CLS FedSoc Culture? Forum

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CLS FedSoc Culture?

Post by ScaredCLS1L » Tue Sep 14, 2021 2:32 pm

I'm a 1L at Columbia right now and have been thinking about joining the Federalist Society, despite the stigma. I'm pretty much a centrist politically, and as we've read cases the first few weeks, I definitely feel like I am more legally conservative than the majority of my classmates. I also really want to clerk, and I know the FedSoc can be very helpful in that, especially at a place like CLS where clerking is not prioritized.

My hang up is that while I'm more conservative than most of my classmates, I'm really not conservative at all. I am staunchly against Trump and his faction, and I strongly disagree with abusing the law to forward conservative policy. If I join, and this FedSoc ends up being a hardcore MAGA type space, I won't last long. But by that point, I'm afraid the rest of my classmates will have already disowned me as a FedSoc guy, and I'll basically be screwed both socially and in terms of networking.

I've read on here that some chapters of Fedsoc are know for being mostly legal moderates/libertarians, while others are basically hard right wing political groups to the point of trolling. Does anyone have any insight into what it's like particularly at CLS? I feel like directly asking people who are officers in it won't give me a very honest and realistic perspective.

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Re: CLS FedSoc Culture?

Post by nealric » Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:15 pm

Can't post anon in this forum, but feel free to PM me for some insight.


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Re: CLS FedSoc Culture?

Post by RedNewJersey » Wed Sep 15, 2021 12:52 pm

Is there a reason you can't just go to a few events? I'd think going to events and getting to know people a bit should be easily possible well before formally joining. And "Fed Soc" connections for clerkships are all about either your network (which you won't get automatically by joining, only by actually knowing conservative people) or your recommenders, who can advise conservative judges that you would be agreeable to work with. Again, "joining" is neither necessary nor sufficient, and you can easily telegraph that you are a centrist / moderate to recommenders. That's not quite as "good" as being hardcore for certain judges, but people would realize you're not hardcore pretty quickly unless you're quite committed to the bit.

As far as what your classmates will think--I have no idea. Try just being honest, reasonable, and not saying anything stupid? If that makes progressive students dislike you, you'll have to decide whether you're okay with that. Federalist Society folks won't think you're "on the team," but still appreciate fellow travelers.


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Re: CLS FedSoc Culture?

Post by BrainsyK » Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:32 pm

I don't think anyone would care or even know that you're in FedSoc. Most people join for the outline bank.

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