RA for famous Professor whose class I'm in now? (1L)

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RA for famous Professor whose class I'm in now? (1L)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:34 pm

I know RA isn't a highly regarded position generally, but this particular Prof makes the news from time to time (like New Yorker, NYT, Atlantic, etc).

My grades my first semester were so-so so as a result, it's already April and I don't have anything secured.

I'm in his class now and I suppose I don't strike him as "dumb" in class, I'm pretty active, etc. Honestly, he's been my favorite prof so far but I haven't really poured on the adulation. I just pipe up in class every now and then, maybe a quip or 2 after class.

Also, his track is one of those Rhodes Scholar, YLS, perennial feeder CoA, SCOTUS clerk, interesting stuff afterward types. You know the type. I'm not saying RAing for him will take me down the same road (probably never could've gone down that road to begin with). But if there's any Prof to get behind me for any reason, it's probably this guy.

Does my being in his class this semester, though it's about to end soon, preclude me because it might put him in a conflict of interest or something? Can't see how it would since grading is blind, but I don't know if he'd reject a current enrollee because that might make the last few classes and pre-exam office hours weird. I wouldn't take it personally, but he might have a rule against current enrollees for that reason.

Should I ask him in person first about such a rule before formally applying?

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StylinNProfilin
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Re: RA for famous Professor whose class I'm in now? (1L)

Postby StylinNProfilin » Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I know RA isn't a highly regarded position generally, but this particular Prof makes the news from time to time (like New Yorker, NYT, Atlantic, etc).

My grades my first semester were so-so so as a result, it's already April and I don't have anything secured.

I'm in his class now and I suppose I don't strike him as "dumb" in class, I'm pretty active, etc. Honestly, he's been my favorite prof so far but I haven't really poured on the adulation. I just pipe up in class every now and then, maybe a quip or 2 after class.

Also, his track is one of those Rhodes Scholar, YLS, perennial feeder CoA, SCOTUS clerk, interesting stuff afterward types. You know the type. I'm not saying RAing for him will take me down the same road (probably never could've gone down that road to begin with). But if there's any Prof to get behind me for any reason, it's probably this guy.

Does my being in his class this semester, though it's about to end soon, preclude me because it might put him in a conflict of interest or something? Can't see how it would since grading is blind, but I don't know if he'd reject a current enrollee because that might make the last few classes and pre-exam office hours weird. I wouldn't take it personally, but he might have a rule against current enrollees for that reason.

Should I ask him in person first about such a rule before formally applying?


a person in my section RA'd for one of our 1L professors. I think the prof actually preferred that since he was already familiar with him.

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Worker and Parasite
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Re: RA for famous Professor whose class I'm in now? (1L)

Postby Worker and Parasite » Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:50 pm

You're talking about being an RA for the summer right?

hiima3L
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Re: RA for famous Professor whose class I'm in now? (1L)

Postby hiima3L » Wed Apr 08, 2015 6:57 pm

Good god. Why on earth would it be a problem?

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Cobretti
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Re: RA for famous Professor whose class I'm in now? (1L)

Postby Cobretti » Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:58 pm

I think most summer RAs were in class with the professor before then. I definitely was.

ETA: to clarify I set it up while I was still in the prof's class.

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Re: RA for famous Professor whose class I'm in now? (1L)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:55 pm

Cobretti wrote:I think most summer RAs were in class with the professor before then. I definitely was.

ETA: to clarify I set it up while I was still in the prof's class.


OP here. Just so it's clear, the class I'm taking with him was part of my preset 1L curriculum. So it's my first class with him. It's not like he knows me from a class from a PREVIOUS semester, and now I'm in a seminar...no. I'm like 80% through my first class ever with him.

And yes this is for my 1L summer. So don't hesitate to apply? Should I submit my app tonight, or wait until I talk to him in person first (if that could help my candidacy)? Will it imply to OCI interviews that I only did this because I couldn't get anything else? (So far, they're right).

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Re: RA for famous Professor whose class I'm in now? (1L)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I know RA isn't a highly regarded position generally, but this particular Prof makes the news from time to time (like New Yorker, NYT, Atlantic, etc).

My grades my first semester were so-so so as a result, it's already April and I don't have anything secured.

I'm in his class now and I suppose I don't strike him as "dumb" in class, I'm pretty active, etc. Honestly, he's been my favorite prof so far but I haven't really poured on the adulation. I just pipe up in class every now and then, maybe a quip or 2 after class.

Also, his track is one of those Rhodes Scholar, YLS, perennial feeder CoA, SCOTUS clerk, interesting stuff afterward types. You know the type. I'm not saying RAing for him will take me down the same road (probably never could've gone down that road to begin with). But if there's any Prof to get behind me for any reason, it's probably this guy.

