Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

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pierce_and_pierce
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Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

Postby pierce_and_pierce » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:35 pm

The title pretty much says it. Is tax law (this includes everything from high-profile international taxation/M&A tax work to helping regular joes with the IRS) a huge prestige whore industry like the corporate law world? Can you still be successful in tax law if you go to a T25-T30 school, or is the T14 rule basically in effect here as well?

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chadwick218
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Re: Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

Postby chadwick218 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:48 pm

pierce_and_pierce wrote:The title pretty much says it. Is tax law (this includes everything from high-profile international taxation/M&A tax work to helping regular joes with the IRS) a huge prestige whore industry like the corporate law world? Can you still be successful in tax law if you go to a T25-T30 school, or is the T14 rule basically in effect here as well?


Of course you can! The ultimate key is getting into one of the 10 or so firms that truly specializes in Tax / M&A work ... typically, these firms recruit very heavily from the T14 (if not exclusively) though!

With respect to helping "regular joes" with IRS issues, you don't necessarily need to go to a top school or top firm, but often times this work isn't going to pay nearly as much as the lucrative tax work discussed above!

pierce_and_pierce
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Re: Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

Postby pierce_and_pierce » Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:17 pm

chadwick218 wrote:
pierce_and_pierce wrote:The title pretty much says it. Is tax law (this includes everything from high-profile international taxation/M&A tax work to helping regular joes with the IRS) a huge prestige whore industry like the corporate law world? Can you still be successful in tax law if you go to a T25-T30 school, or is the T14 rule basically in effect here as well?


Of course you can! The ultimate key is getting into one of the 10 or so firms that truly specializes in Tax / M&A work ... typically, these firms recruit very heavily from the T14 (if not exclusively) though!

With respect to helping "regular joes" with IRS issues, you don't necessarily need to go to a top school or top firm, but often times this work isn't going to pay nearly as much as the lucrative tax work discussed above!


Sounds like I need to go to a T14 then.


brb, studying for the LSAT as a sophomore and locking myself in the library while taking easy classes to get a 4.0 for the next 2.5 years

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MF248
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Re: Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

Postby MF248 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:26 pm

pierce_and_pierce wrote:
chadwick218 wrote:
pierce_and_pierce wrote:The title pretty much says it. Is tax law (this includes everything from high-profile international taxation/M&A tax work to helping regular joes with the IRS) a huge prestige whore industry like the corporate law world? Can you still be successful in tax law if you go to a T25-T30 school, or is the T14 rule basically in effect here as well?


Of course you can! The ultimate key is getting into one of the 10 or so firms that truly specializes in Tax / M&A work ... typically, these firms recruit very heavily from the T14 (if not exclusively) though!

With respect to helping "regular joes" with IRS issues, you don't necessarily need to go to a top school or top firm, but often times this work isn't going to pay nearly as much as the lucrative tax work discussed above!


Sounds like I need to go to a T14 then.


brb, studying for the LSAT as a sophomore and locking myself in the library while taking easy classes to get a 4.0 for the next 2.5 years


Go enjoy college.

Sky'stheLimit
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Re: Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

Postby Sky'stheLimit » Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:52 pm

You can be successful in both tax and corp. law without going to a t14 FYI. However, I don't think easy classes are the key if you want to do well in LS period, but especially in tax. I think the advantages that an accounting degree offers, because of your exposure to tax (typically at least one course in tax is required), is crucial. The odds just seem overwhelmingly stacked against your success in tax courses in LS if you have zero previous exposure to tax, because you are obviously competing against those that do.

PS: Be prepared to get a LLM, and in order to do so you have to do well in LS and specifically in your tax courses (usually at least B's).

pierce_and_pierce
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Re: Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

Postby pierce_and_pierce » Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:18 pm

Satoren wrote:You can be successful in both tax and corp. law without going to a t14 FYI. However, I don't think easy classes are the key if you want to do well in LS period, but especially in tax. I think the advantages that an accounting degree offers, because of your exposure to tax (typically at least one course in tax is required), is crucial. The odds just seem overwhelmingly stacked against your success in tax courses in LS if you have zero previous exposure to tax, because you are obviously competing against those that do.

PS: Be prepared to get a LLM, and in order to do so you have to do well in LS and specifically in your tax courses (usually at least B's).


I thought that you don't have to major in accounting to become a tax attorney? I was planning on not majoring in accounting because econ is easier to get good grades in and, in case law school doesn't work out, I can always do a MAcc for non-accounting majors and be an accountant instead. Plus, I'd bet that accounting tax and law tax classes are quite different. There may be a few fundamentals that accounting students will have a slight advantage with, but I doubt it would significant, esp since the class would be geared for people who don't have experience with them.

