Careers in business law?

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Marie34
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Careers in business law?

Postby Marie34 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:05 am

Hi everyone! I'm currently a senior that will graduate with a B.S. in accounting in May, and I'm all set up to take (and hopefully pass) the CPA exam this summer before law (I know this may seem like a unreasonable undertaking to do in a summer, but I'm planning on devote my whole summer to studying + I'm coming straight out of upper level/grad level accounting classes which should help). I plan on becoming a licensed CPA this coming December.

My last two years at school, I've become fascinated of finding ways to combine my Accounting major with my passion for law; more specifically, securities fraud and its implications in the courtroom. But instead of focusing on the side of the corporation, I've been doing more and more research on securities fraud from the perspective of the accounting and auditing profession. After a slight obsession with the story of Arthur Andersen in the case of Enron, I would love to someday work in a field that somehow a cross between large accounting firms, the SEC and the AICPA. I'm considering taking some forensic accounting classes at some point and become a registered CFE (Certified Fraud Accountant). I was just wondering if anyone knew anyone personally, or any opinions whatsoever, on this field of law? Is it feasible to enter into, and will a solid background in accounting pull any weight in the job search?

I know there is a ton of crossover of law and accounting in Tax Law. And I know that no matter what Business Law career you end up in will inevitably involve using taxes, but for anyone that has taken Individual and Corporate Tax, you'll know when I say there's nothing more tedious, and less interesting, then researching our tax code (well at least for me anyway)...

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IAFG
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Re: Careers in business law?

Postby IAFG » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:14 am

I refuse to believe anyone on the planet is passionate about tax law.

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quakeroats
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Re: Careers in business law?

Postby quakeroats » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:25 am

IAFG wrote:I refuse to believe anyone on the planet is passionate about tax law.


Here's one that liked it so much he stopped arguing before the Supreme Court:

http://www.kirkland.com/sitecontent.cfm ... temID=7928

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Br3v
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Re: Careers in business law?

Postby Br3v » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:16 am

I'm not really sure what your question is. Is it whether you should go to law school? Or just does anyone know about the tax law profession?

If you plan on going to law school, what is your gpa and LSAT score? (if you havent taken it yet I would suggest october or up until next June as I would imagine you want to attend next cycle. Where do you want to work?

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bceagles182
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Re: Careers in business law?

Postby bceagles182 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:27 am

IAFG wrote:I refuse to believe anyone on the planet is passionate about tax law.



You'd be surprised. The people who work in tax are absolute nutjobs.

That said, OP, if you want to use your accounting background, try corporate transactional work -- Private Equity, Venture Capital, M&A, etc. It's very helpful to have an accounting background when conducting due diligence before a deal.

Marie34
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Re: Careers in business law?

Postby Marie34 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:21 am

Br3v wrote:I'm not really sure what your question is. Is it whether you should go to law school? Or just does anyone know about the tax law profession?

If you plan on going to law school, what is your gpa and LSAT score? (if you havent taken it yet I would suggest october or up until next June as I would imagine you want to attend next cycle. Where do you want to work?


Sorry, I should've been more clear. For the record I DO NOT want to do tax law; I can't think of a worse future actually. And I'm already attending law school in the fall. Its not a T-14 program or anything, but after the ASD I was very impressed at their new Business Law Program, and I can see it growing to be a strong program (especially since they've placed several of their students with internships/jobs with the SEC).

But I guess my question is if anyone had any ideas of different career paths I could take that have to do with the securities fraud in the accounting profession? It doesn't even have to be working as an attorney per se; but something that I can use to combine my CPA degree with a law degree.

bceagles182 wrote:
IAFG wrote:I refuse to believe anyone on the planet is passionate about tax law.


You'd be surprised. The people who work in tax are absolute nutjobs.

That said, OP, if you want to use your accounting background, try corporate transactional work -- Private Equity, Venture Capital, M&A, etc. It's very helpful to have an accounting background when conducting due diligence before a deal.


I have ran across corporate transactional work a couple times, but honestly, I don't know much about the job field/prospects. Do you have any extra info on this, like where a person can start a career in this after law school, and if a lot of extra education in the finance/accounting field is necessary to be competitve and successful (like obtaining an MBA?) Thanks in advance!

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Br3v
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Re: Careers in business law?

Postby Br3v » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:25 am

ah can't help you. But I will say that you shouldn't read to closely into specialty programs at law schools. Also, I'd be weary of taking on a boat load of debt if you may not even utilize your JD. Would you mind sharing where your school is ranked roughly? (top 25, 50, 100) and how much you plan to be in debt after graduation?

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rbomb
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Re: Careers in business law?

Postby rbomb » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:32 am

Tagging for interest.

I'm halfway through the CPA exam, hope to be done by July.

Attending Ohio State in the Fall with a good scholarship.

Hate tax law, but I want to utilize my CPA.

What about trust and estate law?

Marie34
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Re: Careers in business law?

Postby Marie34 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:51 am

Br3v wrote:ah can't help you. But I will say that you shouldn't read to closely into specialty programs at law schools. Also, I'd be weary of taking on a boat load of debt if you may not even utilize your JD. Would you mind sharing where your school is ranked roughly? (top 25, 50, 100) and how much you plan to be in debt after graduation?


I am one of the spoiled, and greatly fortunate, kids who has the parents graciously paying for all education costs, even if I decide to obtain an MBA in the future. And I'm going to U. Maryland, whose placement right outside of DC will hopefully be beneficial in the eventual job search.

rbomb wrote:Tagging for interest.

I'm halfway through the CPA exam, hope to be done by July.

