Breaking into Tax Practice

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Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Breaking into Tax Practice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:20 pm

I'm a 2L with a growing interest in tax. I already have a 2L biglaw gig lined up, but there will not be an opportunity to do any tax work in my SA office and the firm isn't really strong in tax in general. So, my question is...what should I do if, in the long run, I want (A) a tax boutique like Ivins or Roberts & Holland, or (B) biglaw tax (DPW, Skadden, etc.)? I'm currently top 10% at a T14 + LR + board on secondary journal + one publication in secondary journal. Is 3L OCI/mass mail my best bet? Clerking and then hunting? Is it feasible to work for my SA firm for a year after law school (nontax), clerk a year, and then move to a tax firm? Should I seek out a tax court internship for 3L? Just how high do my grades need to be for a place like Ivins?

TIA!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273582
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Breaking into Tax Practice

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:22 am

There are probably several options. First, your credentials are definitely good enough for the stellar tax boutiques like Caplin & Drysdale, Ivins, Miller, and Roberts & Holland. The problem isn't your grades, it is how few openings there are. These firms have tiny summer classes (3ish or so for the largest ones). I am not sure how they do their lateral hiring, but two of the popular methods seem to be either a Tax Court clerkship or working for biglaw (after doing tax there).

I think you should reach out to these firms after you 2L summer clerkship. Although they might have filled their needs completely through summer clerks, it never hurts to ask. They will want to know why tax. Make sure you have done SOME tax work at your firm, no matter how insubstantial, because it will be much more persuasive if you say "I did a few assignments and loved it" versus "well, I took Federal Income Tax and it seemed interesting." Also, I'm not sure what kind of tax classes you have taken, but tax practice is really nothing like Federal Income Tax, and since you're a 2L, I'm not sure if you've taken Corporate or partnership tax yet? Granted, tax practice is also nothing like any course, which is why you need to try to do some tax work this summer even though your firm "isn't really strong in tax."

Best of luck,




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