First job: Working for attorneys who will retire soon vs. LLM in subject I'm more interested in (Tax)

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First job: Working for attorneys who will retire soon vs. LLM in subject I'm more interested in (Tax)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:42 pm

Anon because don't want to out myself.

Currently a 3L who has a standing offer at an extremely small firm with 2 partners that are getting on in years. Their associate recently left and I was hired as a clerk before he did, then extended the offer after they decided my work was up to snuff. They mainly do complex commercial litigation and contract lit on the plaintiffs side. I like them both a lot, chill ass dudes and the pay is decent for a first job. However, they've made it clear they're looking to get out of the game in the next few years, but they don't know for sure when that will be.

I've mainly been doing tax and bankruptcy classes in law school, which is of course super not related to what I do now at work. I like Tax and Bankruptcy a lot, I find them interesting. I've been accepted at a few Tax LLM programs but it would require me moving away and thus not being able to take this offer after all.

My question is this: Better to get this first job and some real working experience in an area not my first choice with a firm that will likely dissolve in the next 2-5 years? Or go for the tax LLM because that's more in my desired practice area, but obviously no job prospects there yet?

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nealric

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Re: First job: Working for attorneys who will retire soon vs. LLM in subject I'm more interested in (Tax)

Postby nealric » Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anon because don't want to out myself.

Currently a 3L who has a standing offer at an extremely small firm with 2 partners that are getting on in years. Their associate recently left and I was hired as a clerk before he did, then extended the offer after they decided my work was up to snuff. They mainly do complex commercial litigation and contract lit on the plaintiffs side. I like them both a lot, chill ass dudes and the pay is decent for a first job. However, they've made it clear they're looking to get out of the game in the next few years, but they don't know for sure when that will be.

I've mainly been doing tax and bankruptcy classes in law school, which is of course super not related to what I do now at work. I like Tax and Bankruptcy a lot, I find them interesting. I've been accepted at a few Tax LLM programs but it would require me moving away and thus not being able to take this offer after all.

My question is this: Better to get this first job and some real working experience in an area not my first choice with a firm that will likely dissolve in the next 2-5 years? Or go for the tax LLM because that's more in my desired practice area, but obviously no job prospects there yet?


Are you accepted at at NYU or Georgetown? What's your debt situation? Are you more interested in tax planning or tax controversy?

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Re: First job: Working for attorneys who will retire soon vs. LLM in subject I'm more interested in (Tax)

Postby 1styearlateral » Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:56 pm

I'd rather stay, learn as much as I could, get to know the clients, and then try to grab their books of business when they retire.

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Re: First job: Working for attorneys who will retire soon vs. LLM in subject I'm more interested in (Tax)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:32 pm

nealric wrote:Are you accepted at at NYU or Georgetown? What's your debt situation? Are you more interested in tax planning or tax controversy?


Not accepted at either. Applied for NYU after early decision so it's likely not happening. Accepted at two schools in home state, just not near the firm. I am interested in both. I've done a tax practicum where we did a lot of drafting and I enjoyed it. However, I've had actual work experience in controversy and found I enjoyed that too. In my ideal world, I'd likely be able to do a bit of both, but I am not opposed to being purely transactional.

As for debt, about 180k+. :(

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Re: First job: Working for attorneys who will retire soon vs. LLM in subject I'm more interested in (Tax)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:33 pm

1styearlateral wrote:I'd rather stay, learn as much as I could, get to know the clients, and then try to grab their books of business when they retire.


I thought of this, but don't retiring partners charge decently for a book of business? At least, I would assume so.

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Desert Fox

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Re: First job: Working for attorneys who will retire soon vs. LLM in subject I'm more interested in (Tax)

Postby Desert Fox » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:40 pm

Unless you really want to do tax law AND got NYU llm, I'd recommend trying real practice for a few years. The LLM isn't going anywhere in the interim.
Last edited by Desert Fox on Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: First job: Working for attorneys who will retire soon vs. LLM in subject I'm more interested in (Tax)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:43 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Unless you really want to do tax law AND got NYU llm, I'd recommend trying real practice for a few years. The LLM isn't going anywhere in the interim.


I'm relatively young, but I am also married and have a child. I suppose I am worried that once I start working I won't be going back to school for a long time. A lot of the tax employers I look at (small to mid law, obviously not big law) say either "LLM required" or "LLM preferred", at least in CA.

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Re: First job: Working for attorneys who will retire soon vs. LLM in subject I'm more interested in (Tax)

Postby 1styearlateral » Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:
1styearlateral wrote:I'd rather stay, learn as much as I could, get to know the clients, and then try to grab their books of business when they retire.


I thought of this, but don't retiring partners charge decently for a book of business? At least, I would assume so.

They might ask you to "buy in" or maybe have you pay them royalties or something (not really sure how this works), but you could always take that book of business and use it as leverage to get yourself to a bigger firm, assuming the clients are willing to go with you and pay those biglaw/midlaw fees.

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nealric

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Re: First job: Working for attorneys who will retire soon vs. LLM in subject I'm more interested in (Tax)

Postby nealric » Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
nealric wrote:Are you accepted at at NYU or Georgetown? What's your debt situation? Are you more interested in tax planning or tax controversy?


Not accepted at either. Applied for NYU after early decision so it's likely not happening. Accepted at two schools in home state, just not near the firm. I am interested in both. I've done a tax practicum where we did a lot of drafting and I enjoyed it. However, I've had actual work experience in controversy and found I enjoyed that too. In my ideal world, I'd likely be able to do a bit of both, but I am not opposed to being purely transactional.

As for debt, about 180k+. :(


I wouldn't. You already have a ton of debt and didn't get into the programs worth going to. If your stats didn't get you into those programs, they will be a boat anchor trying to get into a decent tax position. Keep in mind that tax tends to be all or nothing. There isn't much low-end work out there because that tends to get taken by CPAs and registered agent types.

Practice for a few years, pay down some of that debt, and maybe revisit.



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