When do I apply for non-law TA positions?

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)
brownpride
Posts: 154
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 4:01 pm

When do I apply for non-law TA positions?

Postby brownpride » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:34 am

0L here. I plan to email professors in the government department and graduate school of public policy/government to seek out TA positions for next year, to try to get some income to help with loans. When would be an appropriate time to email them to ensure that it's not too early but that it's also not too late? I assume right now is too early, but I'm not sure, so if anyone who's gone through grad school can comment on when profs typically find TAs I'd appreciate it very much. Thanks :)

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22779
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: When do I apply for non-law TA positions?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:04 pm

brownpride wrote:0L here. I plan to email professors in the government department and graduate school of public policy/government to seek out TA positions for next year, to try to get some income to help with loans. When would be an appropriate time to email them to ensure that it's not too early but that it's also not too late? I assume right now is too early, but I'm not sure, so if anyone who's gone through grad school can comment on when profs typically find TAs I'd appreciate it very much. Thanks :)

No, I don't think it's too early. The thing is, most departments are going to get graduate TAs through their own graduate students, and hiring is run centrally through the department, not by individual profs picking people to TA for them (i.e. it's unlike law school or UG TA gigs). Profs hire their own grad RAs, but not generally grad TAs. So I would contact the department chair for the department(s) and explain who you are and what you're interested in. They should be able to tell you what they need to see from you and what their process will be. If they're not working out TA assignments yet, they can keep you in the pool for when they do. In this case, earlier is better.

However, keep in mind that they may not hire students from outside their departments, if they have graduate programs and graduate students in their own field to fund. (It's certainly worth checking, but don't count on it as your only option.)

Plus, a lot of law schools (most? all?) have rules against full-time students working at all during 1L. (If you're a PT student, obviously ignore this.) People still do, but usually not in school-funded jobs that would be likely to come to the law school's attention. So you may want to look into your school's policies and think about how you want to handle that.

brownpride
Posts: 154
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 4:01 pm

Re: When do I apply for non-law TA positions?

Postby brownpride » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:49 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
brownpride wrote:0L here. I plan to email professors in the government department and graduate school of public policy/government to seek out TA positions for next year, to try to get some income to help with loans. When would be an appropriate time to email them to ensure that it's not too early but that it's also not too late? I assume right now is too early, but I'm not sure, so if anyone who's gone through grad school can comment on when profs typically find TAs I'd appreciate it very much. Thanks :)

No, I don't think it's too early. The thing is, most departments are going to get graduate TAs through their own graduate students, and hiring is run centrally through the department, not by individual profs picking people to TA for them (i.e. it's unlike law school or UG TA gigs). Profs hire their own grad RAs, but not generally grad TAs. So I would contact the department chair for the department(s) and explain who you are and what you're interested in. They should be able to tell you what they need to see from you and what their process will be. If they're not working out TA assignments yet, they can keep you in the pool for when they do. In this case, earlier is better.

However, keep in mind that they may not hire students from outside their departments, if they have graduate programs and graduate students in their own field to fund. (It's certainly worth checking, but don't count on it as your only option.)

Plus, a lot of law schools (most? all?) have rules against full-time students working at all during 1L. (If you're a PT student, obviously ignore this.) People still do, but usually not in school-funded jobs that would be likely to come to the law school's attention. So you may want to look into your school's policies and think about how you want to handle that.


Thanks for the detailed response - much appreciated!




Return to “Law School FAQ”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests