Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

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doublehoya0509
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Re: Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

Postby doublehoya0509 » Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:01 pm

i know a very successful tax atty (worked for KPMG and now is a attorney advisor to judge julian jacobs at US Tax Court) who went to Buffalo Law, kicked around for a few years, and then got his LLM in Tax from Georgetown (#1 tax program as I understand).

I think the LLM is what matters.

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

Postby motiontodismiss » Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:05 pm

doublehoya0509 wrote:
I think the LLM is what matters.


You sure it's not just the last degree you have?

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

Postby blackacre » Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:42 pm

anyone have any info on Tax Litigation? What does it involve? Defense or Prosecution... Show what you know...

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

Postby mcdsa » Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:36 pm

tax sucks

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:39 pm

Working for Thomson Reuters (Tax & Accounting), Inc I can definitely say the answer to your question is not really. Dropping the H-bomb or Y-bomb will gain you recognition, but seriously, that only goes so far. Most tax law is particular to ability to critically resolve issues and accurately maintain tax filing requirements. As long as you can prove a solid aptitude of tax law, you will be fine. 8)

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:44 pm

blackacre wrote:anyone have any info on Tax Litigation? What does it involve? Defense or Prosecution... Show what you know...


It depends on the tax area you choose to get involved in. Sales Tax creates ample opportunity to litigate from a defense or offense (depending if you work for a jurisdiction or a private company). There is always someone making mistakes in sales tax revenue and tax due filing, and its a stable check with not so long hours.

(I.E., the tax attornies Thomson Reuters uses make any where from $600 to $750 per hour for literally 8-10 hours of work pre client). And lets just say, T.R. has several hundreds of clients that are consistently with tax filings issues requiring legal representation.

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

Postby leron » Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:45 pm

Scurredsitless1 wrote: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.


she probably makes 85k-100k as a first year manager depending on what city she's in. really not that great for 100+ hour weeks, though, i suspect that 100+ hour weeks is an exaggeration.

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VA LawDog
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Re: Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

Postby VA LawDog » Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Working for Thomson Reuters (Tax & Accounting), Inc I can definitely say the answer to your question is not really. Dropping the H-bomb or Y-bomb will gain you recognition, but seriously, that only goes so far. Most tax law is particular to ability to critically resolve issues and accurately maintain tax filing requirements. As long as you can prove a solid aptitude of tax law, you will be fine. 8)

Do you think CPA's should get the LL.M as well?

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

Postby leron » Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:02 pm

VA LawDog wrote:Do you think CPA's should get the LL.M as well?


pointless from a cost/benefit standpoint unless you have academic aspirations. told to me by an nyu grad law professor.

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

Postby nealric » Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:05 pm

Working for Thomson Reuters (Tax & Accounting), Inc I can definitely say the answer to your question is not really. Dropping the H-bomb or Y-bomb will gain you recognition, but seriously, that only goes so far.


You have distinguish between the tax work at law firms and accounting firms. In general, accounting firms are less prestige obsessed than biglaw. You also have to distinguish between the type of tax work. Certain fields are more prestige focused than others.

anyone have any info on Tax Litigation? What does it involve? Defense or Prosecution... Show what you know...


I interned with DOJ tax division. It's more like litigation than tax planning in a lot of ways. Much of it is just regular litigation where the money in controversy just happens to be tax moneys- you will see issues from all sorts of areas of the law. Many DOJ tax attorneys don't have much of a substantive tax background. The big tax shelter cases are an exception- those can get very complex substantively.

Do you think CPA's should get the LL.M as well?


In general, I wouldn't get an LLM unless:

Your employer is paying for it
You are on deferral from a firm and have time to do it
You are right on the cusp of getting the tax job you want, but need something to tip the balance

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:08 pm

doublehoya0509 wrote:i know a very successful tax atty (worked for KPMG and now is a attorney advisor to judge julian jacobs at US Tax Court) who went to Buffalo Law, kicked around for a few years, and then got his LLM in Tax from Georgetown (#1 tax program as I understand).

I think the LLM is what matters.


My understanding is that the NYU Tax LL.M. is the gold standard. Georgetown is also extremely good, though, and so, oddly enough, is Florida. Those three schools are sort of the Holy Trinity for tax law.

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

Postby yesofcourse » Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:41 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.


Also, at least when working for a firm you will be representing corporations and your goal will be to shave off taxes in anyway possible without compromising the company's plans; hence, in this sense you will almost always be fighting the good fight (which always feels good) unlike in other areas where often times you will have to advance certain client interests that, on a personal level, you would not endorse.

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VA LawDog
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Re: Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

Postby VA LawDog » Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:55 pm

leron wrote:pointless from a cost/benefit standpoint unless you have academic aspirations. told to me by an nyu grad law professor.


nealric wrote:In general, I wouldn't get an LLM unless:

Your employer is paying for it
You are on deferral from a firm and have time to do it
You are right on the cusp of getting the tax job you want, but need something to tip the balance


Great information - thanks!

iwantT14
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Re: Is The Tax Law Industry A Prestige Whore Industry?

