combining CPA and JD

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wbsgn12
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:55 pm

combining CPA and JD

Postby wbsgn12 » Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:56 pm

I'm a college student (going to be a senior this fall) and a political science/history double major. I am very entrepreneurial, and looking to make a career decision that will let me maximize salary and personal time. I grew up a huge Notre Dame fan, and went thru the last several years of college obsessed with getting into ND Law school and becoming a lawyer. I have wised up over the last few months, however. I think I would have a decent chance at getting into NDLS, but I would certainly come out laden with debt and most likely wouldn't be landing a BigLaw gig...And I am not going to be some JC Penny suit wearing ambulance chaser, or working at some shitty law firm defending companies in slip and fall suits for the rest of my life.

So i am thinking that getting a CPA is the way to go at this point. Ill probably take some prerequisite classes next year, and enroll in a MAcc program (I like the idea of UVA, from Pennsylvania). Afterwards, I would try and do Big4 accounting for 2-3 years.

What does everyone think about getting a JD at this point? Having a JD/CPA I would assume would open up some serious job prospects? Could I open up my own firm and fly solo? What are some of the opportunities with this type of resume? Can a lot of money be made as a consultant? general counsel? Give me any advice on what type of paths I can follow with a JD/CPA and the corresponding compensation. I appreciate everyone's input...

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pkrtbx
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:11 am

Re: combining CPA and JD

Postby pkrtbx » Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:43 pm

I don't think there are many jobs you can get as a JD/CPA that you can't get without it. If you really want GC, then practice law. If you really want CFO, you probably should work in finance or accounting rather than practicing law. That isn't to say lawyers never become CFOs or that CPAs never become GCs, they do, but at that level it has everything to do with their relationships and professional accomplishments and nearly nothing to do with their degrees. Why choose the more roundabout path?

The only caveat to that would be if you are specifically interested in tax; some Big4 experience followed by a JD/LLM seems to be highly valued. But then again, a CPA is only going to carry so much weight on the legal side of things, and the time invested to get it represents a considerable opportunity cost as well.

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NZA
Posts: 1285
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: combining CPA and JD

Postby NZA » Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:44 pm

Definitely could help with tax.

wbsgn12
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:55 pm

Re: combining CPA and JD

Postby wbsgn12 » Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:33 pm

Let me rephrase the question: Would I be able to combine both specialties as a solo practitioner? Obviously it is predicated to a degree on my ability to bring in business, but can I combine general accounting offerings, general legal offerings, and the accounting/legal offerings from my expertise as a JD/CPA into a trio of effective tools to bill enough hours to make a pretty good living ($250k)? Or am I just being naive?




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