Is CFA a right choice for me?

Dear All,

I am a lawyer who plans to specialize in corporate sector (project finance, M&A, venture law, restructuring etc.) and would be working in US, UAE or UK. I have already completed my LL.M from Harvard and have taken the NY Bar exam as well. I don’t have an undergrad in accounting and finance, but I have studied some corporate finance in my LL.M and economics in undergrad. What do you suggest, which charter certification would be most helpful for my career? I would really like to hear your reasons:

  1. CFA;

  2. CPA (US, Australian, or Canadian (please mention));

  3. ACCA;

  4. CA;

  5. Other –(?)


I recommend working at a big corporate law firm and stressing to the hiring manager you want to focus on deals.

Once you have had a little experience with each type (M&A, restructuring,etc) you can either work to become good friends with the partners who specialize in them, or you can make a jump over to an investment bank/in-house company.

At that point, you will have a better idea of which if any designation you want. CPA is great if analyzing or auditing public US companies-CFA is likely unnecessary unless you want to handle investments in the future. A lot of people get burnt out in big law…just a warning to you! firms outside US have much better work-life balance.

If you can clear all the CFA exams ***BUT do not fulfill the minimum work experience required by the CFAI*** your business card could potentially read as follows:

PakistaniLaywer123, J.D., Passed CFA Level III


Thanks for your feedback, will keep all that in mind.

putting that on a printed business card, would look really douchey

^Obviously your sarcasm meter wasn’t on…


what is the difference between llm and jd? similar to pt and ft mba?

networking is probably your best bet… Plenty of big shots at harvard right?

have you talked to WLRK?

Since you already have strong corporate law background, IMO better choice would be CFA than ACCA, CPA or other accounting charters. As expert for business combinations learning accounting standards that regulate M&A area would be advisable. Knowledge of certain accounting techniques is not necessary but the insights and interpretation of financial statements are recommended. Of course, you can always get self-educated by reading literature and study certain cases without required chartering.

Take the Bruce Wasserstein path. He went to Harvard Law (and HBS) and practiced in the law arena (Cravath) for a few years until he went into the business space and started doing big deals.

To be honest, if you get into M&A law like WLRK you’re going to have no time to study for the CFA exams, much less sleep.

I am doing both ACCA and CFA to enhance my CV.

If you are interesting in these subjects you can read in your free time, you do not have to go and take exhausting exams, pay fees which are not high but still you have to pay.

ACCA is more about Financial Accounting I can say pure accounting and all of it aspects Auditing, Taxation, Reporting and little bit management.

For Managemnt Accounting you have also

Before starting CFA try to buy CFA curriculum or download just to have the idea what it is. But use only CFA curriculum not dumper toys such are schweser…

ACCA and CFA at the same time? Just pick one and go find a job. Doing both at the same time without a job does not make much sense.

and how on Earth do you know what makes sense in my life ?

& how do you know Schweser is crap?

I know because I have it. Btw I didn’t say it’s a crap I said it’s a toy which meaans it is not enough. Schweser is good when you already have done the curriculum and you want to repeat because it is much shorter…

I would beg to differ. I did all three exams in minimum time with nothing but Schweser. Didn’t open the actual curriculum once.

Passed all 3 levels first try with Schweser as well. I did use CFAI EOC questions for L3 though.

I did as well