Postby iwantT14 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:17 am

what do top LLM programs look for in applicants? does the quality of the law school matter or is it just grades/WE?

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

Postby blackacre » Sat Sep 04, 2010 6:55 pm

iwantT14 wrote:what do top LLM programs look for in applicants? does the quality of the law school matter or is it just grades/WE?


bump for response... :lol:

Though neilric did say it was mostly useless... I agree with you but can you say why?

How about if you are from a lower level school? how much value would you get from an LLM at that point?

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

Postby holeinone600 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:09 am

I asked this question in another thread, but what's the difference in the daily practice between a tax accountant and a tax lawyer?

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

Postby FlanAl » Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:17 am

tag

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

Postby nealric » Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:14 am

I asked this question in another thread, but what's the difference in the daily practice between a tax accountant and a tax lawyer?


There can certainly be some overlap, but there are many things that a tax accountant will almost never do, and certain things a tax lawyer will almost never do.

For example, a big part of my practice is reviewing various contracts produced by the corporate department for certain tax issues they may create. Sometimes, fine differences in the way a contract is worded or a deal is structured can have big tax implications. A tax accountant would rarely get involved with the wording of a contract. By contrast, I don't do things like preparing a corporation's tax returns- law firms aren't set up to do that kind of number crunching. I will, however, file certain forms with the IRS for things like making an entity classification election.

The distinction can blur a bit more on the controversy side (I only do planning and compliance work). Both CPAs and lawyers can represent clients before the tax court. However, most high-profile cases will be argued by a lawyer. This is partly because of attorney-client privilege. Also, only lawyers can represent people in refund suits (i.e. any tax litigation outside the tax court).

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

Postby HarlandBassett » Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:49 pm

Are there areas of tax law that are so specialized that a book of business is NOT required to become a Partner? I was told by a Partner at a midsize accounting firm that to make Partner, you either have to specialize or have a book of business (whether passed down from a retiring Partner or building your own).

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

Postby nealric » Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:52 pm

Are there areas of tax law that are so specialized that a book of business is NOT required to become a Partner? I was told by a Partner at a midsize accounting firm that to make Partner, you either have to specialize or have a book of business (whether passed down from a retiring Partner or building your own).


It's always better if you have a book of business. However, there are some circumstances where you can make partner in any practice without a book of business- but often you will only make non-equity partner.

In any case, it's far easier to lay the groundwork for brining in business early in your career than it is to figure out which specific niche is most immune from the need to bring it in.

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

Postby edcrane » Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:37 am

blackacre wrote:
iwantT14 wrote:what do top LLM programs look for in applicants? does the quality of the law school matter or is it just grades/WE?


bump for response... :lol:

Though neilric did say it was mostly useless... I agree with you but can you say why?

How about if you are from a lower level school? how much value would you get from an LLM at that point?


I'm not sure how other schools work, but at NYU, most of the fulltime tax LLM students come from T1-T2 schools and were in the top 1/3 or better. My sense is that law school rank matters a fair amount--you can probably get away with a lower class rank if you're coming from a T14.

The forums at taxtalent.com can give you more insight into the plight of recent fulltime tax LLMs, but the bottom line appears to be that, ITE, a fulltime tax LLM is not worth the price of admission. Even at NYU, only a small fraction of tax LLM students obtained employment through OCI last year. This year should be better, but the majority of students will still be struggling to find a tax gig of any kind.

NYU/GULC/Florida are good schools, and if you come from a lower level law school, it's possible that you can eek out some additional value from the school brand by doing well (top 10%) in the LLM classes. But your JD will still matter. If you couldn't get biglaw from law school, you're unlikely to get it with an LLM. On the other hand, you'll have a better shot at big 4 or the IRS. Still, hiring is down so much that the most likely outcome is unemployment + more debt.

In general, fulltime tax LLMs are advisable for only a small group of people: those who can obtain a substantial scholarship or similar funding of some kind, or who can complete the LLM on an accelerated schedule (i.e., as part of a JD/LLM program).

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

Postby HarlandBassett » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:25 pm

nealric wrote:
I asked this question in another thread, but what's the difference in the daily practice between a tax accountant and a tax lawyer?


There can certainly be some overlap, but there are many things that a tax accountant will almost never do, and certain things a tax lawyer will almost never do.

For example, a big part of my practice is reviewing various contracts produced by the corporate department for certain tax issues they may create. Sometimes, fine differences in the way a contract is worded or a deal is structured can have big tax implications. A tax accountant would rarely get involved with the wording of a contract. By contrast, I don't do things like preparing a corporation's tax returns- law firms aren't set up to do that kind of number crunching. I will, however, file certain forms with the IRS for things like making an entity classification election.

The distinction can blur a bit more on the controversy side (I only do planning and compliance work). Both CPAs and lawyers can represent clients before the tax court. However, most high-profile cases will be argued by a lawyer. This is partly because of attorney-client privilege. Also, only lawyers can represent people in refund suits (i.e. any tax litigation outside the tax court).

Can you elaborate on the overlap more, especially in terms of transferable skills from Big4 (before JD) to BigLaw (after JD)




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