Does a CPA license help with admission?

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philaj
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Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby philaj » Mon Apr 12, 2010 2:54 am

Hi All,

I'm hoping to solicit some thoughts and advice about my prospects of getting accepted to the University San Francisco law school evening program. My undergraduate GPA is dreadful, about 2.5 - give or take a little. However I went to grad school and achieved a 3.6 with masters in accounting. I was told some time ago that a graduate GPA means nothing as far as acceptance to law school and that the equation used for admission is your undergraduate GPA and LSAT score. I am also a CPA with a couple years experience in public accounting. My second and third choices are Santa Clara and Golden Gate respectively.

Anyone with experience or ideas about my prospects of getting into USF law school please feel free to respond....

lsatrehtard
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby lsatrehtard » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:37 am

I don't understand why they wouldn't take your graduate gpa into account. A 2.5 gpa in college and jumping to a 3.6 during masters study seems like a noteworthy improvement. However, it also depends on the grad school you attended.

Having you CPA designation seems like it wouldn't do much; the grad degree is the real point. Being a CPA just comes with being a public accountant. However, it all gives you an impressive resume (grad degree + work experience + prof. certification).

What's your LSAT though? If you've got a 160+ and you're looking to get in at USF, I think you'll have little to worry about.

Apple Tree
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby Apple Tree » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:39 am

It might help you a little bit during admission, but not a whole lot. I think it would be more useful when you are trying to get a job.

theantiscalia
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby theantiscalia » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:44 am

I'm a CPA... I don't think it helped at all with admissions... I do think it helped with scholarships, though, and every CSO I've talked to said it helps immeasurably in getting a job.

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clintonius
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby clintonius » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:54 am

lsatrehtard wrote:I don't understand why they wouldn't take your graduate gpa into account. A 2.5 gpa in college and jumping to a 3.6 during masters study seems like a noteworthy improvement. However, it also depends on the grad school you attended.

The admissions committee may make note of the higher GPA in grad school, but the official LSAC GPA is calculated using only undergrad GPA.

Genericswingman
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby Genericswingman » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:02 pm

philaj wrote:Hi All,

I'm hoping to solicit some thoughts and advice about my prospects of getting accepted to the University San Francisco law school evening program. My undergraduate GPA is dreadful, about 2.5 - give or take a little. However I went to grad school and achieved a 3.6 with masters in accounting. I was told some time ago that a graduate GPA means nothing as far as acceptance to law school and that the equation used for admission is your undergraduate GPA and LSAT score. I am also a CPA with a couple years experience in public accounting. My second and third choices are Santa Clara and Golden Gate respectively.

Anyone with experience or ideas about my prospects of getting into USF law school please feel free to respond....


I'm pretty sure passing the CPA exam didn't help me but I'm certain my 2.7 GPA was a factor in preventing me from getting an acceptance letter from a few of my most sought-after schools (should have studied in the college of liberal arts: more interesting subject matter and, due to "market" forces, GPAs that never drop below 3.0 )

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General Tso
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby General Tso » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:05 pm

you will get in everywhere you apply!

Genericswingman
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby Genericswingman » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:13 pm

lsatrehtard wrote:I don't understand why they wouldn't take your graduate gpa into account. A 2.5 gpa in college and jumping to a 3.6 during masters study seems like a noteworthy improvement. However, it also depends on the grad school you attended.

Having you CPA designation seems like it wouldn't do much; the grad degree is the real point. Being a CPA just comes with being a public accountant. However, it all gives you an impressive resume (grad degree + work experience + prof. certification).

What's your LSAT though? If you've got a 160+ and you're looking to get in at USF, I think you'll have little to worry about.


Ah, doesn't quite work like that; the CPA exam (at least when I took it) was pretty hard. If fact, I don't expect the bar exam to be as difficult

florida12
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby florida12 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:28 pm

philaj wrote:Hi All,

I'm hoping to solicit some thoughts and advice about my prospects of getting accepted to the University San Francisco law school evening program. My undergraduate GPA is dreadful, about 2.5 - give or take a little. However I went to grad school and achieved a 3.6 with masters in accounting. I was told some time ago that a graduate GPA means nothing as far as acceptance to law school and that the equation used for admission is your undergraduate GPA and LSAT score. I am also a CPA with a couple years experience in public accounting. My second and third choices are Santa Clara and Golden Gate respectively.

Anyone with experience or ideas about my prospects of getting into USF law school please feel free to respond....


