How to Pass the California Bar Exam

I finished law school, and I was pretty sure that the bar exam was going to be a formality.  Having been through the process, let me tell you that it was not a breeze.  In fact, it is a very challenging exam.  I would not wish that exam and the stress that follows as you wait for the results upon anyone.  It is, quite simply, the worst.

The good news is that I am pretty sure anyone can pass the exam with enough practice.  Heck, even I passed!  Below, I have listed a high level overview of how I took the exam for each of the different sections.  Without even seeing the questions, I had a plan in terms of how I was going to manage my time and what things I absolutely had to do.  For example, in the essays, I made sure to write down all of the names at the beginning to make sure that I at least referenced them once in my answers.  My nightmare was answering a question and omitting a character.  That could be disastrous to your score, and I had a plan going in that would not allow such an oversight.

As promised, below is my rough plan going into test day.

Study Schedule

I studied with Barbri, and I thought it was pretty helpful.  In terms of a routine, I would attend the classes and do the assignments afterwards.  There are a lot of assignments, and I don’t think that you need to do every single one of them.  But you should definitely do as many as you can.

More generally, I would make sure to have some balance.  Study, go to the gym, spend time with friends, and study some more.  Since the bar exam is a very big deal, you have got to be serious about it.  I would highly discourage taking an extended vacation or working during this time.

Essays

Read the question.  Read the prompt.  Read the question again.  Read the prompt again.  Do a rough outline of your answer with headings.  Drop the facts into that outline.

And now, you may start typing.  I might even re-read the prompt and question one more time to make sure that I’m not missing anything.  The last thing that I want to do is spend 20-30 minutes writing an answer that doesn’t make sense in context of the question.

On test day, there are 3 essays.  I would recommend 1 hour per essay.  At most, I would go over 10 minutes on the first essay, but then you just need to keep track of the time and save some time later.  Time management on this exam is critical.  For a few important highlights:

  • Use headers to make sure that your essay is easy to read
  • IRAC everything to show that you’re organized.  You also don’t want to miss points because you did the I, R and A, but no C.  Moreover, make sure to that you have analysis to support the issues and do not just jump to the conclusion.

Multiple Choice

Time management is key.  It breaks down to 1 minute and 48 seconds for each MBE question.  DO NOT spend an inordinate amount of time on any one question.  If you don’t know the answer, skip it and come back.  I find that when I let my mind chase other answers in the MBE I will remember the answer to a previous question.  Weird how that works.

In terms of each question, I feel like they are trying to test the same stuff year after year.  So if you don’t know the answer, just guess the more popular topics.  Again, they test the same principles repeatedly.

Performance Test

This is 1/3 of the exam, and I would really encourage you to do a few of these in your preparation.  Maybe 1 PT a week or so.  It’s also one of those things where you can’t just read someone else’s answers and think that it is enough.  It’s really important to get in the process of unpacking the library and doing the assignments yourself.  At first, they will inevitably take you a long time.  But once you get the hang of them, they go by much quicker.

I’ve heard people say that you can’t practice for these exams, but that is BS.  You need to train yourself to craft an effective PT answer.  This skill can be learned.  Also, I think that the PT is a great place to earn extra points.  Inevitably, everyone glosses over this part of the test.  Don’t be that guy.

Those are my points from a 30,000 foot view.  In the coming weeks, I will go more in depth in each section of the exam: Essays, Multiple Choice, and PT’s.  Most importantly, I’ll detail how I prepared.  I had prepared so well that when test day arrived, I was really just going through the motions.  For the essays, even though the fact patterns were new, they were just variations of essays that I had seen long ago.  With enough practice, the Cal Bar can be a real breeze.

Stay tuned!

Dave Ramsey Rules!

I love a good podcast.  I must have about 8 in a regular rotation.  Definitely some sports radio in there so that I can keep up with my favorite teams (Denver Bronco football and USC Trojan football).  I have also been listening to a good amount of financial podcasts lately, and they are great.  They remind you of all of the things that you need to be doing but aren’t.

