Big Law & Big 4 Accounting Firms

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Anonymous User
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Big Law & Big 4 Accounting Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:47 pm

I am a 2L really wanted to get a job at a Big Law firm as I'm hoping to do mergers & acquisitions and tax law. Unfortunately, I was unable to get a job through OCI and sending my resume to the big firms.

I am wondering what types of jobs would make me a strong candidate to hopefully land a 3L position with one of these firms? Specifically, are positions at one of the big 4 accounting firms good jobs for that? Or is it difficult to transition from an accounting firm into a big law firm?

Thanks! And any other input or advice on getting a 3L job in Big Law for M&A/Tax would be appreciated!

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thesealocust
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Re: Big Law & Big 4 Accounting Firms

Postby thesealocust » Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am a 2L really wanted to get a job at a Big Law firm as I'm hoping to do mergers & acquisitions and tax law. Unfortunately, I was unable to get a job through OCI and sending my resume to the big firms.

I am wondering what types of jobs would make me a strong candidate to hopefully land a 3L position with one of these firms? Specifically, are positions at one of the big 4 accounting firms good jobs for that? Or is it difficult to transition from an accounting firm into a big law firm?

Thanks! And any other input or advice on getting a 3L job in Big Law for M&A/Tax would be appreciated!


That ship has sailed. There isn't really a reliable path into a big firm from here, only a combination of long shots and last chances.

You could try for a tax LLM, but hiring out of such programs is abysmal. Lateraling from a big 4 firm into biglaw probably isn't unheard of, but it's certainly not commmon and getting such a job in the first place will also be difficult ITE.

To quote the numbers again - last year roughly 80 big firm offers were made across the country for 3Ls. That compares with roughly 5,000 2L summer positions, and the most common 3L offer was for somebody who already did biglaw as a 2L and wanted to switch firms and/or regions, not for people who missed out the first time.

It's not impossible, but you won't find a good answer for how to do it... because it's close to impossible.

horseradish
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Re: Big Law & Big 4 Accounting Firms

Postby horseradish » Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:00 pm

I agree that it is certainly tough, but I do know people who got offers at 3L firms who did not have 2L summer associate positions. I don't know what school you are at or what your numbers are, but I would concentrate on getting your grades as high as you can and sending out mass emails come August/September of 3L year.

Also, if you are interested in Tax and M&A, there are groups in accounting firms that do this. They usually go by the acronym of TAS (transaction advisory services) or something along those lines. There are typically subgroups within the TAS groups, one of which is tax. These will not be easy to get, but its worth a shot.

As for what type of jobs would make you a strong candidate, I think a job an accounting Firm would be just as helpful as any other job (except for an SA at a big firm obviously).

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Re: Big Law & Big 4 Accounting Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am a 2L really wanted to get a job at a Big Law firm as I'm hoping to do mergers & acquisitions and tax law. Unfortunately, I was unable to get a job through OCI and sending my resume to the big firms.

I am wondering what types of jobs would make me a strong candidate to hopefully land a 3L position with one of these firms? Specifically, are positions at one of the big 4 accounting firms good jobs for that? Or is it difficult to transition from an accounting firm into a big law firm?

Thanks! And any other input or advice on getting a 3L job in Big Law for M&A/Tax would be appreciated!


I am a 1L and I have a similar background. Career services at my school told us not to worry about getting Big Law jobs if you have CPA + law degree. Your situation makes me nervous... Do you mind telling your school ranking/ grades?

I met several big law attorneys who are doing tax M&A. One of them worked at a big 4 after law school in the transactions/valuation group for 1 or 2 years before getting hired as an experienced associates. That could be an option. But I'm not sure how hard it is to get hired.

Murphy1022
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Re: Big Law & Big 4 Accounting Firms

Postby Murphy1022 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:45 am

How do firms in general view experience at accounting firms when conducting lateral hiring? Is it difficult to make the transition from accounting firms to law firms like it is from in-house positions? Or is experience at an accounting firm similar enough that law firms consider it valuable experience?