Does my being in his class this semester, though it's about to end soon, preclude me because it might put him in a conflict of interest or something? Can't see how it would since grading is blind, but I don't know if he'd reject a current enrollee because that might make the last few classes and pre-exam office hours weird. I wouldn't take it personally, but he might have a rule against current enrollees for that reason.

Should I ask him in person first about such a rule before formally applying?


Almost all RA's come from the professor's class. They don't want some rando who they've never met; they want a known quantity. So go ahead and apply. He may not even remember you from your 120 person class, but at least you have that "hook."

I would only caution you against being enamored of the famous professor. I RA'd for an extremely famous professor and thought I was pretty hot sh!t for getting hired by him. I worked my ass off that summer, and frankly, did really good work that I enjoyed. But there was zero mentorship, because he was always flying somewhere or too busy to talk, and when the time came for help on clerkship stuff, he was nowhere to be found. Sure, he wrote me a letter of recommendation, but maybe a dozen other students who did well in his class approached him for letters, too. He was happy to do it for all of us, but didn't go to bat for any one of us. The students who RA'd for younger, less-famous professors had much better luck on that front. Those professors are more likely to have clerked for judges who are still alive, and have fewer irons in the fire so they'll spend more time mentoring and going to bat for you.

So, be careful what you wish for. The famous name on your resume does almost nothing for you by itself.

ETA: RAing in general, on the other hand, is great. The pay is pure crap, but the job is pretty chill and (usually) you set your own schedule. And it won't hurt you at OCI as long as you don't make it sound like you want to go into academia.

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Re: RA for famous Professor whose class I'm in now? (1L)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:50 am

I'm 90% sure I got my BigFed job through RAing my admin law prof, so I wouldn't write it off either.

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Re: RA for famous Professor whose class I'm in now? (1L)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 09, 2015 4:00 am

Anonymous User wrote:Almost all RA's come from the professor's class. They don't want some rando who they've never met; they want a known quantity. So go ahead and apply. He may not even remember you from your 120 person class, but at least you have that "hook."


Hey thanks for this. Just so I can get a sense of how to time my application and whether I should talk to him about it in person:

I'm in his class now (as in, this semester) and he recognize me by name and face. So I don't have to worry about amnesia from a 120-person class a semester or 3 ago.

The only thing is, there are still ~2 weeks left in the semester. If I apply now, maybe it won't make the in-class sessions "awkward," but all I've been is someone who talks a smart talk in class from time to time. I haven't taken his exam yet. So maybe I'm not a known quantity yet. But I also don't want to wait until AFTER finals to apply, because then someone else might snag the position.

Apply now, use it as extra motivation to excel on his exam, and don't look back?

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Re: RA for famous Professor whose class I'm in now? (1L)

Postby forty-two » Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:10 am

Anonymous User wrote:Hey thanks for this. Just so I can get a sense of how to time my application and whether I should talk to him about it in person:

I'm in his class now (as in, this semester) and he recognize me by name and face. So I don't have to worry about amnesia from a 120-person class a semester or 3 ago.

The only thing is, there are still ~2 weeks left in the semester. If I apply now, maybe it won't make the in-class sessions "awkward," but all I've been is someone who talks a smart talk in class from time to time. I haven't taken his exam yet. So maybe I'm not a known quantity yet. But I also don't want to wait until AFTER finals to apply, because then someone else might snag the position.

Apply now, use it as extra motivation to excel on his exam, and don't look back?


Yes, apply now and stop worrying about this. This is normal. Don't make it weird for no reason.

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pancakes3
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Re: RA for famous Professor whose class I'm in now? (1L)

Postby pancakes3 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:36 am

Do people apply? The RA/TA's that I know were all solicited by the prof themselves.

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Re: RA for famous Professor whose class I'm in now? (1L)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:41 am

this is dumb. A famous professor wont feel like he has to give you a better grade because you are working for him. He has been a prof for a long time, he does not care about your grade and I assume that the grades are blind anyways.

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PB&J.D.
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Re: RA for famous Professor whose class I'm in now? (1L)

Postby PB&J.D. » Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:31 am

None of this matters. You need a job, so if you're interested you need to apply ASAP.

/thread

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Re: RA for famous Professor whose class I'm in now? (1L)

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Apr 09, 2015 4:36 pm

huh?

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Re: RA for famous Professor whose class I'm in now? (1L)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 09, 2015 5:11 pm

I'm a research assistant for an professor who was extremely high up in the federal government (DOJ/White House). It's a great opportunity and provides a lot of insight. Although as another stated, the mentorship may not be as high as you may receive with other professors, you can build a solid relationship with him to where he will help you with your job search. Mine has definitely been helped by my association. It can also be a fun in interviews when people ask, "So what is [insert name] really like?"

It will not matter if you are in a class with him. My professor asked if I wanted to take his class after it had filled up and he was willing to make a spot for me. Just be a good student and do well in his class!




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