Friday, March 6, 2015

Everybody’s Gotta Hustle: Can a Side Hustle Help You Reach Your Career Goals?

By Lee Burgess
(This article is reposted with permission from the blog site by Solo Practice University®) 

If you are waiting for bar results, job-hunting, or unhappy with your current employment, you should have a side hustle.

What is a side hustle?

A side hustle is a job or a hobby (which might some day become a job) that you do now in your spare time. A side hustle can serve a variety of purposes.

It can help you gain valuable new skills. Perhaps you have a dream job in mind, but you need to cultivate a new skill to be better qualified for it. Perhaps you are not likely to gain those skills at your current job. A side hustle can create an opportunity for growth. Working at night or on weekends (either for pay or as a volunteer) can get you the valuable experience you need to be more competitive in the marketplace and/or help you transition to a new career.

It can help you earn a bit of cash. In this job market, you might find yourself working for less money than you expected or even volunteering while waiting for a full-time paid position. How are you supposed to support yourself? A side hustle can do just that. You might be amazed how much money you can make doing a part-time gig. When I was in law school, I was a private SAT math tutor. Let me tell you, this was a great side hustle. I made much more money per hour than I would have made at an on-campus job, and I even met some attorneys (parents of some of my students) who gave me interviews in the process.

It can allow you to try out something new without fully committing to it. Perhaps you are contemplating a job change, but you aren’t certain that you are going to like the new direction you are considering. The side hustle allows you to experiment. You can try out a new type of work or working environment. The side hustle is easier to experiment with than your full-time gig. If the side hustle doesn’t work out, you still have your full-time job to fall back on. And you might try a few different side hustles until you find the right one. It is a safe way to experiment with your career without risking your paycheck.

It can give you the opportunity to work on something you are passionate about. I hate to say it, but sometimes we are not enthusiastic about our work. We might dream about doing work that we would be more passionate about, but until we actually do that work we can’t be sure it is the right fit. If you are able to try out your passion, you may find you are ready to make the leap and do it full time. Or, sometimes, a side hustle allows you to feel better about your day job. If you lack passion at work (and, let’s be honest, some of us aren’t wild about our legal work), feeling excitement and a sense of worth while working on your side hustle can make you an overall happier person. And who doesn’t want that?

What does this have to do with the bar exam?

A lot of bar studiers wonder what they are supposed to do while waiting for bar results, other than hunting for a full-time job. I would argue that the side hustle is a great thing to work on. Do you have a crazy idea for an online business? Well, you can start working on it now and work on it part time once you do find legal work. Do you dream of working at a law school? Then, try to volunteer at your law school’s legal clinic. Or, consider looking for a side hustle that you can continue (if you enjoy it enough) even after you find full-time work.

But the side hustle isn’t just for bar exam takers. It is for anyone thinking about making a change.

If you are unhappy in your current position or if you trying to figure out what might be your next career step, think about whether the side hustle could work for you. Amazing opportunities have come from a side hustle. Take some time to think about how you could use some of your free time to potentially move your career forward.

Lee Burgess, Esq. is the co-founder of the Law School Toolbox, a resource for law students that demystifies the law school experience, the Bar Exam Toolbox, a resource for students getting ready for the bar exam, and Trebuchet, a legal career resource. Lee has also been adjunct faculty at two bay area law schools where she has taught classes on law school and bar exam preparation. You can find Lee on Twitter at @leefburgess, @lawschooltools, @barexamtools and @trebuchetlegal. Google+ / Faculty Bio.

Friday, February 13, 2015

ABA Journal Highlights Lawcountability, JD

by Susanne Aronowitz
Associate Dean of Law Career Services

Lawcountability, JD, an online platform which supports law students in their job search and career development efforts, was recently featured in the ABA Journal. GGU is one of a select group of law schools that has subscribed to Lawcountability, JD on behalf of its students and graduates.

We encourage you to watch the helpful video tips, and use the goal setting tools to stay on track with your networking efforts. For assistance in using Lawcountability, JD, please contact a career advisor at LCS at

Monday, January 26, 2015


Golden Gate Law alumni, students, faculty and staff are invited to our Annual MCLE Event Seminar and Networking Lunch.

Golden Gate University School of Law will be hosting the annual Beat the Clock MCLE event on Saturday, January 31, 2015, from 8:30 am to 5:10 pm. All sessions will be held at GGU, 536 Mission Street, 2nd floor. The networking lunch will be held in the 5th floor auditorium.

Registration fees (includes any or all sessions):
  • GGU Alumni (classes of 2012 or earlier): $150 
  • GGU Alumni (classes of 2013 or 2014): $75 
  • Non-GGU Alumni: $250 
  • Current GGU Students: FREE 
  • GGU Staff/Professors: FREE 
More information regarding topics, schedule and registration form can be found at:

Deadline to register is: Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Contact: Mateo Jenkins at or 415-442-6541

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Find a Mentor—January is National Mentoring Month

by Andrea Loh
Director of Employer Outreach, Law Career Services

Now that 2015 has officially arrived, many of you may have made resolutions relating to your personal life. Why not make a resolution to help with your professional goals as well? January is National Mentoring Month and now is the perfect time to start building a relationship with a mentor.