Also, some of you are saying that the T14 rule doesn't apply to tax, so how deep can you go before the name of your law school becomes a problem?

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englawyer
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Re: Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

Postby englawyer » Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:21 pm

just curious, what do you find appealing about tax law? i am not saying that to be judgmental, i just want to get a sense of what people think about the various practice areas...

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chadwick218
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Re: Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

Postby chadwick218 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:39 pm

Economics is perfectly fine as it really doesn't matter for admissions. Is there anyway that you can complete a MAcc in 4 years. In some states, WE is required to be licensed as a CPA. Also, being a CPA isn't that much of a benefit when it comes to OCI / legal recruiting unless you have WE to back it up.

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chadwick218
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Re: Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

Postby chadwick218 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:41 pm

FWIW, both GULC and NU have intergrated programs where you can earn both a JD and LLM in Taxation over the course of 6 semesters (so long as you have complete ~72 hours by the beginning of your 3L year).

heyguys
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Re: Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

Postby heyguys » Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:37 am

englawyer wrote:just curious, what do you find appealing about tax law? i am not saying that to be judgmental, i just want to get a sense of what people think about the various practice areas...

Tax is just a really interesting subject to me, both philosophically and as a matter of current practice. It's a very important niche field in the biglaw market that most sort of flinch at pursuing, but it just seems like an interesting topic--essentially attempting to take a company and minimize the friction that domestic and foreign tax structures place on them.

pierce_and_pierce
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Re: Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

Postby pierce_and_pierce » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:27 pm

heyguys wrote:
englawyer wrote:just curious, what do you find appealing about tax law? i am not saying that to be judgmental, i just want to get a sense of what people think about the various practice areas...

Tax is just a really interesting subject to me, both philosophically and as a matter of current practice. It's a very important niche field in the biglaw market that most sort of flinch at pursuing, but it just seems like an interesting topic--essentially attempting to take a company and minimize the friction that domestic and foreign tax structures place on them.


That's basically my reason + it seems like a very problem-solving/complex area and it will have better job security, since companies will never stop having tax issues. Finally, it can allow me to work with M&As or work with normal people who are having tax issues, so there's some flexibility in that regard as well.

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englawyer
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Re: Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

Postby englawyer » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:42 pm

how are hours/life balance vs other fields? compensation?

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holeinone600
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Re: Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

Postby holeinone600 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:01 pm

tag.

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nealric
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Re: Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

Postby nealric » Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:56 pm

The odds just seem overwhelmingly stacked against your success in tax courses in LS if you have zero previous exposure to tax, because you are obviously competing against those that do.


As someone getting an LLM in tax, I can tell you this is absolute nonsense. I was a philosophy major in undergrad, and did just fine in Tax Accounting in my LLM program- despite the fact that the class was filled with CPAs. That's not because I'm special, but because tax law is its own animal. An accounting background won't hurt you, but it is far from necessary.

how are hours/life balance vs other fields? compensation?



My understanding is that the absolute number of hours is the same, but the work load tends to be a bit more predictable.

Biglaw tax is standard biglaw pay. Big4 accounting starts at 60k or so, tops out fairly high if you make partner. IRS pays about 70 to start, with quick raises into the low 6 figures and stagnant salary after that. Small firm/solo can be all over the place depending on the success of the firm and what it does.

Finally, it can allow me to work with M&As or work with normal people who are having tax issues, so there's some flexibility in that regard as well.


Just FYI: Almost nobody does both M&A tax and individual tax planning. You either sign on with a firm doing the M&A stuff, or you go small firm/solo doing the personal stuff.

FWIW, both GULC and NU have intergrated programs where you can earn both a JD and LLM in Taxation over the course of 6 semesters


It's 7 semesters at GULC.

Can you still be successful in tax law if you go to a T25-T30 school, or is the T14 rule basically in effect here as well?


If you want to work for a big firm doing tax, the more prestigious the better. In fact, I have noticed that tax tends to be more T14 focused than other groups. Those that don't have T14 JDs tend to have a T3 (NYU/GULC/UF) LLM.

ruski
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Re: Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

Postby ruski » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:28 pm

is an LLM in tax required if you want to do tax at a firm. i know many pple have it and it helps, but on firms' websites i see many tax associates who don't have an LLM.

also, just to confirm what was said above, i also heard from a tax lawyer that their hours are more predictable and evenly spread out. the guy also said they work slightly fewer hours as he was saying tax associates were often getting heat from other partners for not billing enough. they still bill above 1900+ but you wont see a tax lawyer billing 2200 or anything, from he said. if i remember correctly this guy was from trust and estates specifically.

