Asked to apply for 1L RA w/connected Prof. Would like advice

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Asked to apply for 1L RA w/connected Prof. Would like advice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:46 pm

I received an email from a prof asking me to apply to be his/her RA. Someone recommended me. He/she is a connected professor, however I am not sure whether it is worth forgoing other possible summer opportunities. I am top 10% at a T20, and my dream job is academia, but I will probably gun for biglaw, as academia probably is not attainable.


Pros:
Connected prof may be helpful
I like research


Cons:
Not great money
I have several UG RA's and am concerned with diversifying my resume
I don't know much about the area of law (I had a shitty prof)
May be forgoing other opportunities.



I am considering asking to do it part time (like 10ish hours a week), even if it has to be on a volunteer basis. As I think that will be the best mix of the pros without the cons I can get. Although he/she asked for full time, so idk if he will go for that.

How would accepting/denying affect me at OCI? I would love a clerkship, which I imagine it would be helpful for, although my school is shit when it comes to those.

Any quick advice would be appreciated, as I would like to get back to the prof quickly.

Thanks.

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patogordo
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Re: Asked to apply for 1L RA w/connected Prof. Would like advice

Postby patogordo » Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:49 pm

Is he just a button man or is he a capo?

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Re: Asked to apply for 1L RA w/connected Prof. Would like advice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:53 pm

patogordo wrote:Is he just a button man or is he a capo?


I'm not 100%. Has some shit named after him/her and taught there for more than double the years I have been alive. Active in a lot of stuff. I presume he/she has connections.


(OP btw)
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Asked to apply for 1L RA w/connected Prof. Would like advice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:57 pm

Not OP. But I go to same school.

I would take it unless you get a firm job. You'll make more money as an RA than you would from the PI stipend.

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Re: Asked to apply for 1L RA w/connected Prof. Would like advice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Not OP. But I go to same school.

I would take it unless you get a firm job. You'll make more money as an RA than you would from the PI stipend.



Thanks for the thoughts.

I am not sure, but it seems that they may want a commitment before I will know from the firms.

And I'm not too worried about a several hundred dollar difference, more concerned about how it will affect OCI.

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patogordo
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Re: Asked to apply for 1L RA w/connected Prof. Would like advice

Postby patogordo » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Not OP. But I go to same school.

I would take it unless you get a firm job. You'll make more money as an RA than you would from the PI stipend.


Thanks for the thoughts.

I am not sure, but it seems that they may want a commitment before I will know from the firms.

And I'm not too worried about a several hundred dollar difference, more concerned about how it will affect OCI.

1L job doesn't really matter for OCI.

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Re: Asked to apply for 1L RA w/connected Prof. Would like advice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:25 pm

patogordo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Not OP. But I go to same school.

I would take it unless you get a firm job. You'll make more money as an RA than you would from the PI stipend.


Thanks for the thoughts.

I am not sure, but it seems that they may want a commitment before I will know from the firms.

And I'm not too worried about a several hundred dollar difference, more concerned about how it will affect OCI.

1L job doesn't really matter for OCI.



Word. I was just mainly worried that employers will look down on no legal office experience or they may assume that I couldn't find a job, so the school got a prof to take me on.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Asked to apply for 1L RA w/connected Prof. Would like advice

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:36 pm

It's true that 1L jobs don't really matter, so RAing wouldn't hurt you (nor would it hurt you if you passed, because I'm sure you'd find something else). But I might see if the prof would go for half-time or less and do something else legal on top of it, since you can do the RA hours at any time you like? I think it would be good experience, but 1L summer is a good opportunity to get some exposure to actual legal practice and it's kind of a shame to pass on that. (But this could just me being boomer-ish.)

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Re: Asked to apply for 1L RA w/connected Prof. Would like advice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:42 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:It's true that 1L jobs don't really matter, so RAing wouldn't hurt you (nor would it hurt you if you passed, because I'm sure you'd find something else). But I might see if the prof would go for half-time or less and do something else legal on top of it, since you can do the RA hours at any time you like? I think it would be good experience, but 1L summer is a good opportunity to get some exposure to actual legal practice and it's kind of a shame to pass on that. (But this could just me being boomer-ish.)



Haha, I would never call you a boomer, Nony!

And yea, that is what I was thinking too. Try to do it part time, even if unpaid. Although I don't know if they will go for it or not.

I am also not sure how to handle that. The email says that basically they sent it out to a handful of students and he doesn't normally wait to hear from everyone before making offers.

Just be up front with the prof about it? I just don't want to make it seem like the prof's thing is a backup, or that I don't want to do it.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Asked to apply for 1L RA w/connected Prof. Would like advice

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:33 pm

Do you know anyone at school who has RAed for this guy, or anyone who could point you to such a person? Or even your CSO? You could maybe ask them how the prof approaches things, whether he ever takes part-time RAs. But otherwise, I'd just be (semi-)upfront - say that you're really interested but you'd also like to get exposure to law practice this summer for planning for your future yadda yadda yadda.

You could also maybe express interest in RAing for him during the school year next year, but that depends on what you plan to do about journals/clinics/externships and the like, and whether you think you'd have time.

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Re: Asked to apply for 1L RA w/connected Prof. Would like advice

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:06 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:It's true that 1L jobs don't really matter, so RAing wouldn't hurt you (nor would it hurt you if you passed, because I'm sure you'd find something else). But I might see if the prof would go for half-time or less and do something else legal on top of it, since you can do the RA hours at any time you like? I think it would be good experience, but 1L summer is a good opportunity to get some exposure to actual legal practice and it's kind of a shame to pass on that. (But this could just me being boomer-ish.)


I would also recommend doing this if possible. Most professors are flexible on this sort of thing.

Also, if they say no it might be worth considering asking if they need help in the fall. My RA experience led directly to my clerkship because professor was willing to call judges. Having been on hiring side for replacement clerks, a good letter of recommendation or a call from someone familiar with your legal work product and ethic go a long way in distinguishing you (probably more so than law review), especially if it is a known professor.

One follow up point, I disagree about 1L summer do not matter. If you're not top 10%, your 1L summer can help you craft a narrative of why you want to practice a particular area of law which can distinguish you if you're a border line candidate. I occasionally have to do the 30 minute screener interviews for people and if you can say I want to be in your practice group because of X and I have been pursuing X since I started, it is more convincing.




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