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FROM LEMONADE TO LAW SCHOOL
Paul’s First Job
Mark and I are big fans of summer jobs. Whenever one of the kids in our neighborhood sets up a lemonade stand, you can bet we’ll be buying a glass (or three). Not only does a summer job provide kids with a creative way to make a little money, it also teaches them valuable life skills, from counting coins to learning the real value of a dollar. I especially have a soft spot for the lemonade stand entrepreneurs. Growing up in Connecticut, I ran the gamut of classic summer jobs, from mowing lawns to hauling wheelbarrows of landscaping rocks around properties. But running a lemonade stand with my brother and sister is where I first understood the value of work when I was about seven years old. You see, whenever my parents had a yard sale, my siblings and I sold lemonade and cookies to those who stopped by. After the first or second time, our parents deciding to use it as a learning opportunity. They agreed to loan us $20 to buy the supplies, and we would have to pay it back at the end of the day. With that “seed money,” we purchased Country Time lemonade mix and our favorite cookie ingredients that we could afford. The morning of the sale, we baked the cookies from scratch and mixed pitcher after mouth-watering pitcher of our titular product. When it came time for the main event, our sales strategy was simple: Look as cute as possible — an easier task for my sister than for me and my brother. Mark, meanwhile, worked several interesting jobs unique to his Pacific Northwest upbringing. He used to go way up into the mountains and collect bags full of moss for sale in floral arrangements down here in California. He also got a “sweet” deal picking blackberries used in the pies at a local restaurant. Of course, anyone who has gone hunting for wild blackberries knows it’s pretty tough business, but Mark was willing to risk the thorns for the payoff.
Despite our seemingly disparate jobs, Mark and I both discovered the value of hard work and creativity at a young age. From farmwork to cookie sales, there’s a lot a child can learn by getting a summer job. It builds character, drive, and accountability.
For my part, those lemonade sales taught me to appreciate the value of money, investment, and the rewards of hard work. When I reached my teen years, I used those lessons to operate a yard maintenance business, which ultimately paid for my law school tuition. Those lessons were not forgotten when Mark and I founded Bigger & Harman. This is why I found the news of Country Time’s new “Legal-Aid” program so heartening. Earlier this year, the lemonade giant announced it would take a stand for the rights of children looking to sell their product
I might not be where I am today were it not for those long hours spent mixing Country Time powder with a wooden spoon.
in states with absurdly archaic business laws. Right here in California, a 5-year-old was ticketed for having a lemonade stand, or “operating a business without a permit.” We are all for the rule of law here at our firm, but applying business law to a child exercising their creativity is just wrong to the point of being farcical. We applaud Country Time for using their influence and funds to get these children free legal help. Young entrepreneurship should be celebrated, not punished! Lemonade law may not be our area of expertise, but our firm certainly stands behind these creative, hardworking individuals. They may be a long way out from needing a traffic attorney, but we can certainly support them financially — one glass at a time!
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