TAX LLM - GULC or Northwestern

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GULC or NU for a Tax LLM if I want to work in the Midwest

GULC
10
34%
NU
10
34%
Other
9
31%
 
Total votes: 29

grandblanc
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TAX LLM - GULC or Northwestern

Postby grandblanc » Fri Dec 11, 2009 8:12 pm

So, I know the economy sucks, but I really want a Tax LLM b/c I eventually want to teach tax law. Here's my dilemma: Should I choose GULC or NU? I want to work in the Midwest. My JD is from UMiami (Tier 2, but it is well-known, apparently). I haven't had law firm experience, all of my experience is in the public sector. Will choosing GULC hurt me if I want to work in the Midwest? I figured Northwestern was good b/c of it's location, and I am originally from Michigan. My JD degree will, at least, be cum laude.

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patrickd139
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Re: TAX LLM - GULC or Northwestern

Postby patrickd139 » Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:46 am

Other: NYU

/thread.

grandblanc
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Re: TAX LLM - GULC or Northwestern

Postby grandblanc » Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:29 pm

OK, I know NYU is the top. But, I don't want to work in New York, and I don't think anyone is hiring there anyways. Plus, I don't want to shell out 40k in housing + tuition 40k = 80k. Any other thoughts.

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nealric
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Re: TAX LLM - GULC or Northwestern

Postby nealric » Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:04 pm

I'm doing a GULC Joint JD/LLM, so I'm happy to answer GULC specific questions.

Frankly, I don't see any reason to go to Northwestern for your LLM. The Big 3 are NYU/GULC/UF. Unless an employer is paying for it, I wouldn't go elsewhere. LLM hiring is really soft right now from any program (My job came from JD recruiting- the straight LLMs in my classes seem to be having tons of trouble). As the undisputed top program, NYU is going to be the best from a recruiting standpoint. GULC tends to feed more into government than biglaw (though not exclusively).

Since you are coming from Florida, UF might be a really good choice if you can get in-state tuition.

grandblanc
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Re: TAX LLM - GULC or Northwestern

Postby grandblanc » Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:25 am

I hate Florida and the only reason I came to UMiami was b/c they paid 2/3 of my tuition. I am looking to return to the Midwest, so I don't have any incentive to go to UF. Moreover, UF recruiting is basically limited to Southeast and Texas.

I am applying for the COST program and graduate tax scholars program at GULC to relieve some of the tuition, hopefully I get it. I know NYU is top, but do you think NYU and GULC both engage the same employers through TIP? I wouldn't mind working for the IRS, I don't need a 160k job (which aren't even avialable anymore) and I would really like to do a tax court clerkship for a year or two. So, those were my reasons for going to GULC. Am I convoluted to choose GULC over NYU?

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ggocat
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Re: TAX LLM - GULC or Northwestern

Postby ggocat » Sun Dec 13, 2009 10:59 am

grandblanc wrote:I wouldn't mind working for the IRS, I don't need a 160k job (which aren't even avialable anymore) and I would really like to do a tax court clerkship for a year or two. So, those were my reasons for going to GULC.

Going out on a limb here, but I'd guess tax court clerkship would be more competitive than IRS/biglaw.

I'd also vote UF if it's substantially less expensive than GULC/NU. But I dunno about GULC over NU if they both cost the same. Seems like it would be good to study in the midwest if that's where you want to work. But if GULC is cheaper, definitely go there.

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nealric
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Re: TAX LLM - GULC or Northwestern

Postby nealric » Sun Dec 13, 2009 1:31 pm

Going out on a limb here, but I'd guess tax court clerkship would be more competitive than IRS/biglaw.



I have a biglaw offer. I was turned down at IRS honors. It's a tough nut to crack. This is partially because the hiring is really unpredictable. One year they may take 25 people, the next the might take 5. They did a bunch of stimulus hiring over the summer, but things have dried up since then.

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ggocat
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Re: TAX LLM - GULC or Northwestern

Postby ggocat » Sun Dec 13, 2009 1:44 pm

nealric wrote:
Going out on a limb here, but I'd guess tax court clerkship would be more competitive than IRS/biglaw.

