Importance of Accounting for Transactional Work

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megagnarley
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Importance of Accounting for Transactional Work

Postby megagnarley » Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:55 pm

Straightforward question: how useful is knowledge of accounting for corporate transactional work at a big firm?

Just started Accounting for Lawyers and it's even worse than I imagined, largely because of the prof.

Willing to stick it out if it's worth it, but if not I'm out of here.

That's all.

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withoutapaddle
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Re: Importance of Accounting for Transactional Work

Postby withoutapaddle » Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:57 pm

What did you major in?

Accounting is pretty easy and I imagine a class for lawyers is no where near as intense as a class for business majors

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megagnarley
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Re: Importance of Accounting for Transactional Work

Postby megagnarley » Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:09 pm

withoutapaddle wrote:What did you major in?

Accounting is pretty easy and I imagine a class for lawyers is no where near as intense as a class for business majors


Poly sci. So I have no accounting background.

Professor is about 98 and gets out 7 words per minute.

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withoutapaddle
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Re: Importance of Accounting for Transactional Work

Postby withoutapaddle » Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:11 pm

Can you switch to another class?

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megagnarley
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Re: Importance of Accounting for Transactional Work

Postby megagnarley » Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:12 pm

withoutapaddle wrote:Can you switch to another class?


Yea. Just wondering whether accounting is important enough that I should ride it out.

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skers
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Re: Importance of Accounting for Transactional Work

Postby skers » Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:49 pm

You should probably just take it through the business schools since it'll be a better class, but if you talk with attorneys there isn't a single class they actually think you should take more than accounting.

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AlanShore
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Re: Importance of Accounting for Transactional Work

Postby AlanShore » Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:04 pm

specifically which accounting class should one take? there are a few that are required for business/accounting majors and im not sure which is the right one.

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paranoia4ya
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Re: Importance of Accounting for Transactional Work

Postby paranoia4ya » Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:50 pm

take financial accounting or intermediate accounting

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AreJay711
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Re: Importance of Accounting for Transactional Work

Postby AreJay711 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:18 pm

So there was this a complete grinder a year behind me in law school and insisted that accounting was super duper important for transactional work. He was telling everyone in our group of friends they needed to take this accounting for lawyers class to ever hope of understanding transactional practice. I had rotated through project finance and energy transactions practice groups the summer before and told him I thought he was wrong about that and that lawyers just copy and paste the deal terms into the contract. I told everyone that you need to know some accounting terms, but that you could just learn them as you went. In his infinite wisdom, honed from, like, one or two years of consulting work or whatever, he told me I didn't know what I was talking about. He then lectured me and some 1L's nearby that you needed a deep understanding of a company's financials to provide value to clients.

He summered at a firm and did cap markets and M&A. Afterwards he agreed with me. Unfortunately, I was drunk when he said that and was magnanimous in my victory. I rectify that mistake here because I'm pretty sure he posts here a lot.


TL;DR -- It's useful, but not necessary. You need a basic understanding of the terms that can easily be learned on the job.

mickey_mouse
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Re: Importance of Accounting for Transactional Work

Postby mickey_mouse » Sat Jan 17, 2015 10:37 pm

pick up financial accounting for dummies or the intro text that every financial accounting classes use, it's pretty basic stuff. I imagine you could be taking other classes that are more more useful and informative.

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BVest
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Re: Importance of Accounting for Transactional Work

Postby BVest » Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:29 pm

As mentioned above, financial accounting is what you're looking for. Accounting for Lawyers, while descriptive of the audience, does not exactly reveal what you're going to be studying. In our Accounting for Lawyers, the stated purpose according to the prof (who came over from the B school to teach) was "No one will expect you to be as sophisticated in accounting as a CPA, but business lawyers are expected to be able to read financial statements and assess them in a competent fashion."

Basically he taught us basic bookkeeping for a couple weeks and then he taught us how to read the various parts of financial statements, what they meant, and what they didn't mean. Part of our grade was a short comparative analysis of a financial statement to that of a competitor, and part was an early-semester accounting quiz (on which the median was somewhere around 94) but most was a final exam that touched on various aspects of financial reports and how they're calculated.

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AlanShore
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Re: Importance of Accounting for Transactional Work

Postby AlanShore » Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:58 am

cool, thanks all. Corp prof at my school also recommended taking it through UPenn's free online courses - i forget the name but if you google it, it should come up. He said the quality is quite good and we can do it on our own time during/after studying for the bar (my firm doesnt start new associates until jan usually so that would be a good time). He also said that "accounting for lawyers" is not really helpful and probably not worth taking, at least at my school. The focus is on cases not reading financial statements so if you have that class, make sure you see a syllabus first.

Any other business/accounting classes people recommend? I know none of this is necessary but I was a lib arts major and worked in insurance after college but didn't really learn too many business-y things. My job was pretty dumb.




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