Anyone have a CPA and law degree? Employment options?

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Cory045
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:42 pm

Anyone have a CPA and law degree? Employment options?

Postby Cory045 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:57 am

I am currently a a senior accounting major and was wondering if it is common or helpful for someone to have both their cpa and law degree. I am currently interning at one of the big four accounting firms and they seem to hirejds for their mergers and transactions department as well as their tax department.

LawIdiot86
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Re: Anyone have a CPA and law degree? Employment options?

Postby LawIdiot86 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:14 pm

Wrong forum, but ok. I would say that fewer then 1/100 law students are CPAs, probably closer to 1/200. If you want to do tax law, it's a great thing as you can probably avoid having to get a tax LL.M. If you are already at a big four firm and like what they do, stay there. The odds of getting into a top law school and then getting into a firm that services the same caliber of clients as a big four firm are vanishingly slim, especially if you want to do M&A work.

Anonymous User
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Re: Anyone have a CPA and law degree? Employment options?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:33 pm

You don't need to get a Tax LLM to practice tax law...just so OP doesn't misunderstand your reply

LawIdiot86
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Re: Anyone have a CPA and law degree? Employment options?

Postby LawIdiot86 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:You don't need to get a Tax LLM to practice tax law...just so OP doesn't misunderstand your reply

Oh yeah, you don't need one, but if you need to polish a lower tier diploma, a tax LLM is one of the few ways you can get a second bite at the apple that actually works (if you go to NYU/GULC/FL for it).

de5igual
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Re: Anyone have a CPA and law degree? Employment options?

Postby de5igual » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:24 pm

The CPA itself doesn't matter as much as the work experience at the Big4. In every interview, my work experience became the focus of almost the entire interview.

Cory045
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:42 pm

Re: Anyone have a CPA and law degree? Employment options?

Postby Cory045 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:38 pm

I have talked to them about going to law school and they are open to the idea of me coming back the next spring while i'm in law school on a limited basis (not the 25-30 hours i'm doing right now). This is contingent upon me staying in the city of pittsburgh, which really only leaves pitt law as an option if I want to stay on with them. I have connections with the other firms as well and have talked to them about law school and they have said to wait til I'm done with my first or second year and then contact them. I definitely want to focus on tax or M&A work though.

LawIdiot86
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Re: Anyone have a CPA and law degree? Employment options?

Postby LawIdiot86 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:51 pm

Cory045 wrote:I have talked to them about going to law school and they are open to the idea of me coming back the next spring while i'm in law school on a limited basis (not the 25-30 hours i'm doing right now). This is contingent upon me staying in the city of pittsburgh, which really only leaves pitt law as an option if I want to stay on with them. I have connections with the other firms as well and have talked to them about law school and they have said to wait til I'm done with my first or second year and then contact them. I definitely want to focus on tax or M&A work though.

Other accounting firms or law firms? Also, your CPA will line up perfectly for tax at a firm, but M&A depts will ask why you aren't doing tax since you earned a CPA. In my experience, they found finance a better fit than accounting and said as much in interviews. If you want to leave a door open to M&A, I would not work for an accounting firm during law school; it makes you look disloyal to the law firm side of things. By all means if you get into a T14 take it over Pitt regardless of the money you could earn at Pitt.

2LLLL
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Re: Anyone have a CPA and law degree? Employment options?

Postby 2LLLL » Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:46 pm

My experience is that 2Ls with a CPA generally outperform other 2Ls at OCI, especially if combined with a focus on transactional work.

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Antilles Haven
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Re: Anyone have a CPA and law degree? Employment options?

Postby Antilles Haven » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:37 pm

f0bolous wrote:The CPA itself doesn't matter as much as the work experience at the Big4. In every interview, my work experience became the focus of almost the entire interview.

And as a corollary, an LLM in tax will help your job prospects in tax law (in law or accounting firms) significantly more than a CPA without experience will.

Anonymous User
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Re: Anyone have a CPA and law degree? Employment options?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:17 pm

I'm hoping that my CPA + Big4 experience will help, whether it does or not remains to be seen.

3L Student
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Re: Anyone have a CPA and law degree? Employment options?

Postby 3L Student » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:12 pm

Being familiar with accounting will be a nice benefit with corporate practices. A few of the corporate positions that I interviewed with were very interested in any familiarity that I had with accounting/financial statements. It would be especially advantageous for a securities (capital markets) corporate practice or a securities litigation practice (and obviously tax).




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