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Messages - CLS2009Student

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11
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Amtrak vs. Chinatown Buses
« on: March 10, 2008, 12:46:08 PM »
I always take the Chinatown bus, it saves a LOT of money.  You can usually get on/off at Times Square or Penn Station, so it is relatively convenient.  It's a little slower, of course.

It's a bus.  You get a seat.  There's climate control.  How don't see why people think it is so horrible.  There is one big downside:  The bathroom on the bus is usually disgusting and does not have toilet paper.  But they do usually stop at a rest stop so people can use the bathroom.

Another thing:  You could take NJT to Trenton, and then use commuter rail to get into Philly.  This would probably be cheaper than Amtrak, and faster/more comfortable than the Chinatown bus.

12
ah, maybe I was hearing this from people who just didn't like Columbia or something.  So you wouldn't be worried about the number of faculty exits at all when choosing a school?

There is no exodus of professors; Columbia continues to gain a lot more great faculty than they are losing.  We're on track to increase our faculty size by 50% over the next few years.

As Resident CLS Troll explained, the faculty they have lost have left not because of the quality or reputation of the school, but for personal reasons.  Dorf wanted to work at the same school as his wife; the other professors were upset that they or their chosen candidate was not selected as dean.  Professors often move around for a variety of reasons.  Unless people are making noisy departures about how terrible a school is, I wouldn't worry about it.

13
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Bringing a a guest to ASW
« on: March 10, 2008, 12:28:10 PM »
the two ASWs I've attended, it appears that most people do go alone.  But, if you'd rather have someone accompany you, I believe that most schools are quite willing to accomodate this and often will even provide a way to RSVP that indicates you are bringing a guest.
From those I've attended and the ones I've seen as a student at Columbia, it seems that most people do go alone.  That said, it seems that parents, friends, and SOs are generally welcome and not uncommon.  It makes a lot of sense to bring significant others who will be moving with you and living the law school experience vicariously with you.

Quote
My only other advice is to be sure that the guests will not embarass you, as happened legendarily to at least one prospective GULC student.
You can't say this and not give us details!  What happened?

14
You will not get a boost because of your national origin or ethnicity.  You could turn your experiences into an interesting personal statement or diversity statement that could improve your chances.  I suggest you study very hard for the LSAT.  If your problem is that you just aren't good at standardized tests, you should be able to practice to be better.

15
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Columbia v. NYU
« on: March 10, 2008, 11:54:38 AM »
They're both great schools.  For me, it was very easy for me to choose Columbia over NYU.  In my opinion, Columbia has an edge over NYU on almost every measure.  I also felt it fit me better---I prefer Morningside Heights to Greenwich Village and I feel the atmosphere at the school is much more collegial, understated, friendly, and fun.  My understanding is that most people who have the choice between the two schools choose Columbia.  Of course, this is an issue where reasonable people can and do disagree.

They are both great schools.  In terms of career prospects, you're not going to find much a difference.  When you come here in April, you'll get the chance to meet professors and students.  You'll also get to see the buildings and neighborhoods.  My hunch is that one will "feel" better than the other to you.  I suggest you go with that feeling.

What others have said is true:  Asking for advice from us on this question might not be very useful, since those of us who made this decision might have been drawn to something different than you.  Go with the one that you feel drawn to.  That said, I and many other Columbia posters could have gone to NYU.  We chose not to.  So at least for me, my comments aren'd biased sour grapes or justificaiton of a questionable choice.  It's explaining an unbiased choice I made in the past.

16
Where should I go next fall? / Re: CLS Admits Lounge
« on: March 10, 2008, 11:46:09 AM »
On Lenfest as glorified hotel: it's nice, shiny, new, and absolutely sterile feeling.

Don't live in law school housing (115th on the Amsterdam side) unless you are extremely lazy--it is < 2 minutes from school but overpriced and undersized.  I am living there and regret it.  Non-law UAH (I'm moving to 115th Broadway side next year) has gems (some huge rooms (like MCB's living room), the occasional full mantel and fireplace), a tiny bit of character hiding under all those coats of paint, and much saner rent.  I've also seen some nice places on 113th and 112th.  And 118th.  And... everywhere else, really.

