Class of 1998: Part 1


If you graduated 15 or more years ago, you might have little idea of what classes and seminars current students are taking. Sure, the first-year curriculum still requires Criminal Law and no one leaves Morningside Heights without a dose of Contracts and Torts. But did you know that 1Ls must take Foundations of the Regulatory State and Perspectives on Contemporary Legal Thought, which covers significant movements in modern day law?

And what about the upper class curriculum? What courses are offered today that respond to the rapid changes in law and society, domestically and internationally? The Deals course taught by Professors Goldberg, Gilson, and Schizer gives students firsthand experience in considering the construction of complex transactions. A more recent addition is Professor Franke's Jurisprudence of Identity, which examines ways in which individual and group conceptions are defined, enforced, and adjudicated through the law. Professor Fagan's Drugs, Law, and Policy assesses the legal and social theories and policies underlying efforts to control drug and alcohol use.

It used to be said that Columbia Law School was no place for clinical training.  Not any more.  Columbia Law School now has nine clinics, some in their 20th year.  All clinics are always fully subscribed.  A third of students from every graduating class leaves the Law School having taken a clinic.  Columiba also has a pro bono requirement; nearly half of students enter practice having exceeded the 40-hour minimum.

To give alumni a clearer idea of what is being taught at Columbia.  The Law School Report interviewed five students from the Class of 1998.  We asked them what courses, seminars, and clinics they took and why, as well as about their career choices during the first five years of practice.

If you'd like a complete picture of the Law School's curriculum, visit the Web site at

The Class of 1998 Graduation Statistics

Number of graduates 371
Grads working at law firms 73%
Grads taking clerkships 17%
Grads taking public interest or public sector jobs 3.4%
Average salary................................$82,640

The Class of 1998 Class Statistics
Percentage of students who took an
upper-level class or seminar in:

Corporate law 93%
Criminal law 87%
Family law 30%
International law 54%
Law & philosophy 35%
A clinic 32%
Exceeded 40 hours of pro bono work 45%