Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

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DGLitcH
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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby DGLitcH » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:50 am

Scurredsitless1 wrote:My wife was just promoted to manager at Delloitte after 5 years. She hopes to be given the partner nod in 3 years or so. She works in tax, there are some pros and cons. She works on the accounts for the local pro hockey team, the NFL team owner, and other mega business' in our secondary market. But she is really dedicated, and works 100 hour weeks during certain parts of the year. She's also about to spend 6 weeks in india working in the outsourced officeyea (which I think is AWESOME).

Considering how things are now, I never expect to be the bread winner. I can't see a situation in which law will make me more cash then accounting has worked for her. But she's really the exception, not the rule. Very few of the associates/seniors that were there when she started are still there.

She was paid better after 3 years than the attorney new hires. But again, she got much better raises than the average associate.


I know you said your wife is in tax, but has she ever spoken about how the hours are like for the first few years for her colleagues in audit? Thanks

Scurredsitless1
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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby Scurredsitless1 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:13 am

DGLitcH wrote:
Scurredsitless1 wrote:My wife was just promoted to manager at Delloitte after 5 years. She hopes to be given the partner nod in 3 years or so. She works in tax, there are some pros and cons. She works on the accounts for the local pro hockey team, the NFL team owner, and other mega business' in our secondary market. But she is really dedicated, and works 100 hour weeks during certain parts of the year. She's also about to spend 6 weeks in india working in the outsourced officeyea (which I think is AWESOME).

Considering how things are now, I never expect to be the bread winner. I can't see a situation in which law will make me more cash then accounting has worked for her. But she's really the exception, not the rule. Very few of the associates/seniors that were there when she started are still there.

She was paid better after 3 years than the attorney new hires. But again, she got much better raises than the average associate.


I know you said your wife is in tax, but has she ever spoken about how the hours are like for the first few years for her colleagues in audit? Thanks


I'm sure there are folks on here that can answer better than I can about audit. But from what I understand, succeeding in big4 requires working a ton of hours. People that float along and watch hulu during non busy season are probably the folks that either leave the company early in their careers, get promoted very slowly, or view their jobs as mind numbing drudgery. My wife truely enjoys her job... i know, tax accounting, sounds awesome :roll: . But she not only puts in the time, but really focuses on learning the tax law and is actually engaged in what she's doing.

Personally, I couldn't do it. I think what she does sounds incredibly boring, but she digs it. I don;t think she felt that way when she was just starting out. After committing to it, she learned to love it. Now there are some awesome perks.

I believe audit has many more people competiting for spots. I think she said when she hired on, there were like 25 audit hires and 4 tax hires. So it's probably a totally different game.

Good Luck.

dan32
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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby dan32 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:46 am

I have a question about the raises of law vs. accounting. What would be a typical salary progression for biglaw and big 4 for first 5 years?

Thanks

Sky'stheLimit
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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby Sky'stheLimit » Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:05 am

dan32 wrote:I have a question about the raises of law vs. accounting. What would be a typical salary progression for biglaw and big 4 for first 5 years?

Thanks


Typically start at 53k a year with a 5k bonus for passing the CPA exam in the first year. Raises are very competitive at about 8% a year.

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crazycanuck
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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby crazycanuck » Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:44 am

Scurredsitless1 wrote:
DGLitcH wrote:
Scurredsitless1 wrote:My wife was just promoted to manager at Delloitte after 5 years. She hopes to be given the partner nod in 3 years or so. She works in tax, there are some pros and cons. She works on the accounts for the local pro hockey team, the NFL team owner, and other mega business' in our secondary market. But she is really dedicated, and works 100 hour weeks during certain parts of the year. She's also about to spend 6 weeks in india working in the outsourced officeyea (which I think is AWESOME).

Considering how things are now, I never expect to be the bread winner. I can't see a situation in which law will make me more cash then accounting has worked for her. But she's really the exception, not the rule. Very few of the associates/seniors that were there when she started are still there.

She was paid better after 3 years than the attorney new hires. But again, she got much better raises than the average associate.


I know you said your wife is in tax, but has she ever spoken about how the hours are like for the first few years for her colleagues in audit? Thanks


I'm sure there are folks on here that can answer better than I can about audit. But from what I understand, succeeding in big4 requires working a ton of hours. People that float along and watch hulu during non busy season are probably the folks that either leave the company early in their careers, get promoted very slowly, or view their jobs as mind numbing drudgery. My wife truely enjoys her job... i know, tax accounting, sounds awesome :roll: . But she not only puts in the time, but really focuses on learning the tax law and is actually engaged in what she's doing.

