Thanks for the information Jay...I have a couple more questions to add
1. How often do you go out?
2. How exactly does a firm know one's GPA with the current CLS OCI Process. If the school doesn't inform employers about GPA (and doesn't even inform students of their class rank), is that burden then placed on you as a student? Also, would the employers every see your transcript (AKA is one able to take interesting seminars and still go into BIGLAW?)
3. When you say CLS has a campus feel what exactly do you mean?
Thanks in advance
1. Haha I'm a terrible example. Lets see. During the semester (not around exams). Probably 3-4 nights a week. Definitely Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Sometimes Wednesdays. Great thing about NY is that you can study till 11 and go out and the bars don't close until 4AM.
2. Firm's don't know your GPA. They get your transcript when you hand it to them in your first interview. They all want to see your grades. No worries about seminars though, you only take one elective the whole 1L year (pretty standard for law school). 2L year you can take seminars, but by then you should already have your 2L summer job.
3. This is more of a commentary on NYC, but I mean that most people live in Columbia housing around campus. Columbia owns all of the apartment buildings in the neighborhood so instead of paying rent to a random landlord, you pay it to Columbia. I would say that compared to say NYU which is in the Village, we have more of a community feel. NYU students live in the NYU dorms for a year (sometimes 2) and then they move off campus to Brooklyn or somewhere in the Village (if they are rich and can afford the non-subsidized rents down there). If NYU students want to stay on campus, they have to enter the housing lottery every year. Not so at Columbia - You get an apartment and you can decide how long you want to stay there. You never have to enter a housing lottery again if you want to keep the apartment you lived in 1L year. Also instead of a lottery, if you want to move it's more like you call someone up and they tell you if they have something open that is more your style (of course if Hells Kitchen is more your style they won't have that). Part of this behavior by Columbia students is that no one wants to commute to school every day (we are lazy). Part of it is also that the Columbia apartments are pretty nice by NY standards and with roommates they can cost as low as 750-800 a month. I've heard (I could be wrong) that NYU apartments start closer to 1500. Granted Morningside Heights is a cheaper neighborhood than the Village, but it is definitely a safe university environment up here.
I'm picking on NYU, but I think Brooklyn, Cardozo and Fordham would all be similar in terms of most students living off-campus...it's more of a New York City thing. At Columbia a very large percentage of even the 3Ls live on campus. Makes a big difference if your friends are a subway ride away versus the next block down.
Also don't forget, Columbia has most of their grad student campuses (other than the Med School) here in Morningside Heights. So you have access to all of those buildings/libraries/students. Most of the other schools in NY are spread out.