The $431+ Background Check (and what I'm doing about it)

If money begets money, then I hope that spending money will also achieve the same result somewhere down the line.

I've already alloted an insane amount of money toward my bar prep courses, and I've had to spend money on various things such as getting fingerprinted and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (it was actually harder than I'd expect, and I expected things like "don't sleep with your clients," "don't misappropriate funds," "don't hold client meetings at Starbucks," etc.). You'd think that the state bar would ease up on fees for us poor (in more ways than one) students, but no.

One of the last things I have to do before signing up for the California Bar Exam (which is sure to cost me some 3-digit figure) is to submit a moral character application. The state bar wants to make sure that I'm not a substance abuser, thieving scoundrel, or some axe-murderess (apparently the conventional criminal background check, which I've also had to pay for, isn't enough). Not only do I have to go through the trouble of accounting for where I've been and what I did at all times since age 18, but I've had to call up a lot of people asking them to be willing references. After I'm done filling out this thick, thick packet, I'll have to send it in along with a check.

This is the $431+ background check I referred to in the title of this post.

Although my credentials give me a really good chance of getting employed soon, the reality is bleak. I know quite a few people who have passed the bar but have trouble landing jobs. This year I borrowed enough to cover large expenses such as the bar courses and enough living expenses to hold me over until I'm done taking the bar, but it might not be enough in the longer term. I didn't expect the moral character form to cost that much, and this unpleasant surprise has further strained my finances. One thing is obvious: I'll have to make some money before then. My courseload and class schedule this semester makes it virtually impossible to get a job, so I have to do something else.

Those earrings you saw in the last post are on sale now. That's right, I've launched a new business! Given all the bureacratic mess I've had to deal with, I didn't expect to be able to go live so soon, which is why I was a little cryptic in the comments. My very expensive education finally came to a good use outside of its intended context--decisionmaking would have been infinitely harder if I hadn't taken a couple of business-related classes. I never imagined I'd be doing this, and I don't expect to make much money, but it's definitely a good academic-practical project (albeit a very stressful one). Let's see how this goes...


S. said...

Eeek, heavy! These things seem unavoidable. Education we believe is our best option but, I am learning that it can be a leap too.

Hopefully they won't hold it against you that you are stylish ;)!

ambika said...

1) Congrats on opening the new shop. I wish you luck. It's an idea I've been exploring myself lately, given my inability to stop crafting--nicely combined with my inability to wear everything I make.

2) Bummer about the extra fees. Working with doctors and all of the drama that goes into getting their privileges taken care of, I feel your pain.

3) Sailor pants rule. Get a pair the minute you have a dime. J. Crew's are just about perfect.

Sales Rack Raider said...

Thanks for your thoughtfulness, Ambika.

Starting and managing a business is much harder than I expected, but I think in the end it'll be worth it. While I get a lot of mileage out of my clothes, it's a different story with accessories--like you, I make waaaay too much stuff and simply can't wear them all. Selling them takes care of this problem.

If and when you make up your mind on starting your own shop and need help, feel free to email me.