Which is more significant WE? Teach for America or Big 4

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tourist
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Which is more significant WE? Teach for America or Big 4

Postby tourist » Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:05 pm

Please let me make a disclaimer before I go any further. I am NOT making a decision based purely on future employment prospects, I am just musing which would be optimal for employment after law school.

To give some background on myself, I am an accounting & finance major at a flagship state university in the Northeast. I decided about a year ago that I was interested practicing corporate law and attending law school, but I wanted to work first before entering. I still have yet to take the LSAT.

I currently have two offers, TFA in a small city and a return offer from a summer internship from a Big 4 in NYC. Which would be more helpful and more relevant to corporate law? If I work at a Big 4 I intend to work for two years and obtain a CPA.

Thanks,

Mal Reynolds
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Re: Which is more significant WE? Teach for America or Big 4

Postby Mal Reynolds » Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:11 pm

A higher LSAT score is more significant. So pick whatever work makes you happiest and then get a very good score on your LSAT. Neither of those jobs will get you in to a law school without a high LSAT score.

There is some anecdotal evidence that having some business experience can help in biglaw interviews but not as much as high grades in school and a high LSAT score to get into a good school.

Anonymous User
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Re: Which is more significant WE? Teach for America or Big 4

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:14 pm

My Opinion:

TFA = better soft for getting in law schools (some law schools eat this up). Some schools even automatically give you a scholarship if you are TFA (like 1/2 tuition), presuming you are admitted.

Big 4 = will probably give you a little bit better boost for the corporate law firms, particularly the big NYC ones.


Answer:
-If gunning for a top law school, like HYS, TFA might be worth it. If not (or don't think you'd have the stats anyways), then do Big 4 to get some WE you can sell in interviews and make some $$. Really depends on your unique situation.

Anonymous User
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Re: Which is more significant WE? Teach for America or Big 4

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:20 pm

At a T-14 now and did Big 4 before. I've seen TFA help my classmates immensely more than Big 4 did for me or the other two accountants I know at law school. Being an accountant turned into a liability in a number of interviews that went "so why don't you want to go back to your firm" and almost no lawyers considered it as big of a plus factor as science or econ. Maybe if you know you want to commit to tax law, but I really think TFA helps more.

tourist
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Re: Which is more significant WE? Teach for America or Big 4

Postby tourist » Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:25 pm

Thanks everybody so far.

@Mal Reynolds: I am well aware that a higher LSAT is more significant. My query is when you are in law school already and looking for a job which will be more helpful.

@Anon: Thanks for that. I was concerned that it maybe a liability in interviews and would spend time defending my position.

I have a 3.96 GPA so I am hoping for a 168+ LSAT score.

Anonymous User
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Re: Which is more significant WE? Teach for America or Big 4

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:26 pm

tourist wrote:Please let me make a disclaimer before I go any further. I am NOT making a decision based purely on future employment prospects, I am just musing which would be optimal for employment after law school.

To give some background on myself, I am an accounting & finance major at a flagship state university in the Northeast. I decided about a year ago that I was interested practicing corporate law and attending law school, but I wanted to work first before entering. I still have yet to take the LSAT.

I currently have two offers, TFA in a small city and a return offer from a summer internship from a Big 4 in NYC. Which would be more helpful and more relevant to corporate law? If I work at a Big 4 I intend to work for two years and obtain a CPA.

Thanks,


I have two friends, one who did TFA, the other who worked for PWC. Identical grades, same journal. Both are great guys. Both wanted to do biglaw.

TFA Guy - 0 CBs, 0 offers
PWC Guy - 10+ CBs, ~7 offers

Of course your results may vary....