Why Should I Have a Mentor? Mentors can be a terrific resource for guidance on what courses to take, effective study habits, how to network, successful job search strategies, and interviewing tips. A mentor who has personally lived through similar experiences can provide helpful information about what steps you should take as well as pitfalls to avoid. And even if your mentor does not have all of the answers, he or she likely knows someone who can provide you with the information you seek.

How do I find a Mentor? Mentor relationships do not have to be formal—oftentimes the most successful relationships are created informally because two people belong to the same organization, participate in similar extracurricular activities, or know the same people. If you are looking to form a mentoring relationship, we encourage you to participate in our 30 Minute Mentorship Program, accessible via LCSOnline. There you will find a database of GGU Law School alumni and friends who are interested in speaking with GGU law students about their professional experiences. Simply search for individuals based upon practice area or other criteria then send your mentor an email requesting a 30 minute meeting that fits with his or her schedule.

What do I Talk About with My Mentor? Start by asking your mentor to tell you more about their academic and professional background. Questions could include:
  • “Tell me about your experiences in law school?” 
  • “What courses had the biggest impact on you and why?” 
  • “What do you wish you knew when you were a 1L/2L/3L/recent law school graduate?” 
  • “How did you decide to go into this particular practice area?” 
  • “What are some of the reasons you enjoy your current practice?” 
  • What characteristics do you look for in junior attorneys? 
  • Which professional organizations do you find to be the most valuable?
  • What publications do you read to stay current in your field of practice? 
If you are looking for additional tips or would like to discuss ideas for your first mentor meeting, give us a call at (415) 442-6625 to set up a time to speak with one of our counselors.

Now is a great time to seize the opportunity to form a valuable mentoring relationship—all it takes is a few minutes and you are on your way!

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Law School Fashion Statement: Law Student Shopping Experience

by A Fellow GGU Law Student

During my 1L year, amid the stress and worry, I realized I needed a formal suit. It was time to tear away from the books and go…shopping.

My first thought: Where do I get a formal suit and business attire?

I knew I had some basic expectations: comfortable, affordable, modern, simple. I did a lot of browsing and lot of research and realized it was more difficult than I anticipated to find the right suit. Business casual was easier since the selection was greater. After an extensive search, found what works for me. Below is what I gathered from this process. Keep in mind this was a personal experience, you might have a different one.

Macy's: This department store has a wide selection of suits. The prices are somewhat decent, considering you can usually get 20% off your purchase, and the quality is decent as well (somewhere between average and above average). I found it difficult to find the right size, but they offer free shipping online when you spend $99 so if they don’t have your size, you could order it at the risk of guessing the wrong size. I also found it difficult to match the suit jacket and pants/skirt (the fabrics seemed different). I eventually was able to get past these hurdles and made a purchase. However, because the suit I purchased was not lined, it was really itchy. I ended up returning. For business casual clothing I did not find this store useful because there were not many plain options and everything seemed to have too much design.

Gap: This store offers decent prices (offering up to 40% off on certain days). The quality is good and the items are very simple and modern. I found it difficult to find the right sizing in-store, but they offer free shipping online when you spend $50. Also, matching the fabric of the pants to the jacket was nearly impossible. The sizes are a bit irregular, running larger than average, resulting in a non-fitted look. For business casual clothing this store has a limited, but nice selection if you’re looking for a nice sweater or collared blouse.

Banana Republic: This company is under the same ownership as Gap and is their "higher-end" store. The prices are more expensive than Gap, but the quality is higher as well. They also offer up to 35% off on certain occasions. I had similar issues with this store as I did with Gap. For business casual clothing this store has a wider selection than its sister store. There were plenty of lovely blouses to choose from, but the prices can become overwhelming for a law student.

Express: This company has prices that fall between Gap and Banana Republic. The stock in this store was much better, but the options were very limited. The quality is a bit above average and they offer a very modern selection. They often have promotions, usually on holidays or weekends. The sizing runs a little small, resulting in a more fitted look, which I found not to be professionally appropriate. However, if you are more on the slender side, this might be a good option. For business casual clothing this store was limited in selection.

Ross: This store has really decent prices and the quality ranges from below average to above average. The look can also range, but there are some modern pieces. However, this store requires a bit of patience and determination since the pieces are all close-out, meaning there isn't usually a size selection and the piece you find might be the only one available. For business casual clothing you might have better luck as there is a wide selection, but the look was not as simple as I was looking for.

H&M: This store is very modern and the pricing is decent (and if you take in a bag of clothes to donate they give you 15% off your purchase). The sizes are European and can run a little smaller than average. There is not really a wide selection, but rather there is plenty of stock and the same suit can come in several different colors. I personally did not find the cut of their suits to be flattering, running a little tighter than comfortable. For business casual clothing there is a good selection, but I found a lot of their tops to be too oversized or too revealing so it takes some digging.

