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CPA or Law Degree ???

Old 02-08-2009, 10:51 AM
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Default CPA or Law Degree ???

I'm kicking around going back to school part time to either obtain my CPA certification or law degree and was looking for some advise. I'm currently 38, have an undergrad degree in business management and a masters in health administration, and am currently employed as an IT project manager. Pat of it is a job security thing and part of it is wanting to do something else for a change. I'm hoping to relocate as well in the future to either the lower chesapeake or the Wilmington NC area. I'm early in the process of evaluating things so I'm really just looking to get some feedback.

Thanks.
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:56 AM
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Default RE: CPA or Law Degree ???

The Law degree will give you much more flexibility, ie with your backround there are oppurtunities to work as in house counsel for health care providers in these changing times and pharmacuticals,etc. Additionally, you could at some point venture out on your own.

Plenty of work around, do a search.

http://www.lawcrossing.com/video/978...Attorney-Jobs/


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Old 02-08-2009, 11:48 AM
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Default Re: CPA or Law Degree ???

Do you want a license to steal?

LAW
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Old 02-08-2009, 12:21 PM
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Default RE: CPA or Law Degree ???

Schmaltz~Herring - 2/9/2009 2:56 AM

The Law degree will give you much more flexibility ...

Ditto.



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Old 02-08-2009, 01:36 PM
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jko2004@knology.net - 2/8/2009 2:48 PM

Do you want a license to steal?

LAW



Brilliant

Politician I could go with.
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Old 02-08-2009, 01:37 PM
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Schmaltz~Herring - 2/9/2009 2:56 AM

The Law degree will give you much more flexibility ...

WASHINGTON (AP) — Four new postal stamps highlighting the personal history of Abraham Lincoln are set to be released on Monday as the nation commemorates Lincoln's 200th birthday this week.

The 42-cent stamps depict Lincoln as a rail-splitter, a lawyer, a politician and a president.




Just look at all of the possibilities.



Btw, the new 42-cent stamps in Feb 2009 -- and postage is due to increase to 44-cents in May 2009.



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Old 02-08-2009, 01:49 PM
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Default Re: CPA or Law Degree ???

Law will give you more flexibility but can set you back upwards of $150k. Not to mention it is very difficult to work and get a law degree at the same time. But on the flip side, as mentioned above you are an attorney and get a large selection of job selection.

CPA- May not be too difficult as you have a background in business, and much less expensive. You may only need a few more classes and you will be be a CPA. And there is always a need for CPAs!

I think with either of them, you can't go wrong. Law is much more prestigous. And also depends what you want to do as far as career. Would you be a practicing attorney or use it for career advancement?
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Old 02-08-2009, 02:14 PM
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You living off Rt. 30?
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Old 02-08-2009, 03:33 PM
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bstn, how can you say that a law degree is more prestigous than becoming a CPA? With all the sleazy lawyers running around, and appearing on tv all the time in the form of senators and representatives, where is the prestige? CPAs have earned a great amount of trust from the business community and there are a great deal of jobs out there just looking for someone to take them. As you may have guessed, I am a CPA but to say a law degree is more prestigious is today's world is, I think, a little bit of an overstatement.
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Old 02-08-2009, 04:19 PM
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JALICHTY - 2/9/2009 7:33 AM

bstn, how can you say that a law degree is more prestigous than becoming a CPA?

I don't think the issue is one of prestige, it is one of flexibility. Hell, the clown with a scooper following the horses in a parade has more prestige than a lawyer. But a law degree affords more opportunities out the door than a CPA degree.

It is interesting the op is choosing between those two disciplines; one is left hemisphere dominant (CPA), the other right hemisphere dominant (lawyer).
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Old 02-08-2009, 04:48 PM
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JALICHTY - 2/8/2009 6:33 PM

bstn, how can you say that a law degree is more prestigous than becoming a CPA? With all the sleazy lawyers running around, and appearing on tv all the time in the form of senators and representatives, where is the prestige? CPAs have earned a great amount of trust from the business community and there are a great deal of jobs out there just looking for someone to take them. As you may have guessed, I am a CPA but to say a law degree is more prestigious is today's world is, I think, a little bit of an overstatement.

I think it was some good CPA's that did Tom Daschles, Tim Geithners,etc and the others TAXES.
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Old 02-08-2009, 05:10 PM
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You don't see many CPA's (or engineers) with a new multi engined yellowfin every year.

That should answer your question.

I've thought many times that I should go to law school, but I'm not up for being a newb again. Starting a new career sucks.