Personally, I couldn't do it. I think what she does sounds incredibly boring, but she digs it. I don;t think she felt that way when she was just starting out. After committing to it, she learned to love it. Now there are some awesome perks.

I believe audit has many more people competiting for spots. I think she said when she hired on, there were like 25 audit hires and 4 tax hires. So it's probably a totally different game.

Good Luck.


That's cool, I'm excited to start at Deloitte. As far as the loss of associates, is it possibly more self selection? I know big 4 accountants are considered prizes by many organizations, and every company needs accounting. That's sort of the impression I've got from partners who I know in the accounting firms. People get into accounting to get the bridge into management positions and nice in house positions, not work at the firm for their entire lives.

BTW: I'm jealous that your wife gets to work on either the Flyers or the Pens accounts.

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Hattori Hanzo
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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby Hattori Hanzo » Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:33 am

Stringer Bell wrote:
Hattori Hanzo wrote:Long hours and dismal job satisfaction rates come to mind.


The thing with accounting is that if you work as an external auditor at a big 4 firm, you have biglaw hours, but it's only for a few months out of the year. From what I've been told, you are on hulu for most of the work day in the other months.



Not true for the most part. First of all public companies issue 10Qs as well as their 10K so if you're on a couple of major public client jobs, your year is booked throughout. If you're not on public clients, they will put you on NFP audits after the busy season to fill your summer up. Besides, the charge hour goals are going to be the same no matter what so if you're interested in keeping yur job you will be looking for more work when you're not busy not lounging in your cubicle. Believe me when I say they will try to extract every last minute worth of work out of you.

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Hattori Hanzo
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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby Hattori Hanzo » Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:38 am

Scurredsitless1 wrote:My wife was just promoted to manager at Delloitte after 5 years. She hopes to be given the partner nod in 3 years or so. She works in tax, there are some pros and cons. She works on the accounts for the local pro hockey team, the NFL team owner, and other mega business' in our secondary market. But she is really dedicated, and works 100 hour weeks during certain parts of the year. She's also about to spend 6 weeks in india working in the outsourced officeyea (which I think is AWESOME).

Considering how things are now, I never expect to be the bread winner. I can't see a situation in which law will make me more cash then accounting has worked for her. But she's really the exception, not the rule. Very few of the associates/seniors that were there when she started are still there.

She was paid better after 3 years than the attorney new hires. But again, she got much better raises than the average associate.


She must have really kicked ass! I think 5 years ago they were starting in mid 40s so her salary went up by $120K in the first three years??

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chadwick218
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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby chadwick218 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:42 am

dan32 wrote:I have a question about the raises of law vs. accounting. What would be a typical salary progression for biglaw and big 4 for first 5 years?

Thanks


This really depends on what city you work in and your performance rating, but I with respect to myself, salary progression in the audit practice is something along the lines of what follows below:

Year 0 - $49,000
Year 1 - $52,000
Year 2 - $60,000 + $6,000 bonus
Year 3 - $66,500 + $5,000 bonus
Year 4 - $72,000
Year 5 - $82,000 + $7,000 bonus (within a few months of being promoted to manager, I left to attend law school)

Upon promotion to senior manager in year 7/8, my salary would have been very close to $100,000.

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chadwick218
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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby chadwick218 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:44 am

Scurredsitless1 wrote:My wife was just promoted to manager at Delloitte after 5 years. She hopes to be given the partner nod in 3 years or so. She works in tax, there are some pros and cons. She works on the accounts for the local pro hockey team, the NFL team owner, and other mega business' in our secondary market. But she is really dedicated, and works 100 hour weeks during certain parts of the year. She's also about to spend 6 weeks in india working in the outsourced officeyea (which I think is AWESOME).

Considering how things are now, I never expect to be the bread winner. I can't see a situation in which law will make me more cash then accounting has worked for her. But she's really the exception, not the rule. Very few of the associates/seniors that were there when she started are still there.

She was paid better after 3 years than the attorney new hires. But again, she got much better raises than the average associate.


Audit is much more rigid, but I have heard of people being promoted to partner in the tax practice within 8/9 years even in modern times. Congrats to her!