A really good podcast is “The Dave Ramsey Show”.  I don’t remember how I stumbled across Dave Ramsey, but I am so glad that I did.  The format of the show is that he has callers who bring in their stories and they ask for guidance.  The nice thing is that the callers are from all over the country and they have stories that can be easily related to.  For example, he talks about student loans, mortgages, retirement accounts, car debt and everything else under the sun.  He’s also very blunt and tells people like it is.  His website is www.daveramsey.com.  If you go to the website, there are all kinds of tools, guides, and even a link to his classes.

He has what is known as the “7 Baby Steps” that are very helpful and they are as follows:

Step 1: Save $1,000

Step 2: Pay off Debt

Step 3: 3-6 month fund

Step 4: Invest 15%

Step 5: College

Step 6: Pay off Home

Step 7: Give

I try to listen to him everyday just to keep my habits in order.  It’s almost like when I’m about to make a bad decision, I ask myself, “what would Dave Ramsey say?”

If you’re like me, I highly recommend you visit his website and listen to his podcast. (link to podcast here: https://www.daveramsey.com/show/home/?snid=show) They have both had a great impact on my life, and I hope you find them useful as well.

A Note to My Younger Self

When you receive this letter, you will not be the least bit interested in saving money.  You will believe that money is easy to come by and you will one day make lots of money.  I’m here to tell you that despite going to a great University, earning an MBA from a Top 20 Business School, and later a JD from a Top 20 Law School, you will NOT be raking in money hand over fist.  In fact, you will be knee deep in student loans and you will owe hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Yikes! Allow that to settle in.  Take a deep breath and calm down.  That’s not how the story ends because you won’t allow it to end that way.  Also, I have some advice for you that will help you out.

  1. Invest Early

You do not know the least bit about investing – I know.  But you can learn and I’m here to teach you.  Here is some real basic stuff that can get you started.  I cannot say enough about investing early.  Check out any stock market chart and look at how it inevitably grows.  The Dow Jones, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq – they all have upward trajectories!  If you invest, your money will inevitably grow.  That’s easy enough to understand, right?  Also, there’s this thing called compound interest, and this is when your interest actually makes interest.  So if you invest early, the money will grow with the market and the interest will compound.  It’s a no-brainer.  I know that growing up you won’t have much money, but whatever money that you receive from your parents for birthdays and Christmases should be saved and invested.  Please do not go out and waste your money on video game systems and stuff that is just instant gratification.  Save and invest!

Another thing that I will tell you is to be patient.  You cannot watch your investments everyday – it will drive you crazy.  You need to have a long-term money plan.  If you’re patient and don’t touch that money, you will be able to celebrate and enjoy your money soon enough.

  1. Open a Vanguard Account

Now you’re wondering how and where to invest.  Nobody in your family or your social circle will talk about it so you won’t know where to begin.  So let me qualify the above by saying that you should not invest in individual stocks.  If you do that, then you are subject to the risks that any one stock might not perform.  It’s basically gambling.  My advice would be to go open a Vanguard account and invest in some exchange traded funds (“ETFs”).  These are investments that basically cover the entire market – this way you’re not exposed to any one stock and your investment will grow with the market.  It’s not the sexiest way to invest, but it is safe and safe is good when it comes to money.

  1. Educate Yourself About Money

When you are growing up, and when you get to high school, you will be better off if you spend less time thinking about partying and more time thinking about money.  I know it doesn’t sound fun, but trust me, you’ll thank me later.  There are great websites that I have found later in life that I wish I had found earlier.  These websites are free, educational, and they will open your mind up and show you the right way to think about money. The theme of these websites are financial independence and early retirement.  Now, while you might think that going out with friends and running up crazy bar tabs is a good use of your time and money, I’ll tell you now that educating yourself about money will go a long ways.  Check these websites out and try to apply some of their lessons to your management of money:

