Is tax law an option for me?

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letsgodeacs99

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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?

Halltheway

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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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rion91

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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.

DreamShake

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Re: Is tax law an option for me?

Postby DreamShake » Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:35 am

Many of the tax lawyers I know (generally at V10-V50 firms) had undergrads totally unrelated to tax or business - think English, classics, psychology, philosophy, etc. Also, relatively few have LLMs and none are pursuing LLMs while working. To be blunt, LLMs tend either to be folks from other countries or people who didn’t have the school/grades to get a job via OCI.

I think pretty much all of the tax folks I know took at least one tax class before summering, and took a number or tax classes before graduating.

dabigchina

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Re: Is tax law an option for me?

Postby dabigchina » Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:30 pm

DreamShake wrote:Many of the tax lawyers I know (generally at V10-V50 firms) had undergrads totally unrelated to tax or business - think English, classics, psychology, philosophy, etc. Also, relatively few have LLMs and none are pursuing LLMs while working. To be blunt, LLMs tend either to be folks from other countries or people who didn’t have the school/grades to get a job via OCI.

I think pretty much all of the tax folks I know took at least one tax class before summering, and took a number or tax classes before graduating.

Pretty much this. If you go to a T14, and you have good grades, you should be fine. Some firms prefer for their associates to get LLMs, but not all. If they do, the firms will pay for a part time LLM programs a lot of the time.

The math in tax law is not complicated at all. If you can add, subtract, multiply, and divide, you will be able to practice tax law.

RedPurpleBlue

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Re: Is tax law an option for me?

Postby RedPurpleBlue » Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:23 pm

DreamShake wrote:Many of the tax lawyers I know (generally at V10-V50 firms) had undergrads totally unrelated to tax or business - think English, classics, psychology, philosophy, etc. Also, relatively few have LLMs and none are pursuing LLMs while working. To be blunt, LLMs tend either to be folks from other countries or people who didn’t have the school/grades to get a job via OCI.

I think pretty much all of the tax folks I know took at least one tax class before summering, and took a number or tax classes before graduating.


I will also add that some people will get an Executive Tax LLM at NYU (or occasionally other schools with physical programs in their market) because their firm will pay for it and they enjoyed studying tax/want the additional credential.



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