The San Fernando Valley Bar Association is made up of more than 2,000 members, each of whom brings a wealth of wide-ranging experience and talents―both professional and personal―to their work in our community. The SFVBA spotlights a member of the Bar to recognize those individuals and put a face on our diverse Bar Association.
Attorney – CPA
When Hratch Karakachian got off the plane in Los Angeles from his native Lebanon, he was a 17-year old kid with a fluency in four languages―French, Arabic, Armenian and English―and a “determination to get a great education and take advantage of all the opportunities I knew the U.S. would make available to me.”
To say that his resolution has borne fruit would reach the heights of understatement. “I had no idea how I was going to accomplish it,” he says, “but I was very, very determined.”
The “it” Karakachian has accomplished includes an Associate’s degree from Glendale Community College, a pair of Bachelor’s degrees (Business and Accounting), as well as a Master’s in Taxation from USC’s Marshall School of Business, and a JD earned after four years of night classes at the University of West Los Angeles. He’s also earned a CPA license, rose to senior level management positions with both Arthur Anderson and Deloitte Touche, and, currently, heads his own Glendale-based law/accounting firm.
In his spare time, he serves as an adjunct faculty member in California Lutheran University School of Management and has taught courses in the school’s MBA in Financial Planning program since 2013. He has also taught Managerial Accounting and Income Tax and Strategy, as well as courses on the Foundations of Accounting and Finance, and currently serves as Chair of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association’s Tax Section.
“I never doubted or questioned my decision to go to law school, says Karakachian. “It was very difficult and very challenging, but I started it and was determined to finish it.”
Being both an attorney and an accountant “complement one another,” he says. “They both provide the opportunity look at situations from different angles. As a CPA, the focus in on the numbers…as an attorney, there’s more analysis and study involved in coming up with the correct solution. Being a CPA, makes me a better business person, while my legal training helps me take a step back and work through the details a little bit more carefully.”