Law School Discussion

Working as a research assistant 2L year?

Working as a research assistant 2L year?
« on: October 01, 2008, 12:43:30 PM »
I was looking for a part time job right now for money and/or experience.  I haven't heard back from any of the law clerk positions I applied to, but I may be able to get a job as a research assistant for one of the professors at my school.  Should I hold off and keep trying to get a firm job or just take the research assistant position? (I am also trying to look for a summer internship right now regardless of what I take as a job, the part-time job now is basically just for money because I am getting too poor.) 

Are research assistant positions a good thing to have on a resume in the eyes of a hiring firm, or is it considered a very easy job to secure and not worth much?  Thanks

nealric

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Re: Working as a research assistant 2L year?
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2008, 01:48:40 PM »
My understanding is that it is considered a very easy to get job. However, the right one could give you opportunities to get published, which might be valuable.

However, I wouldn't abandon your search for a summer clerkship for a RA job.

Re: Working as a research assistant 2L year?
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2008, 01:54:21 PM »
My understanding is that it is considered a very easy to get job. However, the right one could give you opportunities to get published, which might be valuable.

However, I wouldn't abandon your search for a summer clerkship for a RA job.

I am not at all abandoning my summer clerkship search, just abandoning a search clerk job for right now (I am poor and need money so I absolutely need a paying job right now for bills and such)

jacy85

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Re: Working as a research assistant 2L year?
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2008, 01:54:48 PM »
It's not a bad job to have. While not the most prestigious job, it can be presented on your resume to emphasize your research skills.

More importantly,  you'll hopefully develop a close relationship with a professor, which can be extremely helpful in so many ways.  In this vein, I'll suggest is that if you have choice of what professor you can work for, consider what you want to do after school and where you want to work.  If you want to clerk, look for a professor who may be involved in the clerkship app program (if your school has one) or one who clerked in a circuit you'd like to try for. Or if you just want to work, perhaps look for a professor who is active/known in the community or worked in a practice area you want to be in.  It's a great networking opportunity, and a good recommendation from this professor could be extremely helpful (and I know a couple of people who got some great leads on jobs from contacts with profs!).

I don't know that you'd get any publication credit; at most you may get a footnote from a prof in their published piece acknowledging your assistance.  It may be a good way to find ideas for your own work though, and I would think that many professors would be happy to discuss your ideas and give some guidance on turning that idea into something that can be published.

Re: Working as a research assistant 2L year?
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2008, 02:04:15 PM »
It's not a bad job to have. While not the most prestigious job, it can be presented on your resume to emphasize your research skills.

More importantly,  you'll hopefully develop a close relationship with a professor, which can be extremely helpful in so many ways.  In this vein, I'll suggest is that if you have choice of what professor you can work for, consider what you want to do after school and where you want to work.  If you want to clerk, look for a professor who may be involved in the clerkship app program (if your school has one) or one who clerked in a circuit you'd like to try for. Or if you just want to work, perhaps look for a professor who is active/known in the community or worked in a practice area you want to be in.  It's a great networking opportunity, and a good recommendation from this professor could be extremely helpful (and I know a couple of people who got some great leads on jobs from contacts with profs!).

I don't know that you'd get any publication credit; at most you may get a footnote from a prof in their published piece acknowledging your assistance.  It may be a good way to find ideas for your own work though, and I would think that many professors would be happy to discuss your ideas and give some guidance on turning that idea into something that can be published.

well that is good to hear.  I just wanted to make sure this was worth pursuing, because there is probably a decent chance I may find a low paying clerk job at a smaller firm, but I do not want to quit this job shortly after and then make a bad impression

Re: Working as a research assistant 2L year?
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2008, 02:08:23 PM »
If it is unpaid, is it worth taking this just to have it on the resume? I need money very badly now and I was counting on the summer job for experience, and this job now is more just for money than anything.  I was going to start looking for retail/restaurant work if I couldn't get a legal paying job now since I simply do need a paying job for right now, regardless of what I do for the summer.

jacy85

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Re: Working as a research assistant 2L year?
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2008, 03:44:04 PM »
If it is unpaid, is it worth taking this just to have it on the resume? I need money very badly now and I was counting on the summer job for experience, and this job now is more just for money than anything.  I was going to start looking for retail/restaurant work if I couldn't get a legal paying job now since I simply do need a paying job for right now, regardless of what I do for the summer.

No, it's not worth it if it's unpaid, especially if you need the money now.  If it is paid, however, it's definitely worth it compared to a retail job.