I think deeaytch's description of Lenfest is about right.  Lenfest is arguably sterile--but it is also really nice, shiny, and new.  In terms of amenities, no other housing for CLS students compares.  (Study room, game room, video intercom, doorman/security guard, lounge, outdoor courtyard, etc.)  The rooms are also bigger than one bedrooms and studios in other buildings.  That said, it is expensive and might be too "sterile feeling" for some people.

I'm going to have to disagree with deeaytch a little bit on the rest of it.  Non-law UAH housing is really hit or miss.  Yes, there are some gems and great deals.  But there are also some that are small, in poor shape, and terribly overpriced.  Non-law UAH housing is just a lot less predictable than law-only housing.  It is also generally farther away.  If you're willing to take the chance, you'll probably be happy with it.  But if you're like the typical risk-averse law student, you might want to shy away from the chance.

Law-only housing is pretty consistent.  The apartment shares on 115th are actually relatively spacious for Manhattan apartments---you get much more space than the people in one-bedrooms and studios.  The price is also pretty reasonable.  For non-married students, I'd recommend an apartment share over studios and one-bedrooms.  All the studios and one-bedrooms are comparatively small and overpriced.

The good news is that you almost always have the opportunity to swap apartments if you're unhappy with yours!  This is especially true of people in the law-student only buildings, since Elizabeth Grainger handles it and you don't need to deal with UAH as much.

17
Where should I go next fall? / Re: CLS Admits Lounge
« on: March 10, 2008, 11:36:08 AM »
ASW was fantastic, much more interesting than NYU's downtown.

I have a financial aid question: should I send Columbia my merit-based grants (from Penn, UVA, Michigan, Cornell) now in advance of getting my need based grant, or only after I get my grant, if I'm not happy with it? I can see both methods' reasoning. I seem to remember one of you current 1Ls sent it before hand and it worked out for you. Does this make sense so I can get maximum amount of money before all the grant money is given away?

Also, should I let them know I'm in at Stanford? I absolutely loved Columbia, but HYS is HYS, and I think Columbia could lure me with a small grant.

I'd wait to see what kind of offer Columbia gives you before you start lobbying for them to increase it.  Columbia seems very willing to adjust offers after the fact to keep up with HYSN.  I don't think they're too eager to match the schools you listed, however---whether they know about it before or after.  I too can see arguments either way, though.

18
I'm not really sure what exactly you want Michigan to do anymore.

I don't really want Michigan to do anything.  But for clarity's sake, here's an outline of what I've tried to express in this thread:
1. Michigan rejects/defers/waitlists a high number of very well qualified candidates who do not do the optional essays.  Of those deferred or waitlisted, many are admitted when they add an optional essay or two to their application.
2. There are a number of possible theories of why this is so, and I don't specifically endorse any.  In particular, I don't call it "yield protection."  However, I reject the assertion that all of these individuals are just social rejects or were rejected for "fit."  (Which is what many have suggested.)
3. Given this, it is perhaps disingenous to call the essays optional without emphasizing how important they seem to be in many admissions decisions.
4. If you want to get accepted to Michigan, you should thus complete the optional essays.
5. Although Michigan certainly has one of the quirkiest admissions policies, I don't think it's correct to say they place significantly less value on LSAT/GPA or significantly more value on fit/soft factors/character than other schools.  (I believe "Michigan trolls" do often make claims like this.)

I really don't think any of this is too objectionable.

19
The assertion that there "is no problem" is just false.  There is an impending social security crisis.

20
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Drop in NYU 1L firm employment
« on: February 29, 2008, 03:58:36 PM »
What steps do I need to take to get a 1L SA gig?

Most people do the "mail bomb"---send out a hundred or more resumes to a wide range of firms.  Target firms in NYC that traditionally hire 1Ls or say they plan to this year.  (All that info is in the NALP directory.)

Some people have found success by targeting firms in their hometowns or other markets where they have a personal connection.  Law firms in Detroit probably don't get a lot of resumes from NYU students, so if you have a plausible connection to the city they might be interested.

Columbia has on campus interviews for 1Ls.  I'm not sure if NYU has a similar program, but that could be another option.  I would recommend this in addition to the mail bomb, not as a substitute.

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