usually under 7 min/mile pace)

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chris0805
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Re: Columbia 1L Taking Questions

Postby chris0805 » Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:35 pm

I *think* (I could be wrong) that there might be a running club... and if not, you should definitely start one. I know someone who is currently training for a marathon, but she doesn't do sub 7 minute pace and, although I run 4-6 times a week, I used to be a sprinter... so hill workouts and 2 in less than 12 is more my style. If I run more than 3 miles without drastic speed changes, I turn into a pumpkin.




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