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Re: Big Law & Big 4 Accounting Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:02 pm

I am a 1L and I have a similar background. Career services at my school told us not to worry about getting Big Law jobs if you have CPA + law degree. Your situation makes me nervous... Do you mind telling your school ranking/ grades?

I met several big law attorneys who are doing tax M&A. One of them worked at a big 4 after law school in the transactions/valuation group for 1 or 2 years before getting hired as an experienced associates. That could be an option. But I'm not sure how hard it is to get hired.


This is not good advice from your career center. I have a CPA and while it was certainly helpful once I had the interview, it will not get you an interview if you don't have the grades. Saying you don't need to worry about getting BIG Law if you have a CPA is nonsense.

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Re: Big Law & Big 4 Accounting Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
I am a 1L and I have a similar background. Career services at my school told us not to worry about getting Big Law jobs if you have CPA + law degree. Your situation makes me nervous... Do you mind telling your school ranking/ grades?

I met several big law attorneys who are doing tax M&A. One of them worked at a big 4 after law school in the transactions/valuation group for 1 or 2 years before getting hired as an experienced associates. That could be an option. But I'm not sure how hard it is to get hired.


This is not good advice from your career center. I have a CPA and while it was certainly helpful once I had the interview, it will not get you an interview if you don't have the grades. Saying you don't need to worry about getting BIG Law if you have a CPA is nonsense.


+1. I have a CPA and experience at Big4 before law school, and grades trump all of that by a mile. People with no work experience whatsoever and better grades than me landed better jobs.

Re: lateral hiring. My friend is at a big4 with a jd, his input was that it is borderline impossible to lateral to a law firm from where he is at.

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Re: Big Law & Big 4 Accounting Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:58 pm

How useful have you two found having a CPA in the hiring process? Did it mean that they nudged you towards financial work?

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Re: Big Law & Big 4 Accounting Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How useful have you two found having a CPA in the hiring process? Did it mean that they nudged you towards financial work?


Once you hit the minimum for grades then they start looking at the other things on your resume. That being said, once I had the interview, people seemed to really like the CPA and Big 4 experience. It was definitely a major topic of conversation and I was told on many occassions that such experience would be very valuabe in X group.

As for nudging towards one group or another, not really. Big firms in NY are all involved in the financial sector. So even litigation people would say, well this will help you better understand what the underlying disputes are about. It would probably be less relevant in some specialist groups like labor or IP though.

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ManOfTheMinute
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Re: Big Law & Big 4 Accounting Firms

Postby ManOfTheMinute » Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:43 am

Hey, if either of you two CPAs could PM me that would be borderline amazing :)

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Re: Big Law & Big 4 Accounting Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
+1. I have a CPA and experience at Big4 before law school, and grades trump all of that by a mile. People with no work experience whatsoever and better grades than me landed better jobs.

Re: lateral hiring. My friend is at a big4 with a jd, his input was that it is borderline impossible to lateral to a law firm from where he is at.


What kind of grades do you need if you want to get in V50 in big market like NY or SF/SV with the Big 4 experience, or no one cares at all about your work experiences in V50?

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Re: Big Law & Big 4 Accounting Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
+1. I have a CPA and experience at Big4 before law school, and grades trump all of that by a mile. People with no work experience whatsoever and better grades than me landed better jobs.

Re: lateral hiring. My friend is at a big4 with a jd, his input was that it is borderline impossible to lateral to a law firm from where he is at.


What kind of grades do you need if you want to get in V50 in big market like NY or SF/SV with the Big 4 experience, or no one cares at all about your work experiences in V50?


My personal experience, I was bottom 1/3 at CCN, didn't get a V100, ended up with 2 NLJ250 offers in NY. I know a person from my class who was at the same callback as me at a V100 in NY, he had no work experience at all and got an offer, I got dinged. This was from a firm where I really felt like I nailed the callback. I got tons of positive feedback from multiple mock interviews (just saying that it wasn't due to my interview skills as much as people like to point to those first).