Mr. Money Moustache

Mad Fientist

Budgets are Sexy

Six Figures Under

Root of Good

  1. Get a Job During High School and College

Your parents are going to encourage you to focus solely on academics.  They will support you financially so long as you focus on school and they will tell you not to get a job.  I’m going to jump in here and tell you to get a job, any job.  Now that we’re older, I will tell you that you need to get a job for a number of different reasons: none of which is necessarily the money.  First, you need to get a job to learn discipline.  If you work while you’re going to school, you will learn the important life lesson of time management.  And don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of time to do homework.  From your future self – let me tell you that high school and college are not that difficult, and you can spare some time to have a part-time job.  Second, you need to get a few jobs at an early age to learn what you do and what you do not like.  Over the course of your career, you will have many different jobs.  The first job you take will not define the rest of your career trajectory.  Please take the opportunities to broaden your horizons and see what type of different jobs are out there.

That’s it for now, and I’ll write a Part 2 in the coming days.  But that should be a good start.  My takeaway message to you is that you need to start thinking about money differently than you currently are.  If you are smart, you can do good things with your money.  If you’re not smart, you’ll be in a world of hurt.  After college and grad school and when you are getting married, you’ll thank me for showing you these life lessons early on because those are the times when you’ll wish you saved and invested more.

Trust me, I wouldn’t lie to you.

Fantasy Football

Dear Readers,

Sorry if you were expecting a personal finance post today. You’re gonna get a little write-up on fantasy football instead. And…I think there is an argument to be made that there is a personal finance element to fantasy football. I mean, you draft a team, and then you need to manage players. My league has transaction fees, so there is a financial element to it whereby there is a budget and you can’t just add/drop players without having to pay for it. So there you have it, fantasy football is personal finance.

At the same time, as I reflect on my blog, I feel like I can do a better job sharing more about who I am and what I do. So here it is, in addition to personal finance, I really like fantasy football. When people ask what I do, after I tell em what I really do, I also explain that I manage a team in my free time. A fantasy football team, that is.

For what it’s worth, I did win my 2009 and 2015 14-team league championship. Winning these things can be very luck driven, but below I’ll provide this year’s team along with my philosophy toward drafting a team.

My Fantasy Football Team – Yo Soy Fiesta

“Yo Soy Fiesta” are the eloquent words of Rob Gronkowski, tight end for the New England Patriots. To be clear, I am neither a Patriots fan nor a Rob Gronkowski fan. However, I do like to have a good time, and I respect those who share that pursuit of a good time. Clearly, Rob Gronkowski likes to have a good time. There you go – that’s the origin of my team name.

Now, onto the 2016 roster for Yo Soy Fiesta:

  • Starters
    • QB Russel Wilson, SEA
    • RB LeSean McCoy, BUF
    • RB Rashad Jennings, NYG
    • RB/WR Theo Riddick, DET
    • WR/TE Emmanual Sanders, DEN
    • WR/TE Tyrell Williams, SD
    • TE Jordan Cameron, MIA
    • DP Alec Ogletree, LA
    • DP Von Miller, DEN
    • D/ST Ravens, BAL
  • Bench
    • TE Rob Gronkowski, NE
    • WR John Brown, ARI
    • RB Terrance West, BAL
    • WR Eli Rogers, PIT
    • QB Alex Smith, KC

The roster is a little thin, I know! I had the 12th pick out of 14. Naturally, I chose an injured Gronk. Ugh, I’ve been out of the country and slammed with work – fantasy football preparation has taken a back seat. I suspect that once Brady comes back, Gronk will go on a tear and continue it for the rest of the year. Let’s call it the “Brady Effect”. I made a few more picks, including Shady McCoy, Russell Wilson, Emmanual Sanders, Jordan Cameron, John Brown and a maybe a few more. After that, I had to go to work and autodraft.

As I analyze my roster, I feel pretty decent. I really believe that McCoy is one of the best RBs in the league. I also think that Riddick and Jennings are gonna get a lot of carries and accumulate points just by sheer volume of touches.