Scurredsitless1
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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby Scurredsitless1 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:55 am

Hattori Hanzo wrote:
Scurredsitless1 wrote:My wife was just promoted to manager at Delloitte after 5 years. She hopes to be given the partner nod in 3 years or so. She works in tax, there are some pros and cons. She works on the accounts for the local pro hockey team, the NFL team owner, and other mega business' in our secondary market. But she is really dedicated, and works 100 hour weeks during certain parts of the year. She's also about to spend 6 weeks in india working in the outsourced officeyea (which I think is AWESOME).

Considering how things are now, I never expect to be the bread winner. I can't see a situation in which law will make me more cash then accounting has worked for her. But she's really the exception, not the rule. Very few of the associates/seniors that were there when she started are still there.

She was paid better after 3 years than the attorney new hires. But again, she got much better raises than the average associate.


She must have really kicked ass! I think 5 years ago they were starting in mid 40s so her salary went up by $120K in the first three years??


Well, I mean she is making more than the new hire attorneys at her firm, which is not big law money.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby Stringer Bell » Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:29 am

Hattori Hanzo wrote:
Stringer Bell wrote:
Hattori Hanzo wrote:Long hours and dismal job satisfaction rates come to mind.


The thing with accounting is that if you work as an external auditor at a big 4 firm, you have biglaw hours, but it's only for a few months out of the year. From what I've been told, you are on hulu for most of the work day in the other months.



Not true for the most part. First of all public companies issue 10Qs as well as their 10K so if you're on a couple of major public client jobs, your year is booked throughout. If you're not on public clients, they will put you on NFP audits after the busy season to fill your summer up. Besides, the charge hour goals are going to be the same no matter what so if you're interested in keeping yur job you will be looking for more work when you're not busy not lounging in your cubicle. Believe me when I say they will try to extract every last minute worth of work out of you.


I am not even remotely an expert on this and my intial statement was an exaggeration, but the person I talked to was not on public clients and said that for a few months they worked crazy hours (7a-9/10p), but for the rest of the year everyone in their group would go a couple of weeks before getting another project during which time they had almost nothing to do.

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chadwick218
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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby chadwick218 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:55 am

Stringer Bell wrote:I am not even remotely an expert on this and my intial statement was an exaggeration, but the person I talked to was not on public clients and said that for a few months they worked crazy hours (7a-9/10p), but for the rest of the year everyone in their group would go a couple of weeks before getting another project during which time they had almost nothing to do.


In recent years, many firms over hired so it wasn't uncommon for people to sit unassigned in the office. This has changed somewhat considerably in the last year or so.

Looking back on my career, I worked relatively few late nights, but was very chargeable as I never seemed to find myself unassigned.

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holeinone600
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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby holeinone600 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:05 am

Can anyone comment on the difference (daily practice) of tax accounting vs. tax law?

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robotclubmember
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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby robotclubmember » Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:35 pm

Scurredsitless1 wrote:
Hattori Hanzo wrote:
Scurredsitless1 wrote:My wife was just promoted to manager at Delloitte after 5 years. She hopes to be given the partner nod in 3 years or so. She works in tax, there are some pros and cons. She works on the accounts for the local pro hockey team, the NFL team owner, and other mega business' in our secondary market. But she is really dedicated, and works 100 hour weeks during certain parts of the year. She's also about to spend 6 weeks in india working in the outsourced officeyea (which I think is AWESOME).

Considering how things are now, I never expect to be the bread winner. I can't see a situation in which law will make me more cash then accounting has worked for her. But she's really the exception, not the rule. Very few of the associates/seniors that were there when she started are still there.

She was paid better after 3 years than the attorney new hires. But again, she got much better raises than the average associate.


She must have really kicked ass! I think 5 years ago they were starting in mid 40s so her salary went up by $120K in the first three years??


Well, I mean she is making more than the new hire attorneys at her firm, which is not big law money.


B4 attorneys start at around 80-90K depending on the market, for those curious. Good luck on her making senior manager and THEN partner in 3 years, lol. Not happening.

B4's partner:associate ratio is far more skewed than Big Law's. I worked in internal controls audits and consulting in a mid market city (back filled for financial audit a decent amount). Throughout the firm nationally, it was reported that in my department, there was currently 22 years worth of partners in the pipeline. That means, if there was zero attrition, we would currently have enough senior managers in our department to meet all of the partner promotion needs for the next 22 years. Last year, out of a little over 1,000 senior managers, 2 dozen were promoted to partner. 2% promotion rate hahaha. No one has been leaving B4 in this economy. Well, lots of staff has, but senior managers are reluctant to give up their high salaries. Now, my department is worse than most as far as this problem goes. But, it is a problem everywhere. I knew one of the senior managers who made it to partner also, and he made over EIGHT MILLION in sales that year to get promoted. If you can't do the work AND make huge deals, making partner is a challenge, moreso in some departments than others. In recent years, it's gone from 10 to 14 years to make partner. I expect that number to continue trending up.

