Accounting for Lawyers

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
MON, TUE, WED 10:30 - 11:20 am TNH 3.127

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location
Midterm February 22, 2013 1:00 pm - 3:20 pm A-Z in 2.139
Midterm March 29, 2013 1:00 pm - 3:20 pm A-Z in 2.139
Final May 9, 2013 8:30 am A-Z in 2.139


Accounting for Lawyers is an introduction to accounting concepts. Many business controversies are shaped by accounting thinking and business lawyers will operate in an environment where accounting is considered a universal language. The primary focus of the course will be on financial statements prepared by corporations for their shareholders under Securities Exchange Commission rules and in accord with "Generally Accepted Accounting Principles." But issues from tax accounting, international accounting standards, financial statement analysis, and required financial information disclosures are brought in, at least for comparison. The course will teach the core system of accountants, that is, debit-credit entries, balance sheets, income statements, statement of cash flows, and accrual method. The purpose is not to teach students to be professional (or semi-pro) accountants, however, but rather to give exposure to controversies shaped by financial and accounting thinking. The perspective is that of an outside investor who will use accounting information or an outside lawyer who will make accounting and financial arguments. There will also be discussion on the limitations of accounting theory and practice and on how concepts useful for one purpose can malfunction if used for another.