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Tax LLM?

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:16 am
by isuckatusernames
Hi, strangers on the internet. Just wanting some input about my current situation.

I'm a 3L at a tier 2 school with average grades. So my question is regarding the usefulness of a tax llm from a school other than those in the top.

My current school only offers a couple tax courses, which I have taken, and in doing so I discovered an interest in that area. However, I have no background in finance/accounting/tax, so I feel like I would need to take more courses in tax to be able to do anything with it.
Obviously, I am not a candidate for schools such as NYU, Georgetown, or UF. My question is: is there any point in doing a tax llm, if one can be obtained at a reasonable price, in my situation?

To get ahead of a normal inquiry, I am not looking into this with the hope that it would improve my job prospects. Simply interested in the subject.

Any insight would be appreciated!

Re: Tax LLM?

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:35 am
by Anonymous User
You can check LLM Guide, its a forum where prospective LLM students post.

Re: Tax LLM?

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:30 am
by CardozoLaw09
Why are you pre-emptively ruling yourself out from NYU/Gtown/UF?

Re: Tax LLM?

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:16 am
by pancakes3
i know 1-2 ppl in GT tax llm that have struck out at their OCI so imagine what it'd be like at a shitty program.

Re: Tax LLM?

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:53 am
by Damage Over Time
isuckatusernames wrote:Obviously, I am not a candidate for schools such as NYU, Georgetown, or UF. My question is: is there any point in doing a tax llm, if one can be obtained at a reasonable price, in my situation?


Why aren't you a candidate for those schools? Also, how do you plan on obtaining a reasonably priced tax LLM?

Re: Tax LLM?

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:07 pm
by unlicensedpotato
You don't need to take any more tax classes to be able to work in tax, regardless of your background. There are tax associates at top firms who took no tax classes during law school.

Re: Tax LLM?

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:12 pm
by toast and bananas
unlicensedpotato wrote:You don't need to take any more tax classes to be able to work in tax, regardless of your background. There are tax associates at top firms who took no tax classes during law school.


While this is true, a caveat would be that some tax groups only like to hire people who can demonstrate a genuine interest in tax. At least at my firm, this is the case because there is a high attrition rate in tax because people don't seem to realize what it is their getting into (e.g., how incredibly steep the learning curve is). That said, I do know people there who didn't take beyond baby tax in law school.

Re: Tax LLM?

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:28 pm
by nealric
pancakes3 wrote:i know 1-2 ppl in GT tax llm that have struck out at their OCI so imagine what it'd be like at a shitty program.


LLM OCI isn't like JD OCI. It's not the primary recruitment pathway. It's also worth noting that a decent percentage of tax LLM students already have a job lined up before they start or are attending part time while they work.

To the OP: I wouldn't bother with a tax llm unless it's NYU or GULC. Other programs can be OK if you already have a tax background and/or are already local and are attending part time, but none are worth moving across the country with nothing lined up.

Re: Tax LLM?

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:33 pm
by isuckatusernames
Thanks for the responses, everyone!

Regarding my not being a candidate for the top schools: because of my academics. I attend a tier 2 school and I'm only ranked around 50%. I did really poorly my first year, so it's just not even possible for me to increase my standing by much at this point.

I know there is at least one school in my state that has a tax llm program and it is a reasonable cost, which is really the type of program I was thinking about.

Re: Tax LLM?

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:52 pm
by Damage Over Time
isuckatusernames wrote:I know there is at least one school in my state that has a tax llm program and it is a reasonable cost, which is really the type of program I was thinking about.


Unfortunately, it's almost certainly not worth attending. I'm not sure exactly what the employment stats are for unranked tax LLM programs (which I assume the program you're thinking about is), but based on the fact that there are people in the elite programs who end up unemployed I can't imagine you'd have any realistic chance of improving your employment chances by attending this kind of school.

Re: Tax LLM?

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:39 pm
by nealric
isuckatusernames wrote:Thanks for the responses, everyone!

Regarding my not being a candidate for the top schools: because of my academics. I attend a tier 2 school and I'm only ranked around 50%. I did really poorly my first year, so it's just not even possible for me to increase my standing by much at this point.

I know there is at least one school in my state that has a tax llm program and it is a reasonable cost, which is really the type of program I was thinking about.


It's worth noting that tax law tends to get squeezed out in the low end by CPAs, RAs, and other similar tax service providers. There's not much that a tax attorney does that can't legally be performed by a non-attorney. Most individual and small business work does not go to attorneys as a result. Accordingly, it's very hard to make it as a tax attorney without large business and international level experience. With a few exceptions. you need to be in Biglaw, the Big4, or the right divisions of IRS Chief Counsel to get that experience. This is why low-end tax LLMs tend to be a poor idea. Even GULC/NYU tend to only provide a modest bump in your ability to secure these types of gigs.

Re: Tax LLM?

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:37 pm
by lavarman84
isuckatusernames wrote:Thanks for the responses, everyone!

Regarding my not being a candidate for the top schools: because of my academics. I attend a tier 2 school and I'm only ranked around 50%. I did really poorly my first year, so it's just not even possible for me to increase my standing by much at this point.

I know there is at least one school in my state that has a tax llm program and it is a reasonable cost, which is really the type of program I was thinking about.


You might as well apply. The standards aren't as stringent. If you've done well in your tax classes, you have a shot (especially if your tax professors are willing to write LORs for you). A buddy of mine who was right around median at my T1 got into NYU, GT, and UF.

Re: Tax LLM?

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:59 am
by isuckatusernames
Thank you all for the replies! I feel like this was quite helpful. Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!!