If the debate is between Big Four and Big Law. Big Law makes way more money. You'll get worked to death either way. But at least in Big Law, you get to sleep in your own bed most nights. Last summer, I slept in my own bed 11 nights. If you value a social life, you may find that being in the same state as your friends and family is a key to relieving the stress of awful hours.

I won't comment on the comparison between law and accounting outside of big firms. That is a complex comparison loaded with mushy gray areas. Maybe my opinion will change when I'm in Big Law. But at least I can think about in my the comfort of my home, instead of a hotel room 500 miles away from home wondering who's kissing my girlfriend ;)

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Veyron
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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby Veyron » Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:12 pm

If you have to ask. . .

BTW, the average person finnishing their CPA today (as opposed to back in the day) probably will make more money than the average JD. Much more demand for the accountants.

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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby robotclubmember » Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:00 pm

Veyron wrote:If you have to ask. . .

BTW, the average person finnishing their CPA today (as opposed to back in the day) probably will make more money than the average JD. Much more demand for the accountants.


This isn't even true. Anytime someone says something is probably true, it's just another way of saying they don't really know. CPA and JD salaries, if averaged, are almost identical. But law is a bigger risk. Your earning potential is way higher, but your potential to end up at Starbucks is higher too. It's a more of a gamble, is all.

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Veyron
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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby Veyron » Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:15 pm

robotclubmember wrote:
Veyron wrote:If you have to ask. . .

BTW, the average person finnishing their CPA today (as opposed to back in the day) probably will make more money than the average JD. Much more demand for the accountants.


This isn't even true. Anytime someone says something is probably true, it's just another way of saying they don't really know. CPA and JD salaries, if averaged, are almost identical. But law is a bigger risk. Your earning potential is way higher, but your potential to end up at Starbucks is higher too. It's a more of a gamble, is all.


Misses "TODAY" portion of post. Disgraces data avatar.

Yes, lawyers who entered the market years ago do tend to make good money.

I have a friend who had a shit GPA and in 200 fucking 9, RIGHT during the crash, big four accounting firms were salivating to get her to sign a contract. SHOW ME a law student for who that is true.

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robotclubmember
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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby robotclubmember » Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:30 pm

Veyron wrote:
robotclubmember wrote:
Veyron wrote:If you have to ask. . .

BTW, the average person finnishing their CPA today (as opposed to back in the day) probably will make more money than the average JD. Much more demand for the accountants.


This isn't even true. Anytime someone says something is probably true, it's just another way of saying they don't really know. CPA and JD salaries, if averaged, are almost identical. But law is a bigger risk. Your earning potential is way higher, but your potential to end up at Starbucks is higher too. It's a more of a gamble, is all.


Misses "TODAY" portion of post. Disgraces data avatar.

Yes, lawyers who entered the market years ago do tend to make good money.

I have a friend who had a shit GPA and in 200 fucking 9, RIGHT during the crash, big four accounting firms were salivating to get her to sign a contract. SHOW ME a law student for who that is true.


The gates closed in the fall of 2009 on hiring. Everything came to a head and as many as 30% of staff were "realigned", aka, laid off in some offices in the winter (mine being one of those). 2009 wasn't bad in the summer as far as B4 hiring. All those new faces, the over-hiring, did have repercussions. Not everyone in this field talks about it because they don't want to admit how vulnerable their jobs really are. But I mean, you have a friend who got a job offer, so I guess that means you know more than people who are actually CPAs and work in B4.

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Veyron
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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby Veyron » Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:14 am

robotclubmember wrote:
Veyron wrote:
robotclubmember wrote:
Veyron wrote:If you have to ask. . .

BTW, the average person finnishing their CPA today (as opposed to back in the day) probably will make more money than the average JD. Much more demand for the accountants.


This isn't even true. Anytime someone says something is probably true, it's just another way of saying they don't really know. CPA and JD salaries, if averaged, are almost identical. But law is a bigger risk. Your earning potential is way higher, but your potential to end up at Starbucks is higher too. It's a more of a gamble, is all.


Misses "TODAY" portion of post. Disgraces data avatar.

Yes, lawyers who entered the market years ago do tend to make good money.

