Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

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robotclubmember
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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby robotclubmember » Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:36 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


No offense, but you sound like someone who had their parent's dollar helping them out a bit. Most people would not get a master's degree in accounting and then go into law like it was nothing. Did your TVM solver point out how dumb the decision was to get the MACC degree for something you'll never do? You wasted a year of potential big law salary at a young point in your career. I mean, financially dumb. You didn't just lose the tuition and a year of salary, but also 40 years of ROI on that extra year of working. Nice financial analysis.

I think working a couple years can only make you a better law student and improve your admissions prospects. It's good for personal reasons as well. Financially I would agree that it is smarter to go to law school right away if you're going to a good one, even though you'll be financing every cup of Starbucks you buy for the next three years basically (unless you're suckling off mommy's teat still).

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androstan
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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby androstan » Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:06 pm

Renzo wrote:Forget both and become an Actuary.


+1

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Gatriel
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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby Gatriel » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:12 am

I did the MACC to get a leg up on OCI and summer internships. I'm a 1L with a paid firm job this summer, because of the MACC. I think it definitely paid off.

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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby holdencaulfield » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:38 am

robotclubmember wrote:
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


No offense, but you sound like someone who had their parent's dollar helping them out a bit. Most people would not get a master's degree in accounting and then go into law like it was nothing. Did your TVM solver point out how dumb the decision was to get the MACC degree for something you'll never do? You wasted a year of potential big law salary at a young point in your career. I mean, financially dumb. You didn't just lose the tuition and a year of salary, but also 40 years of ROI on that extra year of working. Nice financial analysis.

I think working a couple years can only make you a better law student and improve your admissions prospects. It's good for personal reasons as well. Financially I would agree that it is smarter to go to law school right away if you're going to a good one, even though you'll be financing every cup of Starbucks you buy for the next three years basically (unless you're suckling off mommy's teat still).


Actually, he is eligible to sit for the CPA which would be incredibly useful on his resume and in practice. Especially if he plans on doing business/corporate/tax law.

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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby birdlaw117 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:56 am

holdencaulfield wrote:
robotclubmember wrote:
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


No offense, but you sound like someone who had their parent's dollar helping them out a bit. Most people would not get a master's degree in accounting and then go into law like it was nothing. Did your TVM solver point out how dumb the decision was to get the MACC degree for something you'll never do? You wasted a year of potential big law salary at a young point in your career. I mean, financially dumb. You didn't just lose the tuition and a year of salary, but also 40 years of ROI on that extra year of working. Nice financial analysis.

I think working a couple years can only make you a better law student and improve your admissions prospects. It's good for personal reasons as well. Financially I would agree that it is smarter to go to law school right away if you're going to a good one, even though you'll be financing every cup of Starbucks you buy for the next three years basically (unless you're suckling off mommy's teat still).


Actually, he is eligible to sit for the CPA which would be incredibly useful on his resume and in practice. Especially if he plans on doing business/corporate/tax law.

I'm finishing up my MAcc right now, sitting for the CPA exam in May and planning on attending law school this fall. The additional degree, plus the ability to sit for the CPA prior to law school made that decision for me. Also, I'm planning on doing Tax Law, so the CPA will definitely come in handy (although I won't actually be a CPA until after I complete the work experience requirement).

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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby Gatriel » Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:00 am

birdlaw117 wrote:Actually, he is eligible to sit for the CPA which would be incredibly useful on his resume and in practice. Especially if he plans on doing business/corporate/tax law.

I'm finishing up my MAcc right now, sitting for the CPA exam in May and planning on attending law school this fall. The additional degree, plus the ability to sit for the CPA prior to law school made that decision for me. Also, I'm planning on doing Tax Law, so the CPA will definitely come in handy (although I won't actually be a CPA until after I complete the work experience requirement).[/quote]

I was eligible to sit for the CPA. . . .before the requirements changed 1/1/11 of this year. I am just missing an additional 3 hours of ethics, and my law school requires a ethics course. I am hoping I can petition the Texas board of CPAs.

As far as taking the CPA this summer . . . .good luck, and have fun with Reg.

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birdlaw117
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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby birdlaw117 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:01 am

Gatriel wrote:
birdlaw117 wrote:
Actually, he is eligible to sit for the CPA which would be incredibly useful on his resume and in practice. Especially if he plans on doing business/corporate/tax law.