I have a biglaw offer. I was turned down at IRS honors. It's a tough nut to crack. This is partially because the hiring is really unpredictable. One year they may take 25 people, the next the might take 5. They did a bunch of stimulus hiring over the summer, but things have dried up since then.

Did you apply to the field offices or just the national office?

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nealric
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Re: TAX LLM - GULC or Northwestern

Postby nealric » Sun Dec 13, 2009 1:46 pm


Did you apply to the field offices or just the national office?


Both, but the field office I was applying for didn't take anybody.

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NayBoer
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Re: TAX LLM - GULC or Northwestern

Postby NayBoer » Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:12 pm

NYU goes anywhere you want to practice US tax law, if you can afford it.

NYU >>>>>> GULC > UF >>>>>>>>>>>>>Northwestern > others

And to be clear, I'm ED at NU and considering going for their 6 or 7 semester JD/LLM in tax. So I'm a big fan of the school. It has been fairly solidly ranked at #4 the last few years in USNWR tax rankings, but the big 3 are known everywhere and NYU is always #1.

The main benefit to NU over GULC is that you won't have to move to DC and then a year later move to the Midwest, and you'll be able to network with people closer to where you want to work. But if you don't want to work relatively close to Chicago, I think the benefits of networking are much less apparent. And the name will generally be less prestigious, especially outside of Chicago where hometown bias disappears but big 3 awareness persists.

Though I wouldn't necessarily expect an LLM from anywhere to be game-changing re career prospects. It's closer to a necessary condition than a sufficient condition.

What are you trying to do in the Midwest? Law firm? Accounting?

USAIRS
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Re: TAX LLM - GULC or Northwestern

Postby USAIRS » Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:23 pm

grandblanc wrote:So, I know the economy sucks, but I really want a Tax LLM b/c I eventually want to teach tax law. Here's my dilemma: Should I choose GULC or NU? I want to work in the Midwest. My JD is from UMiami (Tier 2, but it is well-known, apparently). I haven't had law firm experience, all of my experience is in the public sector. Will choosing GULC hurt me if I want to work in the Midwest? I figured Northwestern was good b/c of it's location, and I am originally from Michigan. My JD degree will, at least, be cum laude.


Hi, I Just read the post above and wanted to give you my insight on this. I went to Uchicago and then picked up a local LLM, worked in IRS counsel for 3 years, and am now in doing tax litigation under the DOJ. For what its worth, although I would have loved to have gone to Northwestern for my LLM just because I like the school, it did work out for me to choose a local program precisely because of the internships/networking I did. However, I also already had a top JD on my resume, which really went a long way since competition is stiff for everything, and local llms are a dime a dozen. I was the exception, and not the rule, in terms of success from the program. Most people hung out a shingle or worked in small firms.

If you simply want to find work in Chicago, NU is a fine choice. The Chicago market was hit hard, though, and even NU JDs are having a hard time, so I wouldn't bank on it.

My advice is two things: First, if you have a job offer, then take it and work there for at least one year. People who have a little experience have a much better chance of landing something from any llm program. You will likely be worse off than you are now if you choose to go to an LLM program, because most people get a Big4 accounting firm job if they are lucky even from NYU. It also increases your odds of getting a scholarship. Second, you should set aside your reservations about shooting for NYU. That program is really the only one that will give you the potential to teach regardless of what job you end up in, is the primary program from which tax court judges recruit clerks (which requires you to do at least another year in DC), and is the only one that will, on its name alone, give you the same shot at any job you are looking for as if you had graduated from the JD program. If you don't get in there (which is the only reason you should be considering another school), then it is a toss up between GULC, NU, and Florida. If you want to teach, or clerk, or work for IRS counsel, then I'd still say GULC.

Check out the forum at http://www.taxtalent.com if you want to see more, and maybe post your question there.

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NayBoer
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Re: TAX LLM - GULC or Northwestern

Postby NayBoer » Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:26 pm

NayBoer wrote:What are you trying to do in the Midwest? Law firm? Accounting?
Wait, I just finally noticed that OP wants to 'teach' tax law. Going into the legal academy involves all sorts of considerations separate from the tax law market.

