Page 1 of 1

Big 4 tax group/location similar to biglaw

Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:29 pm
by Anonymous User
Hi all, I'm currently a 1st year tax associate at a biglaw thinking of switching to big 4. Things have been kind of slow and I feel like my growth has been limited since I joined the firm. Any suggestions on where in big 4 can I get experiences similar to those busier biglaw tax groups? Thanks!

Re: Big 4 tax group/location similar to biglaw

Posted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:44 am
by nealric
Anonymous User wrote:Hi all, I'm currently a 1st year tax associate at a biglaw thinking of switching to big 4. Things have been kind of slow and I feel like my growth has been limited since I joined the firm. Any suggestions on where in big 4 can I get experiences similar to those busier biglaw tax groups? Thanks!


Other than Washington national tax groups, probably none. Even then, they will be highly specialized, which often isn't that great for getting a good foundation with tax. You are far better off looking to lateral within biglaw if things don't pick up.

Re: Big 4 tax group/location similar to biglaw

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:30 am
by Tefinn
National Tax, M&A / TT, or ITS.

Re: Big 4 tax group/location similar to biglaw

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:18 am
by Anonymous User
nealric wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi all, I'm currently a 1st year tax associate at a biglaw thinking of switching to big 4. Things have been kind of slow and I feel like my growth has been limited since I joined the firm. Any suggestions on where in big 4 can I get experiences similar to those busier biglaw tax groups? Thanks!


Other than Washington national tax groups, probably none. Even then, they will be highly specialized, which often isn't that great for getting a good foundation with tax. You are far better off looking to lateral within biglaw if things don't pick up.


This is an unfounded sweeping generalization. Washington National Tax definitely is one of the more "prestigious" groups within Big 4 (and they pay the most), but you definitely can get exposure to similar if not better experiences in International Tax or M&A in Big 4 NYC offices (though it really depends on which partner you get assigned to). But I would also suggest sticking around in Biglaw for couple more years before latering out.

Re: Big 4 tax group/location similar to biglaw

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:51 am
by dabigchina
Anonymous User wrote:
This is an unfounded sweeping generalization. Washington National Tax definitely is one of the more "prestigious" groups within Big 4 (and they pay the most), but you definitely can get exposure to similar if not better experiences in International Tax or M&A in Big 4 NYC offices (though it really depends on which partner you get assigned to). But I would also suggest sticking around in Biglaw for couple more years before latering out.

I agree with M&A, but international is pushing it IMO. There's a substantial risk of getting stuck on a shitload of compliance in int'l.

Re: Big 4 tax group/location similar to biglaw

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:02 am
by Anonymous User
Besides Skadden and Baker McKenzie, what are some other firms with good international tax practice?

Re: Big 4 tax group/location similar to biglaw

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:04 am
by Anonymous User
dabigchina wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
This is an unfounded sweeping generalization. Washington National Tax definitely is one of the more "prestigious" groups within Big 4 (and they pay the most), but you definitely can get exposure to similar if not better experiences in International Tax or M&A in Big 4 NYC offices (though it really depends on which partner you get assigned to). But I would also suggest sticking around in Biglaw for couple more years before latering out.

I agree with M&A, but international is pushing it IMO. There's a substantial risk of getting stuck on a shitload of compliance in int'l.


That again depends on which group you get assigned to within those groups, which partner you get to work under, and most importantly, which firm you are working at.

Other than one that I have personal experience of, I have heard anecdotally from others that part of what you are saying is true, that people do get stuck in working in compliance from time to time because some firms just fail to bring in enough structuring/diligence/controversy work to justify the costs associated with having the "expensive" lawyers at the firm. But I would disagree with M&A being more substantial as a "lawyer," because at least from my experience, they did more technical work of what accountants do than lawyers, which isn't necessarily a bad thing 'cause you get to understand the business side of things, but not necessarily marketable as a lawyer in the long run. ITS, however, can involve far more complex structuring involving corporate & partnership tax along with of course, the boring tax treaty analysis.

I think this a good forum to refer to: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=271592

But again, there are so many variables associated with working in Big 4 that going after just one year in biglaw is not recommended. Hours are not necessarily better either. Pay definitely is worse (WNT starts at 140ish+@, M&A starts JD/LLMs at 115~135k + signing ranging from 0~15k & bar passage bonus, Intl starts JD/LLMs at 115~125k + signing ranging from 0~15k & bar passage bonus; but again it all depends on the firm).

You should also get an LLM while at biglaw and let them pay for it if you don't have one already. That way at least you'll get more $ when you lateral out to big 4, if you decide to do it.

Re: Big 4 tax group/location similar to biglaw

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:04 pm
by screwtapeletters
Anonymous User wrote:Besides Skadden and Baker McKenzie, what are some other firms with good international tax practice?


Wilson Sonsini, Caplin&Drysdale, Cleary, SullCrom?

Re: Big 4 tax group/location similar to biglaw

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:48 am
by nealric
Anonymous User wrote:
nealric wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi all, I'm currently a 1st year tax associate at a biglaw thinking of switching to big 4. Things have been kind of slow and I feel like my growth has been limited since I joined the firm. Any suggestions on where in big 4 can I get experiences similar to those busier biglaw tax groups? Thanks!


Other than Washington national tax groups, probably none. Even then, they will be highly specialized, which often isn't that great for getting a good foundation with tax. You are far better off looking to lateral within biglaw if things don't pick up.


This is an unfounded sweeping generalization. Washington National Tax definitely is one of the more "prestigious" groups within Big 4 (and they pay the most), but you definitely can get exposure to similar if not better experiences in International Tax or M&A in Big 4 NYC offices (though it really depends on which partner you get assigned to). But I would also suggest sticking around in Biglaw for couple more years before latering out.


Perhaps I shouldn't have said "none." Yes, you can get good experience in Big4, but my point is that if your concern is that you are not getting enough substantive experience, Big4 is not the answer. You can end up doing nothing but diligence or compliance, and it's not necessarily going to be clear going in. Plus, you have the lower pay, often similar hours, and even worse partnership prospects.