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ED to Columbia Law? URM and 3.82 GPA

ezrafezraezrafezra Alum Member

Applying this September and faced with the choice of EDying to CLS or not.

I would like to hear your thoughts on (1) whether ED to CLS is worth the cost of revoking opportunity for HYS and (2) if there is a ED 'bump'.

Here's my background:

I'm a URM (Hispanic); top undergrad university 3,82 gpa; I speak several languages including Mandarin and Spanish; work experience in federal gov't and in law. Great LORs.

My December LSAT is 162 – but i'm retaking in Sep because that was 10 point below my median lsat score. I'm confident that I can score in the 96-8%'tile this September.

Of course HYS would be great, but if I'm pragmatic about admissions (eg. i'm below median LSAT and GPA) I think I have a exceedingly low chance of getting in. The next best thing is CLS, and I'm above their 75 percentile for GPA. So to boost whatever chance I have for CLS, I am seriously considering EDying this fall.

Is this smart? What are my chances at CLS? Anything that I'm not considering?

The other school I'm considering are Chicago, NYU and Berk. But I would prefer CLS to them and think I have a decent shot.

Comments

  • _oshun1__oshun1_ Alum Member
    edited August 2018 3652 karma

    Have you visited Columbia? I’ve heard a lot of people who visit don't like it. With that gpa and a 170 score you would have great chances + a lot of merit scholarship money at any top school. Even with a 160s score you might still have a shot. Why would you ED?

  • Chipster StudyChipster Study Yearly Member
    edited August 2018 888 karma

    Doesn't Columbia have a rep for placing lots of people into Big Law? I personally would keep working on the LSAT, bank your 170 and look around. With that score, your GPA, and URM, you might just score one of the Top 3. Good Luck.

  • JPJ July2021JPJ July2021 Monthly Member
    edited August 2018 1532 karma

    With your stats and URM status, I think it would be a mistake to ED. I wouldn't rule out HYS or others in the T14 with $$$. Just make sure you have superb essays and LOR.

  • ezrafezraezrafezra Alum Member
    47 karma

    Okay thanks – these are great comments. I will take your feedback and likely not ED to Columbia.

  • ezrafezraezrafezra Alum Member
    47 karma

    @"surfy surf" said:
    Have you visited Columbia? I’ve heard a lot of people who visit don't like it. With that gpa and a 170 score you would have great chances + a lot of merit scholarship money at any top school. Even with a 160s score you might still have a shot. Why would you ED?

    Yes – I visited Columbia and had a pretty negative experience. I thought that the 'experience' might change as a student (perhaps naively). Interesting to hear that I'm not alone in this judgement.

    My thinking behind ED to CLS is that it would improve my chances most at a top school. I thought my chances are pretty much zero for HYS with a lowish gpa, but perhaps not?

  • ezrafezraezrafezra Alum Member
    47 karma

    @"Chipster Study" said:
    Doesn't Columbia have a rep for placing lots of people into Big Law? I personally would keep working on the LSAT, bank your 170 and look around. With that score, your GPA, and URM, you might just score one of the Top 3. Good Luck.

    Thank you, I will try my best come this Sept. Should I write Why X's? essays to HYS?

  • LCMama2017LCMama2017 Alum Member
    2134 karma

    @"nsteele2-1" said:
    Applying this September and faced with the choice of EDying to CLS or not.

    I would like to hear your thoughts on (1) whether ED to CLS is worth the cost of revoking opportunity for HYS and (2) if there is a ED 'bump'.

    Here's my background:

    I'm a URM (Hispanic); top undergrad university 3,82 gpa; I speak several languages including Mandarin and Spanish; work experience in federal gov't and in law. Great LORs.

    My December LSAT is 162 – but i'm retaking in Sep because that was 10 point below my median lsat score. I'm confident that I can score in the 96-8%'tile this September.

    Of course HYS would be great, but if I'm pragmatic about admissions (eg. i'm below median LSAT and GPA) I think I have a exceedingly low chance of getting in. The next best thing is CLS, and I'm above their 75 percentile for GPA. So to boost whatever chance I have for CLS, I am seriously considering EDying this fall.

    Is this smart? What are my chances at CLS? Anything that I'm not considering?

    The other school I'm considering are Chicago, NYU and Berk. But I would prefer CLS to them and think I have a decent shot.

    Good luck! I don't think all hispanics are URM. I think only Puerto Ricans count. I'm not sure. I'm hispanic also but I didn't think I qualified.

    I didn't like Columbia either when I visited. It was my dream school but after my visit I let it go.

  • jurisprudentjurisprudent Alum Member
    326 karma

    With your stats + URM, you can get into CLS without ED.

