Showing posts from October, 2012

the bar exam

It would take me a very long time to write about my bar exam experience.  In fact, I already have.  When I was preparing for the bar exam, I wrote the California Bar Exam Primer as a guide for other law students going through the same experience.  Rather than reiterate much of what is already said there, if you are interested in my take on the bar exam, I recommend reading that website. Caution: It is increasingly out of date.

chat with a fitness newbie

I had a conversation with a friend about fitness.  I've pasted the conversation below, changing names for privacy.  This is an extension of my blog post that I wrote about fitness.

Friend: how often do you go to the gym? i don't know if i'm overdoing it or underdoing it. i try to go about four days a week and get in about 25-30 minutes each time me: you don't need to do any more than that. if you're making good use of your time there, that's PLENTY. "good use" depends on your objectives, but in general, either high weight, or high intensity. me: are you doing cardio for heart-health and endurance, or weights for strength? Friend: trying to do that might result in too many dropped weights on my toes  i've been concentrating almost exclusively on weights so far to bulk up a bit me: ok, good.  you don't need to do cardio at this point. Friend: should i start mixing it up more? kk me: stick to compound exercises - exercises that use a major muscle group …

important lessons i've learned in life

Having good mentors and coaches in life is important. Surround yourself with good mentors, in your personal life, at school, and at work.  Seek them out, and formalize the relationship.  Good mentors will help you immensely.Take care of yourself physicallyEat wellExerciseWhen you are in a position to do so, treat other people wellBe a mentor to othersGive generouslyDo not sacrifice your principles for friendship or loveKeep things simpleA complex life is a difficult oneMaterialism is expensiveDeclutter, physically and mentally. Less is more.

android and chromeos apps

This is my always-updated list of Android and ChromeOS apps.

career paths in the big-4 for tax lawyers

I'm occasionally asked by law students about my career path, so I thought I'd write a blog post summarizing my usual answer to them.

I have no finance or accounting background.  I was a political science major, and in law school I wasn't sure what type of lawyer I wanted to be.  In my 3L on campus interviews, I interviewed with two of the then Big-5 (now Big-4) accounting firms.  I didn't know they had tax departments that hired lawyers.  Both made me an offer, and I went with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).  In my 3L I took two tax classes: Federal Personal Income Tax and High Tech Tax Issues.
Following the bar exam I started at PwC in the federal tax group.  I would have preferred international tax, but at that time, PwC started everyone in federal tax.  I was in that group for two years, doing mostly tax returns and tax provision calculations.  It was not what I envisioned my long-term career to be.  At the end of my second year, I was promoted to senior associate, an…

observations from 24

I've been watching 24 on NetFlix.  I noticed some patterns, translating into life lessons:
Work-Life Balance
Working 24 hours straight means there aren't enough of the right resources on your project.
Know When It's Time To Stop
After you've been kidnapped once, it's time to reevaluate your life choices.  Being kidnapped repeatedly in a 24 hour period is a sign of a much bigger problem.
It's Important to Have the Support of Your Boss  
If you have to go rogue at work, it's time to get a new job.
Take Care of Your Health...
At the first sign chest pain, stop and get treatment.
...Including Your Mental Health
If you aren't willing to call 911 in an emergency because you "don't trust the authorities," that's a sign of a problem.
Protect Those You Care About
It's time to take a sick day when your child gets kidnapped.


Today is the first anniversary of the death of Steve Jobs. This morning I visited the Apple homepage, knowing they'd have a tribute posted. They do. It is moving. Check it out.

People like Steve are outliers. They come along occasionally, a product of their own characteristics, good timing, and circumstance.* And they change the world. They are fascinating people to be around.

* - For those interested in one theory about what creates outliers, I recommend Outliers: The Story of Success (non-paid link).  It is a fascinating book.