JD/LLM in Tax and Employment Prospects - Unique Situation

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JD/LLM in Tax and Employment Prospects - Unique Situation

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 12, 2013 1:58 pm

I know there are several general threads on this, but I would appreciate some specific advice to my situation.

I am currently a 2L (or rising 3L) and top 5% at my T2 school. I was lower ranked after 1L year and missed landing biglaw but landed a midlaw SA with a very low offer rate (think 10-15%). I liked my tax courses and applied to visit NYU during 3L year, take a semester in tax counting for both the LLM degree and my T2 JD degree and was accepted to the program. While I like tax, if I had an SA lined up that would look like it would produce an offer, I'd consider this degree/program less in all honesty. Is this worth it?

Ideally I would like to do big/midlaw in a business related practice area (would do commercial lit. too), but do not want to be stuck with a "small-law" job.

Factors to consider:
- Cannot do NYU EIP as a visiting student
- My t2 has some version of a 3loloci
- Would clerk to boost career, but otherwise not dying to clerk
- Pissing off t2 by visiting elsewhere
- 3/4 scholly at t2 v. 25K for a semester at NYU
- if i do go forward with LLM, I save 6 months, some tuition (net), and might have some advantage at TIP with a degree in january
- Might land something during 3L year

Basically, if I land something solid before graduation, I don't see the point in going forward with another semester of LLM courses and would have wasted a semester worth of tuition. Advice?

rad lulz
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Re: JD/LLM in Tax and Employment Prospects - Unique Situation

Postby rad lulz » Sun May 12, 2013 2:06 pm

tax counting

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thesealocust
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Re: JD/LLM in Tax and Employment Prospects - Unique Situation

Postby thesealocust » Sun May 12, 2013 2:52 pm

I mean it could work, but it sounds like a hail marry that gives you a lot of debt and a bizarrely focused resume line item if it doesn't.

NYU's tax LLM is a great program, but entry level hiring even there isn't something to count on lately, from what I've heard.

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Re: JD/LLM in Tax and Employment Prospects - Unique Situation

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 12, 2013 2:56 pm

thesealocust wrote:I mean it could work, but it sounds like a hail marry that gives you a lot of debt and a bizarrely focused resume line item if it doesn't.

NYU's tax LLM is a great program, but entry level hiring even there isn't something to count on lately, from what I've heard.


OP here. My thoughts are if I land a job or want to apply to non-related positions, I could always remove the resume line. I think the "issue" boils down to whether it is worth a 20K "gamble" on me needing to do the LLM after graduation. If I go forward, having nothing lined up by the end of 3L, I'd be happy to have 6 months over with and the $ would have been worth it.

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Re: JD/LLM in Tax and Employment Prospects - Unique Situation

Postby thesealocust » Sun May 12, 2013 3:10 pm

My personal opinion is that if you want to further your tax education and tax-related credentials, an NYU LLM is likely a good idea. But if you are desperate and want to further your employment credentials and the NYU tax LLM happens to be something you can get into while the job market isn't hopping, that's probably not the best choice.

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Re: JD/LLM in Tax and Employment Prospects - Unique Situation

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 12, 2013 7:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Factors to consider:
- Would clerk to boost career, but otherwise not dying to clerk
- 3/4 scholly at t2 v. 25K for a semester at NYU
- if i do go forward with LLM, I save 6 months, some tuition (net), and might have some advantage at TIP with a degree in january
- Might land something during 3L year

Basically, if I land something solid before graduation, I don't see the point in going forward with another semester of LLM courses and would have wasted a semester worth of tuition. Advice?


I am a current NYU LLM with a similarly unique situation as well. I don't have too much to add to the calculus except that graduating early is terrible whether in a JD program or in the LLM, at least in terms of jobs garnered via OCI. Aside from small firms and *possibly* midsized firms, most jobs that interview through OCI simply don't have the provisions to let you start early. So finishing in January won't really do anything for you.

Your grades must be pretty good to put you where you are in your class at your T2, so assuming you keep them up, you'll likely have success at NYU OCI should you decide to do the LLM. In my circle, my friends that obtained jobs via NYU LLM OCI got either Tax Court or Big 4 accounting firms. The tax court clerkship pays whatever those pay (not much but you do it for future jobs I guess), and the Big 4 jobs pay something in the low 100's. I don't know anyone firsthand that received a biglaw job from the NYU LLM although perhaps one or two did and I just haven't met them.

