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Messages - CLS2009Student

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I think it is what you make of it, really.  For me, Columbia has been a ton more fun than I expected (as much fun as college, actually).  But there's also some people who just show up for classes and don't get involved in the law school social scene.

But don't count Columbia out.  We have a lot of fun! 

Law School Admissions / Re: Speeding Ticket Disclosure
« on: February 27, 2008, 10:23:04 AM »
I have two speeding tickets from when I was in high school, one for going unsafe speeds for the conditions for $100 and one for 43 in a 25 for $151. 

Since then I received two in the past month (do not want to talk about it), both of which are pending. One out of state that I plan to plead guilty to and one in state that I plan to plead not guilty to.  Do I have to disclose this? From what I understand, speeding is a minor traffic offense. 

Carefully read the instructions on each application.  Most specifically exclude speeding tickets.  Some don't.  If in doubt, disclose.  Likewise, most specifically ask you to disclose ALL charges brought against you.  That would include pending charges to which you intend to plead guilty.  If in doubt, disclose.

Law School Admissions / Re: should I appeal my Fordham rejection?
« on: February 27, 2008, 10:21:30 AM »
As OP and many others have noted, you have almost nothing to lose.

That said, some thoughts:
1. It seems like a presumptuous thing to do.
2. It's not likely to change the outcome.

Law School Admissions / Re: Is it cool to wear law t-shirts?
« on: February 27, 2008, 05:48:28 AM »
I wouldn't wear a shirt for a school that I don't attend.  I imagine some people would think you're a "feminine hygiene product" for wearing a law school shirt around, particularly while away from the law school.  I think these people are probably actually "feminine hygiene products" themselves, though; so don't worry too much about what they think.

I think it would be toolish to wear a law shirt if you're just trying to "impress" people with your prestigiousness.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Law students, beware of new tax hikes
« on: February 27, 2008, 05:36:53 AM »
Come on guys, why not raise the SS cap? We have to keep digging the hole deeper and deeper!

Wait, we should just be phasing it out. No reason to continue something that does nothing but redistribute wealth. (even among people in the same class!)

When I think about how much it will hurt my wallet, I really wish we didn't have to raise the social security cap.  I also think that eliminating the cap will completely abolish any remaining delusions about social security being just that--security, insurance, trust fund, etc.--and will completely turn it into nothing more than raw wealth transfers from one group to another.

That said, social security is a busted-@$$ program and we need to start hurting now or it will just hurt more later.  I think we need to eliminate the cap, raise the rate, massively cut benefits, and slow or reduce benefit increases.  It'll hurt A LOT--which is why it is the "third rail" of politics--but letting the entire program and the federal budget crash (and with it the global economy) would hurt even more.  Although there are strong interests alligned against it, I also think some form of privitization will be necessary.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Transferring consequences... ?
« on: February 27, 2008, 05:30:48 AM »
This varies a LOT from school to school.  The lesson:  Do NOT go to a school planning on transferring out.  If you're already at a school and want to transfer, carefully research the transfer application process at any schools where you intend to apply.

Most (many?) schools have their competitions for law review before transfer students are admitted.  Some but not all schools make special provision for law students.  At many schools, it is less than ideal.  For example, you might have to complete an extra writing competition entry (usually a substantial piece of work) before you know whether or not you're admitted.  Other schools exclude you from joining as a 2L, but let you join as a 3L (because of writing competition problems).  Generally, secondary journals seem much more accomodating than a school's law review or top journal.

The same reasoning applies to moot court teams.  Depending on the application process and competition timing, it may not be available to 2L students or transfers.  This depends not only on the school, but on the moot court program.  (There are many different ones.)  At Columbia, I can think of one or two moot courts that probably wouldn't be available to moot court students, either because they require a multiyear commitment or begin preparation before most transfer students are accepted.

The honors thing I haven't heard of, but it wouldn't surprise me if some schools excluded transfer students from these honors.  Law school grades are all about being "relative" to the other students, and a transfer student's first-year grades aren't on the same curve.  At Columbia, we do no do Coif and do academic honors by year, so transfer students are eligible for all the same honors.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: withdrawing?
« on: February 25, 2008, 09:45:22 AM »
If you've already been accepted, usually they have a form you send in that has an option to decline the offer.

If you haven't been accepted, just let them know with a short and polite email, telephone call, or letter.  I prefer a quick email to the general admissions address.  (If you know where you are going, it is probably polite to mention that since most schools keep track.)

Law School Admissions / Re: 1L's - Advice re: Supplies, 0L Prep, etc
« on: February 25, 2008, 06:16:14 AM »
I haven't read beyond the first post, but given the typical 0L freaking out I believe the following comments are appropriate:


Law School Confidential is right that you should get yourself in shape (law school is the most sedentary experience of my life).  It is also right that you should get your stuff in order so you don't have to do it later--e.g. furniture, files, forms, etc.  But most importantly, enjoy your last summer of freedom.

I'm not sure where you're going, but I can share my experiences with Columbia.  Most people did not do a lot of prep.  We have a nice setup, though, where we gradually get phased into classes.  In August, everyone is taking a full time pass/fail "legal methods" course that introduces everyone to thinking about law, reading cases, doing briefs, understanding statutes and regulations, and taking exams.  It helps get everyone up to speed before the stuff that counts.  Once classes start, people are pretty laid back and cooperative so it isn't like you need to start gunning now to get the A.  The point is, you don't need to prepare especially here.

Once classes start, you will want to get and read supplements.  But you probably should wait until you have a chance to get to school, see your syllabus, talk to past students, etc. before deciding what is worthwhile.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Drop in NYU 1L firm employment
« on: February 25, 2008, 06:06:03 AM »
I'd have to see the mailing, but I suspect that these are the numbers for LAST SUMMER not each class's 1L summer.  That is, I think that the 30% of the 1L class had firm jobs, 70% of the 2L class, and 70% of the 3L class.  I doubt it has substantially changed.

The legal market is tight right now, but students at any of the top ten schools should have no problem during 2L summer or after graduation.  You should also be fine at most other well-regarded schools outside the top 10.  I can't speak to 1Ls elsewhere, but those at Columbia also seem to be doing fine with summer jobs.

Finally, to those of you who would attribute this number to the decline in the legal market right now, that would be wrong.  The class of 2009 was offered 1L summer jobs in the winter or spring of last year--when the legal market was very hot and well before anyone suspected the credit crunch.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Views on illegal downloading
« on: February 25, 2008, 05:57:12 AM »
I joined in on this thread not to defend individual downloading but to defend the system of p2p and where that is bringing us. Obviously people are going to download because it's free and easy. There are other things that come out of it though. It's not meant to be an ethical justification of practices, but an observation of where p2p has brought us. I think there have been a lot of positive consequences. In this case, I think the ends justify the means.

You're now suggesting your argument is not about illegal downloading but rather about p2p technology.  Either you're using illegal file sharing and p2p as interchangable terms, or you're trying to conflate the two so that you can pass off the benefits of legal p2p file sharing networks as part and parcel of illegal file sharing.  I suspect it is the latter.  We're not fooled.

You're trying to distinguish between individuals who bootleg music and the "system" of bootlegged music.  This implied that you might admit piracy is wrong "on an individual level" but that somehow in the aggregate it becomes justified.  The problem with this, however, is that "the system" of music piracy has overwhelmingly negative effects.  It causes widespread harm without any greater benefits.  Most of the arguments against piracy that have been made in this thread haven't been about individual morality, but about the practical impliciations of widespread bootlegging.  So to the extent you're trying to suggest that "the system" justifies it, I disagree.

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