I have a friend who had a shit GPA and in 200 fucking 9, RIGHT during the crash, big four accounting firms were salivating to get her to sign a contract. SHOW ME a law student for who that is true.



The gates closed in the fall of 2009 on hiring. Everything came to a head and as many as 30% of staff were "realigned", aka, laid off in some offices in the winter (mine being one of those). 2009 wasn't bad in the summer as far as B4 hiring. All those new faces, the over-hiring, did have repercussions. Not everyone in this field talks about it because they don't want to admit how vulnerable their jobs really are. But I mean, you have a friend who got a job offer, so I guess that means you know more than people who are actually CPAs and work in B4.


And on the other hand, you are a 0L... blind leading the blind ftw?
Last edited by Veyron on Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

FiveSermon
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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby FiveSermon » Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:32 am

Accountant unless biglaw.

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robotclubmember
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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby robotclubmember » Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:28 pm

Veyron wrote:
And on the other hand, you are a 0L... blind leading the blind ftw?


Dude, all I've been doing is giving info about Big 4. Because I'm a 0L, I'm not qualified to have an opinion on the field I currently work in or comment on publicly available salary data?

robotclubmember wrote:I won't comment on the comparison between law and accounting outside of big firms. That is a complex comparison loaded with mushy gray areas. Maybe my opinion will change when I'm in Big Law.


Even in my posts above I think I give not only fair information, but I fairly state my blind spots as well. I'm sorry if my contributions bother you.

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Veyron
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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby Veyron » Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:16 pm

robotclubmember wrote:
Veyron wrote:
And on the other hand, you are a 0L... blind leading the blind ftw?


Dude, all I've been doing is giving info about Big 4. Because I'm a 0L, I'm not qualified to have an opinion on the field I currently work in or comment on publicly available salary data?

robotclubmember wrote:I won't comment on the comparison between law and accounting outside of big firms. That is a complex comparison loaded with mushy gray areas. Maybe my opinion will change when I'm in Big Law.


Even in my posts above I think I give not only fair information, but I fairly state my blind spots as well. I'm sorry if my contributions bother you.


All I am in saying is that, even though the best law jobs pay better, it is much easier to land a good accounting job than a good law job and there is more stability in accounting, the fact that you are fighting this so hard demonstrates a catastrophic lack of knowledge about the current state of the legal field.

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robotclubmember
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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby robotclubmember » Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:31 pm

Veyron wrote:
robotclubmember wrote:
Veyron wrote:
And on the other hand, you are a 0L... blind leading the blind ftw?


Dude, all I've been doing is giving info about Big 4. Because I'm a 0L, I'm not qualified to have an opinion on the field I currently work in or comment on publicly available salary data?

robotclubmember wrote:I won't comment on the comparison between law and accounting outside of big firms. That is a complex comparison loaded with mushy gray areas. Maybe my opinion will change when I'm in Big Law.


Even in my posts above I think I give not only fair information, but I fairly state my blind spots as well. I'm sorry if my contributions bother you.


All I am in saying is that, even though the best law jobs pay better, it is much easier to land a good accounting job than a good law job and there is more stability in accounting, the fact that you are fighting this so hard demonstrates a catastrophic lack of knowledge about the current state of the legal field.


robotclubmember wrote:CPA and JD salaries, if averaged, are almost identical. But law is a bigger risk. Your earning potential is way higher, but your potential to end up at Starbucks is higher too. It's a more of a gamble, is all.


So we're saying the same thing then. Cool.

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Gatriel
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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby Gatriel » Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:35 pm

I have both a bachelors and masters in accounting. I turned down $53k + $8k signing bonus at one of the big 4 to come to law school.

Unless you go to a TTT/TTTT institution you should be able to get $75k + pretty easily, the trade off is the student loans. Reminisce back to your finance classes get out your BAII+ and hit up the TVM solver, and you realize very quickly that short term -- Accounting is definitely full of win, especially with a CPA. Look 15 years down the road, LS is the place to be. J

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yoitsmebenny
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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby yoitsmebenny » Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:16 pm

Gatriel wrote:I have both a bachelors and masters in accounting. I turned down $53k + $8k signing bonus at one of the big 4 to come to law school.

Unless you go to a TTT/TTTT institution you should be able to get $75k + pretty easily, the trade off is the student loans. Reminisce back to your finance classes get out your BAII+ and hit up the TVM solver, and you realize very quickly that short term -- Accounting is definitely full of win, especially with a CPA. Look 15 years down the road, LS is the place to be. J

Actually, probably have to hit up an actuary to calculate the risk inherent in each proposition




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