  • OhnoeshalpmeOhnoeshalpme Alum Member
    2531 karma

    I think that below HYS, the difference between the other T14's becomes smaller. I'd personally apply broadly and go with the school that offers me the most money.

  • lady macbethlady macbeth Alum Member
    edited August 2018 889 karma

    @nsteele2-1 @LCMama2017 can you elaborate on what people, or you, typically don't like about CLS after visiting?

  • lsatletsdothislsatletsdothis Alum Member
    56 karma

    @"lady macbeth" This is what I know. A friend of mine who used to attend said she didn't like how cut throat the school and the people were, and had the distinct impression from one of her classes that it wasn't very friendly to POCs.

    Not sure if this is the same as what others have heard about CLS. @nsteele2-1 @LCMama2017

  • OverRatedUnderAchieverOverRatedUnderAchiever Legacy Member
    609 karma

    I may be alone here, but after visiting Columbia I fell even deeper in love than I was prior to visiting. I knew I wanted to be in the City, and the only T14 around was Columbia and NYU. I got to talking with many of the students there, and they all seemed to enjoy it. There are a lot of LLM students (mostly Asian), but if you want to be in nyc & in the T14... Columbia will be your dream. After visiting Columbia, I went to NYU and wanted to run away. I'd visit, its a very personal experience... try getting to know some of the current students opinions.

  • OverRatedUnderAchieverOverRatedUnderAchiever Legacy Member
    609 karma

    P.s. NYU was superrrrr white. Columbia is prettttyyyy Asian. Outside of the city, Cornell has more diversity in regards to students.

  • ezrafezraezrafezra Alum Member
    47 karma

    @lpark315 said:
    @"lady macbeth" This is what I know. A friend of mine who used to attend said she didn't like how cut throat the school and the people were, and had the distinct impression from one of her classes that it wasn't very friendly to POCs.

    Not sure if this is the same as what others have heard about CLS. @nsteele2-1 @LCMama2017

    I visited and was left with a poor impression of the school compared with my experiences from other campus visits. Specifically:

    1. The campus building is small and worn down; it doesn't feel inspiring and comes across of claustrophobic. I simply have a hard time imagining myself feeling good showing up to class day in and day out.

    2. The students I met were not friendly at all. Maybe it was a poor selection on the given day, but my interactions were so brusque and 'I don't want to talk...' that I was left very disappointed and slightly upset. This was soo different from my experience just walking abound HLS and Chicago on a random day and speaking with law students.

    3. the admissions people were also very unwelcoming. I came to the admissions office expecting to schedule a one-on-one meeting and speak at length about the program and logistics. They were not into that for some reason and could only offer me some time with a gal working the front desk at admissions – not the right person I want to speak with.

    4. Morningside Heights is an odd hood in Manhattan. As if Columbia invented a neighborhood so as to not classify itself as located in Harlem. Stark inequity between rich (students) and poor (most everyone else in the neighborhood). I would feel uncomfortable living in that environment.

    ....

  • JustDoItJustDoIt Alum Member
    3112 karma

    Don’t! DO NOT! I got into better schools with similar numbers. Also a URM. And I hated my visit to CLS for ASW

  • lady macbethlady macbeth Alum Member
    889 karma

    @nsteele2-1 @OverRatedUnderAchiever @lpark315 wow thanks for the input guys! I honestly wouldn’t have expected that to come from CLS. @JustDoIt can you please elaborate on why you hated cls?

  • lady macbethlady macbeth Alum Member
    889 karma

    @OverRatedUnderAchiever said:
    I may be alone here, but after visiting Columbia I fell even deeper in love than I was prior to visiting. I knew I wanted to be in the City, and the only T14 around was Columbia and NYU. I got to talking with many of the students there, and they all seemed to enjoy it. There are a lot of LLM students (mostly Asian), but if you want to be in nyc & in the T14... Columbia will be your dream. After visiting Columbia, I went to NYU and wanted to run away. I'd visit, its a very personal experience... try getting to know some of the current students opinions.

    Really?? I’m more drawn to nyu than cls. What did you hate about nyu??

  • LCMama2017LCMama2017 Alum Member
    edited August 2018 2134 karma

    @"lady macbeth" said:
    @nsteele2-1 @LCMama2017 can you elaborate on what people, or you, typically don't like about CLS after visiting?

    The admissions counselor who spoke to the group was less than inviting. The way she talked and the things she said sounded very elitist to me. Her talk made me feel less than adequate and, well, she pretty much convinced me that I wouldn't be worthy to apply there. It was really disappointing.