My perspective of the NYU LLM is that it really isn't worth it, and for most in the program it's just a hail mary in the hopes of obtaining employment. Obviously 3L OCI would be best, although we all know how unlikely it is to get a job through 3L OCI. Have a look at the NYU LLM OCI employers and see if it's really worth your time and money. At least in your scenario, you are very likely to be successful at landing one of those gigs, but is it worth another 50-80k + a year out of your life?

As for my situation, I graduated from my mid-T1 school in September after being an evening student. I was one of the few evening students that landed biglaw, but since my original graduation date was January 2013 (I took summer classes during SA in order to graduate early so that I could do the LLM), I was forced to wait until Fall 2013 to start. So I've been just sitting on my hands for a year waiting for my biglaw job to start, which is why I went to the LLM program. Between the LLM and the February bar exam, I've kept relatively busy but in a perfect world I would've started my biglaw job in Fall 2012.

So anyway, if you're going to be paying for the LLM, my vote is that you should try all other avenues first. If your parents are paying and you don't care about doing another year of school, then it's not the worst idea in the world. It just sucks that it costs an extra 50-80k (tuition + living) to land a job that pays somewhat-less-to-significantly-less than biglaw straight from JD OCI.

**edit: replace all of my references to 50-80K to the reduced number that you pointed out due to only doing 1 semester instead of 2.

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Re: JD/LLM in Tax and Employment Prospects - Unique Situation

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 12, 2013 7:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Factors to consider:
- Would clerk to boost career, but otherwise not dying to clerk
- 3/4 scholly at t2 v. 25K for a semester at NYU
- if i do go forward with LLM, I save 6 months, some tuition (net), and might have some advantage at TIP with a degree in january
- Might land something during 3L year

Basically, if I land something solid before graduation, I don't see the point in going forward with another semester of LLM courses and would have wasted a semester worth of tuition. Advice?


I am a current NYU LLM with a similarly unique situation as well. I don't have too much to add to the calculus except that graduating early is terrible whether in a JD program or in the LLM, at least in terms of jobs garnered via OCI. Aside from small firms and *possibly* midsized firms, most jobs that interview through OCI simply don't have the provisions to let you start early. So finishing in January won't really do anything for you.

Your grades must be pretty good to put you where you are in your class at your T2, so assuming you keep them up, you'll likely have success at NYU OCI should you decide to do the LLM. In my circle, my friends that obtained jobs via NYU LLM OCI got either Tax Court or Big 4 accounting firms. The tax court clerkship pays whatever those pay (not much but you do it for future jobs I guess), and the Big 4 jobs pay something in the low 100's. I don't know anyone firsthand that received a biglaw job from the NYU LLM although perhaps one or two did and I just haven't met them.

My perspective of the NYU LLM is that it really isn't worth it, and for most in the program it's just a hail mary in the hopes of obtaining employment. Obviously 3L OCI would be best, although we all know how unlikely it is to get a job through 3L OCI. Have a look at the NYU LLM OCI employers and see if it's really worth your time and money. At least in your scenario, you are very likely to be successful at landing one of those gigs, but is it worth another 50-80k + a year out of your life?

As for my situation, I graduated from my mid-T1 school in September after being an evening student. I was one of the few evening students that landed biglaw, but since my original graduation date was January 2013 (I took summer classes during SA in order to graduate early so that I could do the LLM), I was forced to wait until Fall 2013 to start. So I've been just sitting on my hands for a year waiting for my biglaw job to start, which is why I went to the LLM program. Between the LLM and the February bar exam, I've kept relatively busy but in a perfect world I would've started my biglaw job in Fall 2012.

So anyway, if you're going to be paying for the LLM, my vote is that you should try all other avenues first. If your parents are paying and you don't care about doing another year of school, then it's not the worst idea in the world. It just sucks that it costs an extra 50-80k (tuition + living) to land a job that pays somewhat-less-to-significantly-less than biglaw straight from JD OCI.

**edit: replace all of my references to 50-80K to the reduced number that you pointed out due to only doing 1 semester instead of 2.


Thanks for this reply. Great info. Seeing as your situation was unique, would you say most of your friends that took the program to gain employment regret their decision (i.e. they could have gotten a decent job without it)?

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

Re: JD/LLM in Tax and Employment Prospects - Unique Situation

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 12, 2013 8:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for this reply. Great info. Seeing as your situation was unique, would you say most of your friends that took the program to gain employment regret their decision (i.e. they could have gotten a decent job without it)?


So far, I haven't heard much bitterness. Since just about everyone got at least some job, they all seem a bit relieved actually. Even if it's not biglaw, at least its a paycheck.




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