sgtgrumbles wrote:Can anyone comment on the opportunities for extra-curricular involvement for 1Ls? What is it easiest to break into and ultimately take on a meaningful role in as a 2L or 3L? I'm thinking everything from reviews to centers (Law and Security and Brennan, specifically) to affinity groups. Is it even possible to balance this activity with 1L classes?
Extracurricular opportunities for 1Ls are mostly limited to student groups. But there are A LOT of different student groups - everything from affinity/identity groups to flag football teams to a choir to the Federalist Society and the ACLU to various issue-oriented or service provider groups, like the Education Law group or the Unemployment Action Center. Joining is easy: show up. And the time commitment is usually whatever you make of it. Many, many students participate in 1 or 2 groups as a 1L, although some don't and some professors advise against it. But I think it's manageable, especially if you keep your goals in mind - I mean, if your dream is to work for the ACLU one day, why wouldn't you do a little research for the ACLU as a 1L when you get the chance?
The journals and law reviews are strictly for 2L/3Ls. For journals, there's a writing competition that follows 1L year. If you put serious effort into the competition, you'll likely make a journal. By that time of the year, a lot of people are burnt out and don't try very hard. The main Law Review is competitive, but I don't think many of the others really are. But Law Review also takes up significantly more time than the others.
The centers occasionally hire Research Assistants. I don't know of any 1Ls that did research for them, but I know some that began working for them 1L summer. There's also some overlap between the centers and the clinics. Students apply for the next year's clinics in the spring - so 1Ls can't participate in clinics during 1L year, but do have the opportunity to apply during the spring of 1L year to be in a clinic during 2L year. NYU has enough clinics that most students (who want one) get a chance to be in one sometime during 2L or 3L. And many students take multiple clinics.