Perception of Summer Research Assisstant for 1L Summer?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
chitown825
Posts: 339
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:45 pm

Perception of Summer Research Assisstant for 1L Summer?

Postby chitown825 » Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:08 pm

Hey,

Top 10% at regional T2. The glut of jobless 2Ls and the small size of the city have led to a probable strike out for me. I have no problem with working as a summer research assistant (RA) and have a professor lined up. My question is, how does this look at 2L OCI?

My only goal is to get a good job at OCI, and I have heard they only care that you do something legal. Is RA sufficient?

270910
Posts: 2437
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 9:51 pm

Re: Perception of Summer Research Assisstant for 1L Summer?

Postby 270910 » Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:11 pm

Yep! Not a problem.

Something else might be a little jazzier, but it won't cause you problems. I know people at tippy-top firms who were research assistants as a 1L.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273139
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Perception of Summer Research Assisstant for 1L Summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:13 pm

assuming that there are any jobs next year, then, yes, working as an RA is sufficient.

BruinsFan
Posts: 220
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:26 pm

Re: Perception of Summer Research Assisstant for 1L Summer?

Postby BruinsFan » Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:14 pm

Are we allowed to ask where you go? I hope it's not the T2 I'm looking at.

270910
Posts: 2437
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 9:51 pm

Re: Perception of Summer Research Assisstant for 1L Summer?

Postby 270910 » Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:16 pm

BruinsFan wrote:Are we allowed to ask where you go? I hope it's not the T2 I'm looking at.


Top 10% even at great schools doesn't guarantee work 1L summer. 1L summer has muuuuuch more to do with hussle, connections, and ties to various markets than grades. Good grades make it easier, but 1L summer is too unpredictable for you to draw any conclusions.

Relax kid, you won't get in anywhere you apply ;)

chitown825
Posts: 339
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:45 pm

Re: Perception of Summer Research Assisstant for 1L Summer?

Postby chitown825 » Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:18 pm

disco_barred wrote:
BruinsFan wrote:Are we allowed to ask where you go? I hope it's not the T2 I'm looking at.


Top 10% even at great schools doesn't guarantee work 1L summer. 1L summer has muuuuuch more to do with hussle, connections, and ties to various markets than grades. Good grades make it easier, but 1L summer is too unpredictable for you to draw any conclusions.

Relax kid, you won't get in anywhere you apply ;)


All around excellent response.

And thanks for your earlier comment, too.

ToTransferOrNot
Posts: 1928
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:45 am

Re: Perception of Summer Research Assisstant for 1L Summer?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:44 am

Doing something that gets you real experience is better. That said, employers realize that there just isn't much out there for 1Ls this year, and an RA gig is better than nothing.

As far as getting a good job through OCI at a T2, though... well... just be glad that you're C/O 2012, not 2011. You might have a chance. Maybe.

LurkerNoMore
Posts: 237
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:05 pm

Re: Perception of Summer Research Assisstant for 1L Summer?

Postby LurkerNoMore » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:26 am

Once the work is legal in nature, it is mostly about how you sell it. That said, some 1L jobs are easier to sell than others. RA jobs often get one of two glosses -- 1. you have an interest in academia/developing a relationship with a professor in a certain field; 2. you couldn't get another legal job. You want to be sure you talk about your experience so that you get put in category one and not category two. When you write up your resume, make sure you sell your RA experience. A lazy description is more likely to get the second gloss. Describe the skills you gained in concrete terms (mentioning the size/scope of the project you were working on, the types of research you did, the area of law you worked on, the tangible product you produced, etc.). When you talk about the experience, talk about it in positive terms as an opportunity you took and be ready to discuss what types of skills you gained that will translate to a law firm.

Law firms really don't care that much about what you did, they care a lot more about how you talk about it. They want to see that you are engaged, intelligent, and trainable.

chitown825
Posts: 339
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:45 pm

Re: Perception of Summer Research Assisstant for 1L Summer?

Postby chitown825 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:29 am

LurkerNoMore wrote:Once the work is legal in nature, it is mostly about how you sell it. That said, some 1L jobs are easier to sell than others. RA jobs often get one of two glosses -- 1. you have an interest in academia/developing a relationship with a professor in a certain field; 2. you couldn't get another legal job. You want to be sure you talk about your experience so that you get put in category one and not category two. When you write up your resume, make sure you sell your RA experience. A lazy description is more likely to get the second gloss. Describe the skills you gained in concrete terms (mentioning the size/scope of the project you were working on, the types of research you did, the area of law you worked on, the tangible product you produced, etc.). When you talk about the experience, talk about it in positive terms as an opportunity you took and be ready to discuss what types of skills you gained that will translate to a law firm.

