Acceptable Work Experience

Does anyone have any insight on whether the CFA institute will accept working as an attorney for the work experience requirement? I have worked in a big corporate law firm in the capital markets group for the last 5+ years and took CFA level 1 primarily to gain a better understanding of finance/accounting (liberal arts undergraduate background). I have registered for level 2 but I can’t figure out whether my work experience would give me a shot of getting the actual designation (I talked to some random person at CFAI and he told me that it’s case-by-case and if I make good arguments I might get it) but I was wondering if anyone has actually gone through the process and succeeded. I’ll probably do the rest of the levels anyway just for the hell of it but I’d just like to know if I can actually get the designation in the end. Looking at the website it says you can qualify if at least 50% of your work involves “producing a work product that informs or adds value” to the investment decision-making process. Now I would say I’ve added value with all the prospectuses/offering memos/purchase agreements I have drafted, and at the very least have caught more than my share of stray commas over the years, though not sure if CFAI would agree… If anyone has direct experience with this question or any guidance at all it would be much appreciated.

I stopped reading when I saw you did your undergrad in liberal arts.

What’s with the poop on liberal arts, Utah?

To the OP, it doesn’t sound likely to be approved, but you can call them up (or email them) and ask if it is the sort of thing that can be approved.

It’s now been some time since I first posted this and I have since had conversations with other attorneys taking the CFA (not a large sample) as well as representatives at CFAI. The answer I keep getting from CFAI is that whether work experience is acceptable is determined on a case-by-case basis and there really is no way of knowing until an application is submitted. That being said, has anyone here gone through the process of trying to get their work experience qualified when it is borderline or have any advice on how to push it through? Also, if there are any attorneys on this board who have been rejected/approved I would really appreciate your thoughts on the process.

You can do it. Just use a ton of cfa jargon when you describe your job. Sure maybe your an attorney but you spend all day combining over investment decisions for legal problems and need to understand valuation strategies etc to di it. bs, you’re a lawyer. You should already know how to do it!

^ Totally agree with chicken legs. Just remember to frame everything you do in terms of how it relates to the “investment decision making process”.

I (and some other people i know) got gov’t work experience approved. The term “investment” can be interpreted broadly. Then you just have to demonstrate how your work contributes to people making ‘investment’ decisions.

There’s a questionnaire on the CFAI website that should help give you an idea of whether or not your experience will qualify.

Good luck!

Thanks guys, very helpful.