I'm finishing up my MAcc right now, sitting for the CPA exam in May and planning on attending law school this fall. The additional degree, plus the ability to sit for the CPA prior to law school made that decision for me. Also, I'm planning on doing Tax Law, so the CPA will definitely come in handy (although I won't actually be a CPA until after I complete the work experience requirement).


I was eligible to sit for the CPA. . . .before the requirements changed 1/1/11 of this year. I am just missing an additional 3 hours of ethics, and my law school requires a ethics course. I am hoping I can petition the Texas board of CPAs.

As far as taking the CPA this summer . . . .good luck, and have fun with Reg. hahahahahah

Yeah, I'm in some review classes right now. Everything is going well so far. I'm not too worried about passing the test, but it is a lot of work. This semester is going to be good practice for law school for me.

Oh, and thanks!

Edited for Quote Fail

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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby robotclubmember » Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:01 am

holdencaulfield wrote:
robotclubmember wrote:
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


No offense, but you sound like someone who had their parent's dollar helping them out a bit. Most people would not get a master's degree in accounting and then go into law like it was nothing. Did your TVM solver point out how dumb the decision was to get the MACC degree for something you'll never do? You wasted a year of potential big law salary at a young point in your career. I mean, financially dumb. You didn't just lose the tuition and a year of salary, but also 40 years of ROI on that extra year of working. Nice financial analysis.

I think working a couple years can only make you a better law student and improve your admissions prospects. It's good for personal reasons as well. Financially I would agree that it is smarter to go to law school right away if you're going to a good one, even though you'll be financing every cup of Starbucks you buy for the next three years basically (unless you're suckling off mommy's teat still).


Actually, he is eligible to sit for the CPA which would be incredibly useful on his resume and in practice. Especially if he plans on doing business/corporate/tax law.


LOL.

No state requires a MACC degree to sit for the CPA exam. It's different state by state but they usually require 150 credit hours (30 have to be accounting). You could have just used your law school credit hours to reach that (or enjoy the summer volleyball course at a community college like I did). So let's say that like a normal college student, you graduate with 24 accounting credits and 120-something total. You could have just taken a few tax law courses to reach 30 accounting and let the rest of law school count towards the 150.

You're not even using the CPA for anything since you're not working. So it sounds like you spent a year in college so that you could take a test two years earlier for a certification you won't use. And no, no one cares about your MACC degree after you're a CPA (CPA without a MACC degree in Big Four here). Cool way to spend a year.

The moral of the story is, for any people considering getting a MACC and going straight into law school... don't. At least check with the state's board of accountancy first to figure out what the requirements are...

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she&him
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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby she&him » Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:09 am

Similar thoughts, except working in finance for a couple years before going to law school. Many schools like NU care a lot about W/E. Additionally, couldn't afford to turn down $60K & signing. Figured it'd be a smart choice to start saving up for those loans that were coming up.

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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby nealric » Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:26 am

Also, I'm planning on doing Tax Law, so the CPA will definitely come in handy (although I won't actually be a CPA until after I complete the work experience requirement)


As a tax lawyer, I'm not convinced the CPA will really do that much for you. Do it if you want to do accounting for a while. Don't do it just for the sake of doing tax law.

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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby holdencaulfield » Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:49 am

robotclubmember wrote:
LOL.

No state requires a MACC degree to sit for the CPA exam. It's different state by state but they usually require 150 credit hours (30 have to be accounting). You could have just used your law school credit hours to reach that (or enjoy the summer volleyball course at a community college like I did). So let's say that like a normal college student, you graduate with 24 accounting credits and 120-something total. You could have just taken a few tax law courses to reach 30 accounting and let the rest of law school count towards the 150.

You're not even using the CPA for anything since you're not working. So it sounds like you spent a year in college so that you could take a test two years earlier for a certification you won't use. And no, no one cares about your MACC degree after you're a CPA (CPA without a MACC degree in Big Four here). Cool way to spend a year.

The moral of the story is, for any people considering getting a MACC and going straight into law school... don't. At least check with the state's board of accountancy first to figure out what the requirements are...


I really don't care enough to actually google how feasible getting CPA eligible during law school is, but you make some good points IF it's as easy/feasible as you say. If the 150 must come from elsewhere, a student might as well earn a MACC.

Also, I wouldn't recommend getting a CPA or MACC if you know you are going straight to law school. My point is merely that having a CPA is quite valuable and can be an asset in practicing business or tax law.

