Big 4 Career Trajectory as a tax lawyer?

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joeschmoe

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Re: Big 4 Career Trajectory as a tax lawyer?

Postby joeschmoe » Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:58 am

Anonymous User wrote:Are the salary figures for an LLM? I've been at a big 4 in Chicago for 3 years without an LLM and only make 80k. Half ready to just leave tax/law and go be a consultant/business analyst somewhere, but maybe an LLM would open doors? Does a Northwestern LLM hold any value or would I have to go the traditional NYU/Georgetown route?


What was your starting salary? $80k seems really low for 3 years in Chicago with a JD. Also, are you in a specialty group (M&A, International, SALT)?

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Re: Big 4 Career Trajectory as a tax lawyer?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:20 am

80 is a bit on the low end but doesn't seem unreasonable. JDs started at around 70 in Chicago and San Francisco a few years ago. The big4 don't really give raises for your first 2 years. Salary compression is very real.

I worked at a big4 for 4 years and I'm always amazed by these 110k+ numbers that get thrown around in these threads. Maybe LLMs in NYC working in M&A start at around 100 nowadays, but the first year JDs in my major market office definitely were not making nearly that much.

Granted, I was a CPA so I don't have first hand experience. However, to put things in context, I was a manager and I still wasn't making anywhere near 110k base.


ETA: also, please don't expect to exit to a VP of Tax role after 4-5 years in the big4. These roles are reserved for senior manager and above. I know partners who would kill for a cushy VP of tax role.

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Re: Big 4 Career Trajectory as a tax lawyer?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:46 pm

Congrats! Does anyone know if Big 4 is still recruiting for Fall 2017?

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Re: Big 4 Career Trajectory as a tax lawyer?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:80 is a bit on the low end but doesn't seem unreasonable. JDs started at around 70 in Chicago and San Francisco a few years ago. The big4 don't really give raises for your first 2 years. Salary compression is very real.

I worked at a big4 for 4 years and I'm always amazed by these 110k+ numbers that get thrown around in these threads. Maybe LLMs in NYC working in M&A start at around 100 nowadays, but the first year JDs in my major market office definitely were not making nearly that much.

Granted, I was a CPA so I don't have first hand experience. However, to put things in context, I was a manager and I still wasn't making anywhere near 110k base.


ETA: also, please don't expect to exit to a VP of Tax role after 4-5 years in the big4. These roles are reserved for senior manager and above. I know partners who would kill for a cushy VP of tax role.


+1. Ex big4, JD, no llm, major market (SF/LA, but not NYC) . Really varies by group though, M&A and International pay more than SALT and regular fed tax.

wutwutwut

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Re: Big 4 Career Trajectory as a tax lawyer?

Postby wutwutwut » Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:30 pm

For those considering going into the big4, words of caution...my experience may be unique because I work in a smaller market:

JD/CPA in my second year of an international tax group in a secondary market (think Charlotte). JD from a school in the top 40s, graduated top third but no latin honors. I make 60K a year after very good first year reviews. Despite the fact that the partners and directors who interviewed me told me that I would be on consulting engagements, the majority of what I am staffed on is compliance/provision. Secondary markets are extremely feast or famine on consulting work due to budget/company goals. This means a more steady supply of compliance engagements that the partners have no choice but to staff the lawyers on. Because the big4 model is set up to accommodate 21 year old entry levels, I have to do a lot of bitch work that would be given to a paralegal at a law firm, and there is little wiggle room on fast-tracking promotions. I have interviewed and been passed on 10+ times with most of the larger law firms in the surrounding area. In every interview, it gets asked why I didn't start at a smaller law firm, why I even got my JD if I am at a big4...it's pretty soul crushing.

I know it is different for positions straight into the national tax group, or even specialty groups in larger cities that can devote their time to only consulting. But if you are planning on joining SALT, International, M&A etc. in a smaller market, I would talk to associates in the group to get a sense of projects and staffing.

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Re: Big 4 Career Trajectory as a tax lawyer?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:42 pm

Just wondering if anyone had any ideas of comp for a junior associate lateral with no LLM? Any idea if any of the big 4 would subsidize the LLM?

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Re: Big 4 Career Trajectory as a tax lawyer?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Just wondering if anyone had any ideas of comp for a junior associate lateral with no LLM? Any idea if any of the big 4 would subsidize the LLM?


Big4 subsidizes the LLM, but I think you have to work 2+ years after.

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Re: Big 4 Career Trajectory as a tax lawyer?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:06 pm

Anyone know if Big4 people exit to Amazon/Google international tax jobs? If so, what the salary range is?

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Re: Big 4 Career Trajectory as a tax lawyer?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:44 pm

Yes, I know of at least one. No personal knowledge of that person's compensation specifically but I understand generally that the internal roles at Google tend to pay less than what you'd get as a director in big4 because you're no longer in a revenue generating role. Also keep in mind they offer equity too so the amount of cash comp/salary you get may turn out to be a big cut (even if total comp isn't quite as drastic).



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