T&E Boutique

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T&E Boutique

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:23 am

Anyone here with experience at a T&E boutique? I ran a search but only yielded a few, mostly old posts about T&E at biglaw.

Received an offer from a tiny T&E/tax planning firm in a small (but fun) city where I have roots. They mostly deal with HNWIs and closely-held corporations, and their work frequently involves complex tax planning, real estate transactions, etc. This practice area is completely foreign to me, but they give their associates years before tackling anything too complex.

My #1 concern is work-life balance, and I've heard mixed things about T&E boutique hours and demands, but it seems like it's more palatable than, say, litigation at a small to medium (50-150 attorney) firm in a similar market. Any insights?

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Re: T&E Boutique

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:54 am

We had an attorney at a small T&E firm speak to our wills class. Obviously take this with a grain of salt, but he gave the impression that it was an excellent practice area because it has interesting, high-level questions but you work reasonable hours and don't have to take much home.

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Re: T&E Boutique

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:14 am

In my state, TN, the majority of T&E lawyers are in small shops. There are lawyers at the large firms that do that kind of work but it has dropped of in recent years because inheritance and estate taxes are only imposed on decedents' estates that exceed $5 million.

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Re: T&E Boutique

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:44 am

OP here.

Anon1: Thanks for sharing. I skipped out on all that sort of stuff in law school, so I'm honestly flying blind about the work-life aspects (and every other aspect) of T&E practice.

Anon2: That seems to be the case everywhere except markets with lots of extremely high NWIs. A lot of it has less to do with the paucity of $5m+ estates and more to do with the low billables potential of T&E in general, i.e., you're billing people instead of corporations, and they tend to be a bit more scrutinizing of the hours going into crafting a T&E instrument, and so the firm makes less money from its T&E attorneys. As I understand this boutique's practice, many of its clients have estates exceeding $5m, hence the prevalence of complex tax planning.

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Re: T&E Boutique

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 01, 2015 1:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

Anon1: Thanks for sharing. I skipped out on all that sort of stuff in law school, so I'm honestly flying blind about the work-life aspects (and every other aspect) of T&E practice.

Anon2: That seems to be the case everywhere except markets with lots of extremely high NWIs. A lot of it has less to do with the paucity of $5m+ estates and more to do with the low billables potential of T&E in general, i.e., you're billing people instead of corporations, and they tend to be a bit more scrutinizing of the hours going into crafting a T&E instrument, and so the firm makes less money from its T&E attorneys. As I understand this boutique's practice, many of its clients have estates exceeding $5m, hence the prevalence of complex tax planning.


Anon 1 here - One other thing I should add is that this was in a fairly major market so, if the attorney was being truthful, this should generally translate across cities. Also, I have interviewed for T&E groups at several of the large NY firms and they don't seem to be insanely busy (on the other hand, you get the corporate associates who sigh and say "it's just another day here" when you ask how they're doing). My general impression is that a decent amount of the clients there are partners of the firm. Basically, it seems like T&E "emergencies" should be few and far between.

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Re: T&E Boutique

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:13 pm

Anon 3:

My understanding is that T&E offers an exceptionally good work-life balance (exceptionally good in lawyer terms, anyway). Also, for what it's worth (nothing), the job you described is pretty much my dream job. Final point: a lawyer in my very small hometown working at a very small firm was able to pull down a solid 300k/year doing T&E and real estate transactions. I'm very jealous of you right now.




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