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englawyer
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Re: Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

Postby englawyer » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:36 pm

ruski wrote:is an LLM in tax required if you want to do tax at a firm. i know many pple have it and it helps, but on firms' websites i see many tax associates who don't have an LLM.

also, just to confirm what was said above, i also heard from a tax lawyer that their hours are more predictable and evenly spread out. the guy also said they work slightly fewer hours as he was saying tax associates were often getting heat from other partners for not billing enough. they still bill above 1900+ but you wont see a tax lawyer billing 2200 or anything, from he said. if i remember correctly this guy was from trust and estates specifically.


interesting...does that therefore imply tax/trusts&estates associates have less chance at partnership? or are the partners in more stressful/high pressure areas just bitter?

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chadwick218
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Re: Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

Postby chadwick218 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:37 pm

ruski wrote:is an LLM in tax required if you want to do tax at a firm. i know many pple have it and it helps, but on firms' websites i see many tax associates who don't have an LLM.

also, just to confirm what was said above, i also heard from a tax lawyer that their hours are more predictable and evenly spread out. the guy also said they work slightly fewer hours as he was saying tax associates were often getting heat from other partners for not billing enough. they still bill above 1900+ but you wont see a tax lawyer billing 2200 or anything, from he said. if i remember correctly this guy was from trust and estates specifically.


by no means required ... you are correct ... most do not ...

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blackacre
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Re: Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

Postby blackacre » Sat Jun 12, 2010 3:36 am

bump

Renzo
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Re: Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

Postby Renzo » Sat Jun 12, 2010 9:03 am

blackacre wrote:bump

WTF?

Are some kind of pervert, going around digging up long-dead and buried threads for no good reason?

Scurredsitless1
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Re: Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

Postby Scurredsitless1 » Sat Jun 12, 2010 9:59 am

My fiance was just promoted from senior to manager at a big4 accounting firm and works in the international tax group. They hire a lot of lawyers. Many are from the local TTTT, but they all have great grades.

I don't know if everyone in her group works like she does, but she puts in a lot of 100 hour weeks. Her starting pay was modest, but she was able to get some killer raises. She's been there 4 full years (and interned for 2 years) and makes more than double what she started.

She loves her job.

Anonymous User
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Re: Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 12, 2010 10:10 am

As a tax lawyer for over thirty years, let me share my experiences.

First, you do NOT need to graduate from a T14 law school to make it in tax law

Secondly, although not required, you should get an LLM in tax law. It really does help.

Third, many firms higher tax professionals in addition to law firms. For example, they are hired by most large accounting firms, IRS, even corporations such as Marriott.

Fourth: If you can't get a job with Big Law, which usually requires a top school or top grades, just go to work for the IRS or national accounting firm. If you develop an expertise in some area such as reorganizations or tax exempts, etc, you can work for Big Law. You really will need to get some special expertise within the area of tax law. Few tax lawyers are generalists like accountants. Many IRS people get jobs in privatre industry. In fact, it is so common that IRS has a understood policy that all new hires must stay at least four years.

The only problem with specializing in tax law is that we are generally the poorer step children of the legal profession yet have to have a lot more education and spend a lot more time keeping up with new developments.I don't know of any other legal area that changes as much as tax law.

Tax lawyers, who don't litigate, can do well; however, they generally earn less than their litigation counterparts.

Also, tax law is very hard for many law students. It is a true specialty area that is quite demending to research and in keeping up with events that are ALWAYS changing .Personally, I think it is the hardest legal discipline, but I may be biased.

Moreover, you don't need an accounting background for tax law. Many of the top tax lawyers in the country didn't major in accounting as an undergrad. However, it does help especially on law school exams.

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thesealocust
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Re: Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

Postby thesealocust » Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:13 am

nm
Last edited by thesealocust on Sat Jun 26, 2010 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

motiontodismiss
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Re: Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

Postby motiontodismiss » Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:38 am

chadwick218 wrote:Economics is perfectly fine as it really doesn't matter for admissions. Is there anyway that you can complete a MAcc in 4 years. In some states, WE is required to be licensed as a CPA. Also, being a CPA isn't that much of a benefit when it comes to OCI / legal recruiting unless you have WE to back it up.


Yes. Michigan has such a program. I wanted to do it but I don't have the prereqs ugh

Tagging for future reference.

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SwollenMonkey
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Re: Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

Postby SwollenMonkey » Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:50 am

Tagged! Tax law rock!!!

wrichcirw
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Re: Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

Postby wrichcirw » Sat Jun 12, 2010 2:36 pm

Tagged for future reference.




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