As a 1L which option would you choose for summer?

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As a 1L which option would you choose?

Split Summer: State Judge and County Judge + RA
9
19%
Split Summer: Judge and legal department of company
39
81%
 
Total votes: 48

Anonymous User
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As a 1L which option would you choose for summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:59 pm

Just curious which option you guys think is more beneficial for future biglaw or judicial clerkship positions.
No offers from judges yet!

KSCO
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Re: As a 1L which option would you choose for summer?

Postby KSCO » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:14 pm

I'd avoid the RA if possible. Good luck.

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Lawl Shcool
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Re: As a 1L which option would you choose for summer?

Postby Lawl Shcool » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:15 pm

option 2, gives you more to talk about during an interview.

Anonymous User
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Re: As a 1L which option would you choose for summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:16 pm

I am OP. Any specific reasons for avoiding RA? I thought RA job was pretty beneficial.

KSCO
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Re: As a 1L which option would you choose for summer?

Postby KSCO » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:34 pm

Not unless the professor you will RA is in your field of interest. Plenty of my friends have them, however even then, I'd still take a judge or in-house position. An RA doesn't really give any legal experience from what I'm told.

270910
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Re: As a 1L which option would you choose for summer?

Postby 270910 » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am OP. Any specific reasons for avoiding RA? I thought RA job was pretty beneficial.


Nothing wrong with it, but it's the option of last resort for many so it won't look great on your resume, plus there's plenty of time to do that sort of thing during the semester if you want the contacts.

rando
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Re: As a 1L which option would you choose for summer?

Postby rando » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:40 pm

It depends on what you are doing as an RA. Some are quite prestigious. And if you want to clerk then working for a professor is huge. I have also never heard of an RA position being looked down on by employers. Though if you are a research assistant for a librarian or something, this won't get you very far.

270910
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Re: As a 1L which option would you choose for summer?

Postby 270910 » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:54 pm

rando wrote:It depends on what you are doing as an RA. Some are quite prestigious. And if you want to clerk then working for a professor is huge. I have also never heard of an RA position being looked down on by employers. Though if you are a research assistant for a librarian or something, this won't get you very far.


I think this advices misses the point. If you want to clerk, then having a professor who will go to bat for you, write a strong rec, and make phone calls is huge. The primary currency in that regard, from talking to people who've actually done the clerkship game, is grades - in that prof's class and others. An RA position can cement a relationship, but it is neither necessary to do so nor sufficient without other things (i.e. ridic grades) going for you.

A prof's word when it comes to a clerkship rec is too valuable, and there are too many people looking for that word, for grunt work during summer research to trump grades.

Stupid system? Arguably. But from fairly extensive first and second hand research, I am very confident that is the way of things.

rando
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Re: As a 1L which option would you choose for summer?

Postby rando » Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:48 pm

disco_barred wrote:
rando wrote:It depends on what you are doing as an RA. Some are quite prestigious. And if you want to clerk then working for a professor is huge. I have also never heard of an RA position being looked down on by employers. Though if you are a research assistant for a librarian or something, this won't get you very far.


I think this advices misses the point. If you want to clerk, then having a professor who will go to bat for you, write a strong rec, and make phone calls is huge. The primary currency in that regard, from talking to people who've actually done the clerkship game, is grades - in that prof's class and others. An RA position can cement a relationship, but it is neither necessary to do so nor sufficient without other things (i.e. ridic grades) going for you.

A prof's word when it comes to a clerkship rec is too valuable, and there are too many people looking for that word, for grunt work during summer research to trump grades.

Stupid system? Arguably. But from fairly extensive first and second hand research, I am very confident that is the way of things.


It doesn't miss the point. OP said for future clerkship or biglaw. A summer job at xyz legal counsel or in-house or judge so and so won't get you anything without stellar grades either. But cementing a great relationship with a professor is key to getting the good recs in the instance that you have the good grades to compete down the road.
And you mentioned earlier that you can always do that during the year. Sure. Except for LR, maintaining great grades etc. Leaves little time to do substantive research and build those professor relationships.

As far as the key to recommendations being grades. That is not true. I have spoken with at least a half dozen professors, including our clerkship committee, as well as judges, and they say across the board that they want to write a rec for someone they 1) know 2) can speak to their writing abilities.

Why you would need a professor to rehash to a judge what you can see on a transcript or through GPA, makes no sense.

Lawrence
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Re: As a 1L which option would you choose for summer?

Postby Lawrence » Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:50 pm

disco_barred wrote:
rando wrote:It depends on what you are doing as an RA. Some are quite prestigious. And if you want to clerk then working for a professor is huge. I have also never heard of an RA position being looked down on by employers. Though if you are a research assistant for a librarian or something, this won't get you very far.


I think this advices misses the point. If you want to clerk, then having a professor who will go to bat for you, write a strong rec, and make phone calls is huge. The primary currency in that regard, from talking to people who've actually done the clerkship game, is grades - in that prof's class and others. An RA position can cement a relationship, but it is neither necessary to do so nor sufficient without other things (i.e. ridic grades) going for you.

A prof's word when it comes to a clerkship rec is too valuable, and there are too many people looking for that word, for grunt work during summer research to trump grades.

Stupid system? Arguably. But from fairly extensive first and second hand research, I am very confident that is the way of things.


I don't disagree with this, but I think it just helps make the point the being an RA could be different for different people. If you have the grades for a clerkship then having a professor willing to go to bat for you can be extremely useful, especially if they are well connected. For these people I think being an RA makes a lot of sense if you miss out an a paid firm job.

For those without clerkship grades I guess it's a mixed bag. I get the impression that being an RA won't really help you or hurt you a whole lot in terms of gaining employment. But in this economy, not being hurt by your summer employment could be a leg up on a lot of students. For students without top grades, it's going to be really tough to get employment your first summer that will make you stand out anyway. Atleast with being an RA you are getting paid a little something and you should have more time to focus on your job search.

eth3n
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Re: As a 1L which option would you choose for summer?

Postby eth3n » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:41 am

Just to clarify...you don't have any judge offers yet?

How does your RA prof feel about 50/50 split? Mine was really adamant about full time (hours still semi-flexible, but the other gig would have to be really flexible as well). Or are you simply doing first-half / second-half of summer?

Also, there is a huge difference between a professor willing to be a reference, and a well-known/connected professor who will proactively assist you in your job search. Make a good impression, actually get into their research topic. Also you will make a little bank, which ITE is not really happening anywhere else.

-edit-

Also for 2012 summer employment was ridiculous, I only go to top30, but I know multiple top5%-top10% that recently gave in and applied for RA positions simply because nothing was out there. It will not look THAT BAD if you are a 2012 with a summer RA.

Anonymous User
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Re: As a 1L which option would you choose for summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:24 pm

Thx for tips guys! Appreciate it.

Anonymous User
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Re: As a 1L which option would you choose for summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:33 pm

Op.

To clarify, like I said before, no offers yet but received e-mails from two judges I interviewed that decisions will be made this week. I haven't talked about specific schedule with prof for RA nor have I committed to it. Prof has been just too busy lately so I have luxury to wait until I hear back from company/judges before committing myself and discussing specifics.

Since you guys think grades is a factor, I will jus say: currently in top 10% for sure, possibly top 5% at T1 school.




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