CPA & JD

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Anonymous User
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CPA & JD

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:00 am

I will be interviewing with law firms next year and I have a CPA already and I was just trying to gauge the market for people who have both a CPA and a JD.

For those of you who have both would you say the CPA helps or it is an overrated factor?

Any thoughts are appreciated...

Thanks guys

Jessep
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Re: CPA & JD

Postby Jessep » Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:44 am

It helps most with tax work as long as you were a practicing CPA. A CPA designation without any work experience (I've heard of people doing it) is fairly meaningless. If you aren't trying to do tax work, then the general work experience could be a boost depending on what you did, but the CPA designation itself won't mean much.
Last edited by Jessep on Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

jarofsoup
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Re: CPA & JD

Postby jarofsoup » Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:57 am

I think it would be useful. I interviewed at a law firm that did IP work and they did a lot of auditing and following money to build their cases. I am not a number person so this hurt me. (legal assistant position)

I am sure that there are other fields of law where it can be useful too.

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jaudette
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Re: CPA & JD

Postby jaudette » Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:30 am

Definitely helpful if you want to go into tax or do consulting work at the Big 4, although I'm not sure if having your CPA would be much more helpful than just having an accounting degree for these purposes.

Beantown26
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Re: CPA & JD

Postby Beantown26 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:09 am

I am actually interested in this question as well...anyone who has a CPA and JD can they speak to their specific situations...how it has helped, what interviewers say about it etc...

Thanks!

Anonymous User
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Re: CPA & JD

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I will be interviewing with law firms next year and I have a CPA already and I was just trying to gauge the market for people who have both a CPA and a JD.

For those of you who have both would you say the CPA helps or it is an overrated factor?

Any thoughts are appreciated...

Thanks guys


I was an accounting major that never completed my CPA (I need, I think, 3 more credits). Through nearly 30 screening interviews and a few callbacks, nearly every interviewer has asked me about completing the CPA and recommended that I do so. Pretty much all of them seemed to think it would be very beneficial, particularly if I pursued tax or corporate law. Purely anecdotal, of course, but I was surprised by the overwhelming number of interviewing attorneys and partners who highly recommended that I complete my CPA.

Or that might just have been their subtle way of telling me I'm not qualified enough for the job and that I should do more to enhance my resume...

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nealric
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Re: CPA & JD

Postby nealric » Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:02 pm

As someone doing tax, I honestly don't see a CPA as that useful for doing biglaw type tax law work. It would be much more valuable for a small firm or estate planning type practice.

Anonymous User
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Re: CPA & JD

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:53 pm

Estate tax practices are dead, with the estate tax cuts extended there are 6000 households in the US that need their estate tax returns prepared. Others are exempt.

cchen815
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Re: CPA & JD

Postby cchen815 » Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:48 pm

I have a CPA & JD and worked at PwC for three years in international tax and go to a top 20 school with good grades...I haven't gotten much out of it ..but then again i haven't tried very hard (yet) or maybe im not marketing myself very well or there are other factors....so im not sure...one CSO advisor suggested I put CPA toward the bottom of my resume unless it's for tax (and maybe corporate) law beacuse ppl might wonder why you made the switch...

theantiscalia
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Re: CPA & JD

Postby theantiscalia » Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:56 pm

cchen815 wrote:I have a CPA & JD and worked at PwC for three years in international tax and go to a top 20 school with good grades...I haven't gotten much out of it ..but then again i haven't tried very hard (yet) or maybe im not marketing myself very well or there are other factors....so im not sure...one CSO advisor suggested I put CPA toward the bottom of my resume unless it's for tax (and maybe corporate) law beacuse ppl might wonder why you made the switch...


Have had the opposite experience, actually. I landed several firm interviews that I probably wouldn't have gotten if I wasn't a CPA. (FWIW, I haven't gotten an offer from any of them yet. I'm still waiting.)

Judges (much to my surprise) also seemed to love it. I doubt they actually care that much about accounting (although one of the 8th Circuit Judges is a CPA), but I think they see it as a halmark of professionalism.

And a lot of information on this board has indicated it helped quite a bit at OCI. (I'm a 1L, so I don't know.)

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crazycanuck
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Re: CPA & JD

Postby crazycanuck » Sat Feb 19, 2011 2:19 am

If it's a big 4 work experience (or some sort of substantial work experience), and if you pass the threshold for grades, it will be a substantial boost.

Come on guys, it's not like recruiters look down the list and pluck the highest GPAs. Most firms have a grade threshold and if you pass it, you get the interview and then it comes down to your sell skills and luck. Substantial work experience is a great seller.

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nealric
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Re: CPA & JD

Postby nealric » Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:14 am

Have had the opposite experience, actually. I landed several firm interviews that I probably wouldn't have gotten if I wasn't a CPA. (FWIW, I haven't gotten an offer from any of them yet. I'm still waiting.)


Any boost you get is most likely going to be from general work experience. If a client calls up with a legal issue and an accounting problem comes up, the partner isn't going to tell them (s)he's giving it to some first year associate. The client can get PWC to do it cheaper anyways.

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holdencaulfield
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Re: CPA & JD

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

Anonymous User wrote:Estate tax practices are dead, with the estate tax cuts extended there are 6000 households in the US that need their estate tax returns prepared. Others are exempt.



= incorrect conclusion drawn from one correct fact.




To OP's question: In my experiences, which only involves mid & boutique firms, having a CPA is big plus. Personally, I think understanding the tax implications of business transactions (be it a merger, purchase, acquisition, etc.) is pretty important.

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nealric
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Re: CPA & JD

Postby nealric » Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:37 am

Estate tax practices are dead, with the estate tax cuts extended there are 6000 households in the US that need their estate tax returns prepared. Others are exempt.


Estate planning isn't just estate taxes.

Personally, I think understanding the tax implications of business transactions (be it a merger, purchase, acquisition, etc.) is pretty important.


A CPA won't necessarily help with that. In fact, there were several CPAs in my M&A tax LLM classes who were learning that stuff for the first time. RE small/mid vs. big firms: one possible reason for the disparity is the size of clients. A law firm simply does not have the resources to tackle the accounting issues of a F500 client- and the F500 have plenty of accountants anyways- so a biglaw firm will never come across an accounting issue. At most, it will be a legal issue related to accounting. However, a small or midsize firm may have clients for whom a CPA or two on staff could be helpful. I suppose there is some marketing benefit for CPAs in biglaw, but very few biglaw tax people are CPAs.

Anonymous User
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Re: CPA & JD

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:28 pm

I attend a T10 (not sure if it makes a difference, but I feel better about myself. :D )

MSAccounting, CPA and experience was of interest to regional law firms -- they seemed to love the combination. I think a few job offers were helped by the background.

Most BIGLAW interviewers glossed over the credentials. Very few even asked more than a couple questions about the CPA. I don't think job offers were helped by the background.

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HarlandBassett
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Re: CPA & JD

Postby HarlandBassett » Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:53 am

Anonymous User wrote:I attend a T10 (not sure if it makes a difference, but I feel better about myself. :D )

MSAccounting, CPA and experience was of interest to regional law firms -- they seemed to love the combination. I think a few job offers were helped by the background.

Most BIGLAW interviewers glossed over the credentials. Very few even asked more than a couple questions about the CPA. I don't think job offers were helped by the background.

were u going for biglaw tax?




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