My Philosophy

Wide Receiver

When I draft wide receivers, I usually don’t draft the star wide receiver on a team. I actually prefer to draft the number two receiver because they will get easier coverage. For example, I would always let someone draft Marvin Harrison, and then I would draft Reggie Wayne. By doing so, I feel like I’ve gotten better value because Reggie Wayne, the number 2 receiver, will get better coverages and I’ll be able to draft him later. For those reasons, I am always glad to go with the second wide receiver.

In this year’s context, I was glad to let someone else draft Demaryius Thomas so that I could later pick Emmanuel Sanders, who is a straight baller! The opposing defense always shades coverage over to DT’s side, and that frees up Emmanuel. It’s a beautiful situation.

Offensive Coordinator/Offensive System

I will factor in the offensive system and coordinator. I think that Norv Turner is a terrible head coach but an offensive O-coordinator, so I like drafting his players under the right circumstances. I just don’t like the Vikings offensively in general so I get scared there. But I’ll totally draft Norv Turner’s players in another system. Other playcallers that I really like include: Josh McDaniels, Gary Kubiak, Adam Gase, Chip Kelly (sometimes the NFL game seems too big for him), Andy Reid, Mike McCarthy and Hue Jackson. Let me know if I’m miss anybody.

In terms of systems, I think that Cincinnati, Detroit and Carolina are bound to put up points, so I definitely keep an eye on their players.

When you look at my team, you’ll notice that I have a few players under Gary Kubiak (Emmanual Sanders), Adam Gase (Jordan Cameron), and Andy Reid (Alex Smith). So if those picks are confusing, I likely chose them because I believe in their play caller.

Running Back

Back in the day, everybody needed to draft a running back in the 1st round – that was the drill. Many people probably still follow that philosophy.   I like it, and if I can I will. Why not – the RB gets a ton of touches to rack up points, and there are not a lot of quality running backs in the NFL. However, the fact that there are not a lot of quality running backs actually opens things up. If there are injuries and you are near a computer, you can likely firm up a weak running back situation during the year. Just remember to be vigilant and watch out for backups otherwise you’ll be thin at an important position!

So that’s it for now. I think I’ll do a little fantasy football on the blog every week…just as a way for me to keep up with the research for my own league. Come back for more tips!

Perseverance

 

Perseverance

Have you ever felt like the mountain of student loans is just too much?  Is living on a strict budget difficult?

I’m sure we have all felt that way before.  Heck, I feel like that every day.  But, you just need to keep pushing on.  When you feel like you’re drowning in debt, remember to keep on swimming!

Baby Steps

Dave Ramsey describes baby steps.  His baby steps are: (1) $1000 to Start an Emergency Fund; (2) Pay Off All Debt but the House; (3) 3 to 6 Months of Expenses in Savings; (4) Invest 15% of Household Income into Retirement; (5) College Funding for Children; (6) Pay Off Home Early; (7) Build Wealth and Give.

The point is that you need to start somewhere.  And for many, the beginning will be baby steps.  It is unrealistic to think that you can destroy all of your debt in one fell swoop.  Rather, if you’re anything like me (6 figures in student debt!), then it is going to take many baby steps.  Moreover, if you think that you will get out of debt quickly, and you don’t, then it can be discouraging.  The point is to be consistent, steady, and persevere to get your way out of debt.

Coming back to baby steps, I would encourage some combination of the following: putting aside an emergency fund, making steady payments toward your debt, starting a budget, and tracking all of your expenses.  Each of these are simple and easy ways to get started.

Emergency Fund

An emergency fund is important because you don’t want to borrow money and pay interest.  With an emergency fund, you are protecting yourself from borrowing money or using credit cards.  The question then becomes, how much do I save for an emergency fund?  That’s a personal question, but I would start small – see how easy and convenient baby steps are :).  Start with $500 and then grow it to $1,000.  Just make sure that you have some emergency fund so that you don’t ever need to borrow money!

Steady Payments Toward Debt

I emphasize steady because it is important to be consistent.  It is going to take while to pay off debt.  It likely can’t be done overnight.  That means that you need to be making steady payments.  Once you get into it, it will become second nature.  I put about 10% of each paycheck toward my student debt.  Once I start making more money, I’ll start paying down more.  The point is that you need to get started and make a dent.  It’s just like creating good habits – you need to establish them early and often!