Lastly, at least OP got something valuable out of his extra year. It's not like he took a victory lap to finish his Bachelors degree in education or general business.

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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby robotclubmember » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:16 pm

holdencaulfield wrote:
robotclubmember wrote:
LOL.

No state requires a MACC degree to sit for the CPA exam. It's different state by state but they usually require 150 credit hours (30 have to be accounting). You could have just used your law school credit hours to reach that (or enjoy the summer volleyball course at a community college like I did). So let's say that like a normal college student, you graduate with 24 accounting credits and 120-something total. You could have just taken a few tax law courses to reach 30 accounting and let the rest of law school count towards the 150.

You're not even using the CPA for anything since you're not working. So it sounds like you spent a year in college so that you could take a test two years earlier for a certification you won't use. And no, no one cares about your MACC degree after you're a CPA (CPA without a MACC degree in Big Four here). Cool way to spend a year.

The moral of the story is, for any people considering getting a MACC and going straight into law school... don't. At least check with the state's board of accountancy first to figure out what the requirements are...


I really don't care enough to actually google how feasible getting CPA eligible during law school is, but you make some good points IF it's as easy/feasible as you say. If the 150 must come from elsewhere, a student might as well earn a MACC.

Also, I wouldn't recommend getting a CPA or MACC if you know you are going straight to law school. My point is merely that having a CPA is quite valuable and can be an asset in practicing business or tax law.

Lastly, at least OP got something valuable out of his extra year. It's not like he took a victory lap to finish his Bachelors degree in education or general business.


It's really hard to believe that tax courses in law school wouldn't count towards the 30 hours of accounting credits needed to fulfill most state CPA requirements. There are 50 states so potentially 50 different answers. I know a person in Ohio who got a master's in sign language and applied it to the 150 requirement. You should just call them. Know that they are human and when presented with less common circumstances, you may have to argue your position to get them to go along with it. I didn't get a MACC and know several others who didn't. If volleyball, astronomy and a CPR course from my community college pushed me over the edge, and a master's in sign language works too, I'm pretty sure law school will do the trick. Don't go getting a MACC to sit for the CPA before going to law school when going to law school meets the requirement though.

And I seriously doubt you get anything useful out of a MACC degree when you will never put it to use and all that information will get wiped clean by three years of law school before you have a chance to apply it. It's meaningless accounting theory. He's never going to be doing audits or recording journal entries or anything that accountants do. That degree is a vocational degree for people who are going into the field of accounting. You don't need a CPA to be a tax consultant, you need it attest to the fairness and accuracy of financial statements and tax returns. AKA public accounting. The designation is Certified Public Accountant, after all. You don't need it for anything outside of that though it is certainly a bonus in many fields. But law and accounting are so different. I just don't understand the rationale and I'm interested to debate it in case I'm missing something. I think people shouldn't be getting MACCs and going straight to law school though... I can't think of a single valid reason to do it.

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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby robotclubmember » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:22 pm

nealric wrote:
Also, I'm planning on doing Tax Law, so the CPA will definitely come in handy (although I won't actually be a CPA until after I complete the work experience requirement)


As a tax lawyer, I'm not convinced the CPA will really do that much for you. Do it if you want to do accounting for a while. Don't do it just for the sake of doing tax law.


This. If you're not getting WE, you won't actually be a CPA at OCI anyway. The only benefit I can think of is better OCI prospects, which comes with the work experience more than the CPA. Without WE, you'd be a guy who passed the CPA exam, which is not a certification... it's about the same as having nothing at all.

Get an LLM from NYU/UF/GULC if tax law/consulting is really what you want to do. A better use of a year than the MACC for the CPA. Thought I,m not sure either is worth the time.

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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby TheTopBloke » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:24 pm

MaineCourse wrote:Which career pays more(I'd assume lawyer)-but by how much, and you have to go to school for longer. Basically, how would a career as an accountant compare to a career as a lawyer?


I dunno, some garbage men get paid pretty well, and there's a lot less school and no debt. So if money's your only consideration, there are some wonderful opportunities in waste management.

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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby robotclubmember » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:25 pm

Gatriel wrote:I did the MACC to get a leg up on OCI and summer internships. I'm a 1L with a paid firm job this summer, because of the MACC. I think it definitely paid off.


