Big4 accountant, CPA in progress, law school accepted..HELP

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Big4 accountant, CPA in progress, law school accepted..HELP

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 06, 2019 7:25 pm

Tax senior at big 4, working on my CPA right now, got into part time law school for the coming year. debating if I should do it? I want to but torn because of loans, if I should try to stay working in general, if I should stay working in Big4 and try to go on a Part Time work schedule. And if I go will it even be worth it in the end? Right now I'm at 80k.. after 4 years(since part time) of law school, adding up loans and all, and how much I could make just working my way up in my current position, is it worth it? Just have no idea what I should do. It's something I've had on my mind for a while though and I'm finally pursuing it.

henrynightelf

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Re: Big4 accountant, CPA in progress, law school accepted..HELP

Postby henrynightelf » Mon May 06, 2019 7:47 pm

Where do you want to work post graduation? If you want to work in a law firm, you may want to connect with alumni of your program and see whether the program can help you. If you want to work in a different practice group in Big 4 or just want to switch to a position that needs more lawyer skills, I think you can talk to the partners to see if there are transfer opportunities directly. The salary level for lawyers in Big 4 may not be significantly higher than your salary after four years.
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icansortofmath

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Re: Big4 accountant, CPA in progress, law school accepted..HELP

Postby icansortofmath » Mon May 06, 2019 7:54 pm

I had a few classmates that had CPAs but they all were looking for big pay jumps straight into biglaw.

It doesn't make sense if you're intending to stay in Big 4. In most cases, you don't even get credit for former service time. I only knew one person that got an offer that gave him credit for time spent as CPA and that was from the same department (tax) he worked at pre-law school.

dabigchina

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Re: Big4 accountant, CPA in progress, law school accepted..HELP

Postby dabigchina » Mon May 06, 2019 8:38 pm

OP: I was a big4 manager who made the jump to law school/biglaw. Feel free to PM me.

tl;dr I would think twice about it.

Also, I think this should be moved to ask a law student, as OP is a 0L.

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Yugihoe

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Re: Big4 accountant, CPA in progress, law school accepted..HELP

Postby Yugihoe » Mon May 06, 2019 11:14 pm

You're not going to break even for a long time, even assuming you get big law (lost opportunity for 3 years of law school + loans + interest). Also, big law is no walk in the park but then again big 4 hours are not great either for less pay. Honestly, if you're not getting a substantial scholarship I would recommend against going to law school and instead exiting out of big 4 and going in industry. You could have a lot more career options.

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Re: Big4 accountant, CPA in progress, law school accepted..HELP

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 06, 2019 11:21 pm

I was a CPA making 85k and started law school in 2014. Got a full ride to law school so had zero loans. Have been in big law for almost two years now making 200k, so you could say I got the very best financial outcome you could get for someone in your scenario. Despite this, I still won't break even to what I would have earned without law school until 2020 (assuming 10% increase in salary in each of the past 5 years). Also big law SUCKS and am looking to take a paycut in the next few years more a more reasonable work life balance. Worst of all, I would've been pretty experienced now as a CPA and would have had some very interesting business roles available to me instead of being a legal junior pigeon holed into legal roles. Not sure how this applies since you're in tax and not audit.

dabigchina

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Re: Big4 accountant, CPA in progress, law school accepted..HELP

Postby dabigchina » Mon May 06, 2019 11:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I was a CPA making 85k and started law school in 2014. Got a full ride to law school so had zero loans. Have been in big law for almost two years now making 200k, so you could say I got the very best financial outcome you could get for someone in your scenario. Despite this, I still won't break even to what I would have earned without law school until 2020 (assuming 10% increase in salary in each of the past 5 years). Also big law SUCKS and am looking to take a paycut in the next few years more a more reasonable work life balance. Worst of all, I would've been pretty experienced now as a CPA and would have had some very interesting business roles available to me instead of being a legal junior pigeon holed into legal roles. Not sure how this applies since you're in tax and not audit.

I would say the exit ops out of big4 tax are not as good as audit. However it is still easier to exit into an in house role with decent work/life balance from a big4.

I've also found that the work life balance in the biglaw is materially worse than in big4. While the overall hours might be fairly close, the level of responsiveness and the attendant uncertainty in your own personal life that biglaw demands wears on you really quickly.

Carl Carlson

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Re: Big4 accountant, CPA in progress, law school accepted..HELP

Postby Carl Carlson » Tue May 07, 2019 9:20 am

Don't do it unless you love law stuff or hate tax stuff. As others have mentioned, doing it for money probably isn't a good idea



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