Law School Discussion

Direction for CPA/JD type

Direction for CPA/JD type
« on: October 28, 2008, 05:23:53 PM »
Hi all,
I've got a master of accountancy and I'm at a lower first tier law school. I've had an internship with a Big 4 (tax) but declined permanent employment to pursue law school instead.

I have tentative plans to take the first section of the CPA exam over one of the breaks. I've been helping a friend launch a startup firm over the last year -- recently the CPA at a closely associated company said she would be willing to supervise and sign off my experience requirement when the time comes, allowing me to get the CPA cert before I graduate law school.

My question to any of you with relevant experiences is what direction should I look to take in looking for summer and ultimately permanent employment? It seems quite difficult to sort out what law firms do what in the first place!  I'd like to end up in a major market like Chicago (the closest), most preferably.

I have resigned myself to pursing something related to tax or corporate law since it seems that I will be more marketable than most in this particular field.  But I would love to hear if my background would be applicable in other fields more so than the average student.

My school is pushing an international law summer program pretty heavily, but it is mostly geared toward public interest international law.  I am very interested in int'l fields, but I wonder how to reconcile this particular program with private practice?

Re: Direction for CPA/JD type
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2008, 02:48:09 PM »
I recently had a conversation with one of the tax law professors at my school regarding to do in a similar position.  I don't have a master's degree, but am eligible to sit for the CPA exam.  She told me that if you are going to an accounting firm, the CPA will be something that will be helpful and potentially required at some point in your future.  If you go into a law firm with the expectation of doing tax or transactional work, the time spent to obtain the CPA credential will not be worth the benefit. 

I think there would be a difference if you obtained your CPA credential and worked for a few years as an accountant before attending law school, but just having the CPA title without any experience, from what I understood, would not be worth the time you would have put into it.

There are a lot of areas where an accounting background could be helpful.  I recommend seeking out a professor at your school that knows something about corporate legal practice (has experience, not just an academic) to get their take on things. 


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Re: Direction for CPA/JD type
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2008, 10:19:20 AM »
CPA/JD = perfect solo-prac combo

Re: Direction for CPA/JD type
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2008, 12:35:29 PM »
While I am not in LS yet I will be in a similiar situation with having a CPA/JD combo. I am learning more and more that firms are looking for well rounded candidates and little would be gained by having the license with no signfigant experience attatched. You may want to consider a CFO track. Having the JD and CPA would put you at a major advantage tracking towards CFO and then evenutually CEO.