BS. Useless MACC degree did not get you a law job. You got it yourself. Don't try to trick 0L's into getting useless MACC degrees saying it helps, because it doesn't.

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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby birdlaw117 » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:39 pm

I'm getting my MAcc because I'm getting my hours to sit for the CPA exam before I go to law school. I would much rather study for the CPA Exam prior to law school rather than during or after. If I'm getting the hours, including some accounting classes, why not get something out of it rather than extend undergrad?

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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby Jdenniscpa » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:42 pm

My 150th credit hour was voice classes. It could be underwater basket weaving for all they care. If the JD classes didn't count, that would be a raw deal from anyone's perspective.

ETA: I wouldn't want to sit for the CPA exam during law school though. My test session had a first time pass rate of 28 out of 600+ so regardless of the great debate whether the Bar is harder or the CPA exam, taking both at the same time would be miserable (at least I think it would).
Last edited by Jdenniscpa on Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby robotclubmember » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:46 pm

birdlaw117 wrote:I'm getting my MAcc because I'm getting my hours to sit for the CPA exam before I go to law school. I would much rather study for the CPA Exam prior to law school rather than during or after. If I'm getting the hours, including some accounting classes, why not get something out of it rather than extend undergrad?


Why not just go straight to law school and reach 150 there? Why take another year of school to take a test two years early? You won't be a CPA until you have WE, which will be after law school anyway. The people throwing their two cents in here are actual CPAs, tax atty's etc.... think about it.

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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby birdlaw117 » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:50 pm

robotclubmember wrote:
birdlaw117 wrote:I'm getting my MAcc because I'm getting my hours to sit for the CPA exam before I go to law school. I would much rather study for the CPA Exam prior to law school rather than during or after. If I'm getting the hours, including some accounting classes, why not get something out of it rather than extend undergrad?


Why not just go straight to law school and reach 150 there? Why take another year of school to take a test two years early? You won't be a CPA until you have WE, which will be after law school anyway. The people throwing their two cents in here are actual CPAs, tax atty's etc.... think about it.

I've talked to a lot of CPAs about it. They all say that you want to take the exam when you already have the knowledge base. Do you think it's feasible/a good idea to study for the CPA Exam when you're in law school? Or would you prefer to do it when you're trying to hit 80 billable hours for the week? Not to mention, studying for the exam right now after going through the MAcc program at my school has been pretty simple. It probably doesn't hurt that my undergrad allowed me to get halfway into the MAcc before I finished my BA. It only took me one additional semester to finish the MAcc, now I'm spending this semester on the CPA.

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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby robotclubmember » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:56 pm

Jdenniscpa wrote:My 150th credit hour was voice classes. It could be underwater basket weaving for all they care. If the JD classes didn't count, that would be a raw deal from anyone's perspective.

ETA: I wouldn't want to sit for the CPA exam during law school though. My test session had a first time pass rate of 28 out of 600+ so regardless of the great debate whether the Bar is harder or the CPA exam, taking both at the same time would be miserable (at least I think it would).


That's a valid point. But you can take the exam in sections. You could do it during the summers.

First of all, almost EVERYONE takes the exam while working. Working 60 hours a week in Big Four often. Taking the exam without anything else in your life going on is the exception, not the norm.

That said, with Becker, you could definitely pass audit and BEC with 40 hours of study each, and FAR and REG with 80 each. You can spread them out over two years. So during your breaks you could knock down a section here and there. Or when you're SA'ing or whatever. Most people have to take the exam while working, it's par for the course.

It seems really weak to go get a useless degree that takes a year just for the privilege of taking an exam under optimal conditions. Normal people don't need to do that. And again, you aren't a CPA until after WE anyway. WE "of a public accounting nature." A lot of law WE won't count to the requirement. CPA's aren't even remotely intended for law professionals. It's for auditors and preparers.

EDIT - Just a note: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Certified_ ... equirement

I had to have a CPA sign off that my work experience qualified as being "of a public accounting nature." There is some flexibility in that definition though.
Last edited by robotclubmember on Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:09 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby robotclubmember » Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:01 pm

birdlaw117 wrote:
robotclubmember wrote:
birdlaw117 wrote:I'm getting my MAcc because I'm getting my hours to sit for the CPA exam before I go to law school. I would much rather study for the CPA Exam prior to law school rather than during or after. If I'm getting the hours, including some accounting classes, why not get something out of it rather than extend undergrad?


