I was 12 years old when I decided I would become a lawyer. With that goal in mind, I knew I wanted to study a versatile subject in undergrad in case my career did not pan out as I anticipated. I always enjoyed the challenge of the advanced math courses I took in high school, and with the advice of my very entrepreneurial father, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) in Economics in 2018. Later that year, when I inevitably began law school pursuing my Juris Doctorate, I decided that I wanted to use the education and experience from both undergrad and law school in my future career. Thereafter, after several tax classes, I developed a passion for the tax code and how individuals and business owners alike could be incentivized to act in myriad of different ways based on tax law and the tax implications of their decisions.
While most of my peers were pursuing more traditional “Big Law” jobs after our 1L year, I recognized that my career path would be less traditional. Knowing I wanted to work in an industry with a focus on tax, I was incredibly excited when I discovered that Schneider Downs was recruiting from Duquesne Law School. From the outset, I recognized that Schneider Downs could provide me with an opportunity to use my legal background and knowledge to support a much broader array of services and expertise that goes beyond what I could ever provide to clients while strictly practicing law. Accordingly, I applied, interviewed, and was ecstatic and grateful to have been offered a summer tax internship from Schneider Downs.
Several months later, the COVID-19 outbreak occurred, and while most of my friends’ internships were cancelled, Schneider Downs transitioned to a remote internship. Admittedly, I was nervous to begin this internship remotely; however, I am very impressed with the way the internship has been handed. I had a great opportunity to get to know the people of Schneider Downs and experienced how supportive and friendly everyone is and how everyone seemed to be interested in me. More importantly, I got a sense of the culture and how everyone seemed to genuinely enjoy their jobs and working with each other.
Though my time at Schneider Downs to date has been short, I have also experienced the advantages of being a lawyer in an accounting firm. While not the most traditional path for J.D.s, I feel that the breadth and depth of Schneider Downs grants it a distinct advantage over a traditional law firm. I have witnessed firsthand that Schneider Downs’ internal capabilities offer real value-added services to its clients, and the expertise that it offers is a deeper and much broader level of support than most law firms can offer. Schneider Downs allows lawyers to become more analytical while also being able to provide advice to clients that reflects the natural synergy between law and business. Further, when lawyers are completing transactions, they are in charge of not only the legal aspects, but they are also part of a larger team addressing the entire issue for the client. That is what holds the most allure for me as an aspiring lawyer, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to experience that.
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Material discussed is meant for informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, this information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.