Columbia - CIAL Exemption


Does anyone have any inside information about exemptions from the mandatory 3-week Comparative Introduction to American Law (CIAL) course for foreign lawyers at Columbia in August? Financially, I am really on the bubble in terms of being able to afford my LL.M. at Columbia and I could definitely use the entire month of August to work and save money. I realize that Columbia allows us to write an exam on the first day for an exemption, but since I'd have to go down to NY just to write the exam, that sort of defeats the whole purpose of my seeking an exemption.

Just wondering if anyone has dealt with this issue in the past, or may know of any cases where Columbia has been flexible re: this requirement. Also, if anyone has written the exemption exam, your thoughts on how difficult it is and/or what you can study to prepare for it would also be appreciated.

Does anyone have any inside information about exemptions from the mandatory 3-week Comparative Introduction to American Law (CIAL) course for foreign lawyers at Columbia in August? Financially, I am really on the bubble in terms of being able to afford my LL.M. at Columbia and I could definitely use the entire month of August to work and save money. I realize that Columbia allows us to write an exam on the first day for an exemption, but since I'd have to go down to NY just to write the exam, that sort of defeats the whole purpose of my seeking an exemption.

Just wondering if anyone has dealt with this issue in the past, or may know of any cases where Columbia has been flexible re: this requirement. Also, if anyone has written the exemption exam, your thoughts on how difficult it is and/or what you can study to prepare for it would also be appreciated.
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masterofla...

Hi amsterdammer

I am off to Columbia too and was initially thinking of taking the opt out exam. I spoke to some ppl who had taken the LLM in past years and they advised me against doing so as they felt that taking an additional course during the sem in place of CIAL increases the work load by quite a bit (but this I suppose is subjective) - and I am now inclined to go with that argument.

The impression I had was that one would have to be present on Aug 13 for the orientation/registration - so irrespective of whether one wants to tk the opt out or not, presence of the candidate may be necessary

As for the prep material, the Columbia website recommends some basic text books on American law, ex: An Introduction to the Legal System of the United States (Farnsworth)

Hope that was helpful :)

Hi amsterdammer

I am off to Columbia too and was initially thinking of taking the opt out exam. I spoke to some ppl who had taken the LLM in past years and they advised me against doing so as they felt that taking an additional course during the sem in place of CIAL increases the work load by quite a bit (but this I suppose is subjective) - and I am now inclined to go with that argument.

The impression I had was that one would have to be present on Aug 13 for the orientation/registration - so irrespective of whether one wants to tk the opt out or not, presence of the candidate may be necessary

As for the prep material, the Columbia website recommends some basic text books on American law, ex: An Introduction to the Legal System of the United States (Farnsworth)

Hope that was helpful :)
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So if one does not take the CIAL, you have to take an extra course during the year? I was definitely not aware of that. Could you refer me to a link on the Columbia website where it states this? Also, since I last posted on this site a friend from Columbia told me that if you miss the CIAL, you really miss a lot of orientation and networking opportunities. It sounds like a bad way to start off the year.

So if one does not take the CIAL, you have to take an extra course during the year? I was definitely not aware of that. Could you refer me to a link on the Columbia website where it states this? Also, since I last posted on this site a friend from Columbia told me that if you miss the CIAL, you really miss a lot of orientation and networking opportunities. It sounds like a bad way to start off the year.
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masterofla...

CIAL gets you 3 academic pts and also 1 writing credit - if one opts out another course will have to be taken to satisfy the min credits remt (min of 24 in the year) and the min writing credits reqmnt

Also, as yr friend suggested even I have been told that it may well be the only chance to sit and take a class with your classmates and make friends

Hope to see you in class!

CIAL gets you 3 academic pts and also 1 writing credit - if one opts out another course will have to be taken to satisfy the min credits remt (min of 24 in the year) and the min writing credits reqmnt

Also, as yr friend suggested even I have been told that it may well be the only chance to sit and take a class with your classmates and make friends

Hope to see you in class!
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fmangan

Does anyone remember what exactly was on the opt-out exam for CIAL? Perhaps a few sample questions?? I'm taking it because I have to go home for a week after registration for my sister's wedding and am a little nervous. Though I'm from common law background and they say it's not hard, I'm a good few years out of law school and would love to know what i'm headed toward!

Does anyone remember what exactly was on the opt-out exam for CIAL? Perhaps a few sample questions?? I'm taking it because I have to go home for a week after registration for my sister's wedding and am a little nervous. Though I'm from common law background and they say it's not hard, I'm a good few years out of law school and would love to know what i'm headed toward!

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michaelcor...

they give you a story with some problems in the end that you have to answer according to your own law. mostly a test if you know how to do the IRAC method of answering a question. then they ask a few questions on the differences between common law and civil law. no sample questions from the exam i'm afraid, because they take back the questions. you shouldn't have a problem, i didn't hear of anyone who took the exam who didn't make it. even civil law students take the exam and pass.

they give you a story with some problems in the end that you have to answer according to your own law. mostly a test if you know how to do the IRAC method of answering a question. then they ask a few questions on the differences between common law and civil law. no sample questions from the exam i'm afraid, because they take back the questions. you shouldn't have a problem, i didn't hear of anyone who took the exam who didn't make it. even civil law students take the exam and pass.
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