Why not just go straight to law school and reach 150 there? Why take another year of school to take a test two years early? You won't be a CPA until you have WE, which will be after law school anyway. The people throwing their two cents in here are actual CPAs, tax atty's etc.... think about it.

I've talked to a lot of CPAs about it. They all say that you want to take the exam when you already have the knowledge base. Do you think it's feasible/a good idea to study for the CPA Exam when you're in law school? Or would you prefer to do it when you're trying to hit 80 billable hours for the week? Not to mention, studying for the exam right now after going through the MAcc program at my school has been pretty simple. It probably doesn't hurt that my undergrad allowed me to get halfway into the MAcc before I finished my BA. It only took me one additional semester to finish the MAcc, now I'm spending this semester on the CPA.


Like I said, my knowledge base was volleyball, CPR and astronomy. The Becker materials are really good. They are all you need. I know lots of people five years out of school just now passing the CPA exam. My senior manager has been out for over 15 years and just passed it. He does IT consulting so his work doesn't keep his accounting knowledge sharp either. He just used the Becker course.

It's a bad idea. You were given bad advice. No one needs a whole semester off to take the CPA exam. But it's just a year, not a big deal either way if you're already doing it. Wouldn't recommend to anyone else though.

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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby birdlaw117 » Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:11 pm

robotclubmember wrote:
Jdenniscpa wrote:My 150th credit hour was voice classes. It could be underwater basket weaving for all they care. If the JD classes didn't count, that would be a raw deal from anyone's perspective.

ETA: I wouldn't want to sit for the CPA exam during law school though. My test session had a first time pass rate of 28 out of 600+ so regardless of the great debate whether the Bar is harder or the CPA exam, taking both at the same time would be miserable (at least I think it would).


That's a valid point. But you can take the exam in sections. You could do it during the summers.

First of all, almost EVERYONE takes the exam while working. Working 60 hours a week in Big Four often. Taking the exam without anything else in your life going on is the exception, not the norm.

That said, with Becker. you could definitely pass audit and BEC with 40 hours of study, and FAR and REG with 80 each. You can spread them out over two years. So during your breaks you could knock down a section here and there. Or when you're SA'ing or whatever. Most people have to take the exam while working, it's par for the course.

It seems really week to go get a useless degree that takes a year just for the privilege of taking an exam under optimal conditions. Normal people don't need to do that. And again, you aren't a CPA until after WE anyway. WE "of a public accounting nature." A lot of law WE won't count to the requirement. CPA's aren't even remotely intended for law professionals. It's for auditors and preparers.


I am aware of all of this. The MAcc students at my school can pretty much pick which Big 4 firm, what position, and which office they want to work in because they all pass the exam before working, making them more productive workers once they're there. From what I've heard (clearly not because I am in a position to make this judgement), public accounting firms often struggle getting employees to study for the exam once they get out of school.

You have to pass all the sections within 18 months of one another. Also, at least in my state, once you pass the exam it doesn't matter when the WE occurs. If I never become a CPA because I'm doing well working wherever I end up, then that's fine by me because I clearly don't need it.

(Oh, and for what it's worth... the other factor in my equation is that I redshirted my freshman year, so I had the additional year of eligibility. But that's probably not a common issue for most people thinking about this.)

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Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby thexfactor » Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:17 pm

birdlaw117 wrote:
robotclubmember wrote:
Jdenniscpa wrote:My 150th credit hour was voice classes. It could be underwater basket weaving for all they care. If the JD classes didn't count, that would be a raw deal from anyone's perspective.

ETA: I wouldn't want to sit for the CPA exam during law school though. My test session had a first time pass rate of 28 out of 600+ so regardless of the great debate whether the Bar is harder or the CPA exam, taking both at the same time would be miserable (at least I think it would).


That's a valid point. But you can take the exam in sections. You could do it during the summers.

First of all, almost EVERYONE takes the exam while working. Working 60 hours a week in Big Four often. Taking the exam without anything else in your life going on is the exception, not the norm.

That said, with Becker. you could definitely pass audit and BEC with 40 hours of study, and FAR and REG with 80 each. You can spread them out over two years. So during your breaks you could knock down a section here and there. Or when you're SA'ing or whatever. Most people have to take the exam while working, it's par for the course.

