JD + CPA

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.

Get CPA?

Suck it up and get it
17
55%
Not even worth your time
14
45%
 
Total votes: 31

fetalposition
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:16 am

JD + CPA

Postby fetalposition » Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:58 pm

I live in a state that allows you to obtain your CPA (non-reporting) without any actual accounting work experience as long as you have a graduate degree in law or business (which I will after law school). So here are my options...

On one hand, I could get my CPA relatively easily (simply by passing the test and graduating law school) which would allow me to put "CPA" on my resume and differentiate myself from other job applicants. I definitely want to go into private practice, and possibly even tax law.

On the other hand, getting my CPA would require me to spend over $1,000 and the better part of the next 18 months (mostly during summers) studying for the CPA exam. Also, I would have literally NO accounting work experience to back up my CPA; it would merely look good on a resume. Most concerning, I would only become a CPA AFTER I graduate from LS, so I couldn't even put it on my resume for OCI... although I could put "will be CPA at graduation."

Should I just suck it up and get the CPA since I have nothing better to do? Or is it not even worth it?

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

Re: JD + CPA

Postby nealric » Sun Mar 20, 2011 4:05 pm

I don't think you could put "CPA at Graduation" because you don't know if you will pass the CPA exam. You would have to put something like "working towards CPA". Not sure if that would really give you an OCI boost. The tax jobs you really want are the ones you get through OCI- not after graduation.

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

Re: JD + CPA

Postby birdlaw117 » Sun Mar 20, 2011 4:12 pm

nealric wrote:I don't think you could put "CPA at Graduation" because you don't know if you will pass the CPA exam. You would have to put something like "working towards CPA". Not sure if that would really give you an OCI boost. The tax jobs you really want are the ones you get through OCI- not after graduation.

OP could put "CPA at Graduation" if he passes the exam prior to law school and just waits for the law degree to be the last requirement met.

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

Re: JD + CPA

Postby nealric » Sun Mar 20, 2011 4:17 pm

OP could put "CPA at Graduation" if he passes the exam prior to law school and just waits for the law degree to be the last requirement met.


Sure, but that's not what the OP is planning on doing.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273254
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: JD + CPA

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:34 pm

I know a guy who did this and he said it helped him go from a random V100 to a V5 in 3L OCI (in tax of course). But I think he said he already had a CPA -- although he definitely didn't have work experience.

User avatar
DrackedaryMaster
Posts: 181
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:11 pm

Re: JD + CPA

Postby DrackedaryMaster » Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:08 pm

OP, are we talking about MA? If so, unless you plan on staying in MA, it isn't worth it. Although their state regs say that the non-reporting stipulation on the license isn't indicated on the Certificate, it is something you would still have to disclose if you were trying to go to another state. And despite what I've seen in the Uniform Accounting Code, it still seems too much of a pain in the rear to gain reciprocity in another state. I thought about going through MA for awhile, but I really wanted the designation in FL, and we have some of the most screwed requirements since last year's update to state law. For example, in FL, if you sit and pass the CPA exam but don't have the required experience within two years, they'll expire your CPA grades which is totally BS if someone can't find a job or doesn't want to take a pay cut for public accounting experience. Additionally, if you sit for the exam and pass in another state but don't have the required number of accounting credits that FL requires to sit, they won't recognize the grades.

Sorry for getting on the rant, but the whole CPA reciprocity BS gets me fired up. My advice is to get the JD and ignore the CPA.

LoyalRebel
Posts: 193
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:20 pm

Re: JD + CPA

Postby LoyalRebel » Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:58 pm

Note that keeping your CPA involves 30ish (if I recall correctly) CPE credits per year, which are continuing education hours. This can be a big pain in the ass.

fetalposition
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:16 am

Re: JD + CPA

Postby fetalposition » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:08 am

DrackedaryMaster wrote:OP, are we talking about MA? If so, unless you plan on staying in MA, it isn't worth it. Although their state regs say that the non-reporting stipulation on the license isn't indicated on the Certificate, it is something you would still have to disclose if you were trying to go to another state. And despite what I've seen in the Uniform Accounting Code, it still seems too much of a pain in the rear to gain reciprocity in another state. I thought about going through MA for awhile, but I really wanted the designation in FL, and we have some of the most screwed requirements since last year's update to state law. For example, in FL, if you sit and pass the CPA exam but don't have the required experience within two years, they'll expire your CPA grades which is totally BS if someone can't find a job or doesn't want to take a pay cut for public accounting experience. Additionally, if you sit for the exam and pass in another state but don't have the required number of accounting credits that FL requires to sit, they won't recognize the grades.

Sorry for getting on the rant, but the whole CPA reciprocity BS gets me fired up. My advice is to get the JD and ignore the CPA.


The rant is fine; it was actually quite helpful. Yes, I am talking about Massachusetts and I do plan on being there for awhile. And to answer some previous questions: Yes, I will have PASSED the exam before OCI & graduation, but I will not be fully certified because I would not physically have my JD yet--thus, I could still write "will be CPA upon graduation," or something to that effect.

Also, in regards to continuing education, I really don't care about that. Literally the ONLY reason I would take the exam is to give myself a boost at OCI & interviews. Once I have a job, the thing can expire the day after for all I care.

fetalposition
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:16 am

Re: JD + CPA

Postby fetalposition » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:14 am

nealric wrote:
OP could put "CPA at Graduation" if he passes the exam prior to law school and just waits for the law degree to be the last requirement met.