As far I can tell, and anyone correct me if I'm wrong, but the main ways to become a law professor are scholarship and great grades from a great school, extensive accomplishment in the field, and being famous (e.g. public official).

grandblanc
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Re: TAX LLM - GULC or Northwestern

Postby grandblanc » Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:41 pm

I will be obtaining my JD from UMiami (they paid 2/3 of my tuition, in hindsight, probably not the best choice, but it saved me money to put toward an LLM) in Spring 2010. I just got a tax paper published.

I really don't care what I do, as long as I have a job doing something tax related in this economy. Big4, small firm, medium firm, large firm, IRS, government, anything. I just want a job, I am not picky about what I do, just where I do it.

I WANT to return to the Midwest permanently.

It seems everyone is saying NYU or bust.

USAIRS
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Re: TAX LLM - GULC or Northwestern

Postby USAIRS » Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:47 pm

NayBoer wrote:
NayBoer wrote:What are you trying to do in the Midwest? Law firm? Accounting?
Wait, I just finally noticed that OP wants to 'teach' tax law. Going into the legal academy involves all sorts of considerations separate from the tax law market.

As far I can tell, and anyone correct me if I'm wrong, but the main ways to become a law professor are scholarship and great grades from a great school, extensive accomplishment in the field, and being famous (e.g. public official).


Tax is a bit different. The courses are so specialized that schools are lucky if they can find someone in the city the school is in to teach a course on something like executive compensation. If you contact a local LLM program and tell them you are qualified to do something like that, and have good job experience, you can teach the seminar. It pays almost nothing, but you do enough of these and I've seen people get full-time faculty offers. The problem is these still pay barely anything. I would think no more than 50k a year under any circumstances. It isn't a bad start, and can lead to more publications etc.

Tax is just less competitive overall, simply because you don't have the Yale cats or people with PhDs, or people with appellate or supreme court clerkships, competing for tax positions anywhere, including in academia. The NYU tax LLM is the major credential, and almost qualifies someone to teach a seminar by itself at a lot of LLM programs. With the Chicago JD (and poor grades in that) and my government experience, I'm pretty confident I could land a spot to teach a seminar, or even a required course, at the local LLM programs right now if I had the time.

grandblanc
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Re: TAX LLM - GULC or Northwestern

Postby grandblanc » Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:21 pm

I forgot to mention, I am interviewing for a state court of appeals clerkship in Michigan next week. I attempted federal clerkships, but no luck, the market for recent JDs is really bad. Only 2/480 students in my JD class have a clerkship, one is florida district court and the other is the international trade court.

So, do you think it is worth it/better to do a state clerkship as a pre-hearing attorney for 1-3 years, to become well-rounded, and then attempt to get a tax LLM, rather than in the current market. It would leave me time to research and publish more I guess. The starting salary is 50k, which isn't too bad.

USAIRS
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Re: TAX LLM - GULC or Northwestern

Postby USAIRS » Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:47 pm

grandblanc wrote:So, do you think it is worth it/better to do a state clerkship as a pre-hearing attorney for 1-3 years, to become well-rounded, and then attempt to get a tax LLM, rather than in the current market. It would leave me time to research and publish more I guess. The starting salary is 50k, which isn't too bad.


Absolutely. And it would also be better to try for IRS Counsel honors or as a lateral from the clerkship, or for a tax court clerkship, or for any other tax job before heading out for your LL.M. Not only will you get better scholarship, but your exit opportunities from the LL.M. will be twice as good.

grandblanc
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Re: TAX LLM - GULC or Northwestern

Postby grandblanc » Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:59 am

Thanks. This is actually helping. Honestly, I would prefer to go home and "cool-down" for a year working as a prehearing attorney, rather than going straight to a tax llm. And from a career perspective, it seems it woudl benefit me.

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chadwick218
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Re: TAX LLM - GULC or Northwestern

Postby chadwick218 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:14 pm

I will be doing a JD/LLM in Taxation at NU over the course of 6 semesters (possibly 7 pending a deferral). If I could do the LLM at either GULC or NYU in 7 semesters, then I would opt for those two programs in part because of prestige and in part for diversity / networking reasons.




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