Attending Ohio State in the Fall with a good scholarship.

Hate tax law, but I want to utilize my CPA.

What about trust and estate law?


My limited education in Estate Law is probably only slightly more intriuging to me than Tax, which is not much...at all. I really wish to work directly with the corporations/corporations auditors and their relationship with the ACIPA and how well they follow the legal accounting/auditing standards. While the practices of Arthur Andersen in the Enron debacle was indeed fradulent, they way they researched and manipulated the accounting code and standards was nothing short of genius; and I'm fascinated with the workings of the accounting code on corporations and the process behind the creation and implementation of new laws/statutes related to the accounting profession.

Also, rbomb, what sections of the CPA have you already taken? Do you think its feasible for me to finish all four sections within a three month period?

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Careers in business law?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:55 am

quakeroats wrote:
IAFG wrote:I refuse to believe anyone on the planet is passionate about tax law.


Here's one that liked it so much he stopped arguing before the Supreme Court:

http://www.kirkland.com/sitecontent.cfm ... temID=7928


Levin is a freaking boss, by the way.

MrAnon
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Re: Careers in business law?

Postby MrAnon » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:59 am

Sounds like you should be a forensic accountant. Lawyers rely on them, hire them, use them, retain them, and trust them to tell them whats going on in a situation. Usually the lawyer isn't able to decipher documents himself so much especially early on in a case. Forensic accountant does the investigation, lawyer just reports on his findings. I've never heard of a person acting as both. It wouldn't give you any edges. If a lawyer needs a forensic accountant, he'll go get one. There is no need to go to a lawyer with specialization or training in that area. There are enough competent lawyers who understand how to interpret the work done by forensic accountants. Forensic accounting is probably a more lucrative industry in and of itself.

Marie34
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Re: Careers in business law?

Postby Marie34 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:35 pm

MrAnon wrote:Sounds like you should be a forensic accountant. Lawyers rely on them, hire them, use them, retain them, and trust them to tell them whats going on in a situation. Usually the lawyer isn't able to decipher documents himself so much especially early on in a case. Forensic accountant does the investigation, lawyer just reports on his findings. I've never heard of a person acting as both. It wouldn't give you any edges. If a lawyer needs a forensic accountant, he'll go get one. There is no need to go to a lawyer with specialization or training in that area. There are enough competent lawyers who understand how to interpret the work done by forensic accountants. Forensic accounting is probably a more lucrative industry in and of itself.


Forensic accounting is a field I have considered mulitple times if law school didn't work out. The only problem is my interest lies more within the regulation aspect of it rather than number crunching side. You brought up a great point though that an attorney will usually contract out forensic accounting services, but I have always considered attorney/accounting collaboration an expanding necessity in the corporate world, given securities regulation has tightened dramatically in the past decade. I think a field of law that offers the joint services and knowledge will, or at least should, be a popular upcoming field in the business market. Especially since the accounting profession is/will be undergoing a drastic change when it eventually makes the switch from U.S Accounting rules (GAAP) to International Standards (IFRS). The switch will cause chaos within the profession, and considering IFRS is way more lax and less rigid than GAAP, potential fraudelent activity could become easier, and more frequent.

I guess I'm looking into eventually working in a field that has yet to be created in a way... (Sorry for the uninteresting accounting rant :D ...I could sadly go on for hours about this stuff)

MrAnon
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Re: Careers in business law?

Postby MrAnon » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:46 pm

Marie34 wrote:
MrAnon wrote:Sounds like you should be a forensic accountant. Lawyers rely on them, hire them, use them, retain them, and trust them to tell them whats going on in a situation. Usually the lawyer isn't able to decipher documents himself so much especially early on in a case. Forensic accountant does the investigation, lawyer just reports on his findings. I've never heard of a person acting as both. It wouldn't give you any edges. If a lawyer needs a forensic accountant, he'll go get one. There is no need to go to a lawyer with specialization or training in that area. There are enough competent lawyers who understand how to interpret the work done by forensic accountants. Forensic accounting is probably a more lucrative industry in and of itself.


Forensic accounting is a field I have considered mulitple times if law school didn't work out. The only problem is my interest lies more within the regulation aspect of it rather than number crunching side. You brought up a great point though that an attorney will usually contract out forensic accounting services, but I have always considered attorney/accounting collaboration an expanding necessity in the corporate world, given securities regulation has tightened dramatically in the past decade. I think a field of law that offers the joint services and knowledge will, or at least should, be a popular upcoming field in the business market. Especially since the accounting profession is/will be undergoing a drastic change when it eventually makes the switch from U.S Accounting rules (GAAP) to International Standards (IFRS). The switch will cause chaos within the profession, and considering IFRS is way more lax and less rigid than GAAP, potential fraudelent activity could become easier, and more frequent.

I guess I'm looking into eventually working in a field that has yet to be created in a way... (Sorry for the uninteresting accounting rant :D ...I could sadly go on for hours about this stuff)


No, it won't be popular. There are large firms that have built their reputation around their work in forensic accounting. Think KPMG for example. There are large firms that have built their reputation around knowledge of the law. Think BIGLAW for example. If a client is in trouble he will hire both. Anyway I am not sure what you are asking. If you want to go to law school then go. But don't think you are going to reinvent the wheel as some dual attorney-forensic investigator. There is no market for it.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Careers in business law?

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:57 pm

Sounds like you want to work for the SEC, but want the big law $$$. Start in the SEC, move to big law (or big accounting) later. And you don't have to be lawyer to work for the SEC obviously. They need fraud investigator CPAs and whatnot.




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