Sure, but that's not what the OP is planning on doing.


just to clarify, that's actually exactly what I plan on doing

User avatar
taxnstuff
Posts: 134
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:39 am

Re: JD + CPA

Postby taxnstuff » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:28 am

fetalposition wrote:On one hand, I could get my CPA relatively easily (simply by passing the test and graduating law school)


I don't know how familiar you are with the test but I would advise you not to underestimate the difficulty of the exam(s). The format just changed in January and the responses I've gotten from people have not been positive.

fetalposition
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:16 am

Re: JD + CPA

Postby fetalposition » Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:43 pm

taxnstuff wrote:
fetalposition wrote:On one hand, I could get my CPA relatively easily (simply by passing the test and graduating law school)


I don't know how familiar you are with the test but I would advise you not to underestimate the difficulty of the exam(s). The format just changed in January and the responses I've gotten from people have not been positive.


I'm very familiar with the exam, and I currently have $1,000 worth of Becker prep materials sitting in my apartment (though they belong to my roommate). By "simply passing the test," I didn't mean to imply the test itself is simple (I too have heard the new format is a bitch); all I meant to say is that passing the test and graduating law school are the only things I would need for a CPA, which is a pretty straightforward process.

dark
Posts: 70
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 11:21 pm

Re: JD + CPA

Postby dark » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:28 pm

Do you have your heart set on a legal career? Or would you be interested in options with an accounting firm?

I was talking to a 1970s alumnus of my law school recently. Right out of law school he used his CPA (certified pre law school) to snag a job with an accounting firm, from there he went on to do auditing, and since then has moved around as CFO for a number of prominent corporations. He said his legal education helps him in his job every day and the JD credential helped him climb the corporate ladder, but he was never ever a practicing lawyer.

kublaikahn
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:47 am

Re: JD + CPA

Postby kublaikahn » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:32 pm

You should definitely do it. And you can gain some experience 3L working part time or doing provisional tax returns for small businesses around your school.

What state are you in?

fetalposition
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:16 am

Re: JD + CPA

Postby fetalposition » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:36 pm

I'm in Massachusetts. I think it will definitely add some cache to my resume; really the main thing stopping me is senioritis along with the desire to spend the entirety of this summer on the beach.

fjsms
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:34 pm

Re: JD + CPA

Postby fjsms » Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:30 pm

Chiming in late here, but be careful how you word this on your resume. States are cracking down on the use of "CPA" without being licensed. Maybe "Passed all parts of CPA exam. Completing education requirement." or something like that. Also, agree with the prior comment about having difficulty gaining reciprocity if you move to another state with experience requirements. Good luck with the exam- it's brutal!

User avatar
crazycanuck
Posts: 3041
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:04 pm

Re: JD + CPA

Postby crazycanuck » Sat Apr 02, 2011 10:52 pm

Wait you can become a licensed CPA without any actual audit/tax/relevant hours?

Jesus christ that's fucked up.

User avatar
ntugwater
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:37 am

Re: JD + CPA

Postby ntugwater » Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:39 am

it's not going to hurt... if it wont make you miserable, I'd do it.

LoyalRebel
Posts: 193
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:20 pm

Re: JD + CPA

Postby LoyalRebel » Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:57 am

crazycanuck wrote:Wait you can become a licensed CPA without any actual audit/tax/relevant hours?

Jesus christ that's fucked up.


As an Accounting major, I can say that if you have only taken basic accounting classes then there is absolutely no way you can pass that exam unless you're in maybe the top 1% of people, and even then it would take months of studying. It's a very rigorous test with a lower pass rate than the bar exam.

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

Re: JD + CPA

Postby birdlaw117 » Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:48 pm

LoyalRebel wrote:
crazycanuck wrote:Wait you can become a licensed CPA without any actual audit/tax/relevant hours?

Jesus christ that's fucked up.


As an Accounting major, I can say that if you have only taken basic accounting classes then there is absolutely no way you can pass that exam unless you're in maybe the top 1% of people, and even then it would take months of studying. It's a very rigorous test with a lower pass rate than the bar exam.

I think this is a bit of an exaggeration. It definitely takes months of studying. But if you understand accounting well you'll be fine. My school has a first time pass rate over 50% (passing all 4 sections). That's for people without WE beyond internships. I have limited internship experience and I'm not very concerned about passing the exam this May.

Edit: I should add that I am far from top 1%.

LoyalRebel
Posts: 193
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:20 pm

Re: JD + CPA

Postby LoyalRebel » Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:52 pm

birdlaw117 wrote:
LoyalRebel wrote:
crazycanuck wrote:Wait you can become a licensed CPA without any actual audit/tax/relevant hours?

Jesus christ that's fucked up.


As an Accounting major, I can say that if you have only taken basic accounting classes then there is absolutely no way you can pass that exam unless you're in maybe the top 1% of people, and even then it would take months of studying. It's a very rigorous test with a lower pass rate than the bar exam.

I think this is a bit of an exaggeration. It definitely takes months of studying. But if you understand accounting well you'll be fine. My school has a first time pass rate over 50% (passing all 4 sections). That's for people without WE beyond internships. I have limited internship experience and I'm not very concerned about passing the exam this May.

Edit: I should add that I am far from top 1%.


I'm not talking about work experience, I'm talking about classes. Op's state requires only a business or law degree, neither of which necessarily requires advanced accounting classes (although they could be incorporated into the curriculum).

My point was that without those advanced accounting classes, it would be extremely difficult to pass the exam in the first place.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.