Site Information

For American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Corporate - Business Law

Fall; Spring

Contracts; Intellectual Property; Local Government

Factual Investigation; Legal Research & Analysis; Transactional Drafting

Work Description


The AICPA is the world’s largest member association representing the accounting profession, with more than 412,000 members in 144 countries, and a history of serving the public interest since 1887. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting.  The AICPA sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards for private companies, nonprofit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination, and offers specialty credentials for CPAs who concentrate on personal financial planning; forensic accounting; business valuation; and information management and technology assurance. Through a joint venture with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, it has established the Chartered Global Management Accountant designation, which sets a new standard for global recognition of management accounting.   AICPA is headquartered in Durham and maintains offices in New York City, Washington, DC, and Ewing, NJ.  For more information, please visit

DESCRIPTION OF STUDENT WORK/PROJECTS:   The extern will perform a broad range of duties related to supporting AICPA’s Office of General Counsel. Such duties and/or project assignments may include:  (i) reviewing proposed vendor contracts against AICPA’s standard vendor agreement; identifying terms that differ from AICPA’s preferred terms; and, if appropriate, propose changes to vendor contract language and assist in explaining to internal clients the reasons for the proposed changes; (ii) reviewing trademark search request forms received from business owners to ensure the legal team has enough information to analyze the risk associated with use of a particular new proposed trademark; conducting initial searches to determine whether trademarks may be available for use; and reviewing and analyzing trademark search reports prepared by outside counsel; (iii) legal research including statutory, regulatory, and case law research (examples include state accountancy laws and regulations); (iv) attending AICPA committee or task force meetings at which members and/or staff may be engaged in standard setting for the accounting profession; (v) observing AICPA disciplinary hearings at which members are brought before panels of their peers for various alleged violations (including technical and ethical violations); (vi) review requests for AICPA to participate in cases as amicus curiae and assist in the development of amicus briefs; and (vii) other projects to be determined.



The student must have strong legal research and writing skills.  The student would benefit from having taken Contracts, Antitrust Law, Administrative Law, and Trademark Law.  Accounting experience is not necessary, although students with a background in accounting may have a special interest in AICPA’s work and may find their accounting experience helpful on certain projects.


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