Nordstrom: This store has a wide, modern, and above-average quality selection. However, the prices can be a little steep for a law student budget. Prices can range from $200 to nearly $1000. I ended up purchasing a really nice suit from here for a little over $200, but considered it an investment because of the great quality. They offer free hemming and I was able to get the suit fitted for my body type. For business casual clothing this store has a nice selection, but the prices may be a little steep.

This is not a complete list of all the possible places you can find a suit and business casual clothing, but rather the stores I chose to look into. Overall, I learned that it is important to plan ahead and set aside time to look for the right suit. Also, ask your peers! They might have some good suggestions.

A note about shoes:
Shoes are also a very important part of your outfit. Investing in a nice, comfortable pair is a good idea. I have found that quality, style, and comfort are usually achieved through investing a little more, but sometimes bargains can be found if you keep an eye out. One of my favorite websites is This site has an incredible selection and they offer free 1-day shipping and returns as well as great prices. They also price match!

The Law School Fashion Statement, Part I

by Hengameh Poya 
LCS Intern

Remember college? Rolling out of bed 10 minutes before class and throwing on the closest pair of sweats. Fine for college, not so much in law school. This doesn’t mean that you have to wear a suit to every class, but you probably shouldn’t wear flip flops. Why? Law school is a professional school. Are you presenting yourself in a way that supports your professional ideals? How might you be received by others?

There isn’t a precise guideline for everyday attire. There are, however, some things to avoid, such as, clothing that is tight fitted or revealing. In addition to what you wear to class, there are those events that require more thought, such as: career panels, receptions, informational interviews, and formal interviews. What do you wear to those? Again, there is no rulebook, but here are some things to keep in mind:

Networking Events: Any event that gives you the opportunity to network with attorneys should have you looking your professional best. This is your chance to make a good first impression on attorneys who may have internship or employment connections, so dressing the part can reveal your professionalism. Business casual is probably a safe bet. You can also play it really safe (depending on the event) and wear interview attire since some events turn into on the spot interviews. Informational

Interviews: When appearing for an informational interview, you always want to put your best foot forward. Even if the attorney you are meeting with is not offering you a job, informational interviews are an opportunity to establish your network. We recommend that you wear formal business attire so the person you are meeting with can be confident in the impression you'll create if he or she refers you to a colleague.

Formal Interviews: Ahh, interviews. This is it. Palms sweating, heart racing, IT’S TIME. Although you may not have to wear a suit to work every day or your interviewer is in jeans and flip-flops, it is absolutely necessary to wear a suit that projects confidence and professionalism. Suits can become pricey, but there are some tricks:
  • Buy various shirts and accessories (which are a lot cheaper than suits) to let you create a different look with the same suit. 
  • Plan ahead and browse for sales and promotions. 
  • Browse in discount and consignment stores. 
  • Add a suit to your birthday/holiday wish list. 
  • Make an investment on a higher quality item so that it not only looks better, but lasts longer. 
  • Take good care of your suits to minimize dry cleaning and replacement costs. 
  • Wear shoes that are clean, polished, and in good repair by keeping them in a dust bag or shoe-box when they are not in use and wiping them off after each use. (Always wear close-toed shoes, no sandals!) 

Just remember, you are asking professional colleagues and prospective employers to see you as a lawyer. Make it easy by looking the part! If you need suggestions or aren’t sure, make an appointment with an LCS counselor and they will help guide you.

Stay tuned for Part II: Attorney Suggested Guidelines for Formal Attire, and Part III: Law Student Shopping Experience

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year! LCS is Open

We're here to help you prepare for PI/PS Day!

Resume/Cover Letter Review: Drop by Law Career Services (40 Jessie Building, 5th Floor) to receive assistance with your resume and cover letters.
  • Tuesday, January 6: 11:30 am - 1 pm 
  • Wednesday, January 7: 11:30 am - 1 pm 
  • Thursday, January 8: 11:30 am - 1 pm
  • Friday, January 9: 11:30 am - 1 pm 
  • Monday, January 12: 11:30 am - 1 pm and 4 - 6 pm 
  • Tuesday, January 13: 11:30 am - 1 pm and 4 - 6 pm 
  • Wednesday, January 14: 11:30 am - 1 pm and 4 - 6 pm
If those times don't work with your schedule, call us at (415) 442-6625 to set up a time convenient for you.

Monday, December 22, 2014

LCS Holiday Closure

Law Career Services will be closed from December 25, 2014 to January 4, 2015. The entire GGU campus is also closed. During that time we will not be available for counseling appointments and will not be updating job listings. We hope all of our readers have a pleasant holiday!

Research Future Employers

by Sabrina Johnson
LCS Graduate Fellow

Employers want to hire students who can articulate why they want to work for their organization.  Fortunately, there are many resources to help you learn about employers.  For more information on how to do this, please follow the link to the article from Student Lawyer called, Getting the Backstory: Tips for Employer Background Research, by Markeisha J. Miner.