Selection Policy for Graduate Student Instructors

Legal Studies Program Selection Policy for Graduate Student Instructors

Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) positions help pay the bills, prepare you for the rest of your graduate program, and prepare you for a profession in which you will be teaching.  They also allow all the undergraduate programs at Berkeley to offer classes with substantive discussions that provide an opportunity for problem-solving and writing.  With your experience and expertise, you offer something of great value to the undergraduates in Legal Studies courses.  Undergraduate teaching experience is also a part of the apprenticeship process that constitutes a Ph.D. program.  The problem is that there are a limited number of positions and, occasionally, more applicants than there are slots.

Given those programmatic goals and constraints, the Director of the Legal Studies Program, in consultation with the Associate Dean, uses the following criteria in selecting GSIs.  As always, priority for Legal Studies GSI positions goes to students in the JSP Program. As a reminder, all GSIs need to satisfy the UC Berkeley appointment criteria detailed here. Please note that the Law School indicates Incomplete grades with “IP.” Grades of “IP” will be counted as Incompletes. According to campus rules, GSI candidates may have no more than two Incompletes.  You must clear excess Incomplete grades by the start of the month prior to the start date of the appointment. For example, if classes start August 19, you must clear your excess Incompletes by July 1 (For Spring semester appointments, you still must have two or fewer Incomplete grades, including the Fall semester grades that are reported out in early January). If you wind up exceeding the maximum number of incompletes when your appointment starts, your appointment will be withdrawn.

Instructors will have the opportunity to pre-register a veto over any particular GSI candidates at the point when the GSI solicitation is sent (typically the first week in October for Spring semester and the second week in April for Fall semester) but may not use their veto to select particular candidates from the pool of applicants.

This GSI selection policy applies to all positions appointed by Legal Studies.

Legal Studies GSI Selection Criteria

Fall and Spring Semesters

  1. total number of semesters of GSI employment (students with fewer semesters get higher priority)
  2. applicant preference (but not necessarily the applicant’s top preference)
  3. fit with student program of study (e.g., preparing for an exam, preparing for fieldwork or dissertation research, working with a key faculty member)
  4. fit with pedagogical needs of Legal Studies and the particular course
  5. JSP support commitments to graduate students (students for whom JSP still has support commitments will have a higher priority for GSI appointments)
  6. availability to candidate of non-GSI funding (e.g., fellowships)
  7. time stamp on GSI application form

Summer Sessions (criteria subject to same conditions as Fall and Spring)

  1. applicant preference
  2. fit with student program of study
  3. availability of non-GSI summer funding
  4. lack of previous summer GSI employment for Legal Studies
  5. fit with pedagogical needs of Legal Studies and the particular course
  6. time stamp on GSI application form

11 April 2023