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Messages - SouthSide

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Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Columbia 1L Happy to Answer Questions
« on: January 10, 2007, 02:58:09 PM »
When are you allowed to apply for housing? Right when you're admitted, or is there some set date? I couldn't find this info. on the website, but I didn't look too hard.  :) So... when you say expensive, how expensive? I'm probably willing to pay it to avoid a roommate. I'm too old for that sh*t. Do the studios go fast?

Did you interview for a firm job? I know most won't hire 1Ls, but one firm I'm very interested in, Kenyon & Kenyon, does. I'd like to know what their criteria for hiring 1Ls is, so if you happen to know...

I think you can apply for housing as soon as you get in, but they claim not to look at the applications until the deadline, which is later in the spring. You should get that sort of info in your acceptance materials. Studios are mostly $1500 and up, and you can get a room in a 3 bedroom for half that or less. I'm pretty sure there's no problem getting a studio if you want one, but I'm not an expert on that. Just make sure to submit your applications in a timely manner.

I didn't want a 1L firm job, but I know a lot of people are interviewing for those. You will probably be able to get a firm job in a smaller/less competitive market as a 1L, but getting New York or certain areas in California is very competitive. Your grades matter, and you have a leg up if you have some connection to the firm when you apply as a 1L. (Such as, you are from that area.) If you want a firm job, and you are from, say St. Louis or Denver, you can get a very nicely paid job at a place like that. Not every 1L will be able to get a job in New York, but I know people who have done it.

How many Columbia students do you think don't pursue positions in NYC? How successful do you think they are in getting top biglaw jobs in cities like D.C. or, to a lesser extent, Boston or Chicago? Say, students around the median...


I feel like a very large proportion of students are going for jobs outside of NYC, perhaps as many as half or more. (Although the sample of 2Ls that I know is fairly small.) Columbia is easily as competitive as any other law school in big law firm jobs in every market in the country. I know several 2Ls who have good firm jobs in D.C. for the summer, and there is a large and vocal California contingent here right now. Similar story with everywhere else. If anything, you have a slight advantage going elsewhere than New York, because you are competing with comparatively fewer of your classmates and most law firms like to have representation from each of the top law schools.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Columbia 1L Happy to Answer Questions
« on: January 09, 2007, 08:11:00 PM »
How easy is it to get a biglaw job after graduation? Do you have to be in top 1/2 of your class, or what? How often do professors use the socratic method and are they harsh or easy going about it?

It's very easy to get a biglaw job. Seriously, the top 6 schools (and maybe a few others) are all virtually identical in this respect. They are the only places where no one is worried about their employment prospects. We know we can get a great firm job, and that pretty much everybody does (the bottom fifth or so of the class might have a bit more of a problem, but just about every worthwhile firm interviews on campus here, so you can get interviews no matter what your grades are). This is a very nice feeling to have. It's a strong argument for going to one of these national schools if you can even if they will be more expensive than the lower-ranked alternatives.

Professors are very variable. My general experience is I wish professors would use socratic more and be harsher about it. You pay a lot more attention and get a lot more out of classes when you know you're on call. Overall, I haven't had any classes where I felt like people really felt they were under the gun.

Do you know anything about the IP program? How is it? Do you live in the subsidized housing? How do you like it? Is it hard to get a 1-BR or a studio (no roommates, please!)?

Historically, the IP program wasn't the strongest, but they've made some very smart hires in the last few years, especially Tim Wu, who's one of the bigger names in the field right now. For Contracts, I had a prof named Long who was just hired away from UVA and is also a really sharp IP scholar who was very interesting to talk to. It's now a very good place to study IP.

The vast majority of law students, including myself, live in Columbia housing. I like my place a lot, I have a very roomy one bedroom with my SO at a reasonable rent. Unfortunately, if you don't have an SO, you're not getting a 1-BR from Columbia. You can get a studio, but you'll pay high rent for it.

What's the secret to getting a good place (1BR or Studio) in NYC? Craigslist? Do students commute from the Jersey City area?

Yeah, I've known people to find places through Craigslist. It's really hard, though. I recommend using Columbia housing. I don't know anyone who commutes from outside of Manhattan, but a few friends of mine live far away in Manhattan (like the Lower East Side). Plus, why go to Columbia if you're going to live in Jersey City? You might as well move to New Haven.

1L is great, demingh. I'm glad you chose Columbia. It's the right choice. It's really fantastic.

Quote from: Resident CLS Troll
  i would step in to answer questions, but it's not my thread.

also, southside i'm really hoping that i don't end up having to do moot court against you.  that would suck for me.

Do I know you, weirdo?  ;)

Choosing the Right Law School / Columbia 1L Happy to Answer Questions
« on: January 09, 2007, 03:48:04 PM »
I haven't posted since last summer, because law school is just so much fun. I'd be happy to share honest opinions about anything.

Law School Admissions / Re: Winning the LSAT lottery
« on: July 31, 2006, 09:03:44 PM »
This is obviously flame.  Just to pile on.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Wow, got my first 180 today
« on: July 31, 2006, 08:37:26 PM »
 Or at least this is what LSAC's research suggests:  the predictive value of a score band lessens at the outer reaches of the scale.  I think, on the higher end of the scale, that this is because check01 was essentially right that the credited responses to some difficult questions are more ambiguous, especially for high scorers.  On the lower end of the scale, it's because some questions are so easy that if you have the fundamental lack of understanding of the test to be getting a significant number of them wrong, your chances of getting a certain number correct is essentially random.

