So what's the deal with tax law?

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SPE155
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So what's the deal with tax law?

Postby SPE155 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:34 pm

I was recently speaking to an attourney in Richmond about various areas of law I think I'm interested in pursuing (maybe banking/finance), and he said tax law is a great area right now. He works for a large firm in Richmond and I assume he know what he is talking about. His insight is that his firm often has a shortage of tax attouneys.

I am already aware that Florida, GT, and NYU are the only LLM programs to bother with, but I am curious how much where your JD comes from effects later job options for tax law.

In thinking about tax law and spending more money for a LLM, I'm wondering if going to a slightly less prestigous but with $$$$ law school (still top 30), and then put money toward LLM is the best option. Or is go with higher ranked school, spend more, and then still have to pay for LLM needed?

dissonance1848
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Re: So what's the deal with tax law?

Postby dissonance1848 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:40 pm

It seems like LLMs don't have much value; most of your legal knowledge comes from actual practice, not the class room.

If you really want to get in on the tax attorney game, it would seem that you need to do internships, work with the IRS. For that, you would need to go to a high "prestige" school.

Also, note that there are few tax attorneys, its quite specialized, so you should not bank on being one (save for rocking a top school and joining Skadden, which has one of the top tax law departments).

SPE155
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Re: So what's the deal with tax law?

Postby SPE155 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:57 pm

My understanding is that a LLM is almost useless, UNLESS going into tax law, in which case it is essentially a requirement.

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IAFG
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Re: So what's the deal with tax law?

Postby IAFG » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:20 pm

SPE155 wrote:My understanding is that a LLM is almost useless, UNLESS going into tax law, in which case it is essentially a requirement.

Scanning some firm bios at Band 1 tax firms, I don't think it's a requirement at all.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: So what's the deal with tax law?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:25 pm

A poster on here named nealric works as a biglaw tax attorney. Might want to pm him with questions.

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dingbat
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Re: So what's the deal with tax law?

Postby dingbat » Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:44 pm

SPE155 wrote:I was recently speaking to an attourney in Richmond about various areas of law I think I'm interested in pursuing (maybe banking/finance), and he said tax law is a great area right now. He works for a large firm in Richmond and I assume he know what he is talking about. His insight is that his firm often has a shortage of tax attouneys.

I am already aware that Florida, GT, and NYU are the only LLM programs to bother with, but I am curious how much where your JD comes from effects later job options for tax law.

In thinking about tax law and spending more money for a LLM, I'm wondering if going to a slightly less prestigous but with $$$$ law school (still top 30), and then put money toward LLM is the best option. Or is go with higher ranked school, spend more, and then still have to pay for LLM needed?


Because the tax code is incredibly convoluted and there are a gazillian loopholes to take advantage of, but for each loophole, there are a dozen fixes, so they probably can't be used.
Based on my experience dealing with them, biglaw tax attorneys spend a lot of time trying to make heads or tails out of the IRC, which is a nightmare. Also, when a law firm gives an opinion regarding a tax matter, being wrong is a major thing (IRS doesn't take kindly to a firm giving clients bad advice).
However, there are a lot of areas in tax where a clever attorney can push the envelope, or figure out a new structure to minimize taxes

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nealric
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Re: So what's the deal with tax law?

Postby nealric » Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:41 am

The JD is far more important than an LLM for tax. Most biglaw firms hire still hire new tax associates from the summer associate pool, who are hired at the end of 1L year. Some firms care about LLMs and some do not. My firm is like many NYC firms where the standard MO is to get an LLM from NYU part time while a junior to mid-level associate. The firm will pay for it. I did an LLM as a joint degree, but only because I was deferred a semester and had nothing better to do in the time off. OCI in my LLM program was basically non-existent.

My understanding is that a LLM is almost useless, UNLESS going into tax law, in which case it is essentially a requirement.


As said above, it's not a requirement at all. But many firms expect their tax associates to start working on their LLM after they start.

Also, note that there are few tax attorneys, its quite specialized, so you should not bank on being one (save for rocking a top school and joining Skadden, which has one of the top tax law departments).


I'm not sure going to Skadden necessarily makes it more likely you will end up in tax than any other biglaw firm that has a decent-size tax department. But it's certainly a good idea to go to a top school for tax.

dissonance1848
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Re: So what's the deal with tax law?

Postby dissonance1848 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:47 am

I stated Skadden because apparently they have a badass tax law group, like Wachtell has a badass M&A group.

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nealric
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Re: So what's the deal with tax law?

Postby nealric » Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:01 pm

They are chambers band-1 for tax, but I wouldn't say they are head and shoulders above everyone else like Wachtell's M&A group is.

dissonance1848
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Re: So what's the deal with tax law?

Postby dissonance1848 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:03 pm

Fair enough. But their list of who's in their Tax group is still impressive.




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