Choosing tax, big mistake?

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Pokemon

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Re: Choosing tax, big mistake?

Postby Pokemon » Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:26 pm

favabeansoup wrote:Are we seriously arguing about who is less of a bitch between corps and tax? Newsflash, we are all bitches and seen as such by all of our clients.

Let's not delude ourselves. The finance people have already negotiated like 90% of the deal before it even gets to lawyers. We are all simply paper pushers at heart.

With that said, on the ladder of lawyer bitches, junior corp associates are definitely near, if not at, the bottom. (I'm a junior corp so I know this). Tax guys are definitely above us.

Senior corp associates/partners can actually bring value though, I would put them slightly above tax guys. Also add in that corp partners tend to actually bring in the business for the tax guys so at that level there is an inherent hierarchy.

I can't think of too many "rainmaker" tax partners at my firm. I know they exist, but there just aren't that many compared to corp side.


This is fair. As you go up in ranks, corp partners > tax but lol at making decision on that. Exit options would be a fairer basis.

sms18

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Re: Choosing tax, big mistake?

Postby sms18 » Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:34 pm

Pokemon wrote:
favabeansoup wrote:Are we seriously arguing about who is less of a bitch between corps and tax? Newsflash, we are all bitches and seen as such by all of our clients.

Let's not delude ourselves. The finance people have already negotiated like 90% of the deal before it even gets to lawyers. We are all simply paper pushers at heart.

With that said, on the ladder of lawyer bitches, junior corp associates are definitely near, if not at, the bottom. (I'm a junior corp so I know this). Tax guys are definitely above us.

Senior corp associates/partners can actually bring value though, I would put them slightly above tax guys. Also add in that corp partners tend to actually bring in the business for the tax guys so at that level there is an inherent hierarchy.

I can't think of too many "rainmaker" tax partners at my firm. I know they exist, but there just aren't that many compared to corp side.


This is fair. As you go up in ranks, corp partners > tax but lol at making decision on that. Exit options would be a fairer basis.


Correct me if I'm wrong but despite the advantages of being a tax lawyer at a law firm, it seems that tax attorneys generally have limited exit options - in-house tax lawyers (at companies, accounting firms, banks and investment management firms, for example) mostly do tax planning for transactions, compliance-related work, going through disclosures and etc., while general corporate attorneys seem to have more diverse opportunities and sometimes take on semi-business roles (although this is rare). OP should def consider exit options as well before deciding on a practice group - even though tax ppl usually have better lifestyle, biglaw is biglaw.

Mr. Peanutbutter

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Re: Choosing tax, big mistake?

Postby Mr. Peanutbutter » Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:11 am

All of our exit options suck go into the group you'll be most happy in and then go open a surf shop

notgreat

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Re: Choosing tax, big mistake?

Postby notgreat » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:27 pm

Mlk&Ckies wrote:All of our exit options suck go into the group you'll be most happy in and then go open a surf shop


100% this.

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Pomeranian

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Re: Choosing tax, big mistake?

Postby Pomeranian » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:46 pm

On the flip side, I have a mentor who says it's better to pick a practice area in law that's hard to do and that not that many people want to do (which tax would certainly include).

notgreat

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Re: Choosing tax, big mistake?

Postby notgreat » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:53 pm

Pomeranian wrote:On the flip side, I have a mentor who says it's better to pick a practice area in law that's hard to do and that not that many people want to do (which tax would certainly include).

A monkey could do any of it.

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Re: Choosing tax, big mistake?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:59 pm

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?

notgreat

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Re: Choosing tax, big mistake?

Postby notgreat » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:09 pm

Just do tax bro. Being a corporate lawyer sucks. It is mind numbing drudgery. The work never ends and you are on call 24/7. Maybe tax is as bad, but doubtful. The benefits of corporate over tax are bullshit. The "better" exit options or idea that corporate lawyers are higher on the totem pole are silly. The exit options suck everywhere. It is more mindless drudgery just at a corporation instead of a firm. Corporate and tax lawyers are just highly paid corporate servants. Who gives a shit about who is the more respected slave? Choose the slightly less tedious and grueling job. Maybe you get lucky and it is much less tedious and grueling. Forgot about corporate law. It is dogshit covered in perfume.

sms18

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Re: Choosing tax, big mistake?

Postby sms18 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:29 pm

notgreat wrote:
Pomeranian wrote:On the flip side, I have a mentor who says it's better to pick a practice area in law that's hard to do and that not that many people want to do (which tax would certainly include).

A monkey could do any of it.


Well tbf you can pretty much teach a monkey to do anything that humans are capable of doing.

umichman

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Re: Choosing tax, big mistake?

Postby umichman » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:54 pm

Pomeranian wrote:On the flip side, I have a mentor who says it's better to pick a practice area in law that's hard to do and that not that many people want to do (which tax would certainly include).


I have a mentor who did the same. They all said to stick to tax, bankruptcy, erisa, trusts and estates etc. law where there is some type of code pr more "laws". Lawyers are more important in those practices. But who knows. Just do what seems interesting to you

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Re: Choosing tax, big mistake?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:00 am

sms18 wrote:
Pokemon wrote:
favabeansoup wrote:Are we seriously arguing about who is less of a bitch between corps and tax? Newsflash, we are all bitches and seen as such by all of our clients.

Let's not delude ourselves. The finance people have already negotiated like 90% of the deal before it even gets to lawyers. We are all simply paper pushers at heart.

With that said, on the ladder of lawyer bitches, junior corp associates are definitely near, if not at, the bottom. (I'm a junior corp so I know this). Tax guys are definitely above us.

Senior corp associates/partners can actually bring value though, I would put them slightly above tax guys. Also add in that corp partners tend to actually bring in the business for the tax guys so at that level there is an inherent hierarchy.

I can't think of too many "rainmaker" tax partners at my firm. I know they exist, but there just aren't that many compared to corp side.


This is fair. As you go up in ranks, corp partners > tax but lol at making decision on that. Exit options would be a fairer basis.


Correct me if I'm wrong but despite the advantages of being a tax lawyer at a law firm, it seems that tax attorneys generally have limited exit options - in-house tax lawyers (at companies, accounting firms, banks and investment management firms, for example) mostly do tax planning for transactions, compliance-related work, going through disclosures and etc., while general corporate attorneys seem to have more diverse opportunities and sometimes take on semi-business roles (although this is rare). OP should def consider exit options as well before deciding on a practice group - even though tax ppl usually have better lifestyle, biglaw is biglaw.


Tax people also can go business side. It's rare, but it's rare for corporate lawyers, too.

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Re: Choosing tax, big mistake?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:43 pm

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.



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