How to Become a Lawyer Accountant

A lawyer accountant is just that, someone who is both a lawyer and accountant. Each degree is a professional accomplishment in and of itself. Yet those who have both degrees are uniquely qualified to give advice in tax cases, financial fraud cases, work in estate planning, forensic accounting or corporate finance law. Let’s review the process of how to become a lawyer accountant.

Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting/Finance

You aren’t going to be qualified to become a certified public accountant without a degree in accounting, or a business degree in finance is a close second. This degree can be combined with coursework to prepare for law school. If all else fails, you have the necessary credentials to work toward an accounting career even if you don’t get into law school. The other advantage of this approach is that you have to earn a bachelor’s degree of some type to be able to apply for law school, so using this degree and the time immediately after it to get the necessary grounding in finance and accounting is your most efficient solution.

An even better choice is the New England College’s online MSA program, its online masters in accounting program. Depending on where you live, earning a master’s degree like that one may eliminate the need to work under a licensed CPA for a certain period of time.

Pass the CPA Exam

The Uniform CPA exam or certified public accountant exam is the test that shows you know everything accountants are expected to know to be qualified to review one’s books, handle tax returns and work on your own as an accountant. You may not be eligible to take the test until you’ve worked under a licensed CPA for a time. Don’t forget to take the time to pay down student loans and save up for furthering your education while you’re gaining valuable work experience.

After you pass all four sections of the CPA exam, you will need to submit an application for a Certified Public Accountant license.

Take the LSAT

The LSAT is the law school admissions test. Once you receive a good score on this test, you can apply to an accredited law school. Mediation programs and peacemaker programs may let you solve private disputes and arbitrate business/client cases, but this isn’t going to give you the necessary background to work where money and law mix.

Attend Law School

Earning a juris doctor degree, a doctorate in law, takes three years if you attend full time. A part-time program takes even longer, though as a CPA, you can earn good pay even when working part-time. While earning your law degree, seek courses that cover your intended niche such as corporate finance, estate planning, corporate fraud, and tax law.

Apply for the Bar

Once you complete law school, you have to apply to the bar before you can practice law. In most jurisdictions, this requires passing an exam as you did when earning your CPA. Background checks and referrals are standard requirements. Once you are admitted to the bar, you’ll be in demand as a dual legal and financial expert.

The first step in becoming a lawyer accountant is earning a bachelor’s degree that prepares you to work as an accountant. Earn your CPA certification before applying for law school. Complete law school and apply for the bar. Once you have both a law degree and CPA certification, you’ll be in demand across the board as well as ideally suited to open your own practice. You’re now qualified to work in estate planning, tax law, business financial planning and a host of other specialties.