Question Concerning Tax Law and Callbacks

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Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:15 pm

Question Concerning Tax Law and Callbacks

Postby kja83 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:24 pm

Background: I'm a 2L, looking to work in Texas. 4 upcoming biglaw (none with Texas big 3) CB's through OCI; highly unlikely that I'll have more than 5 CBs. My number one priority for these CBs is, as you can imagine, to find a job regardless of what practice group I'll be thrown into. During screeners, I played the "I don't know whether I want to litigate or do transactional work, but I'm ready to be flexible based on the firm's needs" card. In reality, I want to specialize in whatever practice group will get me a job and keep me employed for the next 40 years. In summary, Primary goal=find job now; Secondary goal=job security later. With that in mind, I'd appreciate any advice on the following questions:

1) Using Andrews Kurth Houston as an example (roughly 8 tax partners; another 8 tax associates), would I be damaging myself by suggesting an interest in tax? My concern is that by indicating an interest in tax, I may pigeonhole myself into being a "tax guy," and later find out that the firm is not presently looking for tax associates.

2) My primary rationale for considering tax law is based on advice given by a biglaw partner who believes that the relative scarcity of tax attorneys makes them more valuable to firms than comparably talented general corporate/litigation attorneys. Is this advice an accurate reflection of the value of tax attorneys? If possible, try to answer ignoring the additional implications of (1) needing a tax LLM and (2) the possibility that I might be "better" or "worse" at practicing tax law than corporate law/litigation.

3) Simplifying question 2: Who is more valuable--a tax attorney with 8 years biglaw experience who doesn't make partner or a corporate attorney with 8 years biglaw experience who doesn't make partner.


Edit to add question 3

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Re: Question Concerning Tax Law and Callbacks

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:53 pm

Speaking from personal experience (I was very open about my interest in tax), I think having an interest in tax can help you stand out, but it will hurt you at some places because they don't want more tax associates. Overall, I had more success at larger firms. Something to keep in mind is that pretty much every person you interview with will ask you why you have an interest in tax. Is there anything in your background that would suggest you have a genuine interest in tax?

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