I think it gives some weight to the application, given it shows you can master concepts on your own and take in a lot of information with a structured environment. Currently working towards the CFA Charter myself, onto Level 2 in June! Some of the law schools with an emphasis on corporate law would appreciate it greatly..

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Nicholasnickynic
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby Nicholasnickynic » Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:47 pm

Genericswingman wrote:
philaj wrote:Hi All,

I'm hoping to solicit some thoughts and advice about my prospects of getting accepted to the University San Francisco law school evening program. My undergraduate GPA is dreadful, about 2.5 - give or take a little. However I went to grad school and achieved a 3.6 with masters in accounting. I was told some time ago that a graduate GPA means nothing as far as acceptance to law school and that the equation used for admission is your undergraduate GPA and LSAT score. I am also a CPA with a couple years experience in public accounting. My second and third choices are Santa Clara and Golden Gate respectively.

Anyone with experience or ideas about my prospects of getting into USF law school please feel free to respond....


I'm pretty sure passing the CPA exam didn't help me but I'm certain my 2.7 GPA was a factor in preventing me from getting an acceptance letter from a few of my most sought-after schools (should have studied in the college of liberal arts: more interesting subject matter and, due to "market" forces, GPAs that never drop below 3.0 )


Shut up. Liberal Arts can be plenty challenging.

Douche.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:53 pm

My opinion is that an earned CPA designation will help distinguish your application so long as your LSAT & GPA are reasonable for that particular law school. This is especially true if your stated intention is to become a tax attorney.

Norwood
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby Norwood » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:37 am

As many above have mentioned, a Masters and CPA will help but don't expect miracles. It will certainly distinguish you from applicants with similar stats. To have a any shot at the evening program I would shoot for a 158+ LSAT considering your UGPA.

Genericswingman
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby Genericswingman » Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:34 am

Nicholasnickynic wrote:
Genericswingman wrote:
philaj wrote:Hi All,

I'm hoping to solicit some thoughts and advice about my prospects of getting accepted to the University San Francisco law school evening program. My undergraduate GPA is dreadful, about 2.5 - give or take a little. However I went to grad school and achieved a 3.6 with masters in accounting. I was told some time ago that a graduate GPA means nothing as far as acceptance to law school and that the equation used for admission is your undergraduate GPA and LSAT score. I am also a CPA with a couple years experience in public accounting. My second and third choices are Santa Clara and Golden Gate respectively.

Anyone with experience or ideas about my prospects of getting into USF law school please feel free to respond....


I'm pretty sure passing the CPA exam didn't help me but I'm certain my 2.7 GPA was a factor in preventing me from getting an acceptance letter from a few of my most sought-after schools (should have studied in the college of liberal arts: more interesting subject matter and, due to "market" forces, GPAs that never drop below 3.0 )


Shut up. Liberal Arts can be plenty challenging.

Douche.


easy with the name-calling, DICK!

my point was that liberal arts departments hand out higher grades as a way to induce students to declare a major in their department (otherwise the department might disappear or become swallowed by a the larger school with a corresponding reduction in the number of professors needed). I think the GPA is a result of the professors longing for self-preservation and not as any indication of the 'challenge' of a liberal arts degree. Business schools, typically, don't have this problem because they are oversubscribed.

...and, although I don't plan on taking the time to search, I'll bet there is some empirical evidence to back up the claim that liberal arts majors have higher GPAs in their major courses than non-liberal arts majors in their respective majors.
Last edited by Genericswingman on Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:01 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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JuTMSY4
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby JuTMSY4 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:44 am

theantiscalia wrote:I'm a CPA... I don't think it helped at all with admissions... I do think it helped with scholarships, though, and every CSO I've talked to said it helps immeasurably in getting a job.


TITCR. I assume, by virtue of the CPA, you're interested in tax law. If this is your career path, you're at a huge advantage during the job search and moreover, have an excellent fall back career...

Actually, I'll go with ancillary soft. Its like a better version of good work experience in my mind. Though, do you have work experience or just the designation (I'm not super familiar with how to obtain a CPA, I just know a few)
Last edited by JuTMSY4 on Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

270910
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby 270910 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:19 am

No.

