tax law classes foolish ITE and/or without CPA/experience?

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eth3n
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tax law classes foolish ITE and/or without CPA/experience?

Postby eth3n » Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:39 am

!
Last edited by eth3n on Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: tax law classes foolish ITE and/or without CPA/experience?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:15 am

I recently met with some partners at a well-respected tax firm (does other stuff, but they have a big tax practice). They told me that almost all of their new tax associates have LLMs and/or come from IRS/DOJ-Tax.

Tax is very much in demand. It will likely always be in demand. Tax partners at this firm bill 200-300 more per hour than non-tax partners.

Tax courses will help you with IRS/DOJ-Tax. But if you don't have an LLM and want to get a tax job with a firm, then it sounds like you better have other top qualifications in addition to just taking tax courses.

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sundance95
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Re: tax law classes foolish ITE and/or without CPA/experience?

Postby sundance95 » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:23 am

Anonymous User wrote:I recently met with some partners at a well-respected tax firm (does other stuff, but they have a big tax practice). They told me that almost all of their new tax associates have LLMs and/or come from IRS/DOJ-Tax.

Tax is very much in demand. It will likely always be in demand. Tax partners at this firm bill 200-300 more per hour than non-tax partners.

Tax courses will help you with IRS/DOJ-Tax. But if you don't have an LLM and want to get a tax job with a firm, then it sounds like you better have other top qualifications in addition to just taking tax courses.


+1

Got a friend @ IRS who says the LLM is a virtual necessity. Make sure you actually like tax first though-even if it's in demand you won't want to hate your work.

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nealric
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Re: tax law classes foolish ITE and/or without CPA/experience?

Postby nealric » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:58 am

Tax is very much in demand. It will likely always be in demand. Tax partners at this firm bill 200-300 more per hour than non-tax partners.


This isn't universally true. You have to keep in mind that tax is a very diverse field. Estate planning has almost nothing to do with ERISA, which has almost nothing to do with M&A planning. If you are an M&A planner, and M&A drops, off your hours will drop off too. Tax lawyers often bill more per hour, but they also have a poorer ratio of billable to non-billable time because they have to spend quite a bit of time keeping abreast of the law.

CPA is a plus for certain tax folk, but it's hardly a prerequisite to get into tax law.

Also, the good tax positions are crazy competitive. Getting an LLM won't allow you to just waltz into the IRS Chief Counsel's office.

As far as taking tax classes, it can't hurt you to take a few to see if you end up liking tax. But I wouldn't fill your schedule with them unless you are sure you want to go down that road.

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Re: tax law classes foolish ITE and/or without CPA/experience?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:27 pm

.

rekopter
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Re: tax law classes foolish ITE and/or without CPA/experience?

Postby rekopter » Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:54 pm

In my view, implicit in your question is an over-reliance on the importance of class selection for biglaw job prospects..

If you want to be a public defender, you'll want to take crim pro, evidence, etc.

But law firms are less focused on specific class choices. Sure, you don't want a transcript full of 'Law & X' classes, but the proposition that you shouldn't take a tax class because you're worried that it won't help you get biglaw is not correct.

I'm never going to practice tax law, but income tax was perhaps the most educational law class I've taken. Give it a shot!

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edcrane
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Re: tax law classes foolish ITE and/or without CPA/experience?

Postby edcrane » Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:13 am

Not at all foolish. Take income tax and then, if you like it, corporate tax. If you end up liking corporate tax, you should give some thought to a career in tax law. As another poster noted, your future employer isn't going to care much about which specific classes you take provided you don't totally slack off. So it's quite reasonable to use this time to explore a few different areas of interest and see what you like.

As to credentials: you don't need a CPA--indeed, very few tax lawyers at big firms have accounting backgrounds--and LLMs are more about developing your knowledge than acquiring a prerequisite for practice. My understanding is that few law firms require LLMs for entry level hires, though big 4 accounting firms seem to have recently begun to require them. In any case, if you end up getting a tax job, your employer will probably pay for you to get an LLM on part time basis.

eth3n
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Re: tax law classes foolish ITE and/or without CPA/experience?

Postby eth3n » Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:34 am

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Last edited by eth3n on Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: tax law classes foolish ITE and/or without CPA/experience?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:59 pm

nealric wrote:
Tax is very much in demand. It will likely always be in demand. Tax partners at this firm bill 200-300 more per hour than non-tax partners.


This isn't universally true. You have to keep in mind that tax is a very diverse field. Estate planning has almost nothing to do with ERISA, which has almost nothing to do with M&A planning. If you are an M&A planner, and M&A drops, off your hours will drop off too. Tax lawyers often bill more per hour, but they also have a poorer ratio of billable to non-billable time because they have to spend quite a bit of time keeping abreast of the law.

CPA is a plus for certain tax folk, but it's hardly a prerequisite to get into tax law.

Also, the good tax positions are crazy competitive. Getting an LLM won't allow you to just waltz into the IRS Chief Counsel's office.

As far as taking tax classes, it can't hurt you to take a few to see if you end up liking tax. But I wouldn't fill your schedule with them unless you are sure you want to go down that road.

What area of BigLaw tax do you work in?




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