Starting a Budget

The best way for me to explain this one is comparing yourself to a company.  All companies have a budget – in advance, companies establish how much they will spend in a given quarter or year.  You are basically a company with income and expenses, so why not act like a company by setting a budget.

Some people use an envelope method, where they put money in an envelope for something like groceries, and then they only spend that much money on groceries and no more.  This way, you are telling your money where to go.  Other people use mint.com or personalcapital.com to track their money.  I have used both, and I personally like the power of personalcapital.com.  They’re both good, and you likely can’t go wrong with either. Whatever method you choose, I cannot stress the value in having a budget.  The point is to control your money.  Only then can you really get a hold of your money and start breaking down debt.  Otherwise, you are just living freely and you are bound to spend more than you make and the debt ain’t gonna go away any time soon.

Tracking All of Your Expenses

Tracking expenses is very related to the above and starting a budget.  I write down everything that I buy.  It really helps me because I feel the pain of each and every purchase.  It is also good for me because I have visibility of where my money is going.  This is probably my #1 money rule – write it all down!  You would be surprised how much it can save you.

Moral of the Story

The takeaway for me is that it takes perseverance to eliminate debt.  If you have a lot of debt, then it can take a long while, and will require patience and continued effort.  It won’t happen overnight, but keep at it.  As the old 311 song goes, the fish who keeps on swimming, is the first to chill upstream :).

Saving for retirement – Traditional IRAs vs. Roth IRAs

What’s up, everyone?

I’ve been away for a while, and I’m back!

I just revamped my budget spreadsheet, resumed my exercise routine, and I’m motivated to get my budget back in order.

I am a religious reader of budgetsaresexy.com, and one of my takeaways from reading the website is how important it is to max out your retirement accounts: your 401K and your IRA’s.

Here is a good article over at Mad Fientist: Traditional IRA vs. Roth IRA – The Final Battle

I’m not tryna be broke when I retire, so I’m trying to really attack these retirement accounts.  For this post, I wanted to write about IRAs.  An Individual Retirement Account (“IRA”) is an “investing tool for individuals to earn and earmark funds for retirement savings.”  There are a couple of different types, including: Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs and SEP IRAs.  Below, I’ll talk about the Traditional IRA and the Roth IRA.

Limitations

There are some limitations on each.

For a Roth IRA, single tax filers must have modified adjusted gross income (“AGI”) of less than $132,000 in 2016 to contribute to a Roth IRA.  Married couples filing jointly must have modified AGIs of less than $194,000 in 2016 to be able to contribute to a Roth.

For a Traditional IRA, anyone with income, who is younger than 70 ½ can contribute.

Tax Breaks

Both Traditional and Roth IRAs come with tax breaks.  The difference is the timing.

A Traditional IRA gives you a tax break – at both the state and federal level – the year the money is earned.  The withdrawals in retirement are then taxed at the regular income tax rates.

A Roth IRA provides no tax break when you contribute, but then it is tax free when you withdrawal.

In summary, with Traditional IRAs, you avoid taxes when you put money in, and with Roth IRAs, you avoid taxes when you take it out in retirement.

You gotta love tax breaks!

Conclusion

I do love tax breaks, and I wanna save money for retirement!  Based on that, I actually have both a Traditional IRA and a Roth IRA.  The more money you invest now, the more you’ll have available for retirement!  Moreover, the money you put in now will compound.  It’s a beautiful thing.  So…if you haven’t been thinking about it yet, you should certainly look into different IRAs.  I’m no tax specialist, but I know that tax breaks – whether now or later – are a beautiful thing.  Take advantage!