It seems really week to go get a useless degree that takes a year just for the privilege of taking an exam under optimal conditions. Normal people don't need to do that. And again, you aren't a CPA until after WE anyway. WE "of a public accounting nature." A lot of law WE won't count to the requirement. CPA's aren't even remotely intended for law professionals. It's for auditors and preparers.


I am aware of all of this. The MAcc students at my school can pretty much pick which Big 4 firm, what position, and which office they want to work in because they all pass the exam before working, making them more productive workers once they're there. From what I've heard (clearly not because I am in a position to make this judgement), public accounting firms often struggle getting employees to study for the exam once they get out of school.

You have to pass all the sections within 18 months of one another. Also, at least in my state, once you pass the exam it doesn't matter when the WE occurs. If I never become a CPA because I'm doing well working wherever I end up, then that's fine by me because I clearly don't need it.

(Oh, and for what it's worth... the other factor in my equation is that I redshirted my freshman year, so I had the additional year of eligibility. But that's probably not a common issue for most people thinking about this.)



Are you at michshitgan, usc or texas for your macc degree?

THere is definately less risk involved in doing accounting vs law. an Avg accountant will be a lot better than the avg lawyer. The avg lawyer will not get biglaw and will struggle for a 35k job + loans.

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birdlaw117
Posts: 2167
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:19 am

Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby birdlaw117 » Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:42 pm

thexfactor wrote:
birdlaw117 wrote:
robotclubmember wrote:
Jdenniscpa wrote:My 150th credit hour was voice classes. It could be underwater basket weaving for all they care. If the JD classes didn't count, that would be a raw deal from anyone's perspective.

ETA: I wouldn't want to sit for the CPA exam during law school though. My test session had a first time pass rate of 28 out of 600+ so regardless of the great debate whether the Bar is harder or the CPA exam, taking both at the same time would be miserable (at least I think it would).


That's a valid point. But you can take the exam in sections. You could do it during the summers.

First of all, almost EVERYONE takes the exam while working. Working 60 hours a week in Big Four often. Taking the exam without anything else in your life going on is the exception, not the norm.

That said, with Becker. you could definitely pass audit and BEC with 40 hours of study, and FAR and REG with 80 each. You can spread them out over two years. So during your breaks you could knock down a section here and there. Or when you're SA'ing or whatever. Most people have to take the exam while working, it's par for the course.

It seems really week to go get a useless degree that takes a year just for the privilege of taking an exam under optimal conditions. Normal people don't need to do that. And again, you aren't a CPA until after WE anyway. WE "of a public accounting nature." A lot of law WE won't count to the requirement. CPA's aren't even remotely intended for law professionals. It's for auditors and preparers.


I am aware of all of this. The MAcc students at my school can pretty much pick which Big 4 firm, what position, and which office they want to work in because they all pass the exam before working, making them more productive workers once they're there. From what I've heard (clearly not because I am in a position to make this judgement), public accounting firms often struggle getting employees to study for the exam once they get out of school.

You have to pass all the sections within 18 months of one another. Also, at least in my state, once you pass the exam it doesn't matter when the WE occurs. If I never become a CPA because I'm doing well working wherever I end up, then that's fine by me because I clearly don't need it.

(Oh, and for what it's worth... the other factor in my equation is that I redshirted my freshman year, so I had the additional year of eligibility. But that's probably not a common issue for most people thinking about this.)



Are you at michshitgan, usc or texas for your macc degree?

THere is definately less risk involved in doing accounting vs law. an Avg accountant will be a lot better than the avg lawyer. The avg lawyer will not get biglaw and will struggle for a 35k job + loans.

Thanks for the irrelevant post. No, I'm not at one of those schools. And I'm not trying to decide between accounting and law, OP is. I've made my decision to go into law and I'm comfortable with it.

I do agree that accounting is less risky, but it also has a lower ceiling. I prefer to set my goals high. That way even if I don't reach them, I'll still be successful.

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nealric
Posts: 2391
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

Re: Being a lawyer vs. being an accountant

Postby nealric » Sat Feb 19, 2011 2:04 pm

Which career pays more(I'd assume lawyer)-but by how much, and you have to go to school for longer. Basically, how would a career as an accountant compare to a career as a lawyer?


Lawyer = more downside risk, more upside potential.

It's a lot easier to get big4 than it is to get biglaw. But biglaw pays almost triple to start for often similar hours. Pay differences can get even bigger at the partner level.




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