Big4 tax to BigLaw - How and When?

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Big4 tax to BigLaw - How and When?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:17 pm

How hard is it to lateral from Big4 to BigLaw? Has been working in M&A tax in one of the Big4's non-WNT/NYC offices for <1 yr. Looking to lateral into tax/M&A practice of BigLaw down the road.

So my questions are:

1) Is it hard to move to BigLaw? Heard mixed things about this - some say I am stuck with Big 4 but have been told by someone who made the move that it was not that hard and he/she saw people moving from Big4 to BigLaw all the time. I worked part-time in BigLaw for my LLM year and it seemed that I lot of tax people there were from Big4.

2) If the move is possible or even common, when do people usually do that? Will 1-yr Big4 experience be competitive for BigLaw?

3) What are the chances for me to break into BigLaw M&A? Tax is fine for me but I am under the impression that M&A could open more doors career-wise.

If relevant, I am a T14 JD + NYU/GULC tax LLM. JD grade is median; LLM grade is sightly better but no honors.

Thank you in advance for the input.


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Re: Big4 tax to BigLaw - How and When?

Postby silenttimer » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:34 am

I don't know any of the answers to your questions, but would be interested to know why you want to move to Big Law. Is it for the money? Is there a difference in the work between Big Four and Big Law?

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Re: Big4 tax to BigLaw - How and When?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:08 pm

It really depends. Someone from my class was at a big4 for a few months then left for a large firm in NY. I think it is generally difficult in NY because a lot of tax associates are generalists at law firms and are specialists at big4 firms and there are literally thousands of NYU Tax LLMs in the city. A Simpson partner said that it's extremely rare that they look for an associate at a big4 (especially at more senior levels) because of this. He said it's not impossible, but very unlikely that they'll consider big4 (he mentioned that there may be one at Simpson).

Also, depends on the market. If you're in a secondary market like Philly/Boston/Atlanta, where there are a lot fewer NYU/GT LLMs, it is probably a lot more likely that they'd consider you based on credentials.

As for M&A, I don't think there's really a chance. Everyone I know in M&A or general corporate with a tax LLM either had that job beforehand or snagged it during the LLM. No one worked in tax post-LLM then snuck into a group like that. I could be wrong, though.

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