Here is a good comparison chart that explains those and other differences based on 2016 information:

Roth IRA Traditional IRA
2016 Contribution Limits $5,500; $6,500, if age 50 or older $5,500; $6,500, if age 50 or older
2016 Income Limits Single tax filers with modified AGIs of less than $132,000 (phase-out begins at $117,000); married couples filing jointly with modified AGIs of less than $194,000 (phase-out begins at $184,000) Anyone with earned income can contribute but tax deductibility is based on income limits and participation in employer plan
Tax Treatment No tax break for contributions; tax-free earnings and withdrawals in retirement Tax deduction in contribution year; ordinary income taxes owed on withdrawals
Withdrawal Rules Contributions can be withdrawn at any time, tax-free and penalty free. After five years and age 59 ½, all withdrawals are tax-free, too. No withdrawals required during account holder’s lifetime; beneficiaries can stretch distributions over many years Withdrawals are penalty free beginning at age 59 ½. Distributions must begin at age 70 1/2; beneficiaries pay taxes on inherited IRAs.
Extra Benefits After five years, up to $10,000 of earnings can be withdrawn penalty-free to cover first-time homebuyer expenses. Contributions lower taxpayer’s AGI, potentially qualifying them for other tax incentives; up to $10,000 penalty-free withdrawals to cover first-time homebuyer expenses, but taxes due on distributions.
2016 Contribution Limits $5,500; $6,500, if age 50 or older $5,500; $6,500, if age 50 or older

 

LexisNexis Rewards & Amazon Gift Cards

lexis

Interested in Amazon gift cards? LexisNexis gives them away if you’re willing to put in a little work. I received over $300 in Amazon gift cards while I was in law school, and I could have earned even more if I was more diligent.

What is LexisNexis: LexisNexis is like google for lawyers and law students. It has a full library of cases, secondary sources, etc. Every law student gets a free account. It’s a handy resource, for sure. LexisNexis credits your account just for using its services.

Here’s how to earn points:

Daily: LexisNexis gives you 10 points everyday that you run a search. During certain months, LexisNexis will give you double points (20) everyday that you run a search. All you do is log in and type anything and press search. (I would usually just type “smith” or “jones”). Boom, you have earned 10 points, and that took 15 seconds.

Weekly: LexisNexis does “Minutes to Mastery” weekly quizzes. They will email your law school email address reminding you of the quiz. The quiz is your typical multiple choice quiz. The idea behind the quiz is that it will show you how to use LexisNexis to do research – pretty helpful stuff.

If you don’t want to learn how to use LexisNexis, you can just guess A, B, C, or D. You have a 25% chance of guessing correctly. And if you guess wrong, you can just sign into the Minutes to Mastery quiz again through the email link. You are not penalized for guessing. Sometimes the quizzes are so easy, you are better off going through the exercise rather than guessing. I guess it depends on your mood. Doing these “Minutes to Mastery” quizzes are really easy to do anytime and anywhere…even during class. It shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes. When you pass a quiz, you get about 400-500 points. These are really easy to accumulate!

Here is a breakdown of how many LexisNexis points are required for Amazon gift cards:

  • 344 LexisNexis points – $5 gift card
  • 665 LexisNexis points – $10 gift card
  • 996 LexisNexis points – $15 gift card
  • 1612 LexisNexis points – $25 gift card
  • 3226 LexisNexis points – $50 gift card
  • 6452 LexisNexis points – $100 gift card
  • 16,129 LexisNexis points – $250 gift card
  • 32,258 LexisNexis points – $500 gift card

Redeeming LexisNexis points is instant: Redeem your points easily by clicking My Rewards at: lexisnexis.com/lawschool.

Here’s a good explanation of LexisNexis and the Reward’s Program: http://www.lexisnexis.com/documents/pdf/20130628051829_large.pdf

Monday Motivation 9.22.15

What’s up, everyone?

If you’re like me, your motivation ebbs and flows. There are certain days when I’m really motivated to adhere to my budget, eat clean, and workout. Then there are days when I just don’t care too much!

I’m always looking for new ways to boost my motivation. Sometimes I read books or watch movies to find motivation. Even just a little quote can do it for me.

