The Symplicity CSM system is used to advertise RA positions. To view current openings, please go to the Student Log On to Symplicity. If you are a faculty member seeking to advertise an opening, please go to the Employer Log On to Symplicity. For instructions about posting a position in Symplicity, please see Instructions for RA Postings in Symplicity
What is a Research Assistant?
Law Research Assistant (RA) positions are primarily intended as learning experiences, which contribute to your progress toward our program of study. RA positions are available during the second and third year
with most of the faculty.
What are the advantages to having a salaried RA position?
- Tuition Adjustment for Non - Residents to the Resident Rate. For those students classified as a nonresident for tuition purposes, a quarter-time salaried RA position will change your tuition status during that semester to resident, thus reducing your tuition charges and financial aid package accordingly. For 2014 - 15 this represents a savings of $12,644 per semester or $25,288 for the academic year.
- Health Insurance Subsidy. (These benefits do not apply to hourly employees.) RA’s who chose to enroll in the UI Employed Graduate/Professional student health insurance receive a premium subsidy of approximately 90% for single enrollees and approximately 70% for RA’s with a spouse or a family. A separate health insurance application is required and you must enroll by September 2014. To apply go to http://hr.uiowa.edu/benefits/health-insurance-graduate-students. The first time you will be eligible for subsidized health insurance will be the first semester that you have an RA appointment. If you have had health insurance as a non-employee, to receive the premium subsidy you must complete a new Employed Graduate Student Insurance form.
- Salary. RA positions are salaried at $1,087.50 per semester or $7.25 per hour, paid $217.50 monthly by direct deposit. Your monthly salary will remain the same regardless of the number of hours worked in any month. RA positions are a quarter-time appointment, 150 hours a semester or an average of 10 hours a week, or 300 hours an academic year.
- Mentorship by a Professor or a Administrator. RA positions can provided you with one to one experience working with a professor or supervisor doing legal research and writing. Your RA supervisors can become your best reference for future legal work and can provide you with useful contacts. Many state bar applications require RA supervisors to answer questions about the quality of your work.
How Do I Find a Position?
- Faculty typically hire RA’s from February–August. The Symplicity CSM system is used to advertise RA positions.
- Students are advised to look everywhere across campus to secure a 25% salaried RA/TA/GA appointment. Positions can include Libraries, College of Law Centers, the Graduate College department of your undergraduate major.
After a Professor/Administrator has agreed to hire me what do I do?
- As you begin any form of employment with the University, federal law requires that you complete an I-9 form to confirm your eligibility to work. You must be prepared to present appropriate documentation to a University representative on or before your first day of employment, who will then work with you to complete this form. Please refer to the list of acceptable documents online at http://hr.uiowa.edu/files/hr.uiowa.edu/files/acceptable_docs.pdf.
- After you secure an RA position with a faculty member, you must complete the appropriate employment forms. Contact the Student Employment Assistant, Jessica Diers, Room 276 for the required forms.
Why it is important for you to attend the RA Informational Program?
Each semester, we offer an informational program for current and future RAs. This program is conducted with Associate Dean Crain and a member of the faculty. They will provide you with information about expectations of the position. The Director of Financial Aid and the Financial Aid Assistant will also provide you with other important information about your RA position.
Faculty Expectations: An RA position offers professional training as a legal employee. Faculty members will expect you to:
- Treat the position with respect. Be professional and prepared.
- Meet submission deadlines. If you suspect you will not meet a deadline inform your supervisor as soon as possible.
- If you don’t understand an assignment, ask questions until you do.
- Above all: communicate with your supervisor
Bar Character & Fitness: State licensing agencies routinely require you to report all employers on your application. RA supervisors receive the following inquiries from state judicial licensing agencies:
- Would you hire this person again?
- Was this person trustworthy?
- Would you recommend this person for admission to the bar?
Terms of the Position
- Keep careful, accurate, and contemporaneous records of your work hours. Work 150 hours a semester or 300 an academic year. 10 hours a week is an appropriate guideline. If you are not meeting your RA commitment discuss this with your supervisor as soon as possible.
- You must submit your time sheet first to your supervisor for approval and second to the Student Employment Assistant, Jessica Diers who monitors RA hours.
- RA’s who do not complete their required hours must repay their salary and their health insurance subsidy will end. Nonresidents who do not complete their required hours will also be subject to reversal of the 2014-15 tuition charges to the nonresident rate or $12,644 a semester or $25,288 for the academic year.
The following forms are provided for the reference and use of current research assistants and newly hired research assistants. More forms are needed to complete the payroll process than are listed below. Please contact the Student Employment Coordinator for details. If you have questions about which forms may be of use to you, please consult
or contact the Student Employment Coordinator.
- I-9 Information Required
- I-9 List of Acceptable Documents
- Salaried Research Assistants Monthly Timesheet
Set up and maintain your direct deposit information at the Employee Self Service website. Select the Personal Tab, under the payroll heading and select Set Up/Change Direct Deposit.
Research Assistants may view their earnings statements on the Employee Self Service website. Choose Paycheck Review from the Payroll options.
Faculty RA Print/Copy Account
After you are hired, many faculty will want you to print and/or copy the materials you find in your research for them. Faculty have a shared Faculty RA Print/Copy account for this purpose. You should not use your personal Print/Copy funds for this purpose. For more information see .
Who do you contact with Questions, Troubleshooting or Concerns?
Please contact the appropriate staff member based on the subject of your question or concern.