    Also, the two students who spoke to us were less than enthusiastic about the school. I've visited other schools, including UPenn, and I felt very welcomed. Would I be on the other side if there was a different admissions counselor giving the presentation or if the students that talked to us were excited to be there, possibly. It was a very disappointing visit. I have other reasons for not applying to the school but those that I mentioned are the main ones.

  • lady macbethlady macbeth Alum Member
    889 karma

    @LCMama2017 said:

    @"lady macbeth" said:
    @nsteele2-1 @LCMama2017 can you elaborate on what people, or you, typically don't like about CLS after visiting?

    The admissions counselor who spoke to the group was less than inviting. The way she talked and the things she said sounded very elitist to me. Her talk made me feel less than adequate and, well, she pretty much convinced me that I wouldn't be worthy to apply there. It was really disappointing.

    Also, the two students who spoke to us were less than enthusiastic about the school. I've visited other schools, including UPenn, and I felt very welcomed. Would I be on the other side if there was a different admissions counselor giving the presentation or if the students that talked to us were excited to be there, possibly. It was a very disappointing visit. I have other reasons for not applying to the school but those that I mentioned are the main ones.

    wow. your experience sounds like one that shows first impressions matter. that's so fucking bitchy of the admissions counselor at columbia. i can totally see the elitist aura about columbia, especially being in nyc -- that's one thing that bothers me about the area the most. the pretentiousness and status anxiety. either way, thanks a lot for the info and i'm glad you still found other schools to your liking! :)

  • OverRatedUnderAchieverOverRatedUnderAchiever Legacy Member
    609 karma

    @"lady macbeth" said:

    @OverRatedUnderAchiever said:
    I may be alone here, but after visiting Columbia I fell even deeper in love than I was prior to visiting. I knew I wanted to be in the City, and the only T14 around was Columbia and NYU. I got to talking with many of the students there, and they all seemed to enjoy it. There are a lot of LLM students (mostly Asian), but if you want to be in nyc & in the T14... Columbia will be your dream. After visiting Columbia, I went to NYU and wanted to run away. I'd visit, its a very personal experience... try getting to know some of the current students opinions.

    Really?? I’m more drawn to nyu than cls. What did you hate about nyu??

    I went to cls first, I suppose falling in love is the reaction I had when visiting. I think for me CLS had a very 'scholarly vibe', in which I finally felt fit with my personality and accomplishments. Frankly, I'm a very competitive person & although most people who have visited Cls, complaining about how it seemed "harsh or cold", made me feel just the opposite. NYU, no one gave me the time of day. The law school was in the middle of the streets of Manhattan, which (I love but it was not my favorite for atmosphere)... However, take that with a grain of salt because I truly like how Columbia is still a neat and tight campus. There was, at least for me.. a sense of coziness?
    It is super interesting to hear everyone else say the opposite of my opinions. I just didn't mesh well with nyu, I couldn't have wanted to leave any quicker than I did.
    My heart remains with CLS!

  • OverRatedUnderAchieverOverRatedUnderAchiever Legacy Member
    609 karma

    It's super personal, also knowing what state you'd like to be in makes a huge impact. I would suggest visiting as many places as possible, so you know for sure where you see your future!! :)

  • OverRatedUnderAchieverOverRatedUnderAchiever Legacy Member
    edited August 2018 609 karma

    Sorry^ let me add this in quickly.

    When I did visit Columbia, I went more than once. And it may be because I am part of the majority race at CLS, not sure... but the students engaged with me very well. There were a few individuals that had an upper hand in the admissions, and these students seemed to know what they look for in both (personality and mental capacities). A prime example of this was when they picked me out and pulled me to the side (again probably because of my race),
    and asked me: "where else are you looking to apply to, have you made a decision?"
    At that time I had the inkling that they wanted to see where my standings were on accepting a law school offer, and more specifically if I was leaning towards Columbia.
    Walking into the library countless times including during the Summer, without having to show a CLS ID... the security just let me in to all the buildings without asking, aka they assumed I already was a student there. Which is kind of cool but also kind of a hasty generalization.

    So like I stressed before, CLS is in fact very Asian. And they noticed that in me, unfortunately with that stereotype instantly being attached to me. The treatment I got after countless visits may very well have been due to my ethnicity. Sad, but nevertheless why many may have different feedback about CLS.

  • LSAT_WreckerLSAT_Wrecker Legacy Member
    4850 karma

    I have absolutely no dog in this fight, but I do want to thank all the people that have contributed to this conversation. To me, this thread is exhibit A on why doing a law school visit before making a decision is so important. It also floors me to think that some admissions people and hand-selected students talking to candidates are not 100% enthusiastic about their school and welcoming to potential future students.

    Thanks all!

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