In NY, if you can get median at a CCN you're in good shape and competitive at tons of places. CA is a little tougher, not sure exact grades necessary but safe to say they want higher, they get to cherry-pick from piles of resumes.

As far as no one caring, I wouldn't say that, but just would say that I would have traded my CPA license and all my work experience for higher grades without a second thought. I sort of used my experience as my safety blanket going into all this mess, and honestly it sucks to say but from my personal experience it really is all about grades.

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Re: Big Law & Big 4 Accounting Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:18 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I am a 1L and I have a similar background. Career services at my school told us not to worry about getting Big Law jobs if you have CPA + law degree. Your situation makes me nervous... Do you mind telling your school ranking/ grades?

I met several big law attorneys who are doing tax M&A. One of them worked at a big 4 after law school in the transactions/valuation group for 1 or 2 years before getting hired as an experienced associates. That could be an option. But I'm not sure how hard it is to get hired.


This is not good advice from your career center. I have a CPA and while it was certainly helpful once I had the interview, it will not get you an interview if you don't have the grades. Saying you don't need to worry about getting BIG Law if you have a CPA is nonsense.


+1. I have a CPA and experience at Big4 before law school, and grades trump all of that by a mile. People with no work experience whatsoever and better grades than me landed better jobs.

Re: lateral hiring. My friend is at a big4 with a jd, his input was that it is borderline impossible to lateral to a law firm from where he is at.


About your friend, does he have a JD from a T-14? Also, what department was he in? Just curious.

Macalpinerules
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Re: Big Law & Big 4 Accounting Firms

Postby Macalpinerules » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:38 am

I see a couple of you in here have CPA certifications. How would you describe the market for CPAs? I'm gonna be graduating soon and I have to make the decision of staying another year to get 150 credits to sit for the exam or start prepping for the LSAT. I'm really on the fence about the CPA because I get mixed reviews from people how have them. So I like to get as much feedback as possible.

Sorry for hijacking TS. I hope you get whatever firm job your looking for.

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Re: Big Law & Big 4 Accounting Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:03 pm

Macalpinerules wrote:I see a couple of you in here have CPA certifications. How would you describe the market for CPAs? I'm gonna be graduating soon and I have to make the decision of staying another year to get 150 credits to sit for the exam or start prepping for the LSAT. I'm really on the fence about the CPA because I get mixed reviews from people how have them. So I like to get as much feedback as possible.

Sorry for hijacking TS. I hope you get whatever firm job your looking for.


For me, the CPA job market was on fire when I started law school (2011), whether that is still case I'm not entirely sure. I took time off to take the LSAT, and the day after I started my job search to fill the time until law school I had an offer in hand. CPA can put you on a solid career path, if you get big4 and stay there, you can rise very quickly. If you jump ship from big4 to private after 2-3 years, you can land a solid job but the upward mobility drops off a lot. I would say the contrast between the CPA/legal job market was sobering to say the least.

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Re: Big Law & Big 4 Accounting Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I am a 1L and I have a similar background. Career services at my school told us not to worry about getting Big Law jobs if you have CPA + law degree. Your situation makes me nervous... Do you mind telling your school ranking/ grades?

I met several big law attorneys who are doing tax M&A. One of them worked at a big 4 after law school in the transactions/valuation group for 1 or 2 years before getting hired as an experienced associates. That could be an option. But I'm not sure how hard it is to get hired.


This is not good advice from your career center. I have a CPA and while it was certainly helpful once I had the interview, it will not get you an interview if you don't have the grades. Saying you don't need to worry about getting BIG Law if you have a CPA is nonsense.


+1. I have a CPA and experience at Big4 before law school, and grades trump all of that by a mile. People with no work experience whatsoever and better grades than me landed better jobs.