LeahNic
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby LeahNic » Sun May 02, 2010 10:56 pm

philaj wrote:Hi All,

I'm hoping to solicit some thoughts and advice about my prospects of getting accepted to the University San Francisco law school evening program. My undergraduate GPA is dreadful, about 2.5 - give or take a little. However I went to grad school and achieved a 3.6 with masters in accounting. I was told some time ago that a graduate GPA means nothing as far as acceptance to law school and that the equation used for admission is your undergraduate GPA and LSAT score. I am also a CPA with a couple years experience in public accounting. My second and third choices are Santa Clara and Golden Gate respectively.

Anyone with experience or ideas about my prospects of getting into USF law school please feel free to respond....


I'm a CPA and had 3 years accounting experience when I applied. I don't think it helped my admissions cycle really at all. I do think that it helped me land a summer job.

I also think it will help me if I want to go get an LLM in tax.

lsatrehtard wrote:Having you CPA designation seems like it wouldn't do much; the grad degree is the real point. Being a CPA just comes with being a public accountant. However, it all gives you an impressive resume (grad degree + work experience + prof. certification).


Being a CPA does not come with being a public accountant either.

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kdw94780
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby kdw94780 » Wed May 12, 2010 6:14 pm

LeahNic wrote:
philaj wrote:Hi All,

I'm hoping to solicit some thoughts and advice about my prospects of getting accepted to the University San Francisco law school evening program. My undergraduate GPA is dreadful, about 2.5 - give or take a little. However I went to grad school and achieved a 3.6 with masters in accounting. I was told some time ago that a graduate GPA means nothing as far as acceptance to law school and that the equation used for admission is your undergraduate GPA and LSAT score. I am also a CPA with a couple years experience in public accounting. My second and third choices are Santa Clara and Golden Gate respectively.

Anyone with experience or ideas about my prospects of getting into USF law school please feel free to respond....


I'm a CPA and had 3 years accounting experience when I applied. I don't think it helped my admissions cycle really at all. I do think that it helped me land a summer job.

I also think it will help me if I want to go get an LLM in tax.

lsatrehtard wrote:Having you CPA designation seems like it wouldn't do much; the grad degree is the real point. Being a CPA just comes with being a public accountant. However, it all gives you an impressive resume (grad degree + work experience + prof. certification).


Being a CPA does not come with being a public accountant either.



Agreed. The CPA license comes with an extremely challenging test and work experience requirements that most accounting grads do not achieve. Moreover, I know a senior associate who's been with KPMG for more than 3 years who just now passed the exam.

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Noval
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby Noval » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:26 pm

kdw94780 wrote:
LeahNic wrote:
philaj wrote:Hi All,

I'm hoping to solicit some thoughts and advice about my prospects of getting accepted to the University San Francisco law school evening program. My undergraduate GPA is dreadful, about 2.5 - give or take a little. However I went to grad school and achieved a 3.6 with masters in accounting. I was told some time ago that a graduate GPA means nothing as far as acceptance to law school and that the equation used for admission is your undergraduate GPA and LSAT score. I am also a CPA with a couple years experience in public accounting. My second and third choices are Santa Clara and Golden Gate respectively.

Anyone with experience or ideas about my prospects of getting into USF law school please feel free to respond....


I'm a CPA and had 3 years accounting experience when I applied. I don't think it helped my admissions cycle really at all. I do think that it helped me land a summer job.

I also think it will help me if I want to go get an LLM in tax.

lsatrehtard wrote:Having you CPA designation seems like it wouldn't do much; the grad degree is the real point. Being a CPA just comes with being a public accountant. However, it all gives you an impressive resume (grad degree + work experience + prof. certification).


Being a CPA does not come with being a public accountant either.



Agreed. The CPA license comes with an extremely challenging test and work experience requirements that most accounting grads do not achieve. Moreover, I know a senior associate who's been with KPMG for more than 3 years who just now passed the exam.





How can you work with KPMG for three years when you don't have the license yet ?

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bmwhype2
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby bmwhype2 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:28 pm

Noval wrote:
kdw94780 wrote:
LeahNic wrote:
philaj wrote:Hi All,

I'm hoping to solicit some thoughts and advice about my prospects of getting accepted to the University San Francisco law school evening program. My undergraduate GPA is dreadful, about 2.5 - give or take a little. However I went to grad school and achieved a 3.6 with masters in accounting. I was told some time ago that a graduate GPA means nothing as far as acceptance to law school and that the equation used for admission is your undergraduate GPA and LSAT score. I am also a CPA with a couple years experience in public accounting. My second and third choices are Santa Clara and Golden Gate respectively.

Anyone with experience or ideas about my prospects of getting into USF law school please feel free to respond....


