Thoughts about attending law school

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goingconcern202
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Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:31 pm

Thoughts about attending law school

Postby goingconcern202 » Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:45 pm

Hi everyone,

I am new to this forum. I just have some quick thoughts about attending law school, and wanted to know what you guys think. I've currently been out of school for 3 years, and I am a CPA w a big 4 accounting firm. I specialize in tax and work mostly with partnerships and federal stuff, but I've thought about the idea of going to law school. I debated about it back in college, but figured I'd get some work experience under my belt to decide what I really wanted to do.

I only want to go if I could get into a T20 (or prefer T14) school, but even if that happens, do you think it'd be worth it for someone in my situation? I currently make 60-70k a year, and have a lot of career growth prospects. Given the nature of public accounting, however, I don't really expect to break six figures for another 4-5 years. (Most accountants stop at 80-90k, even in industry, until you make sr manager..esp in this economy). With tax, however, I work regularly with attorneys. Its a natural progression I feel to progress onto more of the tax planning aspect. You can do this without a JD, but it really helps (at least from my perspective) to be able to construct contracts as well and being able to understand the accounting with it for some complex tax structures. My big hesitation is that law school is clearly not worth it outside of the top 25, and even in that case, the T14....but when you look at T14 tuition, you're easily looking at 50k a year w COL. Prorated out, this is roughly a 150k expense, with around 160k (after tax) of prospective lost wages...so i'm looking at a 300k decision. Given the risk involved, it seems clear that its either T14 or bust.

In any event, I look at work from the perspective that work is work, and not doing something because its something I 'enjoy'; but, accounting is fairly mind-numbing, and I think law (even tax law), would be more stimulating.

Thoughts?

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

Re: Thoughts about attending law school

Postby nealric » Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:56 pm

I recently completed my JD and will be completing my LLM in tax this December. I enjoy tax law, and I don't particularly care for accounting- I do feel the legal aspects are quite a bit more interesting.

I would tend to agree that it should be T14 or bust for you (ideally T6). With your current career, it should really be biglaw or bust. It wouldn't make any sense to get a JD only to right back to an accounting firm. Only the T14 really makes the biglaw gamble potentially worthwhile.

Feel free to PM me if you have any more specific questions.

whymeohgodno
Posts: 2508
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:15 pm

Re: Thoughts about attending law school

Postby whymeohgodno » Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:58 pm

What's your GPA?

Are you a URM?

Practice LSAT score?

goingconcern202
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:31 pm

Re: Thoughts about attending law school

Postby goingconcern202 » Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:04 pm

GPA - 3.7 from generic top 50 ugrad.

Practice LSAT; varies 167-171. Looking at figures, if I could get into a T14, it'd most likely be towards the bottom half (Cornell, G'town, NW etc). What would the prospects of me getting into biglaw from those places? Would I still have to be top 20% in my class?

Non-URM

whymeohgodno
Posts: 2508
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:15 pm

Re: Thoughts about attending law school

Postby whymeohgodno » Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:05 pm

goingconcern202 wrote:GPA - 3.7 from generic top 50 ugrad.

Practice LSAT; varies 167-171. Looking at figures, if I could get into a T14, it'd most likely be towards the bottom half (Cornell, G'town, NW etc). What would the prospects of me getting into biglaw from those places? Would I still have to be top 20% in my class?

Non-URM


Around top 40%

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

Re: Thoughts about attending law school

Postby nealric » Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:54 pm

GPA - 3.7 from generic top 50 ugrad.

Practice LSAT; varies 167-171. Looking at figures, if I could get into a T14, it'd most likely be towards the bottom half (Cornell, G'town, NW etc). What would the prospects of me getting into biglaw from those places? Would I still have to be top 20% in my class?



If you can get in the 170s, you will get into at least one of the T14. But there is a big difference between a 167 and a 171. It's hard to really say until you have a real LSAT under your belt. P

The percentage of the class getting biglaw is highly dependent on the economy. In 2006, anybody not in the bottom quarter at GULC could get biglaw if they wanted it. This year, you really needed to be top 40% or so to have a shot, and even some top 1/3 people were shut out. Top 20% isn't even good enough for most places outside of the T17.

goingconcern202
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:31 pm

Re: Thoughts about attending law school

Postby goingconcern202 » Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:23 pm

I agree, my plan is to take the LSAT perhaps next summer or this feb and go from there. We'll see, if I could get a 170 or 171 etc., I'll look into it more. 167 wouldn't be worth it at this stage of the game.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Thoughts about attending law school

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:33 pm

With your background you'd probably do particularly well job-hunting. Having both a T14 degree and accounting WE would make you valuable in the corporate world. I'm not saying you could go to school and bomb your classes and still get an awesome job, but I am saying you have potential to do very well.

Focus on the LSAT, prep for it like it's your life, and once you have your score you have the luxury of applying next fall and being able to stay put if you don't get into a school worth attending.

Also... if you're at a big accounting firm, you're probably in a city that has PT law programs. Have you considered that? It might be worth it to get a law degree while you're in your current job (if you can juggle both), because then you have less debt and you could try to use your current job's legal connections to find a job.




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