Anonymous User wrote:Any junior tax associates in big law with smaller tax groups care to share some insights? Is there a lot of pressure to get work and hit the billable hours requirement? Since giving tax comments requires expertise, I assume partners would be reluctant to assign stuff to people with little experience. And advisory work tends to take less time than corporate due diligence type of work, right?
I think tax associates as a general rule will have slightly lower hours than corp/lit because there's not as much document churning and the typical tax assignment requires a little more thought/effort per hour. That said, in a busy group you should get 2000 fairly easily and your hours should be smoother.
As to your other point though, I've had the opposite experience in a smaller tax group. As a 1st/2nd year I typically work with a partner on smaller stuff and a partner (sometimes two) and an older associate on bigger matters. There aren't that many junior-specific tax tasks (vanilla debt disclosure markups and FIRPTA certificates come to mind). But on most assignments, I take the first cut drafting or revising deal docs, more complicated disclosures, etc. So I'm still marking up the purchase agreement, offering documents, and partnership agreements like the partner or senior associate would otherwise be doing. As a result, you'll actually get a lot of opportunities to work on real stuff, and it's a steep learning curve. You can typically add value though by knowing the facts and timeline a lot better, reading stuff more closely, and keeping in contact with the other groups involved. Tax partners can be on a lot of deals at once and often have to get through stuff quickly. Juniors can be more thorough.
The other work is in-depth research and writing memos or emails summarizing the research. This sounds more junior-ish but the areas you're looking at in biglaw will be very complicated and certainty and accuracy are extremely important. So the partner will be involved in what you're doing and, even if you do a good job, probably is going to look at the most significant topics as well. Same deal here though -- when you've spent some time on a tax topic, you will know it very well and can answer questions on the fly for the partner and interact with opposing or underwriters' counsel. When another transaction has a similar issue they'll come back to you.