Tax LLM Employment Prospects

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Tax LLM Employment Prospects

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:06 am

I'm a 5th year at a BigLaw firm's foreign office in Asia considering a switch into tax. (I was a summer in New York before moving out to Asia.)

I'm considering getting an LLM in tax. I'd like to practice in BigLaw or Big 4 in the US after getting the LLM (at NYU, Georgetown or Florida).

Would the fact that I've had the credentials for and been in a BigLaw firm hurt or help my future employment prospects relative to other students in the program?

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Re: Tax LLM Employment Prospects

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:39 am

Mind if I ask why do you want to switch to tax and go to America? I am also going to Asia after graduation for a big law firm.

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nealric

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Re: Tax LLM Employment Prospects

Postby nealric » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:22 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a 5th year at a BigLaw firm's foreign office in Asia considering a switch into tax. (I was a summer in New York before moving out to Asia.)

I'm considering getting an LLM in tax. I'd like to practice in BigLaw or Big 4 in the US after getting the LLM (at NYU, Georgetown or Florida).

Would the fact that I've had the credentials for and been in a BigLaw firm hurt or help my future employment prospects relative to other students in the program?


I think you'd have an extremely good shot at biglaw tax under those circumstances, but you'd also be looking at a significant demotion- no firm would take you on as a 6th year tax associate if you have no prior tax experience. Have you looked into simply switching into tax at your current firm and doing a part time LLM at NYU?

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Re: Tax LLM Employment Prospects

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:Mind if I ask why do you want to switch to tax and go to America? I am also going to Asia after graduation for a big law firm.


I did not plan very well or think very far in advance.

It is very hard to make partner if you are not from a local background. Business development is very challenging. Also, local law firms are increasing their market share rapidly, which poses a risk to BigLaw firms. Going in-house is also challenging if you don't fit culturally (i.e. if you aren't local born and bred).

On the flipside, personally, I would like to continue in private practice and I really enjoyed tax in school and as a summer associate. It seems like a good practice to get into if you want to do the same thing for the next 30 years. It is rare to find an unemployed tax lawyer, whereas it is quite common to find people who become unemployed after going in-house.

nealric wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Have you looked into simply switching into tax at your current firm and doing a part time LLM at NYU?


Being out in Asia and having relationships with mostly the Asian partners, it is very hard to convince New York to agree to this kind of arrangement.

I've heard potential concerns that firms dislike hiring experienced attorneys. Have you seen experienced attorneys entering the LLM program?

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nealric

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Re: Tax LLM Employment Prospects

Postby nealric » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:33 am

You do see unemployed or underemployed tax attorneys all the time. However, the majority of those are failure to launch problems. There’s a big hurdle to clear in the first 3-7 years or so as you develop a core knowledge base. Some people never get there either due to inadequate experience, lack of aptitude, or lack of discipline.

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Re: Tax LLM Employment Prospects

Postby jantzus » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:48 am

nealric wrote:You do see unemployed or underemployed tax attorneys all the time. However, the majority of those are failure to launch problems. There’s a big hurdle to clear in the first 3-7 years or so as you develop a core knowledge base. Some people never get there either due to inadequate experience, lack of aptitude, or lack of discipline.


Browsing through the LinkedIn profiles of former NYU LLM students, it seems like the vast majority of the results show that people eventually wind up in either Big 4 or BIgLaw and have decent tax careers for 30 years. Is that just a biased search on LinkedIn?

In my former area of practice, a lot of people go in-house or go off to do random jobs.

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Re: Tax LLM Employment Prospects

Postby nealric » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:32 am

jantzus wrote:
nealric wrote:You do see unemployed or underemployed tax attorneys all the time. However, the majority of those are failure to launch problems. There’s a big hurdle to clear in the first 3-7 years or so as you develop a core knowledge base. Some people never get there either due to inadequate experience, lack of aptitude, or lack of discipline.


Browsing through the LinkedIn profiles of former NYU LLM students, it seems like the vast majority of the results show that people eventually wind up in either Big 4 or BIgLaw and have decent tax careers for 30 years. Is that just a biased search on LinkedIn?

In my former area of practice, a lot of people go in-house or go off to do random jobs.


There's probably a bit of bias on linked in. I've run into former tax attorneys who ended up as realtors or legal recruiters. Some people just don't like it for whatever reason. A friend of mine at my old firm who was a brilliant tax attorney and could have probably made partner ended up leaving law to do coding. That being said, I do think the tax job market is a bit better than general corporate- doubly so if you've been practicing for a few years.

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Re: Tax LLM Employment Prospects

Postby patrickd139 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:51 am

To beat a dead horse here with some probably over-generalized opinions: make sure you actually like tax before investing in a tax LLM. It can be demoralizing work if you don't like it. The learning curve is steep, it's always changing, at big firms, there's rarely if ever any human interest aspect to it, etc.

And once you get a tax LLM you're pigeonholed as a tax lawyer almost irrevocably.

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Re: Tax LLM Employment Prospects

Postby nealric » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:45 am

patrickd139 wrote:To beat a dead horse here with some probably over-generalized opinions: make sure you actually like tax before investing in a tax LLM. It can be demoralizing work if you don't like it. The learning curve is steep, it's always changing, at big firms, there's rarely if ever any human interest aspect to it, etc.

And once you get a tax LLM you're pigeonholed as a tax lawyer almost irrevocably.


Wouldn't go that far. I've run into a reasonable number of non-tax corporate types with tax LLMs.

The human interest component isn't really much different from any other biglaw practice, though I've run into human interest aspects even in complex international tax matters. If you do small-law tax for HNW individuals, you will get more than your share of drama.

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Re: Tax LLM Employment Prospects

Postby patrickd139 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:23 am

Yeah meant that more in a "if you're considering getting an LLM, make sure you like tax" not "you're fucked of you have an LLM and don't like tax."

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Re: Tax LLM Employment Prospects

Postby taxattorney1314 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:33 pm

Hi - I was facing a similar decision 3 years ago and switched to tax by doing the tax LLM. PM me if you want to chat :)



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