i The Frugal Law Student | 2007 | February

Law School
Personal Finance

Want to improve your law school exam grades? Go here.

Written by Brett McKay

By now most law students have gotten their grades back. If you’re not happy with your grades and are trying to figure out how to do better next exams, head on over to Law Career Blog. Gregory Bowman, law professor at the Mississippi College School of Law, has done a post on how students can improve exam performance. He gives 8 tips on how students can improve their scores. My favorites included:

  • Know your audience, and remember the purpose of an exam. While law school grading is anonymous, it doesn’t mean it’s completely objective. Your professors are human beings. They have preferences. Find out during class what their style is and create an exam answer geared toward that style.
  • Take practice exams. Not just one. I can’t believe the number of students who think one practice exam is enough. Also, take the exam under test taking conditions. Law exams don’t just test what you know, they also test how efficiently you can present your answer.
  • Organize your answer. Don’t start right away answering an exam question. Read the prompt through, makes notes of issues, and then create and outline. Some might think it’s a waste of time, but the truth is you’ll save more time in the long run planning your answer out first.

Go check out the rest of Gregory’s post. In addition, to the tips he offers in this post, he has several links to past posts that he has done on law school exams that also have great advice.

Cheap Peer to Peer DVD Rentals with Playinterchange.com

Written by Brett McKay

What do you get when you combine Netflix, Craigslist, and Amazon? PlayInterchange.com. PlayInterchange is a new web service that allows users to buy and rent DVD’s and video games from each other.

I really like this idea for two reasons. First, by using a peer to peer format, prices for rentals should be pretty cheap because so many people will be competing against each other. Additionally, you don’t have to sign up for a monthly membership as you do in Netflix. You just pay for the rentals you want. However, like Netflix, there are no late fees.

Second, one can make some money from renting your videos out to others. It might not be a lot, but it’s something.

Sign up with PlayInterchange is free and transactions are $.50 each.

My concern, though, is how long before the movie and video game industry will use their legal clout and shut this thing down. I’m sure they’re not going to like this. Additionally, for this to work people will have to trust that renters will return the videos. I can see a lot of scammers paying $1 to rent Gears of War and keeping it. We’ll see how it turns out. Until then, enjoy some cheap movie rentals.

Festival of Frugality #62: Lazy Man and Money

Written by Brett McKay

Check out this week’s Festival of Frugality hosted by Lazy Man and Money. He did a famous baseball player theme. My writing on onion peel post was included in the Mickey Mantle category. Mickey as we all know went on to be one of the greatest players of all time, but injuries slowed him down. I guess my post has potential but is limping a bit. Oh well. I’m just happy to be included in the festival. Thanks Lazy Man!

Here are the highlights from this week’s festival.

New GTD Law School Productivity Forms

Written by Brett McKay

Last week I posted on how I GTD in law school. I included a link to a form that I have been been using. It worked well for me, but I wasn’t really satisfied with it. So yesterday I sat down and got to work on a new one. This is law school productivity sheet 2.0.


The new weekly agenda includes a daily goal tracker at the top of each day.


Each day I set a goal for four things. Contacts is a goal for the amount of new people I want to meet that day, either in person or online. The idea is to be constantly increasing my network. O stands for the number of outlines I want to review that day. F stands for how many sets of flashcards I want to review that day. Mp3 represents the number of times I want to listen to an Mp3 lecture that day. Of course I have to determine which subject and topic I want to listen for that day. Under the realized, I make a hash mark for the number of times I actually do the task. I like this method of goal setting. It’s ugly, but gets the job done. I might be fine tuning this in the future.

I’ve changed up my goal sheet. I still have sections for my semester goals as well as my GTD contexts. The thing that I like most is the monthly calendar in the bottom corner. It lets me keep track of due dates that are far off in the future, like my trial brief.


I’m pretty happy this upgrade. As I mentioned earlier, I’ll be tweaking my daily goal tracking. I’m still not completely satisfied, but it will have to do for now.

Feel free to download and use these sheets. I hope they can help. I put them on the same sheet. One on one side of the sheet, the other on the other side. Enjoy.


Hipster PDA Finger Labyrinth

Written by Brett McKay

In my post last week about, I discussed visiting a labyrinth in order to meditate. If you don’t have time to visit a labyrinth or one’s not near you, try using one the finger labyrinths that I’ve created for the Hipster PDA. Just print off the labyrinth you would like and add it to your stack of cards. Whenever you need a moment of reflection, bust it out and trace your finger along the path. Repeat a phrase that helps you focus. Enjoy.







Directions: All you need to do is print off the pdf, cut out the the 3×5 rectangle, and paste it to a card. I didn’t create a template that allows you to print directly to cards. I think it’s too much of a hassle.

Festival of Personal Finance Up at Stockmarket Beat

Written by Brett McKay

This week’s festival of personal finance is hosted by Stockmarket Beat. He was kind enough to include my submission “Tightwads and Spendthrifts are Both Screwy, In Different Ways.” Stock Market Beat!

Here are the posts that I liked from this week’s carnival.

Go check out the festival!