Is tax law an option for me?

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Is tax law an option for me?

Postby letsgodeacs99 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:25 pm

I will be attending a T14 school in the fall, and I'm trying to look into different fields of law to see where I may want to specialize. After looking into tax law, it seems like something I would be very interested in. However, I have no undergrad accounting/business background (I was a poli sci major). Will this hurt my employment prospects in the future, or will some additional schooling such as an LLM make up for it?


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Re: Is tax law an option for me?

Postby Halltheway » Thu May 17, 2018 6:16 am

Going off of what I have heard from tax attorneys, tax background/courses in law school are definitely helpful but ultimately, if you want to be an actual tax attorney v. an attorney at a firm that somewhat deals with tax amongst other things, you need an LLM to get the job.

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Re: Is tax law an option for me?

Postby rion91 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:13 pm

Yes, it's an option. I was a poli sci undergrad and had no math in college. No need to be worried about it. Tax law is much more about understanding the code and knowing how it will apply to benefit or burden your client. The questions involve legal issues: whether your transaction is taxable in the U.S., whether structuring a business purchase is tax-free, whether a transaction entitles you to take a deduction, whether you can defer income into the future (pay tax later), or accelerate income to offset it with net operating losses. The intense math, like 382 studies, is for accounting firms.

I did an LLM at BU and it was a great decision for me. But I was a JD already and transferred into the JD/Tax LLM program after my 2nd year. But I was a minority. I think 80% of our Tax LLM students were students that graduated with JDs from other schools. I believe this is how it is in most top tax programs (NYU, GT, BU, UF, Northwestern).

So my advice here is that you shouldn't go to a school for its Tax LLM program. My honest recommendation is to go to the best school you can get into, regardless if it has an LLM program. Your changes for employment (whether in tax law or not) are much better if you keep an open mind and go where the demand is at in that school's market. The Tax LLM will always be there if you graduate without a job. Of course, your optimal path is to go to one of the five schools I listed above if you are absolutely banking on tax.

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