Research Assistant during 2L

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Anonymous User
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Research Assistant during 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 15, 2015 3:55 pm

What is the TLS consensus on working as a research assistant for the entire academic year of 2L? The position is paid ($10/hr) but would it make more sense to attempt to work in a firm setting during the year although I don't have that option available at this point?

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: Research Assistant during 2L

Postby Capitol_Idea » Fri May 15, 2015 3:58 pm

Working in a firm during the school year is a unicorn. Working as a research assistant can net you a reference but if you already have an SA lined up this is of somewhat limited utility in the near term. Might help with clerkships or long-term career prospects to have one more person who can vouch for you.

The experience itself varies so much with professors that no general advice can really be helpful on its innate value.

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Kratos
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Re: Research Assistant during 2L

Postby Kratos » Fri May 15, 2015 8:09 pm

work is generally easy and it's nice to get paid. long term career utility probably varies, and is likely minimal. if you wanna clerk it's a good way to get an in with a prof.

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WokeUpInACar
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Re: Research Assistant during 2L

Postby WokeUpInACar » Fri May 15, 2015 8:16 pm

zacharus85 wrote:Working in a firm during the school year is a unicorn. Working as a research assistant can net you a reference but if you already have an SA lined up this is of somewhat limited utility in the near term. Might help with clerkships or long-term career prospects to have one more person who can vouch for you.

The experience itself varies so much with professors that no general advice can really be helpful on its innate value.

I really wouldn't agree with this. Working at a big firm during the school year is a unicorn, but a decent amount of people work at small/midsize firms as law clerks during the school year.

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: Research Assistant during 2L

Postby Capitol_Idea » Sat May 16, 2015 7:05 am

WokeUpInACar wrote:
zacharus85 wrote:Working in a firm during the school year is a unicorn. Working as a research assistant can net you a reference but if you already have an SA lined up this is of somewhat limited utility in the near term. Might help with clerkships or long-term career prospects to have one more person who can vouch for you.

The experience itself varies so much with professors that no general advice can really be helpful on its innate value.

I really wouldn't agree with this. Working at a big firm during the school year is a unicorn, but a decent amount of people work at small/midsize firms as law clerks during the school year.

I was thinking big law firms. Disclaimer to my above post: I know nothing about small/mid law at regional schools or secondary markets - if that's your bag then that might be more helpful than being an RA unless the professor has significant connections to firms in your interested area.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Research Assistant during 2L

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat May 16, 2015 8:47 am

Agree that many law students work for small firms during the school year. Any actual work experience after 1L year is valuable, both for references & experience, but it can be difficult if taking a full academic load & working on law review or other journal. Also, depending upon the school, moot court & mock trial can be very time consuming as well. In short, doing something beyond the required coursework after 1L should be beneficial if one focuses on quality over quantity.

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Devlin
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Re: Research Assistant during 2L

Postby Devlin » Sat May 16, 2015 12:07 pm

I was a RA during 2L and a law clerk during 3L. Both were great experiences. PM if you have questions.

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sd5289
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Re: Research Assistant during 2L

Postby sd5289 » Sat May 16, 2015 6:35 pm

I was also an RA both 2L and 3L years (during 3L I ended up working for two professors).

Agree with consensus that it's a great way to net some excellent contacts, it's nice to be paid, and assuming you find prof's who are working on something relevant to the field you want to go into, possible conversation starters during interviews.

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Re: Research Assistant during 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 17, 2015 11:35 am

OP here. The field is Constitutional Law and I will be limited to 20 hrs per week in accordance with ABA standards. I guess this will be nothing more than a resume line that shows I can do something in law that doesn't necessarily require a firm setting? Also, I plan to live off student loans and save most if not all the $$ I make at this job. Do u think this is a good use of the funds?




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