I'd like to see that research. But I think we can agree to more or less agree. Ultimately, the differences here are relatively minor. How many questions have ambiguous answers generally? In my experience, it's only about one per test on average.

Law School Admissions / Re: Law Firms and Law Schools
« on: July 31, 2006, 08:33:43 PM »
Just wanted to note that the person who collected this data admitted an East Coast bias in the statistics. This helps explain the poor showing by Stanford, Boalt, and UCLA. You may all want to keep that in mind before using the content of this thread to bash Stanford. Someone on XO once posted Stanford's OCI data and if I recall correctly it rivaled if not bested Harvard's.

The East Coast bias is pretty irrelevant for the top schools.  It only really falls apart once you hit 40 or so and things get much more regional.  Stanford's peer and lawyer/judge rankings are very high.  The reason people think they are overrated is because the methodology is systematically skewed toward small schools.  If not for that, Stanford would be lower on the list.  Certainly below Harvard, maybe even below NYU and Columbia.  (They also get a boost in apps being the only top 10 on the west coast.)

Also, Stanford sucks.  In addition, it really sucks.  Stanford (hereinafter "Stancrap") is crappy.  Stancrap blows.

Harsh but true.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Wow, got my first 180 today
« on: July 31, 2006, 08:30:47 PM »
Goodnight, survivor07.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Wow, got my first 180 today
« on: July 31, 2006, 08:28:03 PM »
So this is the model I'm coming from.  Given averages, it is just not safe to assume too much about where an individual will place.

Problem is, you kinda have to. It'll be cool if ad-coms could omnisciently pick out the best candidates to offer admission to, but there's just no way to actually pull that off. At some point, they have to start working off of best assumptions.

And I would say the strongest assumption we have working here is that anyone scoring from about 175 to 180 is pretty darned good at the LSAT, and that the distinctions between them have much less to do with intelligence than with random factors (like test-day conditions) or marginal differences in testtaking skills.

This is only true to the extent that it is true of every five point distinction. There isn't much difference between any individual 155 and any individual 160 either. Yes, the LSAT is imprecise. But it doesn't magically get more imprecise once you hit a certain percentile.

Are we splitting hairs? Yes. But I would argue that this reveals the arbitrariness of any distinction at any point on the scale, and the statistics support my argument. The LSAT is fuzzy from top to bottom, but any group of people at one score is likely to consistently score better than any group of people at the score 5 points below them. This never changes.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Wow, got my first 180 today
« on: July 31, 2006, 08:20:24 PM »

I think actually if we investigated, we'd find that misbubbling and fatigue affect the highest high scorers less than middle scorers (these are people who are very good at and/or very prepared for taking tests and they do less misbubbling and have better test stamina), but that's neither here nor there.  

I only meant that random wrong answers (as one might have from misbubbling and fatigue) and the answers to the toughest questions are the things that differentiate, say, a 175 and a 180.  More basic errors (together with the random wrong answers) differentiate a 160 and a 165.

But that's why the hardest questions exist. They are there precisely to make those distinctions. It's a tautology to say that "the answers to the toughest questions are the things that differentiate a 175 and a 180." Well, obviously. Presumably, they could write a test where the difficulty level topped out and the bell curve flattened above a certain score because the questions stopped getting harder. But they've chosen to write a test where the questions get progressively harder all the way to the top, enabling statistically significant differentiations between a 180 and a 175.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Wow, got my first 180 today
« on: July 31, 2006, 08:09:47 PM »
Look. Obviously, some of the people who score 180 are getting lucky. Think about it this way: Assume that everyone who is a natural 175 scorer will be guessing on the remaining questions. Given that you have to answer five additional questions correctly, and the chances of getting a question right on a random guess are one in five, then one in 3,125 people who are natural 175 scorers will score a 180. (In reality, the odds are somewhat better, because most of these people will be able to eliminate at least one wrong answer on most questions. But the odds are still very much against this happening.) In fact, though, we know from published LSAT percentiles that more than 1 in 10 of the people who score 175 or higher actually get a 179 or higher. This is so much higher than random chance would predict that you have to assume there is usually some skill involved in achieving the higher score.

Secondly, I know of at least one person who took more than a dozen practice tests, and scored a 179 or 180 on 7 of her last 8, and then got one of those scores on the actual test. Either this person had a run of luck that statistically boggles the mind, or there are actual striations in skill level that are meaningful.

Obviously, any of these scores are tremendous accomplishments, but it seems reasonable to assume that a 180 scorer is highly likely to be a better LSAT taker than a 175 scorer.

Further, the test is just as precise in these ranges as it is in any other range. There is likely just as much difference between a 179 and a 175 as there is between a 169 and a 165.

I agree with you for the most part, Southside, but this last bit seems off to me.  I think you have to look at differential item performance.  Some questions are easier for the majority of testtakers than others; the hardest questions (and some random issues like misbubbling and fatigue) determine the striations at the top.

I think misbubbling and fatigue are basically constants that affect all levels equally. Why would a 155 scorer not be just as affected by misbubbling and fatigue as a a75 scorer?

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