Re: lateral hiring. My friend is at a big4 with a jd, his input was that it is borderline impossible to lateral to a law firm from where he is at.


About your friend, does he have a JD from a T-14? Also, what department was he in? Just curious.


His JD is from UCLA/USC, he works in M&A at a CA big4

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Re: Big Law & Big 4 Accounting Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
My personal experience, I was bottom 1/3 at CCN, didn't get a V100, ended up with 2 NLJ250 offers in NY. I know a person from my class who was at the same callback as me at a V100 in NY, he had no work experience at all and got an offer, I got dinged. This was from a firm where I really felt like I nailed the callback. I got tons of positive feedback from multiple mock interviews (just saying that it wasn't due to my interview skills as much as people like to point to those first).

In NY, if you can get median at a CCN you're in good shape and competitive at tons of places. CA is a little tougher, not sure exact grades necessary but safe to say they want higher, they get to cherry-pick from piles of resumes.

As far as no one caring, I wouldn't say that, but just would say that I would have traded my CPA license and all my work experience for higher grades without a second thought. I sort of used my experience as my safety blanket going into all this mess, and honestly it sucks to say but from my personal experience it really is all about grades.


Thank you! It was very helpful!
I figured SF/SV would be harder since they have hastings, berkeley and stanford to pick from.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Jun 12, 2013 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Big Law & Big 4 Accounting Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote: His JD is from UCLA/USC, he works in M&A at a CA big4


M&A in TAS or the standalone (as I heard) M&A dept outside of TAS? Thank you.

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Re: Big Law & Big 4 Accounting Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 12, 2013 3:53 pm

Question to fellow JD/CPAs:

How do you guys put your CPA license info on your resume? Do you use "John Student, CPA" on the headings, or put it at the bottom interests & skills section?

de5igual
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Re: Big Law & Big 4 Accounting Firms

Postby de5igual » Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Question to fellow JD/CPAs:

How do you guys put your CPA license info on your resume? Do you use "John Student, CPA" on the headings, or put it at the bottom interests & skills section?


separate section: licenses/credentials

more important is the actual work experience that got you the CPA

JJ123
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Re: Big Law & Big 4 Accounting Firms

Postby JJ123 » Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:33 am

There's plenty of jobs for CPAs out there. It's just that they start at around $50k for public, less for anything else. Big Law is around $150k in the big markets. Similar billable hours. Also, it's much harder to make partner in a Big 4 firm.

rghneck016
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Re: Big Law & Big 4 Accounting Firms

Postby rghneck016 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:24 pm

Standard doom and gloom comments from TLS, what surprise. I received an offer from a Big 4 Accounting Firm to do M&A during the Fall of my 3L year after interning at a very small firm over the Summer (specializing in a completely different field). Keep looking out for job postings. PM me with nay questions you might have.

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crazycanuck
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Re: Big Law & Big 4 Accounting Firms

Postby crazycanuck » Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:42 pm

JJ123 wrote:There's plenty of jobs for CPAs out there. It's just that they start at around $50k for public, less for anything else. Big Law is around $150k in the big markets. Similar billable hours. Also, it's much harder to make partner in a Big 4 firm.


A CPA, especially with big 4 experience can be a fantastic career path that does not require 200K of debt and 3 years of lost income.

My friends from my big 4 who have left to new places are in awesome positions (as am I). One of my friends spent 4 years in big 4 audit after UG and moved to doing oil and gas compliance making 100Kish. I wonder how many experienced big law associates tried to get that job. Other people landed in research positions at IBs, internal audit, compliance, and a fair number found senior accountant/assistant controller/controller positions.

For people who want to be in business or work in a company helping it grow and build something, a CPA and a big 4 can be a huge career accelerator.

If you want to stay at big 4, making partner is probably much more difficult and will take 10-15 years. But, when you consider that it takes 3 years to get the JD, the time to make partner at a biglaw firm and the time it takes to make partner at big 4 is not really that different. New partners tend to be in their early to mid 30s.




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