I'm a CPA and had 3 years accounting experience when I applied. I don't think it helped my admissions cycle really at all. I do think that it helped me land a summer job.

I also think it will help me if I want to go get an LLM in tax.

lsatrehtard wrote:Having you CPA designation seems like it wouldn't do much; the grad degree is the real point. Being a CPA just comes with being a public accountant. However, it all gives you an impressive resume (grad degree + work experience + prof. certification).


Being a CPA does not come with being a public accountant either.



Agreed. The CPA license comes with an extremely challenging test and work experience requirements that most accounting grads do not achieve. Moreover, I know a senior associate who's been with KPMG for more than 3 years who just now passed the exam.





How can you work with KPMG for three years when you don't have the license yet ?

Students get accepted into Big4 with zero or some parts of the CPA passed. CPA is just a license to sign off on certain types of documents. It is not needed until manager level, which is 4 or usually 5 years in. Some smaller accounting firms dont require CPA until Partner level, but that is quite rare because managers have to sign off on stuff so that Partners can bring in business

taxguy
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby taxguy » Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:58 pm

I just came back from a law school career fair, given at Penn State, and met a number of law school admission officers. Here is what I was told about the CPA.

Law schools get a plethora of kids with good GPAs, and LSAT right out of their senior year of colleges. However, almost every admission's officer noted that they want other kids to especially those with strong work and life experiences. A CPA shows two very important things: First , that they have done well on a very hard standardized test,which is indicative on being able to pass a bar exam and secondly, they they have work experience. CPAs are very highly regarded by law schools.

Moreover, if you have some special cercumstances that are worth mentioning such as CPA, very high grades on graduate courses, some extraordinary experience or life event that you incurred, you should defintely add that to either your personal statement or addendum. There are a number of school that seek out people like this almost without regard to LSAT scores. I was shown schools who had median LSATs of 157-161, yet admitted a few kids with much lower LSAT due to outlying circumstances.

To be fair,I should also note that some school care more about the overall "scores" than these post college events. The dean of admissions of BU couldn't care less about the things that I discussed with her. She was very focused on LSAT and GPA period. Other school admission folks were much more open to non-tradiational kids who had some very strong soft factors. The key seems to be that the soft factors have to really stand out. Simply heading up a club or even starting a club isn't a strong soft factor that will make you an "outlier."

Also, every dean said that the longer a person is out of school , the less the GPA and even the LSAT matters. They take post college experiences very seriously.
Finally, I should state that regardless of what was said, I don't know how really truthful these admission folks were. They do have an "ax to grind" in getting more applications in order to raise their perceived admission standards. However, assuming that they were telling me the truth, this information should open up opportunities that many older people wouldn't have expected.

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nealric
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby nealric » Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:33 pm

However, almost every admission's officer noted that they want other kids to especially those with strong work and life experiences. A CPA shows two very important things: First , that they have done well on a very hard standardized test,which is indicative on being able to pass a bar exam and secondly, they they have work experience. CPAs are very highly regarded by law schools.


Law school admissions officers like to say all kinds of things about how they value all your wonderful experiences. In practice, they only really care about your numbers.

You might get a bit of a bump for a CPA if you are right on the line, or perhaps slightly below it, but you are not going to get into a school that is otherwise out of your league just because you have a CPA. The difference between the BU person and the others is that she was being honest.

taxguy
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby taxguy » Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:26 pm

nealric, you may be right. I can only relate what was said to me by a number of admission officers and deans of admission. Who knows? Maybe they are all lying and giving me standard lines.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:34 pm

I agree with Nealric & the BU Dean of Admissions, although the less competitive law schools may well place a higher value on extras as they don't attract the high numbers applicants.
Also, since you are a 50-something year old CPA/JD parent of a prospective law student, the other admissions representatives may have just been telling you what you clearly wanted to hear.

taxguy
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby taxguy » Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:39 pm

[quote="CanadianWolf"]I agree with Nealric & the BU Dean of Admissions, although the less competitive law schools may well place a higher value on extras as they don't attract the high numbers applicants.


Yes, most of the Admission officers that I spoke to were NOT from the top 20 or even the top 50 law schools other than University of Miami.

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nealric
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby nealric » Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:44 pm

Who knows? Maybe they are all lying and giving me standard lines.


I wouldn't say they are lying. I'm sure they really do value people with CPA's. But that's a different question altogether from whether they actually go out of there way to admit CPA's over otherwise slightly more qualified applicants.




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