NYU/GULC Tax LLM as way to switch practice areas?

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NYU/GULC Tax LLM as way to switch practice areas?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:15 pm

I have several years transactional biglaw experience and am now doing some solo practitioner contract work for small companies. I've been thinking about switching to tax though since I miss problem solving (I was a quant undergrad). Is the NYU/GULC tax llm a good way to switch practice areas?

Fwiw, I have no intention of going back to biglaw - I'd rather do pure accounting work than pure legal work. I am interested in going to a Big 4 because I'm hoping it's more like tax accounting than tax law. For some time, I was considering going back to get my CPA license but at this point I'm not sure it's feasible.

Is the NYU/GULC Tax LLM a good way to switch practice areas if you already have years of biglaw plus other work on your resume? Would employers think negatively about using the Tax LLM as a way to switch areas?

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nealric

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Re: NYU/GULC Tax LLM as way to switch practice areas?

Postby nealric » Mon Oct 24, 2016 5:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have several years transactional biglaw experience and am now doing some solo practitioner contract work for small companies. I've been thinking about switching to tax though since I miss problem solving (I was a quant undergrad). Is the NYU/GULC tax llm a good way to switch practice areas?

Fwiw, I have no intention of going back to biglaw - I'd rather do pure accounting work than pure legal work. I am interested in going to a Big 4 because I'm hoping it's more like tax accounting than tax law. For some time, I was considering going back to get my CPA license but at this point I'm not sure it's feasible.

Is the NYU/GULC Tax LLM a good way to switch practice areas if you already have years of biglaw plus other work on your resume? Would employers think negatively about using the Tax LLM as a way to switch areas?


If you had biglaw credentials, a tax LLM will probably get you into the Big4. Personally, I don't see the appeal of doing entry level tax accounting. Someone with high-level math skills isn't going to be very stimulated by it. You can also end up with near biglaw hours in the Big4, but for much less pay. Biglaw tax will give you a lot more interesting problem solving opportunities in all likelihood.

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Re: NYU/GULC Tax LLM as way to switch practice areas?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 24, 2016 6:06 pm

nealric wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have several years transactional biglaw experience and am now doing some solo practitioner contract work for small companies. I've been thinking about switching to tax though since I miss problem solving (I was a quant undergrad). Is the NYU/GULC tax llm a good way to switch practice areas?

Fwiw, I have no intention of going back to biglaw - I'd rather do pure accounting work than pure legal work. I am interested in going to a Big 4 because I'm hoping it's more like tax accounting than tax law. For some time, I was considering going back to get my CPA license but at this point I'm not sure it's feasible.

Is the NYU/GULC Tax LLM a good way to switch practice areas if you already have years of biglaw plus other work on your resume? Would employers think negatively about using the Tax LLM as a way to switch areas?


If you had biglaw credentials, a tax LLM will probably get you into the Big4. Personally, I don't see the appeal of doing entry level tax accounting. Someone with high-level math skills isn't going to be very stimulated by it. You can also end up with near biglaw hours in the Big4, but for much less pay. Biglaw tax will give you a lot more interesting problem solving opportunities in all likelihood.


Thanks. I graduated with honors from a T-14. I'm just wondering if the Big4 will wonder why I quit transactional practice to do a tax LLM and if that's going to be an issue.

In my biglaw deals, we asked tax for their advice and it didn't seem like they did much aside from drafting tax-specific provisions to insert into much larger agreements. A lot of the underlying structuring work, etc. was done by Big 4, but it could just be that the tax practice at my biglaw firm was different from others'.

Do the Big4 billable hour requirements vary widely depending on the region? One of my friends works in Big4 tax and his billable hour requirements seem to be around 300-400 hours lower than biglaw hours on average in primary markets, but that could be solely due to the fact that he's in a smaller market.

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nealric

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Re: NYU/GULC Tax LLM as way to switch practice areas?

Postby nealric » Mon Oct 24, 2016 6:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
nealric wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have several years transactional biglaw experience and am now doing some solo practitioner contract work for small companies. I've been thinking about switching to tax though since I miss problem solving (I was a quant undergrad). Is the NYU/GULC tax llm a good way to switch practice areas?

Fwiw, I have no intention of going back to biglaw - I'd rather do pure accounting work than pure legal work. I am interested in going to a Big 4 because I'm hoping it's more like tax accounting than tax law. For some time, I was considering going back to get my CPA license but at this point I'm not sure it's feasible.

Is the NYU/GULC Tax LLM a good way to switch practice areas if you already have years of biglaw plus other work on your resume? Would employers think negatively about using the Tax LLM as a way to switch areas?


If you had biglaw credentials, a tax LLM will probably get you into the Big4. Personally, I don't see the appeal of doing entry level tax accounting. Someone with high-level math skills isn't going to be very stimulated by it. You can also end up with near biglaw hours in the Big4, but for much less pay. Biglaw tax will give you a lot more interesting problem solving opportunities in all likelihood.


Thanks. I graduated with honors from a T-14. I'm just wondering if the Big4 will wonder why I quit transactional practice to do a tax LLM and if that's going to be an issue.

In my biglaw deals, we asked tax for their advice and it didn't seem like they did much aside from drafting tax-specific provisions to insert into much larger agreements. A lot of the underlying structuring work, etc. was done by Big 4, but it could just be that the tax practice at my biglaw firm was different from others'.

Do the Big4 billable hour requirements vary widely depending on the region? One of my friends works in Big4 tax and his billable hour requirements seem to be around 300-400 hours lower than biglaw hours on average in primary markets, but that could be solely due to the fact that he's in a smaller market.


I'm not sure what formal requirements are, but I've talked to plenty of big4 people who do 2000+ billable hours. It really just depends. Different offices and different clients will result in very different work/life balance They might question why you quit biglaw corporate. Just be ready with a good story.

Seems unusual that your biglaw tax department did not do much transaction structuring. It may be that you weren't seeing a lot of what was happening behind the scenes. Keep in mind that those tax-specific provisions usually aren't just boilerplate being pasted in. They are often the negotiated result of transaction structuring work. Or, with things like partnership allocation provisions, you may need to do a lot of work to come up with an allocation provision that respects the desired economic result of the client but maintains compliance with the 704 regs. There's also a lot of problem solving that may not be apparent outside of the tax group. For example, a transaction may demand a "should" level opinion on a complex topic. Unlike most corporate opinions, tax opinions are likely to be reasoned opinions, and there may be a lot of creative problem solving to bring together an argument that will support an opinion of that level.

I worked with Big4 when I was in biglaw tax, and we would collaborate on structuring, but we certainly would do our own independent structuring and problem solving. Big4 is more likely to be more closely involved in public company work.



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