For today, I want to share a Ray Lewis video that always gets me motivated. For clarification, I’m not naturally a big Ray Lewis fan – he played for the Baltimore Ravens, and they’re just not my team. But I gotta give Ray some credit. He was an amazing player, and he’s even pretty good as a television analyst – I like his commentary.

I think he’s at his best as a motivational speaker. His storytelling is pretty amazing. He does a great job of creating a sense of camaraderie and accountability. Also, he does a great job of relating to everyone and encouraging everyone that they can be great too. My summary can’t do his words justice. Be sure to check the video out, and I promise you’ll feel pretty jacked up!

What gets you guys motivated? Please feel free to share below!

 

Ebates!

ebates-logo

I have been using Ebates for the last few years. It’s an awesome way to get cash back while you shop online. If you’re not already using it, you’re missing out on easy money!

What is Ebates: Ebates is a shopping portal. All you do is go to ebates.com and shop stores, coupons, or products. The website is pretty easy to use. There is a simple search bar and lots of links to stores that partner up with Ebates.

How does Ebates work:

First: you need to join Ebates. It is free and easy! Follow my referral to sign up: http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?referrerid=jcWzczKHpOv1TgAEmO3R%2Bg%3D%3D&eeid=26471.

Second: you need to shop. There are over 1,700 stores that team up with Ebates will offer a certain specials. For example, Budget Truck Rental currently offers 20% truck rentals and 2.5% cash back! Or Macy’s will offer 3% cash back on your purchases. So long as you go through the portal, your purchases will be eligible for the cash back. The cash back accumulates when you make purchases.

Also, I’ve installed the Ebates Cash Back Button in my browser. The button tells you if the website you’re currently shopping on is partnered up with Ebates and eligible for cash back. If it is a partner store, all you do is click a the button to activate cash back. It’s really easy.

Ebates Button
Ebates Button

Third: Get cash back! You will receive a payment at the end of a three-month period. If you link your Ebates account with you PayPal account, your payment will be transferred directly making it super easy. If you don’t have a PayPal account for whatever reason, Ebates will mail you a check.

Refer Others: After you join, you should refer others. Right now, if  you refer 2 friends, you get $50 and enter to win a trip for a Hawaiian Getaway! I’m pretty sure we could all use a Hawaiian vacation!

Basically, Ebates is a great way to get cash back for shopping online, which almost everyone does. So hurry up and join Ebates if you haven’t already! It’s free money!

 

Side Hustle During Law School

Law school is expensive! Between books, food, entertainment, and all kinds of miscellaneous stuff, I needed additional income. I found it helpful to work during my second and third years. I made a little bit of money, gained some experience, and started building my professional network.

I worked as a research associate for a professor and as a law clerk for an attorney.

Student Research Associate – I worked for an IP professor and did various research projects for him. I basically met with him once a semester, and then we communicated by email for the rest of the year. I was able to do the work on my own schedule, and he did not micromanage me. I didn’t necessarily learn a ton about IP, but I was able to put it on my resume, and I made some pretty easy money. As the semester wound down, I would give him my projects and then the professor would let me study.

All in all, it was great a great way to make some extra cash.

Law Clerk – I got this job through Symplicity. I ended up working 15 hours a week so it wasn’t too bad. The best part was working in a law firm – you can only learn so much theory at school and it is important to gain practical experience. The money was nice and the work was interesting. Toward the end of the semester, I would take an extra week or two off to prepare for final exams. Working had absolutely no negative effects on my schoolwork. I found that just an extra week off prior to exams was enough for me to get all prepped up for exams.

Teacher’s Assistant – At the beginning of the semester, many professors will need assistants. Some of the TA’s found their jobs because they did well or had some kind of a relationship with the professors. I knew other TA’s that got the positions just by applying. One of my classmates just signed up for the job and was given the position with a basic interview.

Some teachers will require lots of preparation and office hours from their TA’s. To me, this translates into hours and money. Other TA’s did less work, and consequently made less money. This is something to keep in mind.

Conclusion – I highly recommend working during your second and third years of law school. The money and experience is nice. Also, so long as you time it right, you should have plenty of time to study for exams.