A lawyer and an accountant walk into a bar. Everyone else in the bar doesn’t care.
Our friends over at Above the Law published a debate between an ex-lawyer and ex-accountant over which profession was more god-awful. I didn’t read the whole thing but whatever the conclusion, it matters not. This is a pointless conversation that will be argued until the end of civilization or when robots take over both professions, whichever comes first.
Yet, the debate rages on. Why? I have ideas:
Lawyers — Lawyers like to have this conversation because they like talking about money even more than accountants do. They also like to use the farcical prestige of their profession to belittle a profession that they consider to be just an army of simpleton number crunchers.
Accountants — Accountants like to have this conversation because they enjoy pointing out that lawyers make bad life choices. Seriously, what kind of person willingly pursues a career that is stacked in the favor of the students at the most elite schools, results in a six-figure school loan debt, an evaporated job market, and no useful skills? The answer: A very stupid person.
Despite the futile nature of this discussion, in the spirit of good Internet sport, I will extend this fruitless debate further, thus continuing the endless circle of petty bickering that both accountants and lawyers relish. Don’t wanna to do it, but feel like I owe it to you.
I’ve come up with four main areas of discussion to compare the two professions. After reading them, feel free to add your comments should you believe I missed anything. I plan to nail this, though, so maybe don’t bother. Anyway, let’s do this.
There are lawyers who say law is awesome and accounting is boring. There are accountants who say accounting is awesome and law is boring. There are lawyers and accountants who will tell you that the work of both profession is boring. To this latter group, I would say shut up and stop obsessing over money.
What it comes down to is fear. That is, do you fear numbers or words? Your opinion on how “boring” either law or accounting is based solely on how you answer that question. Which your fear is, you’re just ignorant and incapable of empathy which makes you a bad person.
Lawyers make more starting out; they make more over the long haul. I’m sure any enterprising accountant could prove me wrong with an elaborately designed spreadsheet but I don’t give a fuck. Not a single one.
Money is a pointless topic within this debate because anyone who is motivated primarily by money is myopic and soulless. I’d avoid any profession that is populated with these type of people (which probably explains why I work at home, ALL ALONE *sob*)
If you want to be rich, you’re going to have to start a business and make it wildly successful. In this highly unlikely event, then you will have enough money to throw scraps to the ground and watch lawyers and accountants fight over them just to serve you, while you laugh maniacally. Fun!
Ahhhhh, there’s nothing quite like the incessant bitching of over-educated, entitled professionals who have an inflated sense of self-worth. Determining which group of professionals suck the life out of your soul more effectively is also a futile exercise. In either law or accounting, misery loves company that loves company that loves misery. You’re doomed to be surrounded by people you don’t like or want to talk to.
Speaking of conversation — you can pick your poison: Do you want to talk about legal work or accounting work? Because that’s what your colleagues are going to talk to you about 99% of the time. The other 1% of the time, you’re discussing sports or your Plan B commute or the camera on your new smartphone or how you need to get back into your workout routine or the real estate values in your neighborhood or any other topic that your average white-collar working stiff thinks is interesting to someone else.
Don’t get me started on the empty ambitions of these two groups. Lawyers all think they can either be Senators or that they want to save the children/whales/Africa with their scholarly legal intellect. Or maybe they’ll just give it all up and become the next John Grisham! In reality, they can’t accept the fact that most of them will either do estate planning for people far, far wealthier than they’ll ever be or chasing ambulances and shooting low-budget commercials that will air after midnight.
Accountants, on the other hand, all want to be Gordon Gekko except they don’t have the smarts or the charisma or the guts to take a chance on anything but the cream cheese they want on their bagel. When they’ve realized that the best options they have are either being a partner at a small accounting firm or controller of a real estate company that specializes in storage units, they lose all ambition because those two jobs allow you a somewhat decent life.
Except for the part where you’re a partner a small accounting firm or controller of a real estate company that specializes in storage units.
To sum it up, lawyers and accountants tie for the worstest and this post will undoubtedly go down in history as the authoritative literature on the subject. Discuss.