Law firms really don't care that much about what you did, they care a lot more about how you talk about it. They want to see that you are engaged, intelligent, and trainable.


I very strongly disagree that you should ever position yourself to an employer as having an interest in legal academia. That is interview suicide. Nobody wants to hire flight risks.

270910
Posts: 2437
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 9:51 pm

Re: Perception of Summer Research Assisstant for 1L Summer?

Postby 270910 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:30 am

LurkerNoMore wrote:Law firms really don't care that much about what you did, they care a lot more about how you talk about it. They want to see that you are engaged, intelligent, and trainable.


And also that you went to a top school and have good grades :P

LurkerNoMore
Posts: 237
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:05 pm

Re: Perception of Summer Research Assisstant for 1L Summer?

Postby LurkerNoMore » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:40 am

chitown825 wrote:
LurkerNoMore wrote:Once the work is legal in nature, it is mostly about how you sell it. That said, some 1L jobs are easier to sell than others. RA jobs often get one of two glosses -- 1. you have an interest in academia/developing a relationship with a professor in a certain field; 2. you couldn't get another legal job. You want to be sure you talk about your experience so that you get put in category one and not category two. When you write up your resume, make sure you sell your RA experience. A lazy description is more likely to get the second gloss. Describe the skills you gained in concrete terms (mentioning the size/scope of the project you were working on, the types of research you did, the area of law you worked on, the tangible product you produced, etc.). When you talk about the experience, talk about it in positive terms as an opportunity you took and be ready to discuss what types of skills you gained that will translate to a law firm.

Law firms really don't care that much about what you did, they care a lot more about how you talk about it. They want to see that you are engaged, intelligent, and trainable.


I very strongly disagree that you should ever position yourself to an employer as having an interest in legal academia. That is interview suicide. Nobody wants to hire flight risks.


My bad on the description. I meant that category one is legal academia or an interest in the field or professor. The later should be the one you are trying to hit. I should have broken that out.

ToTransferOrNot
Posts: 1928
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:45 am

Re: Perception of Summer Research Assisstant for 1L Summer?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:07 am

The "interest in academia" thing is a gloss you ABSOLUTELY MUST AVOID. In this environment, if an interviewer gets the idea that you're one of these "2 years and out" people, looking for a biglaw stamp before you do a post-work clerkship->academia, you are absolutely dead in the water.

This is one of the few things that can overpower Top 5% T6 Law Review. You are dead if the interviewer thinks you aren't committed to being with the firm for the long haul.

User avatar
Unemployed
Posts: 699
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:35 am

Re: Perception of Summer Research Assisstant for 1L Summer?

Postby Unemployed » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:11 am

ToTransferOrNot wrote:The "interest in academia" thing is a gloss you ABSOLUTELY MUST AVOID. In this environment, if an interviewer gets the idea that you're one of these "2 years and out" people, looking for a biglaw stamp before you do a post-work clerkship->academia, you are absolutely dead in the water.

This is one of the few things that can overpower Top 5% T6 Law Review. You are dead if the interviewer thinks you aren't committed to being with the firm for the long haul.


Ugh. And yet they would not think twice about throwing you out for no apparent reason at all.

ToTransferOrNot
Posts: 1928
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:45 am

Re: Perception of Summer Research Assisstant for 1L Summer?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:14 am

Unemployed wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:The "interest in academia" thing is a gloss you ABSOLUTELY MUST AVOID. In this environment, if an interviewer gets the idea that you're one of these "2 years and out" people, looking for a biglaw stamp before you do a post-work clerkship->academia, you are absolutely dead in the water.

This is one of the few things that can overpower Top 5% T6 Law Review. You are dead if the interviewer thinks you aren't committed to being with the firm for the long haul.


Ugh. And yet they would not think twice about throwing you out for no apparent reason at all.


In fairness, they are paying you way, way more than you're worth. A lot of that money is an investment in your future productivity. I don't blame them for trying to filter out people who want to eat at the banquet for 2 years, then bail when they finally get useful.

Plus, there are many, many people who would take that job. There isn't equal bargaining power, here. I'm not sure where people get this impression that firms should treat applicants nicely.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.