Tax LLM questions

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taxpro

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Tax LLM questions

Postby taxpro » Fri May 05, 2017 7:41 pm

Hiya,

The TLDR version of my question:
1) Should I do a Tax LLM?
2) What stats should I target to be competitive for NYU or Georgetown?

So here's my dilemma. I made the mistake of going into an accelerated program at an unranked school, where I'm getting killed by the curve. If I switch to the part time program, I will likely be able to do much better and my stats will come up, but I'll still have the joy of graduating from an unranked school.

This leads me to Q1: Should I do a tax LLM?

By way of background, I am a CPA, have a masters in taxation, and am a partner at a small accounting firm. I could care less about big law and plan on opening my own law firm specializing in tax after law school. Will any of that be taken into account in LLM admissions?

Q2: What stats should I have to be competitive for NYU or Georgetown? Is there a quality difference between the online programs and on campus?

Thanks!

dabigchina

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Re: Tax LLM questions

Postby dabigchina » Fri May 05, 2017 8:03 pm

If you are a CPA who wants to hang your own shingle, I don't really see much value add in a LLM, or even a JD. If you are a CPA, you can already represent clients before the IRS, where most of your disputes will be resolved anyway. If you are hanging your own shingle, I don't foresee your clients being ultra HNW individuals or F500 companies that will need super sophisticated planning. Regardless, I'm not sure if the LLM would give you enough practical knowledge to do that kind of planning anyway

Take all the tax classes your school offers and see if you feel the need to take more.

taxpro

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Re: Tax LLM questions

Postby taxpro » Sat May 06, 2017 1:21 pm

dabigchina wrote:If you are a CPA who wants to hang your own shingle, I don't really see much value add in a LLM, or even a JD. If you are a CPA, you can already represent clients before the IRS, where most of your disputes will be resolved anyway. If you are hanging your own shingle, I don't foresee your clients being ultra HNW individuals or F500 companies that will need super sophisticated planning. Regardless, I'm not sure if the LLM would give you enough practical knowledge to do that kind of planning anyway

Take all the tax classes your school offers and see if you feel the need to take more.

Thanks! That makes sense.

I'm getting the JD because I want to be able to represent in Tax Court, which is where the money in representation is these days because the there are too many people doing "representation work". My law school has only two basic tax courses, that I've already had similar coursework in. I thought about transferring to another school that specializes in tax, but I probably won't be competitive.

dabigchina

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Re: Tax LLM questions

Postby dabigchina » Sat May 06, 2017 1:32 pm

taxpro wrote:
dabigchina wrote:If you are a CPA who wants to hang your own shingle, I don't really see much value add in a LLM, or even a JD. If you are a CPA, you can already represent clients before the IRS, where most of your disputes will be resolved anyway. If you are hanging your own shingle, I don't foresee your clients being ultra HNW individuals or F500 companies that will need super sophisticated planning. Regardless, I'm not sure if the LLM would give you enough practical knowledge to do that kind of planning anyway

Take all the tax classes your school offers and see if you feel the need to take more.

Thanks! That makes sense.

I'm getting the JD because I want to be able to represent in Tax Court, which is where the money in representation is these days because the there are too many people doing "representation work". My law school has only two basic tax courses, that I've already had similar coursework in. I thought about transferring to another school that specializes in tax, but I probably won't be competitive.

Fair enough. It might make sense to get an LLM then. I would look into online programs so you don't have to take away from your practice any further.

I honestly don't know much about LLM admissions so this is about the extent of my contribution. Best of luck.

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wiz

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Re: Tax LLM questions

Postby wiz » Sat May 06, 2017 2:48 pm

Not sure how much sense the LLM makes if you're getting the JD to be able to represent clients in Tax Court and plan on hanging your own shingle, but for your admissions question, I think that most people who do the LLM at NYU are top 1/3 or top 1/4 if at lower ranked law schools + good grades in tax classes. I don't know how much that changes coming from an unranked school since I would assume those applicants are rarer, and there isn't as much data on them.

Some of the online classes are pre-recorded classes from previous semesters, while others are class recordings from the current semester. If it's the latter, there isn't really a quality difference between online and on campus, aside from not being able to interact with your classmates and the professor in class and networking/interviewing on campus, and it doesn't seem like you're very concerned about that stuff anyway. Most tax LLMs end up going the tax biglaw route or doing tax at a big 4.

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Mickfromgm

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Re: Tax LLM questions

Postby Mickfromgm » Sun May 07, 2017 4:19 pm

taxpro wrote:I could care less about big law and plan on opening my own law firm specializing in tax after law school.


Then why do you need an LLM? If you want to go BigLaw, then I could see why you would want an LLM from NYU/GULC.

Most clients (even the most sophisticated corporate clients) don't truly appreciate the advantages conferred by an LLM degree, in my experience. To them, "CPA" is more impressive than "LLM" because they know what a CPA is. Never mind the prestige of NYU/GULC/BU tax LLM. . . . middle management guys/gals typically have no clue.

Sure, ultimately, it certainly can't hurt to pursue the degree . . . . except for the sacrifice in time/family, $$$$ (including lost opportunity cost).

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nealric

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Re: Tax LLM questions

Postby nealric » Mon May 08, 2017 9:08 am

taxpro wrote:Hiya,

The TLDR version of my question:
1) Should I do a Tax LLM?
2) What stats should I target to be competitive for NYU or Georgetown?

So here's my dilemma. I made the mistake of going into an accelerated program at an unranked school, where I'm getting killed by the curve. If I switch to the part time program, I will likely be able to do much better and my stats will come up, but I'll still have the joy of graduating from an unranked school.

This leads me to Q1: Should I do a tax LLM?

By way of background, I am a CPA, have a masters in taxation, and am a partner at a small accounting firm. I could care less about big law and plan on opening my own law firm specializing in tax after law school. Will any of that be taken into account in LLM admissions?

Q2: What stats should I have to be competitive for NYU or Georgetown? Is there a quality difference between the online programs and on campus?

Thanks!


As a tax attorney, I would advise you not to do a tax LLM. The reasons to do a tax LLM are 1) to establish as an attorney that you know something about tax, and potentially 2) gain access to certain employers (biglaw and big4). Since you already work in a small accounting firm, neither of these are relevant to your practice. You already have the basic foundation in tax necessary to self-study anything you would need to know for your practice. The JD alone will allow you to represent clients before tax court and establish attorney client privilege. Did you consider just taking the tax court exam?



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