Law School Discussion

Undergrad seeking advice

Undergrad seeking advice
« on: September 03, 2008, 08:48:33 PM »
Hi Everybody.  I'm a Junior undergraduate student at the University of Alabama.  I've been browsing this site now for a couple of weeks and I'm intrigued by what it has to offer.  I think there is a lot of valuable insight I can gain from everyone on this board who has been where I am going and would like to offer their advice.

I spent a couple of years as a pre-pharmacy major.  I made excellent grades my first year, but my grades dropped my sophomore year for personal reasons.  I quickly grew tired of my science classes and realized that pharmacy was not something that interested me greatly.  After a lot of research I decided to change to the Accounting program here at the University.  I started to like the idea of law school, and this is where I am now.

I am still set to get my B.S. on time, maybe the summer after my expected graduation date (May '10) if things don't go as planned.  At that point I plan on continuing into the M.T.A. program here, which only takes a year.  I'll also become a C.P.A. at this point, since the graduate program helps you prepare for the exam.

What should I do at this point?  Start searching for a job, or continue on to law school?  Has anyone here gone to Alabama's law school or through the law school's L.L.M. program?  Is it common to go to one school for your J.D. and another for your L.L.M.?  If I get a job upon becoming a C.P.A., when should I consider going back to school?

I know I'm asking a lot of questions, but any feedback is greatly appreciated.  Thanks.

X-Posted on General board.

Re: Undergrad seeking advice
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2008, 09:01:53 PM »
You really need to think about your plan- you're spending a lot of money for post graduate education.  What do you want to do with your life?  Do you want to be a lawyer or an accountant?  It's not like you can't do both, but you should seriously consider what you want to do with your life.  Why do you want an LLM?  Your plan doesn't make much sense from what I can tell.

Re: Undergrad seeking advice
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2008, 09:15:01 PM »
I agree. If you want to be a lawyer, a  masters in accounting is not necessary. I would say get your undergrad, go to law school, and then decide if you want you're LLM.

Are you still deciding between a career in law and accounting?

Re: Undergrad seeking advice
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2008, 09:30:37 PM »
Well, I suppose I should have said in my post that I am strongly considering working for a while after becoming a C.P.A.  Knowing myself, I am probably going to be a little burned out on school by the time I graduate / get a masters and I think it would be beneficial to take some time off and renew my academic vigor.

Besides, the M.T.A. program only takes a year and I would incur very little debt in the process of getting it.

In the event that I decide to go straight to law school, it sounds like I should forgo the M.T.A. program entirely and start working on my J.D. immediately.

Also, I want an LLM in taxation because I want to be a tax attorney.

Re: Undergrad seeking advice
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2008, 06:40:20 AM »
Also, I want an LLM in taxation because I want to be a tax attorney.

Ok, so I read that and thought it was a little weird so I did some research for you.

I don't know much about being a tax attorney...but you need a JD to be an attorney in the US (well, not in every state, but you do need it to get a good job).  LLMs are usually reserved for lawyers abroad wanting to practice in the US and academics, and some other circumstances too.  But I think the bottom line is if you want to be a tax attorney, you need to first be an attorney and get a JD so you can practice, and that's where you pick your specialty.
It's your life and do what you want, but please research things for yourself so you know what you're getting in to.  You might be pretty disappointed if you become a CPA and then get an LLM only to find out you still can't practice as a tax attorney.

Re: Undergrad seeking advice
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2008, 11:49:57 AM »
This is poor advice on here.  Try to find an alumnus of your UG Accounting Program who is now a Tax Attorney and ask him/her for advice.  I know several tax attorneys who went straight into an LLM program and a few who are CPAs and LLMs.  If you can't find advice this way, if your school has a law school attached see if you can set up a short meeting with a tax professor (in the law school not an accounting-tax prof) to seek advice.

The general trend is that the LLM is not worth much EXCEPT for an LLM in Tax or for foreign lawyers. 

Re: Undergrad seeking advice
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2008, 02:52:47 PM »
Well perhaps I stand corrected...but like I said do the research for yourself to make sure it's a viable plan.