For those considering going into the big4, words of caution...my experience may be unique because I work in a smaller market:
JD/CPA in my second year of an international tax group in a secondary market (think Charlotte). JD from a school in the top 40s, graduated top third but no latin honors. I make 60K a year after very good first year reviews. Despite the fact that the partners and directors who interviewed me told me that I would be on consulting engagements, the majority of what I am staffed on is compliance/provision. Secondary markets are extremely feast or famine on consulting work due to budget/company goals. This means a more steady supply of compliance engagements that the partners have no choice but to staff the lawyers on. Because the big4 model is set up to accommodate 21 year old entry levels, I have to do a lot of bitch work that would be given to a paralegal at a law firm, and there is little wiggle room on fast-tracking promotions. I have interviewed and been passed on 10+ times with most of the larger law firms in the surrounding area. In every interview, it gets asked why I didn't start at a smaller law firm, why I even got my JD if I am at a big4...it's pretty soul crushing.
I know it is different for positions straight into the national tax group, or even specialty groups in larger cities that can devote their time to only consulting. But if you are planning on joining SALT, International, M&A etc. in a smaller market, I would talk to associates in the group to get a sense of projects and staffing.