Research Assistantships

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LSATNightmares
Posts: 535
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 10:29 pm

Research Assistantships

Postby LSATNightmares » Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:47 pm

So, I have a pretty good, full-time summer internship in government lined up at the completion of my 1L year. My question is, should I take a part-time research assistant position with a professor as well, mainly so I can build a relationship with a professor and get a letter of recommendation? Usually, they require 20 hours at my school, but I'm afraid of not being able to do a good job at both positions, while maintaining a good work-life balance (I'm married, and I feel bad ignoring my husband during the school year). If you haven't done a research assistantship, is it easy enough to get letters of recommendation later in 2L or 3L? Are they that important? (I hear they are for clerkships, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to go that route.) Thanks in advance.

sheD
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:41 pm

Re: Research Assistantships

Postby sheD » Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:50 am

I'm a 1L, so I can't speak from experience, but I'm working full-time this summer and also accepted a part-time RA job. My reasoning was that I didn't want to give up the opportunity to do other extracurriculars during the year, so the summer was the best time to fit the job in. I worked a demanding job before law school, so I think 40 hours a week at my job plus 10-15 hours per week as an RA is definitely doable. It would be nice to have some free time over the summer, but I specifically wanted to work with this professor, so when he announced that he was looking for an RA, I applied. I think if it's a targeted attempt to get to know a faculty member with whom you have common academic interests, go for it. One difficult think about law school in comparison to other grad programs is how much more difficult it can be to form close relationships with faculty, which are incredibly valuable.

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leobowski
Posts: 511
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:11 am

Re: Research Assistantships

Postby leobowski » Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:54 am

RAs aren't totally necessary. There are other ways to build relationships with professors (seminars, clinics, moot court coaches, faculty advisors for publications, etc.).

I would stick with the full-time job and enjoy your summer. Legal research sucks balls and you will be spending the rest of your life doing it; might as well enjoy a fun internship while you can.

LSATNightmares
Posts: 535
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 10:29 pm

Re: Research Assistantships

Postby LSATNightmares » Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:23 am

Thanks for the advice! I ended up turning down the offer to work for a professor, as I realized it would just be too much for me. I realized spending the extra time with family at this point matters more in the long run. I think if I were single and unmarried, I would have taken it, though.

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zeth006
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Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 2:54 am

Re: Research Assistantships

Postby zeth006 » Sat Apr 07, 2012 4:00 pm

LSATNightmares wrote:Thanks for the advice! I ended up turning down the offer to work for a professor, as I realized it would just be too much for me. I realized spending the extra time with family at this point matters more in the long run. I think if I were single and unmarried, I would have taken it, though.



Not too often you see people here turning down career-related opportunities just to stay human. :wink:




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