Anonymous User
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Re: Which is more significant WE? Teach for America or Big 4

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:41 pm

I spent 4+ years as an accountant in the big 4 and in private practice (focusing on asset management - PE and hedge funds). I got a lot of questions about why I chose to go to law school after so many years of practice, but I was able to speak about investment contracts, seeing how deals were structured, understanding how a fund works, etc. - areas that other law students have little experience in, and that helped set me apart. For me, the CPA/accounting experience wasn't seen as a liability at all.
I'm at a T14 in NYC, probably in the bottom half of my class. I definitely outperformed my peers with similar grades during the interview period for 2L summer, and I think that is because a lot of firms looked past my Bs and really liked my work experience (especially firms that do a lot of work with asset management clients).
It also gives you the opportunity to go back to the big 4 eventually and do transaction or tax work (which has a little better work-life balance), or go to a financial firm and serve in a compliance type role if it turns out law firm work isn't your cup of tea.
If you're only going to spend 2 years, TFA might be a good idea (I don't know anyone who did TFA so I can't speak to that).
If you're willing to stay at an accounting firm a few more years (3+ years), the CPA will help you immensely, as will the industry experience you get. I guess it all comes down to how long you are willing to work before going to school.

lawschoolgrapedme
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Re: Which is more significant WE? Teach for America or Big 4

Postby lawschoolgrapedme » Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:03 pm

Not Big 4, but used to work in banking:

TFA will help you more in being accepted to law school as a soft.

Big 4 will help you more in terms of finding a job during 2L OCI, especially for corporate.

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Cade McNown
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Re: Which is more significant WE? Teach for America or Big 4

Postby Cade McNown » Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
tourist wrote:Please let me make a disclaimer before I go any further. I am NOT making a decision based purely on future employment prospects, I am just musing which would be optimal for employment after law school.

To give some background on myself, I am an accounting & finance major at a flagship state university in the Northeast. I decided about a year ago that I was interested practicing corporate law and attending law school, but I wanted to work first before entering. I still have yet to take the LSAT.

I currently have two offers, TFA in a small city and a return offer from a summer internship from a Big 4 in NYC. Which would be more helpful and more relevant to corporate law? If I work at a Big 4 I intend to work for two years and obtain a CPA.

Thanks,


I have two friends, one who did TFA, the other who worked for PWC. Identical grades, same journal. Both are great guys. Both wanted to do biglaw.

TFA Guy - 0 CBs, 0 offers
PWC Guy - 10+ CBs, ~7 offers

Of course your results may vary....


Not to mention a Big 4 will pay more than TFA, which will matter to you when paying for law school.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Which is more significant WE? Teach for America or Big 4

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:13 pm

In your calculus here, I would keep in mind that TFA is a brutally difficult experience and that, you know, you shouldn't obligate yourself to be a fucking teacher for two years unless benefiting your students is one of your main goals.

This post smacks of "the only reason I'd do TFA is for the resume line." That's a horrible, HORRIBLE reason for you to do TFA, for more reasons than I can count.

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IAFG
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Re: Which is more significant WE? Teach for America or Big 4

Postby IAFG » Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:At a T-14 now and did Big 4 before. I've seen TFA help my classmates immensely more than Big 4 did for me or the other two accountants I know at law school. Being an accountant turned into a liability in a number of interviews that went "so why don't you want to go back to your firm" and almost no lawyers considered it as big of a plus factor as science or econ. Maybe if you know you want to commit to tax law, but I really think TFA helps more.

I mean have a good answer and it should only help you. I find what you're saying odd and inconsistent with what I saw.

I say Big 4, and it's not even close.

tourist
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Re: Which is more significant WE? Teach for America or Big 4

Postby tourist » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:11 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:In your calculus here, I would keep in mind that TFA is a brutally difficult experience and that, you know, you shouldn't obligate yourself to be a fucking teacher for two years unless benefiting your students is one of your main goals.

This post smacks of "the only reason I'd do TFA is for the resume line." That's a horrible, HORRIBLE reason for you to do TFA, for more reasons than I can count.


Please note my disclaimer. I am actually interested in teaching, I have experience as a TA as well as a tutor, TFA was actually recommended to me. I get very passionate about helping others, so I really would want to help students. This is what is making my decision very difficult. However, I created this thread to get an understanding of which is better for future employment opportunities.

On the contrary, I will be making less than half of which I would at a Big 4, and I fear it will be a much more grueling experience which will make preparing for LSATs more difficult.

I must state again that I am NOT interested in doing TFA for pure resume purposes.

Thank you for all the responses so far. It seems that the general consensus from a pure exit opps standpoint, Big4 would be better for BigLaw.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Which is more significant WE? Teach for America or Big 4

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:57 pm

0Ls belong in 0L forums.




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