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Old 02-08-2009, 05:17 PM
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JALICHTY - 2/8/2009 6:33 PM

bstn, how can you say that a law degree is more prestigous than becoming a CPA? With all the sleazy lawyers running around, and appearing on tv all the time in the form of senators and representatives, where is the prestige? CPAs have earned a great amount of trust from the business community and there are a great deal of jobs out there just looking for someone to take them. As you may have guessed, I am a CPA but to say a law degree is more prestigious is today's world is, I think, a little bit of an overstatement.
I apologize if I offended you, that was not my intention. The reason why I said a law degree is more presitgous as it is a doctorate and requires 7 years of schooling.
CPAs have a difficult job and deserve all the credit, I know I took one accounting class and that was it for me.
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Old 02-08-2009, 05:41 PM
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bstnsportsfan - 2/9/2009 9:17 AM

The reason why I said a law degree is more presitgous as it is a doctorate and requires 7 years of schooling.

WTF are you talking about!?!?! You can get a mail-order law degree. THERE IS NO SPECIFIC EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENT TO BE A LAWYER!!! You just gotta pass the bar exam. I say "just", but most applicants (2/3?) don't pass on their first attempt.

One of 3 ways to access the bar exam; (a) school, earn access (b) work for a lawyer, earn access (c) get any judge to sign off that you are worthy of the attempt.

LIKE I SAID -- LAWYER-ISM IS RIGHT HEMISPHERE DOMINATED. There is no logic to it.


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Old 02-08-2009, 05:48 PM
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Eyeball - 2/8/2009 8:41 PM

bstnsportsfan - 2/9/2009 9:17 AM

The reason why I said a law degree is more presitgous as it is a doctorate and requires 7 years of schooling.

WTF are you talking about!?!?! You can get a mail-order law degree. THERE IS NO SPECIFIC EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENT TO BE A LAWYER!!! You just gotta pass the bar exam. I say "just", but most applicants (2/3?) don't pass on their first attempt.

One of 3 ways to access the bar exam; (a) school, earn access (b) work for a lawyer, earn access (c) get any judge to sign off that you are worthy of the attempt.

LIKE I SAID -- LAWYER-ISM IS RIGHT HEMISPHERE DOMINATED. There is no logic to it.

To get a JD requires 7 years, I didn't say that to be a lawyer needed 7 years



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Old 02-08-2009, 05:49 PM
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7 years? Isn't it typically just 3 years of law school?
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Old 02-08-2009, 06:06 PM
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Joe - 2/9/2009 9:49 AM

7 years? Isn't it typically just 3 years of law school?

I think he's talking about 3-years of post-grad school, 7-years total. Normal for universities.
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Old 02-08-2009, 06:41 PM
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Yes that is what I ment, for OP it would only be 3 years.
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Old 02-08-2009, 07:32 PM
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If I was in your situation I would, without question, go the CPA route. The only exceptions that come to mind would be, you go to an in-state institution with cheap tuition or you go to a top school (per US News Rankings). Also, if you are a full-time student, the ABA limits the hours you are allowed to work to 20 per week.

As far as pay goes, check out this bimodal graph:

http://www.elsblog.org/the_empirical...bution-of.html

The Wall Street Journal, in 2007, did a few articles on this as well:

http://online.wsj.com/public/article...780835602.html

http://online.wsj.com/public/article...229675648.html

If you are interested in law school the best place to start is here:

http://officialguide.lsac.org/ Search around and you can find info on every ABA accredited school. I would look at this link closely; it will give you in-depth tuition information, as well as admissions standards.


As far as the CPA path, here is a clickable map that will display state-by-state requirements.
http://www.beckercpa.com/state/

When comparing pay, there are a few considerations. CPA’s, like attorneys, can start their own firm and make a killing. CPA’s can move into, basically, any position in a company minus in-house council. CPA’s are in serious demand and are minimally impacted by recessions. CPA’s are also very likely to move into CEO, COO and Controller positions. Take a look at the Fortune 500 companies and you will find accountants to be very well represented.

There was a time when law graduates were not as over-represented as they are now. The competition is higher, thus a lawyer that graduated in prior years had a far better chance at success. There are currently almost 200 ABA schools and that number is increasing regularly, with tuition escalating as well.

I don’t have a dog in the fight either way, as I am neither a lawyer nor a CPA, but I do have experience in dealing with both fields. Hope this helps a little and best of luck. Cheers.
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Old 02-08-2009, 07:35 PM
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Default Re: CPA or Law Degree ???

If you want some perspective from a lawyer in wilmington, feel free to pm me. In a nutshell, we certainly aren't all getting rich, but these days a comfortable living with job security isn't too bad.
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